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  #1  
Old 07-01-10, 10:18 PM
Redeflect Redeflect is offline
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Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

Particularly because it seems we all often have the same habits and thought process. I want to know what everyone thinks about their tendency to hyperfocus.

Perhaps the tendancy to hyperfocus is because of our brain's need and persistent desire for stimulation and that is why it seems to be so prevalent amongst us?

Hyperfocus seems to provide some sort of satisfaction while really accomplishing nothing more than learning often useless information. If ADHD-PI makes us very incapable of achieving mental stimulation is that why we often search for it? I feel like this might explain why when we're distracted from our hyperfocus it often makes us highly irritated.

Personally, I've always loved my capability to hyperfocus. I've felt that in some way it's been my gift. It's made me a master of understanding in the subjects I've become interested in and learned about. In general, I think it's been the greatest cause of my vast knowledge which I pride myself in. In general, it seems like most of us when hyperfocusing go on quests for knowledge and information. I'm ALWAYS thinking and I'm thinking the most when I'm hyperfocusing. I also attain the greatest insights and knowledge when doing so.

I also have many autistic tendancies, and yet I'm pretty sure I'm not "autistic" or have "Asbergers". Yet, I have a tendency to become self absorbed in my own mental world or obsessively thinking about the same thing, often the same thoughts I've had before in slightly different ways but the same thing. It's as though when I hyperfocus on things of interest, I unravel their mysteries in every possible angle. No one else it seems is able to so completely grasp subjects with so much detail and in-depth understanding as quickly as I do with subjects I'm able to hyperfocus on. For me particularly involving logic, science, physics, chemistry). I often get an almost OCD obsession with thinking about and needing to understand something. Often I can function and get distracted, but my inner mind goes back to the problem and can keep on the same subject for days.

Case and Point:

Because of my ADHD my schooling in mathematics was only allowed to progress to "Algebra II" despite my early proficiency with it. I was probably at a 9th grade level in the 5th grade. However, because even math eventually became too much effort to "Show the work" when the math was SO EASY... I stopped learning/paying attention. My girlfriend was an excellent and intelligent student with excellent grades and schooling up to Advanced Calculus II.

One day, we disagreed when I felt that logically a mathematical formula for something had to exist and make sense but she insisted that it didn't. So, I spent a week obsessing over it... and after that week proved her wrong when I understood and conceived a complicated formula using just algebra that was beyond her understanding yet made so much sense to me.

Case 2: During a computer programming class, rather than using a simple algorithm that would've taken 5 minutes... I conceived a complicated one that took 4 hours and accomplished the same thing. The only difference is the algorithm I conceived was a completely different mathematical equation for the same thing. I conceived it because I just HAD TO UNDERSTAND how the numbers worked rather than just using the simple formula without understanding it.



Does anyone else believe they have this mindset and these habits or not?

Does anyone else think perhaps our ADHD-PI is really a form or cause of a type of Autism?
Perhaps a mental OCD to understand?

We all know it's a procrastinator's curse, but does anyone feel it's a scholar's gift as well?

Please, share any of your views on Hyperfocusing and how you feel about it.
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Old 07-02-10, 01:27 PM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

Bad. Why?

In the state of hyperfocus the brain is in hyperalert mode.
The results are:

1. depletion of modulated thoughts.
2. obsessiveness
3. depletion of mental energy
4. sudden surge of impulsivities
5. unregulated emotions
6. too high or too down, no middle ground
7. lost of the sense of time
8. forgetfulness, e.g. priorities
9. wasted time
10. wasted energy
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Old 07-02-10, 01:44 PM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

We are addicted to addictiveness,hyper-focus i believe is the produce of higher chemical release in our brains,this is what the addiction is in my eyes,starts off with that...then cigs/sport/work/drugs/relationships/exetora.

This is just something i like to think...because can not remember all of it after reading,could be far off,but good enough for me.

So the route of it is the adhd,starting out with hyper-focus and a young age and seeking that hunger from there after...until we see it as a torment,put there like the dangly carrot,as bait for us to get caught on...hopefully we'll get thrown back in,never to get caught again.

I have actually forgotten what the fer i am on about....

Hyper-Focus good for the duration it lasts,bad as in route of all evil addictions,the starting block,we were facing the wrong way from the off,chasing stimulation.

Guess thats what the good meds are for...i'm going tio have some words with these peoples,treated for ferring bipolar,the only thing that would have mad me bipolar was the ****ing NHS system of ignoring vital statistics and information about its citizens.

Ok getting carried away....

Hyper focus makes us concentrate on one thing out of a big(analyzing)picture,wheres as everyone else sits back and enjoys the view on auto-pilot from being convinced by ways,that work on them.
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Old 07-02-10, 02:30 PM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

From a practical point of view. Bad, overall.

In my experience, it's great when I latch onto something productive. At least for a while. I always hit a wall, run out of steam, stumble across something more stimulating and end up abandoning it.

Pointless getting huge amounts done in a day or a week if it amounts to nothing.

I'd much rather get a little bit done each day, and actually manage to stick with it until the end. But no, it's all or nothing.
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Old 07-02-10, 11:09 PM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

I hyperfocus. I read. I understand. I resolve. I move on. I forget.

It amounts to frustration.

Hyperfocus is effort. Hyperfocus kept me from getting up to use the bathroom. Hyperfocus causes me to bite the head off someone for telling me it's 1 AM. Hyperfocus makes it so I miss life for a whim.

Flow is the what I want, I rarely can get there. One way are math puzzles--kenken, cross sums--I do math problems--business math, algebra, geometry, calculus--or chemistry problems... All the work. My hand takes over, my handwriting is easy...

Flow the state that makes me excited and connected. Can stop doing it when the commercial ends. Not driven to cut off conversation to get back to it. Wandering mind and hyperfocus keeps me in the dark.
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Old 07-03-10, 11:22 PM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

For me I guess it depends on what I'm focusing on... If its something productive then I guess its good. If not, well, you guys know the rest.
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Old 07-09-10, 06:02 AM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

I believe I do all that with subjects I obsess about way to much, but none other than language. There is one problem though, because I'm overly obsesed with languages, i want to know the mechanics behind it, i want to know the sounds, etc. I also want to learn other languages. The only problem is is that sometimes, no most of the time, i want to but I seem to want to do too much at one time. and like they said, I have to know every little detail, I guess that why mom always called me a perfectionist. But me, well, right now I have so many ideas to follow i don't even know where to start. In the linguistics department, I want to share my linguistic genious with the world but I can't seem to get it out on paper. It's in my head i just can't transfer it? Anybody have any ideas on how to do that? Yeah, they told me organize your thoughts that'll help you write your paper, please I can't do that. And there lies my problem. the other thing is is because my brain by nature is both linguistically more atune than most, but having adhd too, I look at things and i seem to have this deep and profound understanding of things. But agian i can't get it out. AThe other problem i have is i want to get it out too fast but i cant stop my self from doing that and I just jumble up stuff so any advice? For instance, alot of people dismiss English as being a creole, I see so many tel tel signs, but I'm trying to gather up the evidence and the research, the other thing is is if it ain't a creole it would appear to be at least a mixed language, but the thing is I think i may have stumbled upon a fifth type of creolization, as there's only about 4 known. so any thoughts, sorry to go into a linguistics discussion, but i have so much trouble explaining things, I had to give an example. Please help me if you can later!
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Old 07-14-10, 06:17 PM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elcastellano View Post
I believe I do all that with subjects I obsess about way to much, but none other than language. There is one problem though, because I'm overly obsesed with languages, i want to know the mechanics behind it, i want to know the sounds, etc. I also want to learn other languages. The only problem is is that sometimes, no most of the time, i want to but I seem to want to do too much at one time. and like they said, I have to know every little detail, I guess that why mom always called me a perfectionist. But me, well, right now I have so many ideas to follow i don't even know where to start. In the linguistics department, I want to share my linguistic genious with the world but I can't seem to get it out on paper. It's in my head i just can't transfer it? Anybody have any ideas on how to do that? Yeah, they told me organize your thoughts that'll help you write your paper, please I can't do that. And there lies my problem. the other thing is is because my brain by nature is both linguistically more atune than most, but having adhd too, I look at things and i seem to have this deep and profound understanding of things. But agian i can't get it out. AThe other problem i have is i want to get it out too fast but i cant stop my self from doing that and I just jumble up stuff so any advice? For instance, alot of people dismiss English as being a creole, I see so many tel tel signs, but I'm trying to gather up the evidence and the research, the other thing is is if it ain't a creole it would appear to be at least a mixed language, but the thing is I think i may have stumbled upon a fifth type of creolization, as there's only about 4 known. so any thoughts, sorry to go into a linguistics discussion, but i have so much trouble explaining things, I had to give an example. Please help me if you can later!
Hey man, I think I understand where you are coming from with the language thing. I tried to tackle something far too huge in my linguistics class in college, and ended up over-analyzing every aspect of the Hungarian language, getting too frustrated and reverting to something incredibly simple the day before the big research paper was due.

I used to feel that way about poetry and people, as well. I had the ability to perceive and understand people, and the mind to study some of the greatest poets and most known forms of poetry, and create my own forms based on what I'd seen. I just couldn't get it on paper. What I did get out, I've been too afraid to look at for the last 8 years, or I simply scrapped it because it came out clearly, but ended as a clutter on a page because I'd go into too much detail on noting alternative possibilities.

Do you think that developing the discipline to formulate an outline for a paper and to hold to it would be helpful? (it may be like one topic per page, but it might also work if we wrote on each topic thoroughly, but individually, then highlighted the stuff that fit into the grand scheme of the paper at the end).
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Old 07-14-10, 06:28 PM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

to me its like everything else and has a ying/yang

Good part is that i hyperfocus on what i enjoy doing and will wind up being my career when i graduate. i combined my love for technology with my love for creating things and came up with a degree course for multimedia and development. (which im doing VERY well in )

Bad part is my house looks like crap as well as my personal hygene and i havnt stepped off my porch in almost 2 weeks
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Old 07-14-10, 06:37 PM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

One day I hope to create an algorithm to rival Google's.
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Old 10-25-11, 05:52 PM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

For me its bad.

I feel like I can't control what I hyperfocus on well, if at all. Certain things just seem to set it off, random things that I find interest in will randomly trigger my hyperfocus.

To me, it is very similar to what was described, constantly thinking about it, doing it, reading about it, whatever it may be, trying to understand it from every angle. When it does hit me, it's hard to think about anything else.

The worst part is that I feel like I don't have a lot of control over what I focus on. To some extent I have learned to control it, for example if I find something that interests me, and I know it will be productive to pursue, I can at times trigger the hyperfocus. But more often than not, it is something inane or pointless that I end up hyperfocused on - and it can last for hours, or days, or even weeks.

The second worst part for me is the generally very abrupt end to my hyperfocus. I'm not sure why or how this occurs, but once I lose interest, well its gone. I go from being borderline obsessed with something to practically not caring about it at all. I hate that. I look back and think of all the hours and hours I've spent learning about or researching pointless things that give me no benefit and it is very frustrating.

Does this happen to other people too? The very abrupt end to hyperfocus and the extremes of obsession and indifference?
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Old 10-27-11, 01:42 AM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

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Originally Posted by rjkaufman21 View Post
Does this happen to other people too? The very abrupt end to hyperfocus and the extremes of obsession and indifference?
Yes, it happens all the time. I once wrote a list of everything in my life that I had obsessed over: a college ruled sheet of paper complete with two full columns on the front and one and a half on the back with the last entry being the list itself. My obsessions also last anywhere from hours, to days, to months and typically have periods of depression to fill the voids between each. These loves, or perhaps enfatuations, will often repeat after a number of cycles until something new once again takes over.

My hyperfocus tends to be most extreme in the spring and seems to present itself in the search for (a) new hobby(ies), latches on to something somewhere between the spring and summer, and almost fizzles out sometime around the fall leaving me unusually depressed (possibly due to burnout??).

I don't know. Maybe I suffer from seasonal depression. Anyone else notice a cyclical nature to their focus?
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Old 12-05-11, 12:41 AM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjkaufman21 View Post
For me its bad.

I feel like I can't control what I hyperfocus on well, if at all. Certain things just seem to set it off, random things that I find interest in will randomly trigger my hyperfocus.

To me, it is very similar to what was described, constantly thinking about it, doing it, reading about it, whatever it may be, trying to understand it from every angle. When it does hit me, it's hard to think about anything else.

The worst part is that I feel like I don't have a lot of control over what I focus on. To some extent I have learned to control it, for example if I find something that interests me, and I know it will be productive to pursue, I can at times trigger the hyperfocus. But more often than not, it is something inane or pointless that I end up hyperfocused on - and it can last for hours, or days, or even weeks.

The second worst part for me is the generally very abrupt end to my hyperfocus. I'm not sure why or how this occurs, but once I lose interest, well its gone. I go from being borderline obsessed with something to practically not caring about it at all. I hate that. I look back and think of all the hours and hours I've spent learning about or researching pointless things that give me no benefit and it is very frustrating.

Does this happen to other people too? The very abrupt end to hyperfocus and the extremes of obsession and indifference?
Yeah I get this too, as other people have mentioned in the thread. I wonder if that's related to the social anxiety I get when I'm out in public: I feel like I have to resolve every possible issues about the situation/environment in my mind and it's making me crazy. Even understanding stupid reasons or genesis about stupid things. In a way this stresses me out because I can think about what people could be thinking of me or what I'm doing or this or that and every possibilities on earth. And then I can just suddenly not give a damn about anything and instead of being stressed out I'm just disconnected from all of it.

For a long time I've been thinking that this was just me having social anxiety and then switching to not caring about anything to stop being stressed out. I'm sure that's true to an extent but noticing the common thought process we have, I'm wondering if that doesn't have a big effect on my problem...

I hate it...when I'm in a club it's hard for me to have fun: I keep thinking about everything and next thing I know I don't care about all the details I was thinking and everything feels empty of meaning.
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Old 10-26-11, 11:04 PM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

To me hyperfocus is almost like a superpower. I've done some incredible things with it that I'm really proud of, but I've also literally lost years with it too, pursing total time wasters that have no benefit. Almost like that line from "Blade Runner" - "A candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned very brightly..."

Now I've become a lot better at catching myself when I start going off in a bad direction - but it's still not easy. You really have to trick your mind into hyperfocusing on the right things. Maybe that's the real superpower.
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Old 10-27-11, 12:53 AM
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Re: Hyperfocus, Good or Bad?

Hyper focus to me is just another process in the brain that is usually regulated. The non-ADHD brain can focus but it doesn't have this over focus that we tend to have. I'm not saying either type is superior. But we either have poor focus or over focus.

It's the feeling I get from hyper focus that makes me know it's not always a good thing. I can be sloppy with planning or don't plan at all, have no control over my emotions, am pushy and non-empathic and am desperate to reach a goal that seems trivial. Usually I'm wanting to get reactions from people on Facebook. I will do these elaborate projects and when I'm up to uploading the photograph I just think this was a waste of time. But what I posted on Tumblr got 233 notes. Gotta love Doctor Who fans.

It's not always a waste of time though. Moving house is one thing I find it hard to prepare for, especially all the packing. This is where hyper focus has helped me. It even helps me get through those boring post-med late afternoons.

Hyper focus can be in my thoughts only and I can stay awake in bed just thinking over things. When I get these ideas out of nowhere that's when I feel hyper focus can be put to practical use, even though now in order to carry out my ideas meticulous planning needs to be put in place before jumping into it.

I have autism too and it's not just about obsessions, rather it's an umbrella term for many conditions in one. Intense interests are one part but I think the communication problems particularly the theory of mind dysfunction are an integral part. It has similarities to ADHD and more so with ADD but that failure to connect with people is a huge part. I think most frontal lobe disorders are part of the same disorder but if you're affected more in one area then they'll find the most suitable disorder to diagnose you with.
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