Witnessing your own mental decay

well, given that @LSLGuy mentioned this thread in a different one (and I got a system-push) … I might as well update:

  • obviously “temporal horizon” seems to be out of whack … If you’d ask me how long ago I started this thread - 3-4 months would have been my answer … wrong! nearly a year!!!** typing mistakes keep creeping in more and more over the past couple of years (those are the mistakes that you don’t get to see :wink: )
  • I seem to struggle more and more between “things I did” … and “things I planned to do (but never did)” … I have good amount of work-emails that I carefully redacted …and sent off (or so I thought) … just to find them a day or so later still as draft in the outbox!!! something happened and I never clicked SEND.
  • worse yet, there are instances where I cannot recall if I did write/send a mail to John last week or if I just made a mental note about "I need to write John back by mail" … and never wrote the mail (there were a few instances where I really had to go to my SENT folder to get a clear answer.

I am and always was a very visual thinker - so that might play into that …

Yes. Me too. I have particular things that I can not remember past a second or so. For example, I have to write down that I took a pill IMMEDIATELY after I take it or in a few minutes I will take one again. ((this is for my ADHD meds (methamphetamine / Desoxyn*) which are ‘as needed’ so I can’t use a calendar pill box as I do for my main daily meds.))

What I’ve been told by psychiatrists and neuropsychologists is that it is not memory but attention that is the issue for me. But damn… my attention issues are so great that I haven’t even written much (or anything at all–don’t remember) in a current ADHD thread here. But my memory is not great either.

I want to chime in so much but my ADHD seems to be beyond normal ADHD parameters and I’m afraid to even bring it up because the amount of disability I experience would be doubted and called an exaggeration.

I took a 2-day long battery of cognitive tests and the results said that I was in the 99th percentile of intelligence, 50th percentile for memory, and 9th percentile for ADHD. (a full IQ test is part of the battery because your IQ level affects how you are ‘graded’ on the rest of the tests)

*I probably should start a “Ask The Guy Who Takes Prescribed Methamphetamine” thread but I am pretty incapable of starting or meaningfully adding to threads because I can’t pay attention enough to do it.

There are so, so many threads I would like to, and would have, started if it weren’t for my sever ADHD. And so often I post to a thread before I have finished reading it because if I don’t reply to something while it’s fresh in my head I will forget about it in 30 seconds.

It does suck. A lot. And it’s my whole life–not just posting on a message board.

Given the above, have you considered conferring with your prescriber to see if you could try taking your Desoxyn routinely every morning for awhile to see if it would help with those attention issues? Taking it ‘as needed’ is not typical and sounds a lot like locking the barn door after the horse escapes. By the time you figure out ‘maybe I ought to take it’ your day is probably already ruined or at least beyond repair. I took Ritalin, etc for many years, so I’m preaching from the choir.

You can still use a calendar pill box, you just need to invert the purpose. Instead of ‘I need to take this morning pill’, it becomes how you track whether or not you have taken ‘as needed’ pill already today. If today’s slot is empty, you’ve already taken it, don’t take it again.

I use a pill calendar planner like this one and subvert the markings.

Ezy Dose Weekly (7-Day) Pill Case, Medicine Planner, Vitamin Organizer Box, Small Compartments with Easy Fill Tray, 4 Times a Day, Clear Lids, Color May Vary, BPA Free https://a.co/d/01oqEPDF

Instead of 4 pill slots a day for the 7 days of the week, I think of it as a 28 day month of four weeks, so I set it up for a month at a time. It would drive me nuts (nuttier?) to have to fuss with setting up a pill box weekly.

I have a morning one and a night one. They might seem expensive but they are good quality, last forever, are really quick to fill and they lock so it’s easy to throw in a bag for travel and if you drop it, it doesn’t pop open and strew your pills all hither and yon.

We have a “ADHD Connect” channel on our Teams app at work, but the participants mainly talk about how frantic and disorganized they can get when they’re under stress. In my case, it’s the opposite, my mind is muddy and inert unless I take my meds. It sucks when I can’t fit in with my own support group.

My wife and I speak each other’s language as a second language–I speak Portuguese as a second language and she speaks English as a second language.
My fear is that as we age we will both forget our secondary language, making it so we can’t speak together in the same language. My hope is that I will still understand her Portuguese and she will still understand my English, even if we have forgotten how to put the words together.

And with regards to names and words, I soothe my worries by remembering how frequently I forgot words and names in my earlier years. I have always found myself saying “It’s on the tip of my tongue!”

This morning I went to get my ring and watch. I was rather concerned that I didn’t find my ring in its place in my nightstand drawer.

Of course it wasn’t there. I was already wearing both my ring and my watch.

I’d like to use the excuse that I haven’t gotten into a routine since we moved around our furniture. But it’s been over a month. At some point I should be used the new routine, right?

(And yes, I searched to see if I had already posted to this thread.)

I moved two months ago. Things are now out of sight out of mind in new and different places.

There’s a thing in aviation pedagogy called “negative skills transference”. Which is the idea that under stress there’s a tendency for knowledge or behaviors to pop out that were appropriate to some other airplane some number of years ago but that are wrong for where you are now. So you mistakenly do the old contextually-wrong thing while mistakenly thinking you’re doing the right familiar thing.

Translated to the mundanity of things like “where the hell are my hearing aids?” I find all my many old habits are much “louder” than my fledgling new one. So I seek my aids on the nightstand where they used to be kept at prior residences, not on the e-gizmo charging shelf next to my desk where they’re now kept.

Of course each time I walk to the wrong place first, then upon not finding them do a :man_facepalming:, then walk to the other room the behavior I’m actually reinforcing is “Need hearing aids?” → “Walk first to nightstand then to desk.”

I swear I can’t win this battle.

I can hardly wait to be even older and confuseder and more full of obsolete habits. Not.

Oh man, I’m starting to do this all the time too. I’m not as patient as you though, so in that situation I would immediately google “synonym for impetus”: #5, we have a winner!

I don’t know how and why this phrase triggered one of my oldest (and most cherished) memories:


Seeing my great-grandfather munching his supositories …


(yes, the cazy runs strong in our family)

Google and the WWW in general might be a big part of what’s making us stupid, but it also will form one hell of a metal capability support system. Provided we can see and hear to use it.

One of our Dopers who suffered a major brain injury in a car crash calls her iPad her “cognitive wheelchair”. An apt description, and proof her brain might be damaged, but it ain’t broke.

In the last few years, I’ve noticed the struggle for words or names has gotten worse. But the good thing is that if I wait 5-10 minutes the word/name usually floats into my consciousness. So, I’m slowing, but not completely brain dead yet!

I do exactly what you do with my monthly pills. The only problem is that all the scripts are for a 30 day supply and so a couple times a year I have to do an extra 2 week box filling.

But here is something that scares me. Yesterday, we had a casserole of chicken and fennel and I knew perfectly well what we ate. After dinner I started doing the Times’ Spelling Bee and when I was stumped I used the Spelling Bee Buddy for hints and one hint was something like bulb with a licorice taste. I knew that that was what I had just eaten and I knew that I had known what we ate and, despite that, I.could.not.dredge.up the word fennel and was reduced to googling it. I didn’t consider that cheating (although it is) because I knew that I knew the word. Aargh!