The Domino Effect: ADD & Conversation

I wasn’t diagnosed with ADD until I was 19. That was a lot of time to go by without understanding how my own brain worked in conversations. Needless to say, I got a lot of “that was random” and “where did that come from” comments from friends during conversations pre-diagnosis. And they were completely justified in making those statements. I would say comments that, to them, would seem to be out of the blue, but to me seemed logical and relevant. Now that I know more about ADD and how it can affect life skills and conversation abilities, I am reminded of an age old theory called “The Domino Effect” and I can now see how it relates to conversation skills and the ADD brain.

So a conversation starts with topic A (a.k.a. Domino 1). Everyone’s sharing their ideas and stories and something sparks a side thought in the ADD person’s brain bringing that person slightly away from the original topic and creating Domino 2. From there this person thinks of something else (Domino 3), then something else, then a different thought (Domino 4) and so on and before they know it they are at Domino 7 or 8. Before I understood ADD I would just spout out Domino 7 or 8 as part of the conversation because to me it made sense. However, to those who were still discussing Domino 1 it sounded like a completely new topic. This was when I would get the “that was random” comments from others (and a reputation as the “dumb blonde”). Now, however, I think about what I am going to say to make sure it relates to Domino 1. I can keep my focus on Domino 1 and if that focus waivers, I’m aware of it and the fact that only I will be able to make sense of the resulting thoughts because the thought process is only in my brain. If I do have one of my “random statement moments” I know that I can simply say “Oh, here’s how I got to that idea” and explain these thought processes to the others in the group. I really think that awareness is 55% of how to cope with AD/HD. Just simply being aware that this is how my brain works and it may not be how others' thought processes work gives me a social skill abling me to adapt to and incorporate my thoughts and ideas into any conversation and explain to others my random statements should they occur.

What are your "random statement" experiences? Do you find that your brain can sometimes do a Domino effect as well?

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra
So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

No comments: