Friday, July 27, 2007

Immediate Problem Solving

I wonder if this is a bipolar thing.

When I’m problem solving, which is mainly what I do, I’m into it 100%. I focus on it, I live in it, I work it out, I do it right. The end result is correct, and it’s good. This isn’t process-driven stuff, it’s find-the-best-solution work. Find the most efficient code to make the program work. Or the query that loads the table in the shortest amount of time. That’s what I do, that’s what I enjoy, that’s what I’m good at.


Ask me a day later how I did something, or why I used a particular way of accomplishing my result and you’ll get a blank stare. I don’t have a clue. I don’t remember. It’s gone, the slate is clean, the mind has moved on, it’s ready to solve a new problem. I’ve always been this way, at least since my first real job in the eighties. It makes me look stupid when I can’t explain how or why I did something. I can point to the result and say "it’s right, isn’t it?"

Anyone else like this? I'm talking a completely clean slate after completing a creative task or problem?


Daily Dose said...

I truly understand what you are saying 100%.

But for me..considering that I am a "writer" I write better than I speak, so its not about remembering or doing something because I am so engrossed in it that I am not thinking about it.. For me it is that I cannot clearly explain myself...I have this problem with Verbal Expression..

Or in other terms...Public Speaking.


Okgenuine said...

I have a lot of autistic symptoms with my schizophrenia. I think if science can figure out autism, that's probably the key to all mental illnesses.

Stephany said...

I think it's because when we solve the problem, start to finish, it is so well-done we are moved on. It's like the problem was there to be solved and once it is solved, our minds do not have to keep any part of it there any longer, like an "aaahh" for the brain.
I've done a lot of things that I couldn't repeat now. Sometimes I wonder how I did much of my community activism stuff and people often ask me how to get something done, and I say, "Get what done?" I think it's a good clean slate because each problem to solve has it's own dimensions and shouldn't be muddied up with past solutions of other problems.
I also think every problem has a solution, and eventually solves itself, with or without help.
If you think of all of the things you have accomplished, they are like foundation bricks to the next level of thought, process and solving problems, because truly we want our thought and problem solving to mature, and become better than it was before, ultimately accomplishing more difficult problem-tasks.

Carrie said...

I'm a problem solver by trade myself. I don't experience exactly what you described - but I lose sight of the vision or the people involved in the issue. Can't focus or remember names while working...

Maybe just meds?

jane said...

I do the same thing, but seeing it in writing, I'd guess it may have something to do with ADD. Of course, I don't know, LOL.

Jon said...

Tery - I used to express myself well verbally and in writing, these days it's mostly written. With the progression of my disorder, I have to learn not to speak immediately, and to gather my thoughts first.

OK - I had to think about your statement for a bit. If not THE key, it would certainly answer a lot of questions, and open many more doors, wouldn't it?

Stephany - I think you understand this, and your comment is incredibly insightful. But I will add, there are often MANY solutions to a problem, and one is not necessarily more correct than another. That is what can be painful about this, when I'm asked to explain how or why a solution or method was chosen. It's often not enough to just point to an effective solution.

Carrie - I don't think it's just meds, all my adult life, even pre-diagnosis, I've always been this way. But it sounds like we share a trait, when into it, we're fully into it.

Jane - it may very well be ADD. I've often wondered if this was an issue for me.

Kira said...

I don't know that I've experienced the "clean slate" feeling afterwards, but I can definitely relate to the focus on problem solving. My mind loves to calculate, plan and problem solve when hypomanic! Figuring out my taxes, trying to get code to work properly, learning new methods of doing things, researching and implementing what I've learned - all of that appeals to me during these periods. I suppose that if I were to try and figure out how I arrived at the result after the fact, I wouldn't be able to recall the steps taken, but I can't say for sure. I will explore this during my next hypomanic episode and get back to you;-)

Maybelline Jones said...

My husband doesn't understand how this is possible. It happens to me all the time. I didn't used to be like this. I don't know if it's bipolar or the medication or what, but my brian feels like it's skrinking.