7 thoughts on “Do People With ADHD Think More Quickly?

  • August 2, 2016 at 6:55 am

    i agree with the author. People with and without ADHD have different ways of thinking. The article doesn’t address speed of thinking. It focuses more on understanding and planning. I suspect if we answer the question in terms of speed of thinking — number of thoughts in a given time frame, the ADHD person thinks quicker. Whether that is good depends on the situation.

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    • August 2, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Thanks for commenting! I did address speed of thinking in the sense that I’m not convinced there’s a real difference other than a qualitative difference that can give the illusion of a quantitative difference. I guess part of it comes down to what we even mean by “speed of thinking.” For example, some studies suggest slower processing speed as a characteristic of ADHD. Does that mean people with ADHD think more slowly? What does it really even mean to have a greater or lesser “number of thoughts in a given time frame”? Once we get down to it, “thinking quickly” gets hard to define. 😛

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  • October 16, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Hello there,

    I have ADD. I remember everything. Some might say I have a photographic memory. Many say I’m high functioning, but sometimes it takes a while to process all the information in my mind. This is how I see ADD.

    Suppose you’re writing a research paper, but your having writers block. Everytime you get an idea, your mind goes blank. You crumble up the piece of paper and throw it in the trash can. For each time you’re crumbling paper, it accumulates.

    Now, imagine your mind. In that mind you have years of knowledge like the crumbled pieces of paper. Anytime, you’re asked a question you have go through your mind to unravel all crumbled pieces of memories. It’s not the fact, you cannot communicate or blurt out the answer,it’s the fact you’re having to go back through your mind and unravel all those crumbled memories while being annoyed with background noise.

    If we don’t understand something, we look at small details of crumbled memories, which is also unanswered questions or ideas making us look like we think slowly.

    There are times when we’re bored. During these times we think super fast and talk super fast, but will have difficulty explaining our ideas on paper or speaking orally. During this time, we will make short cuts rather than unraveling all those pieces of memories. We will ask essential questions for “Big Ideas”. It also helps the class or people see another way of thinking rather than a one sided views. I personally feel there is no sense to go over little details when you already know the answer. There are somethings that don’t need to be over thought.

    I like to say we are the analytical and logical thinkers.I got to admit, though, when we’re analyzing we will think very slowly to make sure our “Big Ideas” are correct.

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    • October 18, 2017 at 1:01 am

      Hi Jessica. What a fascinating description. Thanks for writing that.

      ADHD and photographic memory sounds like quite a combination. Meanwhile, I just wrote a post about forgetfulness and ADHD, which I guess just goes to show how people with ADHD are different. 😛

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    • January 5, 2019 at 9:28 pm

      Hi Jessica,
      I find your description very interesting!
      I’m observe the thought processes of my daughter daily and try to work out how she thinks… you description made me giggle… the other night I commented on how great our day was. Non ADHD people would say yes we did X,y and z, it was a really fun day. She however went through every detail significant or not on everything she did from waking to going to bed. It made me think of every question or discussion is thought of in such detail?
      If so does this explain the length of time it take for her to reply at times or the random responses given- tangents? I find this fascinating!

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    • March 29, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      Your comment rings so true for me. I don’t have a photographic memory. I struggle with memorizing details because as the original article says, my brain gets rid of facts it finds unworthy of retaining, but it’s not that I don’t take them in. A whole lot of detail comes in, definitely more, and more quickly than most of my peers, but if my brain decides that it’s silly to hold on to it because I can look it up somewhere, it dismisses it and it’s gone. This was frustrating in law school because I learned concepts more quickly and more deeply than others and got bored in class. I taught my friends the concepts in study sessions, but then had trouble memorizing code numbers and case names for the exams. I was able to do well because I would attach so much detail to facts that I could uncrumple the memories as your daughter described. It’s much easier to remember every detail about a juicy case with a lot of drama than to remember the names of the litigants for example. It’s not that I don’t initially process that information, it’s that my brain sees it as extraneous and dismisses it from long term memory.
      As is true for your daughter it sometimes is hard for me to give a quick verbal answer that expresses everything I understand because my brain moves faster than my mouth. I think sometimes it seems like I know less than I do because my brain has to reorganize everything it has in it in order to express what I know. It’s like a very messy desk where anyone else would be overwhelmed, but because it’s your desk you know where things are and what it all means. In order to explain it to someone else you need to file it all into a system they will understand. That is annoying so you just give the gist unless more is required.

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  • December 3, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    With all things equal, person with adhd is better as they think faster

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