Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gentle or Justified? Part I

AD/HD adults can develop some weird coping methods. Especially if they missed out on a childhood diagnosis. Most of these methods are counterproductive, and are often what leads to the diagnosis in the first place. Occasionally they might be brilliant, but this AD/HDer suspects that this case is more the result of luck than anything else.

One coping mechanism that I've developed and still struggle with is the need for a chain of logical reasoning behind everything that happens. This has lead to giving the impression of being controlling of people's lives and various projects that I become involved in. The problem in relationships is that it can be confused with the kind of controlling behavior exhibited by an overly insecure and excessively jealous person (I've been there, but I found it a lot easier to recognize and kick than this).

I've heard of other AD/HD adults having a similar problem. Some of us get brilliant at inductive reasoning. We can start to cling on to things like facts, hard data, and the idea that there might be some kind of absolute truth. Maybe we do this while saying that there is no absolute truth.

Truth is attractive to AD/HD brains because it doesn't change. Facts are supposedly static by nature. We notice that ice is cold so we infer that all ice must be cold. We also might notice that low cut dresses get girls extra attention, so we might assume that girls wear low cut dresses for attention.

If facts don't change, then we can safely get distracted or forget about one thing or another. And when we get back to the first issue, the reasoning is still there, as static as ever. It makes the world a little safer for us. But if it were the right way to go about life, then why does it create so many problems for us? Everyone else seems so irresponsible (!) to us AD/HDers when they ignore the facts. Its true we get distracted easily, but at least when we do pay attention to something, we know what's going on with it. We know why.

Of course, logic is tyrannical. Thats where the controlling behavior steps in. We need to know where our partners are, where the kids are. People without AD/HD don't get forgetful, so if they forget our birthdays its a personal attack. We look insecure because we are. Its not the same insecurity that others experience. If others don't follow the same logic that we do, the static world that we rely on simply collapses. Nothing brings out insecurity over AD/HD symptoms than a smack of reality. And since reality seldom seems to cooperate with logic, this kind of coping mechanism leads to a very insecure life for the AD/HDer.

The problem with inductive reasoning and the empirical method in general is that its only really useful in certain situations. Like in a laboratory where the latest scientific paradigm is being ironed out (those familiar with Kuhn or postmodernism might see that as a bad example; but I'm sure they get my drift).

Continued here.

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