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Memory recollection issues with ADHD

In computer terms, folks with ADHD often have a giant hard drive for a brain, but very little RAM. Our working memory—how much stuff we can keep active in our heads at once—is pretty limited.

This means that information with too many concurrent details is hard to follow along with, which can make learning complex tasks difficult.

The problem isn’t that you’re bad at learning. It’s that a lot of instructors present too much information at once.

It affects interpersonal interactions, too. I often remember “the vibe” of a conversation more than the specifics. And often times, that vibe isn’t representative of the whole conversation/event and my details on it are super fuzzy.

I also get flustered super easily in high-pressure real time conversations. I am much better in writing, and as a result, seem to favor online conversations where I can take a beat to think first (and have a written record I can refer back to).

And if I have too many things to do at once, I’ll typically remember the a few of them, and forget everything else.

So what can you do about all of this?

  1. Ask for things in writing, even if you’re having a face-to-face chat. “Can you email me that so I don’t forget?”
  2. You can ask for meetings to be held async as a work accommodation.
  3. Write everything down.
  4. Be honest with yourself about what you remember from a conversation. “I don’t remember what you specifically said, but it made me feel {FEELING}.”
  5. Use your smart watch or phone to nag the shit out of you gently remind you about meetings, time sensitive tasks, and so on.