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Old 05-19-09, 11:42 AM
wondra wondra is offline
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Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

I have this brilliant therapist who has worked with a lot of adult ADD peeps. She tells me that the H component of ADHD in adults often gets translated into things like irritability, and that a common theme in ADHD is feeling treated unfairly and holding grudges.

Well, I didn't much like to hear that - but it's true (for me)! gah. Whenever I have a run in with someone it can be really hard for me to get over it, and I think I make more of it being done to me on purpose than I should. I'm pretty good at not outwardly reacting but internally it's game over.

Do other people have this?
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Old 05-19-09, 11:56 AM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

I am in the middle of the diagnostic process and my sense is that I have never been hyperactive to a degree that is noticable so maybe this does not apply.

I have had a lot of unfortunate things happen to me - a partner that destroyed me financially at a young age, a boss that cheated the seniority system to lay me off causing me perhaps six figures in losses - it all depends on how you look at it.

At no time have I ever felt like I held a grudge or been treated "unfairly" by life in general. Unfair from a few individuals - certainly, but that is life. This is not to say I have not been angry with people or that I would not have made a scene in the right circumstances, but after the short term emotions wear off, I generally chalk it up to life experience and move on.

I think the feeling of being treated unfairly stems from a very externalized "locus of control" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locus_of_control

You can take a test here:
http://www.psych.uncc.edu/pagoolka/L...rol-intro.html

Maybe it is the way I was raised - my parents raised me and my brother and sister to believe we could do anything and to believe that we are the captains of our destiny. This kind of libertarian "rugged individualism" permeates both sides of my family. We don't do grudges and we expect life to be unfair - but it is unfair to everyone, equally
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Old 05-19-09, 11:59 AM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

Well, most of the times i have to make a conscious effort not to remember the small things
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Old 05-19-09, 12:07 PM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

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Originally Posted by Annwn View Post

I have had a lot of unfortunate things happen to me - a partner that destroyed me financially at a young age, a boss that cheated the seniority system to lay me off causing me perhaps six figures in losses - it all depends on how you look at it.

At no time have I ever felt like I held a grudge or been treated "unfairly" by life in general. Unfair from a few individuals - certainly, but that is life. This is not to say I have not been angry with people or that I would not have made a scene in the right circumstances, but after the short term emotions wear off, I generally chalk it up to life experience and move on.

That's rough, I'm sorry to hear that.

I guess I didn't give enough background to really explain me. I have a trauma history, and a bunch of stuff that really was unfair too. I'm a recovering addict. Been hospitalized for mental illness and so on. I've worked through all of that, I mean it's an ongoing process right? So, on the one hand I know that I've been dealt an "unfair" hand in many ways, but I'm okay with all of that. I've done years and years of therapy and actually I've been able to forgive most of the people involved etc.

What I should have emphasized is that OVERALL by far I'm happy and get on great with people. I have many friends who love me for my wackiness. BUT (and this is what the topic's about) sometimes I run into these issues, and it's around things that really aren't that important. It's almost like I'm clear about the big stuff but I sometimes get caught up in the details.
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Old 05-19-09, 12:08 PM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

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Well, most of the times i have to make a conscious effort not to remember the small things

I think you're on to something!
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Old 05-19-09, 01:03 PM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

I do not have the H but I have the grudges & unfairness problem. I also have a problem with not really completely trusting anyone except for my husband. It seems like everyone around me (bestfriends, siblings, parents, cousins, etc.) seem to let me down in one way or another. It seems that I can forgive my family but I dont really get close friends anymore. Maybe this is just something that I experience. I guess in the end it comes down to I can forgive my family because they will always be around but I dont have to get close to friends because they wont always be around. Does that make any sense?
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Old 05-19-09, 01:56 PM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

I wonder if your tendency to feel like you are being treated unfairly and hold grudges might be related to the theory that ADHDers tend to be hypersensitive to criticism and suffer from low self esteem.

You might find these articles interesting if you are looking for the connection between ADHD and negative behavior like not letting go of anger.

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/5235.html

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/912.html
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Old 05-19-09, 02:05 PM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

I have real issues with unfairness, and holding grudges to a lesser extent.

I'm the kind of person to whom people often feel the need to say "Life isn't fair, just let it go."

In my case, its just as strong when I hear about something I perceive as unfair on TV, or from a friend, as it is when it happens to me, so I don't think it has much to do with self-esteem.

With regard to grudges, I once didn't shop at the best store in my neighborhood for two years, because on one occasion, I remember paying with a twenty and being given change for a ten. When I pointed it out, the owner said no, it was a ten, and took a ten out of the register to show me. I had no proof, so I left, and didn't go back for a very long time. I may have been wrong about the money(I do have ADHD and visual memory problems), but I was sure enough that I couldn't stand to go in there.
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Old 05-19-09, 02:06 PM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

Nothing for me to add here, except to agree with everything above.

So far the meds have evened out my mood and I am not quick to jump on someone or something.
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Old 05-19-09, 02:17 PM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

Well, last week i was at judo(wrestling with martial arts uniform) training, and we were talking about ground fighting, where i am very good at, and a guy said, jocking, "all you do is lay on top of me" I think he meant i didnt need to do anything else, but my head processed it as "you can only do that". Needless to say, I almost rip his arm off the next time we ground fight, yesterday. I had to tell myself not to be a *******.
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Old 05-19-09, 02:23 PM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

I'm sort of the opposite -- I really don't hold grudges at all. You can thank my poor memory for my forgiving nature...I just don't remember that I'm supposed to be mad at someone!

But my mom, who I'm pretty sure is also an ADDer, holds grudges so long it's ridiculous. She is still mad at her nephew over something that happened forty-five years ago, when the poor guy was a kid! And she still grouses about things her sister did sixty or seventy years ago -- the sister has been dead for several years but mom STILL can't let go of it.
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Old 05-19-09, 02:42 PM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

Yeah they try to throw the ADHD at me but I am not hyperactive at all, and never have been.

If it translates into being easily grouchy and upset (and ESPECIALLY holding grudges) then that makes MUCH more sense to me then being hyper.
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Old 05-20-09, 12:23 AM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

I don't know if holding grudges and feeling that you're being treated unfairly go hand-in-hand. I don't often feel like I'm being treated unfairly (or that life in general is unfair), but I hold grudges. I hold grudges like no one has ever held a grudge before.

However, I don't hold grudges for the little things. I can forgive minor transgressions quite easily, as we all make mistakes. It's the major things that cause me to hold a grudge. Intentionally hurting someone again and again is something that would earn a lifelong grudge from me. Honestly, I don't see it as a bad thing. I think people who forgive too easily let people take advantage of them.
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Old 05-20-09, 01:30 AM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

I can definitely get irritable. My wife really treasures those special moments.

The feeling of "unfairness" has nearly been eliminated as my self-confidence has risen to astronomical levels. However, the un-fair world used to have it's way with me at one time.

If anything, I have problems keeping a grudge for more than a few minutes/hours.

Again, a trait my still-****ed-off, grudge-holding wife finds appealing about me.
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Old 05-20-09, 02:08 AM
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Re: Grudges & unfairness as ADHD traits

That life can be emphatically unfair and that people in positions of trust can behave with casual, callous malice does not surprise me. What troubles me are those who seek to rationalize this, that somehow it is all for the best.

There is a saying in the vernacular: "Don't p i s s on my head and tell me it's raining!"

The AD(H)D contribution to this may be a lowered tolerance when it comes to social cognitive dissonance. I have long had the opinion that the little boy that shouted out that the emperor was not in fact wearing clothes would be today diagnosed as being ADHD!
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