View Full Version : "Information Fix"


BellaVita
01-26-15, 11:48 PM
I was wondering if others with Asperger's/autism can relate to what I call the "information fix."

Every day, I must research and read about/talk about my topics of interest for about 5-7 hrs a day.

If I do not get my "information fix" I cannot sleep at night, and I feel a huge feeling of not being satisfied.

I have to fill my brain up with a certain amount of information each day.

It just feels like it's something that needs to be done, it's the supply my brain needs and what it needs to feel satisfied and full.

I'd like to know others experiences with this.

Greyhound1
01-27-15, 12:29 AM
Hi Bella:)

Do you OCD over your topics and get stuck on one or can you move onto next topic?

I get that way only over major topics of interest. It's like adding fuel to an OCD fire for me. I mainly only do it with health issues and large purchases.

It takes me a month just to buy a damn TV. I have to research it so much and obsess, I become an expert. About 2 days after buying it, I couldn't tell you anything about it.

My OCD and short term memory work well together, but I never learn or retain the information for long. That's how I faked my way through college. It got me through, but I didn't learn a thing.:(

sarek
01-27-15, 04:46 AM
I have to be feeding my brain every day, otherwise it gets grumpy. I think it has to do with the 5 in my 952 tritype.

Little Missy
01-27-15, 10:32 AM
I hunger for knowledge whether it applies to anything pertinent in my life or not. I voraciously read newspapers across the nation. Yesterday when some scheduled maintenance was being done on my car I went to the library and sat in on a local town's historical meeting for as much information as I could glean from them.

They kept asking me who my family was:lol:

Flory
01-27-15, 02:52 PM
I get grouchy when I can't pursue my interests but I've never put a time on it it kinda just happens when I'm talking and doing things. Internet is my number one source for information fix and then added in with perseverance from ADHD and I'm off and away forgetting to take my meds , leaving stove on etc etc.

I have close to the points for an aspergers diagnosis but because of my "warmth affectionate" side according to pdoc in childhood I don't meet criteria for a full diagnosis however I have autistic like disorder on my notes, they believe some of the more severe aspects of my ADHD have made me appear autistic so it's a chicken and egg type situation but for arguments case they have kept it as autistic traits on file.

Are you OCD Bella. ? I often wonder how much my OCD from the past adds into this combination and makes my obsessing worse :/

Flory
01-27-15, 02:58 PM
I definitely get obsessive over things though and it's an internal battl because my ADHD brain is like nahhhh and my OCD/autism side is really fascinated

I find myself flapping and fidgeting like crazy trying to take information in.

My latest thing is dog behavior and I've been obsessing on that for the last 3 months lol

daveddd
01-27-15, 08:00 PM
I've always called it hyper focus

Pilgrim
01-27-15, 08:11 PM
I've always called it hyper focus

I call it the restless mind. Some prehistoric thing maybe.

Greyhound1
01-27-15, 08:20 PM
I've always called it hyper focus

I know for me, it starts as hyper focus and if it's stimulating enough it can easily cross over to obsession.

When hyper focus gets stuck way longer than you wanted or needed = OCD to me.

daveddd
01-27-15, 08:27 PM
i thought the definition of hyper focus was getting stuck on a topic

who knows, i doubt these are distinct phenomena

i don't have ocd , and i do it 5 hours a night

Little Missy
01-27-15, 08:33 PM
Mostly ritualism for me. Although I am able to break patterns and then begin another alongside of it. Information, that is.

Flory
01-27-15, 09:03 PM
I can't say I'm fully dedicated to my obsessions I'm kind of full on then like everything with ADHD lose interest and don't ever complete sh*t ;)

BellaVita
01-27-15, 09:22 PM
Hi Bella:)

Do you OCD over your topics and get stuck on one or can you move onto next topic?

I get that way only over major topics of interest. It's like adding fuel to an OCD fire for me. I mainly only do it with health issues and large purchases.

It takes me a month just to buy a damn TV. I have to research it so much and obsess, I become an expert. About 2 days after buying it, I couldn't tell you anything about it.

My OCD and short term memory work well together, but I never learn or retain the information for long. That's how I faked my way through college. It got me through, but I didn't learn a thing.:(

No I have great difficulty moving on to next topic.

For example, in conversations if the topic slowly switches (like if the other person tries to change it) I just bring it right back to the original topic. And then continue talking about it for hours.

Conversations with me can be very one-sided.

Haha about the TV thing - yes I do that too! I *must* become an expert on the thing I'm buying before I buy it. :)

We're so much alike.

BellaVita
01-27-15, 09:26 PM
I get grouchy when I can't pursue my interests but I've never put a time on it it kinda just happens when I'm talking and doing things. Internet is my number one source for information fix and then added in with perseverance from ADHD and I'm off and away forgetting to take my meds , leaving stove on etc etc.

I have close to the points for an aspergers diagnosis but because of my "warmth affectionate" side according to pdoc in childhood I don't meet criteria for a full diagnosis however I have autistic like disorder on my notes, they believe some of the more severe aspects of my ADHD have made me appear autistic so it's a chicken and egg type situation but for arguments case they have kept it as autistic traits on file.

Are you OCD Bella. ? I often wonder how much my OCD from the past adds into this combination and makes my obsessing worse :/

That's weird because a person can have a "warm affectionate" side and still have autism. Especially females with autism.

Yeah, I am diagnosed OCD.

BellaVita
01-27-15, 09:29 PM
I definitely get obsessive over things though and it's an internal battl because my ADHD brain is like nahhhh and my OCD/autism side is really fascinated

I find myself flapping and fidgeting like crazy trying to take information in.

My latest thing is dog behavior and I've been obsessing on that for the last 3 months lol

Oh my goodness dog behavior!!! That was something I was very interested in for years :D (still am)

Please please please read Cesar Millan's books - that's the absolute best dog behavior information out there.

Oops back to topic :o

Flory
01-27-15, 09:41 PM
That's weird because a person can have a "warm affectionate" side and still have autism. Especially females with autism.

Yeah, I am diagnosed OCD.

This was the 90's Bella. ;) Stone Age by comparison to where psychiatry is today.

I had to also see a speech and language therapist because my verbal skills or whatever it was was poor , not understanding metaphors etc etc which was another problem they put down to these autistic traits

E.g if someone said keep your eyes open (as in stay focused on looking for something) I would literally not blink

Flory
01-27-15, 09:45 PM
Oh my goodness dog behavior!!! That was something I was very interested in for years :D (still am)

Please please please read Cesar Millan's books - that's the absolute best dog behavior information out there.

Oops back to topic :o

Whilst I think Cesar can be good for some things his training methods are heavily disputed and our RSPCA considers a lot of what he teaches cruel.
I'm more of a positive reinforcement kinda girl.:)

Greyhound1
01-27-15, 10:26 PM
i thought the definition of hyper focus was getting stuck on a topic

who knows, i doubt these are distinct phenomena

i don't have ocd , and i do it 5 hours a night

I agree with you about hyper focus and staying fixed on a topic. I think it's the fact you can turn it off after 5 hours is the difference. I can't do that.

I just spent the last 8 days obsessing over failed attempts to log onto the forum. I may have attempted a million times and thought not much of anything else.:)

BellaVita
01-27-15, 10:34 PM
I agree with you about hyper focus and staying fixed on a topic. I think it's the fact you can turn it off after 5 hours is the difference. I can't do that.

I just spent the last 8 days obsessing over failed attempts to log onto the forum. I may have attempted a million times and thought not much of anything else.:)

Awwww poor Cool Hound. :grouphug:

Greyhound1
01-27-15, 11:43 PM
Is it common to have this need to seek information with Autism? Perhaps this is common across the whole spectrum.

daveddd
01-28-15, 09:55 AM
I agree with you about hyper focus and staying fixed on a topic. I think it's the fact you can turn it off after 5 hours is the difference. I can't do that.

I just spent the last 8 days obsessing over failed attempts to log onto the forum. I may have attempted a million times and thought not much of anything else.:)

i can't just turn it off, i do sleep and go to work if thats what you mean

daveddd
01-28-15, 10:11 AM
i thought OCD was an attempt to push away intrusive thoughts with a compulsive act

I've never seen it described as hyper focusing , are we sure this is OCD

Little Missy
01-28-15, 10:14 AM
I agree with you about hyper focus and staying fixed on a topic. I think it's the fact you can turn it off after 5 hours is the difference. I can't do that.

I just spent the last 8 days obsessing over failed attempts to log onto the forum. I may have attempted a million times and thought not much of anything else.:)

Same thing here when the forum was down. I never log out but it was down, oh back whenever that was and I was just beside myself that it wasn't there and I could not stop trying.

Flory
01-28-15, 10:22 AM
i thought OCD was an attempt to push away intrusive thoughts with a compulsive act

I've never seen it described as hyper focusing , are we sure this is OCD

Your succinct description was what it was for me at least particularly centred around several phobias and false beliefs.
Used to have to tap things a certain amount of times, weird rituals like having to wash hands a certain number of times then if i messed it up starting again (which you know, adhd losing concentration happened) or things like when i entered a room havig to tap all of the walls 3 times or my parents were going to die :( Caused me great distress if i couldnt do it. Its been theorised by a number of therapists and psychiatrists ive seen in my life that it was a coping mechanism to deal with the chaos of having adhd.

I overcame most of it but the phobias are still kind of there.

It really irks me when people say they are OCD about something like omg im so ocd about organising my wardrobe....

daveddd
01-28-15, 10:32 AM
Your succinct description was what it was for me at least particularly centred around several phobias and false beliefs.
Used to have to tap things a certain amount of times, weird rituals like having to wash hands a certain number of times then if i messed it up starting again (which you know, adhd losing concentration happened) or things like when i entered a room havig to tap all of the walls 3 times or my parents were going to die :( Caused me great distress if i couldnt do it. Its been theorised by a number of therapists and psychiatrists ive seen in my life that it was a coping mechanism to deal with the chaos of having adhd.

I overcame most of it but the phobias are still kind of there.

It really irks me when people say they are OCD about something like omg im so ocd about organising my wardrobe....

id agree, where adhd is heading in research and seems to be playing out well is a disorder of emotional regulation

what some of the more popular literature forgets is that if you can't regulate emotion in a healthy manner , you WILL attempt to regulate it one way or another

a ritual is a unhealthy way to attempt to down regulate physiological arousal, when really , it fools you mentally and without metabolizing the emotion actually leads to making physiological arousal worse

leaving some in a constant state of arousal/anxiety

daveddd
01-28-15, 10:33 AM
on the other hand "hyper focus" may subconsciously be an attempt to avoid aversive mental states, so fitting the compulsion to avoid definition

Flory
01-28-15, 10:40 AM
id agree, where adhd is heading in research and seems to be playing out well is a disorder of emotional regulation

what some of the more popular literature forgets is that if you can't regulate emotion in a healthy manner , you WILL attempt to regulate it one way or another

a ritual is a unhealthy way to attempt to down regulate physiological arousal, when really , it fools you mentally and without metabolizing the emotion actually leads to making physiological arousal worse

leaving some in a constant state of arousal/anxiety

Absolutely, its taken me a lot of time to truly put the two together. My utter lack of self awareness in regards to my behaviour and condition and inability to undertand that my adhd was causing the multiple issues with schooling social etc meant that i spent a lot of my time in a real stupor about why things were as they were (no friends constantly in trouble)

I was left feeling like i couldnt do anything right and had no control iver my environment which given what i know now was of course a perfect foundation for the ocd to set in. My first memory of OCD type behaviour was before i was 8/9 and came about after a nasty vomiting bug (again an out of control situation) i got so frightened of being sick that the compulsions/steps to prevent vomiting spiralled into several others. Control and the feeling of a lack of it were kind of central to a lot of my seperate mental health issues including the eating disorder i struggled with for some time.

sarahsweets
01-28-15, 03:18 PM
Have you discussed this behavior with the doctor who treats your asbergers?

BellaVita
01-28-15, 11:45 PM
Have you discussed this behavior with the doctor who treats your asbergers?

No Sarah, my mom took me off health insurance suddenly so I can't go in to see a doctor.

I know some people don't believe in self-diagnosis, but honestly I fit Asperger's to a T more than any other thing I have. (All the way to baby pics of me lining up my toys all the time had to do it every day, and I didn't talk to anyone but my Mom for the first several years of my life - people eventually were very shocked when they found out I could talk) Also I wouldn't let my mom hug me growing up as I couldn't stand touch.

I have never been able to make eye contact (sometimes forced but it's very unnatural), have no interest in friends, only 1 sided convos about my special interests, very clumsy, socially awkward, don't know all the social rules and EVERY interaction I have in real life is rehearsed and scripted, i have had meltdowns my entire life and after close examination realized they were ALL around schedule changes, I have a VERY strict schedule that I NEVER change and I WILL absolutely have a meltdown even if something *slightly* changes, I must eat the same exact food every single day, can't stand light hurts my eyes, can only wear a certain clothing fabric, all sounds are at the same volume I can hear everything and this causes meltdowns, I flap my hands when excited or just whenever, I would spin and spin as a child every single day, I rock back and forth every day and actually got made fun of for it growing up, I've always been an outcast I have tried my whole life to make friends in real life but for some reason can't succeed always on the outside, I make crappy generalizations like when I was little and told not to burp I thought they meant not in that room but I could in other rooms so I would continue to get in trouble, or smiling when I get in trouble (didn't realize it), not being able to read facial expressions.

Sorry to write so much, it's just yeah yeah not official but it's quite obvious.

Greyhound1
01-29-15, 12:49 AM
I think there are a lot of misconceptions about OCD mostly by the media. Rituals and compulsions are not nearly as common as our obsessions. You can also be diagnosed OCD without having any compulsions. You can also be diagnosed by having only compulsions and no obsessions.

Most with OCD aren't not disabled by their compulsions like hand washing, door lock checking etc. I have read they make up only about 20% of the issues with OCD.

Obsessive thinking I believe makes up about 80% of it for most of us. The media makes us look like we are always compulsive. They make it seem like we are obsessed with our compulsions. That's a myth. We get obsessed when our compulsions are denied.

I have compulsions like doors being locked and hands being clean. They are inconvenient when followed through, at the worst. Not following through is the much bigger problem.

Not following through with our compulsions causes obsessive negative thoughts and anxiety. My main point is that obsessive thinking is the main problem for most. Also, our compulsions being denied are just one of the many triggers for obsessive thinking.

I think it's main fuel is stimulation usually caused by anxiety or excitement and then it's on. That stimulation can come from anything of importance, fear, happiness and excitement, love, passion etc.

I quoted the Mayo clinic below because it explains it better.




General criteria required for a diagnosis of OCD include:
• You must have either obsessions or compulsions or both.
• You may or may not realize that your obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable.
• Obsessions and compulsions are significantly time-consuming and interfere with your daily routine and social or work functioning.
Your obsessions must meet these criteria:
• Recurrent, persistent and unwelcome thoughts, impulses or images are intrusive and cause distress.
• You try to ignore these thoughts, images or impulses or to suppress them with compulsive behaviors.
Compulsions must meet these criteria:
• Repetitive behavior that you feel driven to perform, such as hand-washing, or repetitive mental acts, such as counting silently.
• You try to neutralize obsessions with another thought or action.
These behaviors or mental acts are meant to prevent or reduce distress, but they are excessive or not realistically related to the problem they're intended to fix.

Flory
01-29-15, 01:40 AM
Yes definitely greyhound, the intrusive thoughts element is/was very difficult too :(

Little Missy
01-29-15, 09:18 AM
After I began medication and years later when I truly accepted being diagnosed was when I began to read more and more about Aspberger's, autism and OCD and I found many, many similarities with them in myself.

I remember telling my mum who probably about had enough of me up to her craw that day and as she read her precious novels she sort of glanced up over her reading half glasses and shot out with, "Oh, can't you just have ADD and let that be enough?"

In fact, when I compiled all of my different pdoc notes and such for a case it was notated many, many times over that my dx crossed over and into many different things.

Shrinkipoo, my fave of all time always got two of every new pdoc book every year PDR, etc. so that I could have them to pour over at home for my very own information fixes. If she didn't have two of some I was allowed to peruse her "library" and take home whatever I wished to read. Doctors like her are rare and far between.

stef
01-29-15, 10:19 AM
:grouphug: to all of you!

Flory
01-29-15, 12:22 PM
Lm it cracks me up when you say shrinkipoo lol

HADDaball
02-25-15, 02:08 AM
Being on holidays, there's time to read away to my hearts content.

However, it's not like I need to read a certain amount of stuff about things I'm interested in, or feel I can't sleep or be dissatisfied. There's just an abundance of time and it would be boring to do other stuff.

fracturedstory
03-04-15, 01:37 AM
My ADHD won't allow me to be an information junkie anymore. I only ever read as much as my brain will allow which is under two pages of an online article. I'm trying to read my Doctor Who short story books and every time I go to do it something in me just pulls me away.
However, my imagination has been working overtime by creating a world that is half Gotham City half-Destiny.

sarahsweets
03-04-15, 06:17 AM
I am the queen of useless knowledge because of how much news i read. If they had useless knowledge jepordy I would try out fo it

rickymooston
03-22-15, 01:09 PM
I was wondering if others with Asperger's/autism can relate to what I call the "information fix."


I got pain vanilla ADHD but I certainly need my information fix. It doesn't disturb my sleep though. :D

FellowADDer
04-03-15, 12:13 PM
I love to read the news or follow RSS feeds or research things. I could probably do it 24x7 minus time to sleep and eat!

My theory is that...
1) It gives me relief from "thinking overload" and my restless non-stop mind.

Without the fun of gobbling information, my mind is like a tornado on the lose going this way and that, often bringing me anxiety. But when I'm researching and learning, it's like my mind is a race car on a race track. It may not be doing what's most important to do, but at least it's not wrecking anything else and I'm having fun. Reminds me a lot of Hallowell's famous analogy of ADD minds being like race cars without brakes. Diving into information is like being somewhere that brakes no longer are needed. :)

2) The joy of satisfying my curiosity and delighting myself with new information is like a "rush" like other people might feel from jumping out of a plane with a parachute. Absorbing interesting information is something that my mind is actually well suited for, so it's fun. Not necessarily always profitable, especially in excess, but it's addictively delightful, so the internet can sometimes be like a street drug for me.

3) ADD makes it hard to stop a hyperfocused task. All the more when the task is so much fun.

Adenosine
02-02-16, 11:46 PM
I doesn't stop me from sleeping, but I have strong urges to crank out random drug and psychology information whenever a conversation even touches on those areas.

Pixelatedmind
02-03-16, 07:54 AM
I was wondering if others with Asperger's/autism can relate to what I call the "information fix."

Every day, I must research and read about/talk about my topics of interest for about 5-7 hrs a day.

If I do not get my "information fix" I cannot sleep at night, and I feel a huge feeling of not being satisfied.

I have to fill my brain up with a certain amount of information each day.

It just feels like it's something that needs to be done, it's the supply my brain needs and what it needs to feel satisfied and full.

I'd like to know others experiences with this.

I'm only diagnosed with ADHD, and I certainly crave that information fix every day.

Some days I struggle in bed trying to remember the topics that crossed my mind during the day that I wanted to research later.

One of the things that really bothered me was trying to research deeper into the topic when the information gets more complicated I get extremely restless like I'm trying to force myself to keep researching/reading/focused and my mind can't handle the excess of information and forced attention and just wants to rest.

Weird? does anyone get that feeling?

Hathor
02-03-16, 09:43 AM
Hi Bella:)

Do you OCD over your topics and get stuck on one or can you move onto next topic?



I'm not bella but I like your question. I have no trouble switching topics, but all my interests blend into one big picture, so overall it is not as scatterbriand as it seems :confused:

Since I keep returning to the same topics at different times I end up analyzing the poop out of them and know them very well.*

This is why I freak about the adhd dudes can only hyper-focus on video games thing, but there is the possibility I am more autistic than adhd, but only am diagnosed adhd due to dsmv dogma.

Understand, you herded animal? :confused::eek::yes:

sorry I just like saying that, is it and autistic thing?


*One main interest is education, and this passage by Whitehead seems to pull it all together

Let us now ask how in our system of education we are to guard against this mental dry rot. We enunciate two educational commandments, “Do not teach too many subjects,” and again, “What you teach, teach thoroughly.”
The result of teaching small parts of a large number of subjects is the passive reception of disconnected ideas, not illumined with any spark of vitality. Let the main ideas which are introduced into a child’s education be few and important, and let them be thrown into every combination possible. The child should make them his own, and should understand their application here and now in the circumstances of his actual life.

http://www.anthonyflood.com/whiteheadeducation.htmwell I'm 47 but still not much of and adult, so I will take Whiteheads advice for kids ;)

Hathor
02-03-16, 09:59 AM
One of the things that really bothered me was trying to research deeper into the topic when the information gets more complicated I get extremely restless like I'm trying to force myself to keep researching/reading/focused and my mind can't handle the excess of information and forced attention and just wants to rest.

Weird? does anyone get that feeling?

Yes, esp when it is time to share my learning. To sit and eat knowledge is a cakewalk for me, pretty much a hobby. I do sometimes feel forced when things get more difficult, but I have a bigger issue-

I feel the urge to share, and struggle to express myself with writing, and this just seems difficult and alien, then ends up procrastinized.

I have thought to switch from writing to making vids, but have been having trouble getting started on that! Even windows movie maker has me baffled into putting it on the back burner :mad:

I also like html/css, but often put that on the back burner too. I think more because it is related to the alien output than any other reason.

Pixelatedmind
02-03-16, 10:08 AM
Let us now ask how in our system of education we are to guard against this mental dry rot. We enunciate two educational commandments, “Do not teach too many subjects,” and again, “What you teach, teach thoroughly.”
The result of teaching small parts of a large number of subjects is the passive reception of disconnected ideas, not illumined with any spark of vitality. Let the main ideas which are introduced into a child’s education be few and important, and let them be thrown into every combination possible. The child should make them his own, and should understand their application here and now in the circumstances of his actual life.

http://www.anthonyflood.com/whiteheadeducation.htm


I think the idea, for normal kids, they take the basics of everything which will give them a chance of discovering what they are interested in/good at the most.. which doesn't work for the other kids.

For example my first "preparatory year" at my engineering university, we studied the basics for all departments so next year we pick the department we want to specialize in civil/electrical/mechanical/chemical/computer..etc

This was helpful for many people, but for me it ****** me up.
Too many courses and I didn't know clearly what I loved more or wanted to specialize in, 9 years later I am still not sure.

Pixelatedmind
02-03-16, 10:16 AM
Yes, esp when it is time to share my learning. To sit and eat knowledge is a cakewalk for me, pretty much a hobby. I do sometimes feel forced when things get more difficult, but I have a bigger issue-

I feel the urge to share, and struggle to express myself with writing, and this just seems difficult and alien, then ends up procrastinized.

I have thought to switch from writing to making vids, but have been having trouble getting started on that! Even windows movie maker has me baffled into putting it on the back burner :mad:

I also like html/css, but often put that on the back burner too. I think more because it is related to the alien output than any other reason.

+1!

When I decide I need to share, some rare times I actually start writing an article or making an infographic (kinda savvy with html/css/front-end as it's what I do for a living) That's when I get the urge to read/research more to enforce and organize my material which becomes an endless loop that ends up with restlessness, procrastination and dissatisfaction.

My evernote is super scattered and disorganized with notebooks and unfinished notes and ideas.

Hathor
02-03-16, 11:50 AM
I think the idea, for normal kids, they take the basics of everything which will give them a chance of discovering what they are interested in/good at the most.. which doesn't work for the other kids.

For example my first "preparatory year" at my engineering university, we studied the basics for all departments so next year we pick the department we want to specialize in civil/electrical/mechanical/chemical/computer..etc

This was helpful for many people, but for me it ****** me up.
Too many courses and I didn't know clearly what I loved more or wanted to specialize in, 9 years later I am still not sure.

Well what I quoted Whitehead as describing does not really work for me either, but is closer to what works than the disconnected smorgasbord he warns about.

I can only be unschooled, ie let loose in a library or internet and just go with it!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unschooling

midnightstar
02-03-16, 04:47 PM
Cat behaviour was my obsession for a long time :o even before I got cats of my own <3 :grouphug:

hutchie0109
09-08-17, 11:34 PM
This is my drug, sometimes it can be simple but take ages for right question to emerge from my head to then get satisfied instantly, other times, no, I love learning but can be utterly draining, cease functioning.