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  #181  
Old 03-04-11, 09:32 AM
Maryyra Maryyra is offline
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

I agree with everything Flibbertigibbet and Fortune said above. Thanks for being so articulate.

Although, Flibbertigibbet, 'perseverate' is indeed a word. I first met it in grade school, 8th or 9th grade, when my teachers said that I was perseverating on stuff from class during lunch hour or something. I was a little taken aback by it because it sounded like they were twisting the word 'persevere' (which I always aim to do) into something bad or pathological. Haha, well, that *is* the connotation of 'perseverate', but the 2 words refer to very different types of behaviors - my teachers weren't just turning a good thing into a bad thing. I guess my 14-year-old self was a bit too uninformed to recognize that I really was perseverating (I wasn't diagnosed until 7 years later). Anyway, since then the word has had a sour taste to me.

I guess I like the term 'hyperfocus' better because of that; the 'focus' part is a reminder that sometimes you can make it work to your benefit, while the 'hyper' part reminds you of the pathological aspect.
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  #182  
Old 03-04-11, 02:35 PM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

Not ADHD-related, but on perseveration:



I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, and I think Barkley's just pushing his "everything about ADHD is negative" spin as far as it will go. Thus, hyperfocus needs to be characterized as a bad thing, and not simply a thing that can be good or bad depending on context.

I am not sure what he means by "autistic people hyperfocus and ADHDers perseverate." I feel like my interests (much more associated with autism) can be much more repetitive than hyperfocus usually is. I mean, yes, I can get caught up in repetitive stuff while hyperfocusing too, but I think these are all different things, and that Barkley really didn't do his homework here.

And I really wish the people who took him at face value would do their own homework.

I'll add that I don't believe it's normal focus as some have suggested. I don't know what normal focus feels like because I do not think I have ever experienced it. But I think that while it may be as effective as normal focus, it is characterized by intense, focused behavior - either it is very difficult to distract one from it, or if distracted one becomes very irritable about it.

I think claims like "it is perseveration, not hyperfocus" are a matter of simply redefining the language to serve one's agenda. Not that I think Barkley's agenda is bad, but I question his place as defining these things for us, rather than explaining the neurological underpinnings for ADHD and interpreting the research.

I also think claims like this (and "it's just normal focus") are mostly unscientific. As far as I know, hyperfocus hasn't been studied. It's been discussed, but you can't really make a scientific declaration on the basis of discussion. You especially can't make a scientific declaration on the basis of dismissing a significant portion of the potential data: That is, self-reports from people who experience hyperfocus.

Honestly, the almost ideological opposition to the idea of hyperfocus is nonsensical to me. I know I experience a highly focused state where the rest of the world may not exist. Many other ADHDers experience this highly focused state as well. It may very well be that NTs experience this too (but probably have greater control over it on account of relative lack of executive dysfunction). I don't need a professional earnestly explaining that what happens when I do certain things isn't really happening, or that it is some other thing, or explaining that it only happens in a particular context, let alone anyone who is not themselves a professional.

I do not mean by the above that I automatically dismiss any disagreement, but I would like the disagreement to be logical and factual and take the fact that ADHDers do experience this state of mind into account. So far I have not seen all three in one argument. At best, I've seen the third.

And yes, this is all about semantics. But I think it's important as words mean things, and I get the feeling from Barkley's discussion that hyperfocus just isn't pathologized enough. As Maryyra points out above, perseveration has a negative, pathologized connotation.

I'm not trying to distance myself from "perseveration" as I do perseverate, but I don't think that what happens when I hyperfocus qualifies by definition, although there is occasional overlap. Others may disagree. My point of contention is more this idea that everyone who calls it hyperfocus needs to be corrected, and that their views are somehow wrong. Even Barkley says "call it hyperfocus if you want."
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  #183  
Old 04-13-11, 06:58 PM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedo View Post
(yes insects can be left handed, most are right handed)
Ha! That is amazing!
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  #184  
Old 04-13-11, 07:25 PM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

One thing I have noticed recently is that when I am hyperfocussing I slowly rock my head back and forth? Maybe to help me keep rhythm? Anyone else do anything similar?
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  #185  
Old 04-13-11, 07:43 PM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibbertigibbet View Post
People don't ONLY hyperfocus when there is something more important to do
Exactly.
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  #186  
Old 05-14-11, 04:15 PM
deannalynne deannalynne is offline
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

Okay...so I am kind of confused about hyperfocus and perseveration, and what the difference between them is or isn't. I have read a lot of info here and online, and the biggest consensus is that nobody can agree!

Is hyperfocusing (as related ADHD) ONLY a repeated and focused task that LASTS FOR A FEW MINUTES OR HOURS...or CAN IT LAST DAYS OR WEEKS? Or is that last part more the autistic side of it?

I had never even heard either term until I started researching ADHD. Then I realized I do it quite often. Not for short periods like minutes or hours, though.

I will get literally so OBSESSED with something (occasionally homework I am actually interested in, but not usually), it usually involves either I decide to start a hobby or I want to research a subject I don't know anything about, and i will spend DAYS completely consumed with it. The Internet has really brought it out since i can find a wealth of information on anything and everything. There is never an ending goal with it for me...just the obsession to learn as much about a subject as i can. Almost in every case, I only fail to be interested in it (and return to life) once i can no longer find any new information. Occasionally in the process i will find something new to obsess about and switch focus for days to that, but those instances are rare.

It is really a problem for me. I never recognized I was doing it until it was pointed out to me after my diagnosis. I will literally spend ALL my time on the computer (I rarely leave the house, so not really a library person) absorbing information like a sponge. I neglect my family, my homework, my health...everything in the pursuit of the "flavor of the week" knowledge. If I am forced to do something else (like feed the kids) i will do it as quickly as possible, but with my mind on the research still, and then back at it I go.

I have a hard enough time on a daily basis having the motivation to tackle my every day tasks, which usually involves cleaning because of three toddlers. But when i hyperfocus, I literally cannot do any of it.

Once i snap out of it...DAYS LATER...only then can i try to tackle the mess left behind. Of course, this makes it that much harder to do because the mess and disorganization has escalated to the point where its so overwhelming and stressing i don't know where to start (even more so than normal).

For instance, this is the four day since i found out I have ADHD. I have been completely consumed with finding out as much as I can about it to the exclusion of all else. I feel like i have barely scratched the surface and I don't know when this is gonna stop.

Is this the normal hyperfocusing or perseveration that ADHDer's do? Or something more?

Any thoughts or help would be appreciated!
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  #187  
Old 05-15-11, 09:45 PM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

Hyperfocus is a boon and a bane for me. Here's my experience.

Boon
While in school, I did communications studies and I was surprised I was able to sit down for 8 hours straight editing my short film without any breaks. I also do sports and it has helped me a lot as I am able to get in the zone very quickly. One of my sport is martial arts and during competitions, while in the ring, I am able to just focus on my opponent and am oblivious to the surrounding. In between rounds, I got screamed at by my coach and he said "what the hell are you doing? I told you to do this and that?!". Honestly, I can't even hear or notice what he was shouting while I was fighting.

The other sport I do is mountain biking and dirtbiking and while racing at speed, I still am able to compose myself and focus on the path ahead without thinking of much things. I pick up sports very fast too as when I'm hyperfocused, all I think about is the sports and I do lots of research and training and as a result, I've bagged medals and good placings in my competition. However, the downside of ADHD is that I get distracted and my interest will wane after 2 or 3 years. I've done martial arts for 10 years and mountain biking for 3 years but I didn't stay in one discipline for long. It's not that bad either as I've become versatile and have knowledge in the various disciplines of the sports that I do.

Bane
To me, the only downside I have is with regards to being in a relationship. While I was dating, I was hyperfocused on my dates and will keep texting or asking them out to the point that I get told that I'm insecure or needy but I am really comfortable with myself. It's just the hyperfocus thing along with impulsivity that mess my love life up.. it sucks..
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  #188  
Old 05-26-11, 07:35 AM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

is hyperfocus the thing that happens when "you're in the zone"?
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  #189  
Old 05-26-11, 01:50 PM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

It very likely is.
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  #190  
Old 06-03-11, 03:33 PM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

On and off Ritalin I hyperfocus like crazy... I will be switching in 1.5 weeks according to my doctor to one of these.

Has any medication helped in getting rid of your uncontrollable hyperfocus? Is that Med Addy or Dexy?
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  #191  
Old 06-23-11, 02:50 PM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

My hyperfocus is what allows me to do my job. I'm an anesthesiologist and sometimes I have to stare at a vital signs monitor for 8 straight hours in a single procedure. Often the patient will be totally stable so there will be almost nothing for me to do except watch and listen to blips on the screen. This would be excruciating (and frankly, impossible) if it was something I didn't automatically hyperfocus on.

But that's why I love my job. I never worry about screwing up or missing a detail because I always hyperfocus on actually doing my job. I'm really lucky because had I picked any other field in medicine I almost certainly would have failed.
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  #192  
Old 06-23-11, 03:23 PM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

Also, just as an anesthesia sales pitch for any add med students still deciding. My job seems designed for someone with ADHD.

1) It's one patient at a time. I don't have to remember any other patients except the one I'm taking care of right now.

2) Almost every task I do throughout the day is something that requires my immediate attention (ie. Blood pressure drops, Heart Rate increases, etc) and I get immediately rewarded upon handling it (Blood pressure, HR return to normal, etc).

3) There are a million different ways to skin this cat. By which I mean, I never get bored of trying different ways to put patients to sleep, keep them comfortable, and wake them up smoothly.

4) My favorite and the most important reason Anesthesia is made for an ADDer...I am my own boss and no one tells me how to do my job. I get to be as creative as I want, I do it at my own pace, and I always get to do it my way (within reason, of course. I mean I alway try to make everyone in the room happy, so I usually accommodate surgeon requests if possible).

5) Being distracted easily by a loud noise, shiny light, or an alarm is a job requirement!

There are lots of other reasons, but I imagine this is probably relevant to almost no one here. But if anyone here is actually thinking about going into anesthesia I'd be happy to answer any PM's about it.
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  #193  
Old 06-26-11, 01:30 PM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

Does anyone feel that their hyperfocus is more of a hypnotic state of mind. During hyperfocus I believe i process numerous thoughts from various experiences, learnings etc that I would ordinarily battle to recall. These are rapidly processed and either used or disgarded. Maybe as suggested this is similar to day dreaming except with a goal in mind. I believe it to be a very powerful mind tool but misunderstood.
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  #194  
Old 08-03-11, 12:28 PM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

Wow, I never knew about hyperfocus until now...That explains alot!!
Ever since I was about 9(not sure if this is when it started or just when my family started to notice) my parents have called me names like "wikipedia girl," "research queen," and then other names from my brother like "nerd" haha...I would literally stay up for houuuuurs on my computer researching and absorbing every little bit of information about a certain topic of interest(my topic of interest for the past year has been the human brain, different disorders(except never researched ADD/ADHD(ironically), human behavior, and other related topics.) Time would fly by in what felt like minutes, and it would end up being up to 7 am when I'd realize that I should probably get to bed...lol. I would be punished for doing this as a child, and I am still excessively nagged about it by my parents...
I would always hear, "If you can research stupid stuff like that, you can do your homework..." and blahblah.
The thing is, going into this "hyperfocus" actually is very fun and exciting me, and it also greatly lifts my mood. However, I'm guessing I should start setting a time limit for it so that I don't keep procrastinating on whatever other boring but important tasks I need to get done...
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  #195  
Old 08-14-11, 02:05 PM
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Re: A few blurbs I found regarding Hyperfocus

Hyperfocus to me means that I cannot take my mind off the task that I am focused on. I get so focused on a task that I become oblivious to what is going on around me such as the time or if I have to be somewhere. When I am hyperfocusing on something, I can become very stubborn. For example, one time my husband made a nice dinner for the both of us and I was so focused on my knitting that I became angry that he was interrupting my focus on what I was doing. I tend to hyperfocus on activities that really interest me...
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