• Quote of the Day
    "The hardest battle you're ever going to fight is the battle to be just you."
    Leo F. Buscaglia, posted by Daniel

stargazer

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Is it symptomatic of ADHD that a person will say they're going to do something, never do it, and then become really defensive when reminded of it? This has happened to me twice in the past two weeks with two different people, both diagnosed with ADHD. Each time I felt as though I were being personally assaulted just because I reminded them that they had said they were going to do something for me they hadn't yet done; in each case, an unsolicited promise on their part. It wasn't even so much as my having requested a favor! But because they said so, I came to depend on it.

If they weren't going to do it, why did they say so in the first place? I responded by getting terribly shaken up--I felt as though they both snapped at me. One of them even used foul language and exclamation points in his e-mail. If they weren't going to do what they said they were going to do, why did they say so in the first place?

I just don't know how to deal with these people.

I have had two other people with ADHD in my life. One of them has not forgiven me for past transgressions for which I tried to apologize, so I figured she's history. I had gotten really mad at her a few times, over this same kind of thing. But that was when I was still getting horribly terribly mad (a while back) so I don't blame her. I'm a bit better now--she just doesn't know it.

The other one is someone I'm working with closely right now, and I think she's the greatest human being on earth. Although she always seem to have a lot of irons on the fire, and she doesn't always get back to me right away, I know that she eventually will, and our relationship is fine.

But I think I might just have to cut off contact with those other guys--or at the very least, never nudge them to follow through on past promises.
 
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it may be that they honestly intended to do what they said they would, but that for whatever reason it didn't get done. i often have intentions of doing certain things, but then don't get to them. too many other things are going on, or i forget, or even it can be procrastination - i think i'll get to it later and next thing i know all this time has passed.

some people just are less reliable than others about things. you need to kind of learn what each person you meet is like in regards to things like this, and then come to expect just that and no more. so in the future i wouldn't hold your breath if a similar promise is made to you.
 

stargazer

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some people just are less reliable than others about things. you need to kind of learn what each person you meet is like in regards to things like this, and then come to expect just that and no more. so in the future i wouldn't hold your breath if a similar promise is made to you.

Yes, I agree, but what I'm asking is, is this a symptom of ADHD? It just seems interesting that all four of the people I mentioned have ADHD, and have this same personality trait.

Taken to the extreme, I'll call one of them, another call comes in, they immediately prioritize the incoming call, sometimes saying: "Can I put you on hold?" and sometimes not. I've learned just to hang up after that because they'll never get back to you.

Is this ADHD?
 
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i don't have the expertise to answer that question. it might be. i think (although do not know for sure) that people with adhd have trouble staying focused. david can probably answer your question :)
 

stargazer

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I figured someone here might know. I do admit I was annoyed at one such individual at the time of the post. Since then, I've wondered if it will be easier for me to forgive them if I understand more about their condition. (I've had success in the past forgiving people whom I think have wronged me if I understand that they suffer from depresssion or have trust issues or abandonment issues. Of course, I can't understand everything about everybody, but it helps for me to try and see where they're coming from, in order not to pass judgment on their position.)
 

David Baxter

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Impulsivity and distractibility are core characteristics of ADHD, so what you describe would be characteristic and not entirely within their control. Indeed, it's not unlike the behavior of someone in a hypomanic state.
 

stargazer

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That's what I was thinking.

About distractibility: I personally don't usually put someone on hold and then forget to get back to them--but if I were in a very hypomanic phase, my "attention would more easily be drawn toward unimportant or irrelevant items." (I believe that's almost a verbatim quote of one of the symptoms of hypomnia in the DSM IV-R). So it's possible I would do that, although I don't recall having done so (at least not in recent times).

What my friend does is that he only gets back to you if he's going to do so right away. (For example, if the incoming call is a salesperson.) And I've just learned to hang up after waiting, say, thirty seconds or so.

About impulsivity: I tend to be very impulsive, which is one of my big personality problems. This happens even when I'm not particularly hypomanic, though it happens less when I'm depressed. It's possible that because of this, I've "buzzed" my friend too often, which has annoyed him.

And now, in my "black-and-white thinking," I feel like never contacting him again. :(

I think perhaps the answer, avoiding black and white thinking, is just to give him space for a while. Eventually, if it's a true friendship, we'll start to like each other again.
 

Halo

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I was wondering if your friends may have projected their anger or frustration onto you although they were really angry or upset with themselves for having forgotten to do what was promised.

Just a thought?
 

stargazer

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I was wondering if your friends may have projected their anger or frustration onto you although they were really angry or upset with themselves for having forgotten to do what was promised.

I think there might be something to that, Halo. They probably already know that they forgot to do certain things, and so when it's brought up, the anger they project is actually a reflection of their own inner frustration.

In this case, my friend might have gotten angry with me because I reminded him of something he already knew, so I doubled his problem by making mention of it. He probably already wishes he would be better about such things, but something in his condition disables him from doing so.

Another thought: of the four I mentioned, only one of them is a real long-standing friend. So I ought to be able to blow the others off more easily when they do this sort of thing. It's more hurtful when the lash-out comes from a friend, for some reason.
 
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Peanut

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I'm not sure I have insight to your specific situation, although I think I recently experienced something that may be somewhat similar. I was interning at a place and my supervisor told me she had been previously diagnosed with bipolar and then the diagnosis had been revised to ADHD recently. Working with her was amazing in some ways, she was very energetic and a real visionary, full of enthusiasm. However, I felt that things were a bit scattered and I would feel like things needed to be followed up on. I would sometimes get responses like, "don't worry about it" or she would say she would get back to me and never did. These were things that actually did need to be worried about. So it sounds a little bit like what you're talking about in some ways. I really like her but I felt like there was a certain element of jumping from one thing to another without fully developing the first thing.
 

stargazer

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Yes, that sounds like the very thing I've been trying to describe. One of the four people was very much like that -- highly energetic, a visionary, and full of a contagious enthusiasm. However, she had so many things going on at once -- it was almost as though she thrived on chaos, and it could be unsettling at times.

I got your PM by the way, and we should chat later. I'll be off and on throughout the week, as I'm in the process of moving to a cheaper room closer to work.
 

stargazer

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Hi Everybody.

I meant to mention last week that I made up with my friend. Actually, though, I had to do it through his wife (which was slightly awkward) because he's too busy/spacey to ever answer my e-mails. She said that even if she sends him an e-mail, he doesn't answer it. He gets over 400 business-related e-mails a day, so personal e-mails are low priority. But she said she would show him the e-mail.

I then noticed that he had obviously gone and read my e-mails of the last two months (he keeps them separated in an Andy folder), because I suddenly got an e-mail that he had accepted a PayPal payment of $35 that I'd sent him a couple months ago. (It was a re-payment of a debt.)

I told his wife I was aware that I had been buzzing them too much, and not quite in tune with how busy and hectic their lives are these days, with two kids, and a business to run on his part, and an extended stay of a friend (I didn't know that part). She said she thought it was good that I was seeing into myself.

I think that the over-buzzing might be my manic nature, and the not getting back to me might have been his ADHD. But in any case, it doesn't help him to get back to me if I keep nudging him, because all it eventually does is alienate him. So I'll back off.

But I sense things are good between me and him now. She can pretty much speak for him, in this case.
 

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