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ADHD Adults

Is this related in any way to ADD?

I am a 43 yo male recently diagnosed. All my life I have had difficulty getting the right words out that truly express how I feel. I hesitate when I am angry, sad, confused, even happy not because I don’t FEEL anything, but simply because I can’t seem to SAY anything. Everyday small talk is simple enough and I have no problem giving a verbal response to a complicated/technical question related to my work, but in these situations, there is little emotion involved. When trying to discuss a difficult emotional topic, even with my spouse, it takes several attempts to get the right words to pass my lips. It is not that I don’t want to say anything or that I am trying to avoid confrontation. It’s more like my tongue is tied. My mind goes blank, like I have completely forgotten why I brought it up in the first place or that I have forgotten all my verbal skills that should have been learned in childhood. Generally, I give it my best shot and end up saying something that doesn’t quite hit the mark and over the next several tries I eventually start to understand what I was trying to say. In the mean time, the other person has pulled their hair out and might be glaring at me with their arms folded. Is this an ADD thing?


Yes I have been like this all my life.  I can completely relate.  I can’t seem to get the words right, focus on the conversation, and I keep on talking about the same thing over and over and I feel like hitting my head against the wall.  I believe it is definately an ADHD/ADD trait!  It stinks!

Posted by hawaii92 on Feb 15, 2014 at 9:25am

Yes there is a direct correlation to what you described above and having ADHD. There is probably a more medical way to describe what a ADHD brain goes through when we have an emotional response weather in a argument or heated debate our frontal cortex for lack of words shuts down. We begin to forget things that were said and it’s hard for a person with ADHD to communicate because of how our brain processes information. That’s why a lot of people who have ADHD have a lot of outburst, trouble listening in relationships and volitile reactions and over reactions. It’s one clear sign of ADHD. it’s also hard for us to control impulses. I’m sure if you Google it you will find a better explanation but that is it in a nut shell!!! Medicine helps and therapy to help us understand what goes on and how to deal with these types of situations better!!!

Posted by Twhitt on Feb 15, 2014 at 9:34am

I am the same.  At work I can discuss a complex issue without a problem.  I am lucky that I am able to look at an issue from all sides and in my mind run through the probable outcomes and then select the best course of action for immediate and effective results. I believe I can do this so well because there is no emotion involved.  The moment I am asked my personal opinion I just can’t.  It’s almost like I don’t have one.  I don’t feel the emotional connection. People think of me as being stuck up or cold hearted. I’m actually the opposite but I can understand why they think this. When I do know how I am feeling I struggle to articulate it.  At times I can express my feelings but it is at length.  Other people could probably summarize their feelings into a few words where as I seem to go on forever. It frustrates my husband but it frustrates me as well.  I cannot understand how I can be so intelligent in some areas and so sub standard in others.  Not sure if this helps you because it’s difficult to put my thoughts into words but I wanted you to know that you are not alone.

Posted by Mellyinc on Feb 15, 2014 at 12:11pm

I used to be like that too. There are still situations in which I take forever to speak up. I am working in saying the uncomfortable things even if I feel terrible. That has saved me money and problems.

It is not just my tongue is twisted, also I feel like I may not be able to say it without crying, yelling, or going bananas.

Posted by najn on Feb 15, 2014 at 12:34pm

Although my various doctors, therapists, and counselors might disagree with me, I think that this is ADD related as well as being a “Situational Anxiety” thing.

Living with ADD causes some problems in many areas and over time we gain experience in how to deal with a lot of things, but things that are “touchy” emotionally—not just for us, but others, too—can really cause problems.

Sometimes knowing what I want to say is not the problem so much as just getting it said is the problem.  I really hate emotional upheaval.  It is terribly painful in ways that non-ADDers do not understand.

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Feb 15, 2014 at 1:32pm

Yes, I share the same problem as you! When I get upset I am unable to express what is on my mind. I end up red faced waving my arms and totally frustrated. If anyone has a strategy that has worked for them, please share it with us.

Posted by SquarePeg on Feb 15, 2014 at 6:52pm

This situation, as described, is not unique to ADDers, but is likely more pronounced in us.
Personally, I have to pause before I respond to certain situations and get my thoughts together.
I often feel like I could have done a better job of responding, or made my point clearer, but I don’t think that’s uncommon for a lot of people, with or without ADD. Working on your own or with a therapist on learning how to get your thoughts together first, or just recognizing when a response is not needed, will greatly increase your confidence and take your mind off of this concern.

Posted by Bapa on Feb 15, 2014 at 7:01pm

Yes I also have been like this my whole life. I too was diagnosed when I was 42yo, I am now 53yo and still fight what you are talking about. Is your hand writing horrid, and do you have trouble writing words in order? You may also have the learning disability dysgraphia, I feel your pain. If you are a Christian this would be a good thing to take to the Lord in prayer, I just said a little prayer for you. God bless you and I hope you find the answers and the help you were looking for.

Posted by Rancher John on Feb 15, 2014 at 7:20pm

Thanks all! My son is dysgraphic and I have also struggled with dyslexia, very slow reading, etc. So “being able to express oneself” seems to be a theme and may come in many forms. It is interesting to note the distinction between technical and emotional expression from these comments. I have published multiple scientific articles but couldn’t write a short story or novel to save my life. The organization and/or elements of fiction are well known to many, but have never been easy for me to grasp and make understandable to others.

Posted by Dr. SQUIRREL!!! on Feb 15, 2014 at 7:32pm

Always makes more sense in my head then coming out of my mouth.

Posted by msnuggie on Feb 20, 2014 at 6:37pm

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