Overgeneralizing with ADD ADHD – ADD Tip o the Day 478

Overgeneralizing isn’t a feature of ADD ADHD particularly, but it seems rampant everywhere.

There are two main types, the personal and the universal.

“I took medication X (ritalin, adderall, sterrata, wellbutrin, etc) and and had horrible side effects.”

Yes, OK, sorry, that can happen.

Personal overgeneralizing:

“It’s a horrible medicine!”

Well, not really; lot’s of people have gotten benefit from it without side effects.

“So I will never take it again!”     Makes sense to me.

“So I will never take any ADD ADHD medicine again.”   Maybe not too smart, but your choice.

“So I will never take any kind of medication again.”   Oh, come on now.

If you keep going, it will lead to -“So I’ll never put anything in my mouth again!”

Universal overgeneralizing

“So no one should ever take this horrible medicine.”

“So no one should ever take any ADD ADHD medicine.”

“So no one should ever take any kind of medicine.”  Really now!

Me, me, me

We all tend to think that our personal experience is universal, that everyone will react the same, have the same experience as us, and not just about medicine.

“We loved the movie, everyone should see it, they will love it.”

“My religion works for me; it’s the one you should follow.”

The lady in Dallas who said, “I can’t understand why anyone can’t understand English if it is spoken slowly and distinctly.”

Can you offer some other examples?


errors in thinking

more on overgeneralizing  

lots more on overgeneralizing

By the way – the books just went over 13,000 sales!! and with many reports of how they are helping people make their lives better.  Thank you!!

ADD,adhd,adult add, adult adhd,attention,deficit,strategies,medication, controversy,overgeneralize

All trees are red.

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at amazon.com, or smashwords.com (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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4 Responses to Overgeneralizing with ADD ADHD – ADD Tip o the Day 478

  1. homemakersdaily says:

    Does exaggeration fall in this, too, or is that another matter entirely. I sometimes think something’s happened a lot but if someone pins me down, it’s only been a few times (this is just one example).

    Liked by 1 person

    • homey – very astute!! i’m having to think about it (hate having to think) but it seems so. If it happens once i think its happening all the time, or that its going to keep happening. thats either ovegeneralizing or at least a first cousin.
      the trick is that you are aware of it, so you can watch out of it, “spotting” it.
      thanks for commenting.


  2. betsy- excellent point – if it’s happening now, we think it’s forever, or if we fail at something, we think we fail at everything.
    do you think these errors are more common in ADD, or just common?
    thank you for commenting


  3. betsydavenport says:

    This is great. Errors in thinking are common, and in ADD they are very common. Sometimes I conclude that some discomfort has been going on forever, only because at this moment it is very intense. Intensity, in my mind, translates to longevity, and they are unrelated. Once I figured out the mistake in thinking, it became easier to think and speak accurately.


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