View Full Version : recognition of hyperfocus and other symptoms in the UK

02-27-07, 11:00 PM
OK, haven't been on here in a while, I went to the doctors over a year ago now to try and get treatment for adult ADD. Finally, I'm seeing a psychologist (or a psychiatrist - I forget which is which), to try and substantiate a positive diagnosis. Some parts are going well (got a questionaire for my mother and myself to fill out and the answers were pretty off the scale on both of them) however other problems have arisen - mainly the fact that the NHS aren't the best listeners when it comes to their patients - if it's not in the book, it's not a factor. This is where hyperfocus comes in, which I've read up on and was surprised to see the results of. See people have commented 'you can't have ADD, you can spend hours on that computer/video game/reading that book/playing guitar' but I know fair well how my head works, and that all these things provide a form of high stimulation for me. Now I'm worried they'll count positive aspects towards a diagnosis as negative, so I'm wondering if there's any official text recognised by the NHS documenting hyperfocus as a factor in adults suffering ADHD?

I don't like all this forms and official crap. I suspect my questionaire and the other general questionaire get fed into Microsoft Mental Health Ascertainer(tm) and they give me a diagnosis based upon that.

02-28-07, 01:39 AM
I would be interested in that information too as I have just been diagnosed myself after having probs with my 6 yr old, my description of him to the many doctors i have seen was "once he gets into a groove its almost impossible for him to switch lanes" he is too focused and cant let go. At the moment he is 9 and on meds for anxiety which have definately made a difference. I on the other hand have since been diagnosed ADD and found great relief on dex and am wondering if his diagnosis of anxiety may be incorrect.

02-28-07, 07:56 AM
AFAIK there's no official NHS text used for diagnosing adult ADHD, and certainly not one that considers hyperfocus as part of the diagnosis.
The closest thing may be an editorial in the British Journal of Psychiatry (Jan 2007) by Dr. Philip Asherson of the Institue of Psychiatry/Maudsley Hospital where he says:In making the correct diagnosis there are potential traps for the inexperienced ADHD diagnostician.
First, ADHD symptoms may be not be evident in the clinic or other highly structured environments.
The reason is that ADHD symptoms may respond to (decrease in) situations that are highly novel or
salient to the individual, such as an important psychiatric evaluation.
It is therefore important to base mental state descriptions on a typical week and a variety of normal situations.

If you add to that your description of how you find those things stimulating, then that should cover it.
PM me if you want a copy of the whole article.

03-06-07, 03:25 PM
We have to be careful to distinguish the difference between hyper-focus and perseveration or difficulty with transitions.