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Old 01-11-13, 02:36 PM
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ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

Hi guys, here's nother long post. Sorry to those that don't like them. I often find that long posts can be either the most interesting and informative or the biggest waste of my time. I'm hoping this is the former.

I have ADHD-Pi as well as severe anxiety issues. It seems as though I've had mild to severe general anxiety as well as social anxiety my whole life. It may be that I developed ADHD as a result or maybe I've always had it. I'm not sure.

Anyway, before being diagnosed and on meds, I was a mess. Forgetful, lazy, procrastinating, and unable to focus, unless it was on a task or activity that I was interested in. If I'm into a high interest activity, I'm all in and hyperfocussed on it and can do it for hours and hours without getting bored, refining and improving as I go. If I'm interrupted during a hyperfocus session, I can get irritable and angry. It's almost as if someone cracked by skull with a bat, leaving me unable to get back on track and I fee disoriented, angree and confused.

Leading up to high school, I managed to maintain straight A's simply by paying attention in class, and always completing homework assignments at the last minute, late at night before a due date or in the morning before class.

During these periods of last minute work, I would zone into a hyperfocus mode to complete the tasks quickly and to do them well enough to get a high mark despite not doing any of the lead up work. I'm thinking that I was lucky that I'm intelligent enough to accomplish this.

In my senior years of highschool though, I changed, or rather, I didn't change, and could not adapt to the higher amount of homework that was required. When I couldn't finish an independent study for the course the night before the due date, I failed my first class, and from there, either due to anxiety or something else, I gave up. I suppose the fact that some projects would require more than one night to finish, I gave up entirely. Oh, how I wish I could go back in time...

The hyperfocus that I used to complete ininteresting tasks seemingly could not be broken up in smaller chunks of time.

At times, I've considered that what I might have thought was hyperfocus at the time was actually just sporadic examples of normal focus. But I don't think that anymore. I'm pretty sure that I do possess a unique ability to hyperfocus on a task even when not super interested. I can be motivated at times by a desire to so something really well that lives up to my standards of quality, which I've noticed are sometimes quite a bit higher than others.

For me, this has always proven to be a disadvantage. A lot of people that succeed here are doers; they are organized and get jobs done on time, and do a good enough job that seems to please the bosses. When I see their work, often I think that it could be better, or they should have done something different, or it's not up to par, until I realize that they've actually accomplished a task that it would have taken me quite a bit longer to do.

I realize that if I were to do the same level of work, it would take me less time, although I wouldn't be able to hyperfocus on it because doing something poorly does not motivate me well not matter how much I try.

But, as I described above, I can hyperfocus if motivated, but I do find it very difficult to get into this state and maintain it when I do. Some difficulties that I have are ADHD related, as in if I have too many things on my plate, the anxiety that generates will prevent my hyperfocus. Or, if I am able to hyperfocus, get on a roll doing high quality, fast work, I often get interrupted by a phone call, or someone coming up to my desk, or my wife yelling at me because I forgot to turn off the hall light again.

I've found that Vyvanse has been the most effective in helping to maintain a more even level of focus to motivate me to develop tools such as my to do list that help me to finish some less interesting things. I do still have difficulties. My anxiety is not really improved, and normally I have to find a way to minimize it before getting anything done. The Vyvanse allows me to make more convincing arguments with myself that my levels of anxiety are not really appropriate and should not be taken seriously. I can function a little better because despite still having anxiety, I'm able to disregard it a little easier.

Vyvanse also helps me to get into an effective hyperfocus state. The trick that I've found is this can be a double edged sword. If I'm not careful, I can begin to hyperfocus on the wrong task, or something that will completely waste my time and effort. My to do list helps me as long as I've taken the time to properly prioritize it, although this is an ongoing challenges. On the days I do this first thing in the morning, I can usually get quite a bit done. On the other hand, there are many days where this doesn't happen and I waste a lot of time on doing nothing and everything. On these days, it's usually high levels of anxiety that are to blame.

One tool I also use that was suggested by a counsellor who I've only been seeing for a few weeks, provided by my workplace EAP. His strategies to reduce my anxiety using mind tricks were completely ineffective and difficult to apply in real world situations, so he suggested Hypnosis. I never would have even considered this before but I was in a bad place and open to anything.

To my incredible surprise, using a CD, earphones, and these weird flashing sunglasses, I did fall into a hypnotic trance, and he planted suggestions about reducing anxiety into my 'subconscious'. To tell you the truth, his suggestions didn't do ****. But I've found that the Hypnosis CD put me into a completely relaxed state, and after the session this feeling of relaxation and calm lasted the rest of the evening. My body was actually loose and I felt great, instead of tense and worried.

Never would I have imagined that I would have been able to be put into a trance. Never. But it did, I think partially because I was open to it and really listened and focussed on the CD.

So I've found a pretty great 50 minute sleep hypnosis audio on Youtube that I use to help me get to sleep. I've had issues with sleeping since I was a kid with my mind racing constantly with thoughts and worries, tossing and turning throughout the night.

My wife laughed at me the first time I set up my tablet with big earphones on to try it. But to her surprise, after I layed down and closed my eyes with the sleep hypnosis CD playing, I did not move positions one inch until 2:00 am, completely relaxed until she jolted me awake by trying to take off the earphones for me. But I laughed, and took off the earphones, turned over and instantly fell asleep.

I've been using it for a few weeks now. Not everynight, but on days that I'm feeling anxious and need a long, full sleep, I use it and it works, everytime. I strongly recommend to anyone that has sleep issues to try a sleep hypnosis CD. I don't know that it will work for everyone, but it worked for me. It doesn't cure my ADHD, or take away my anxiety, but without a doubt I perform much better during the day if I've had a good night's sleep.

A few final notes on my hyperfocus, and I'll leave you with some questions, so please answer them. I've been doing some deep thinking about this and need your input.

I sometimes feel that maybe I was meant to be this way. Maybe using my hyperfocus to do just one thing really well is my destiny. Does having a wife, job, and other obligations that set goals for me that are unattainable and debilitating to my true strength and passion mean that maybe I'm doing all the wrong things? Has anyone else maybe wondered that if you were to just say **** all this ****, **** anxiety, ADHD, and expectations that you can't meet anyway despite struggling your entire life, you'd be alot happier? I know I have, but there are just too many people that I would hurt, I love my family and would be lonely and depressed without them. My only choice is to try and be the best that I can be in the place I am now.
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Old 01-11-13, 03:00 PM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

Hyperfocus is not actually a word. Its sort of a through the grapevine phrase that people throw around. If anyone could control their ability to focus (over focused even) then it wouldn't be an impairment. Maybe your ability to zero in on something is just a deliberate legit strength?
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Old 01-11-13, 03:44 PM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Hyperfocus is not actually a word. Its sort of a through the grapevine phrase that people throw around. If anyone could control their ability to focus (over focused even) then it wouldn't be an impairment. Maybe your ability to zero in on something is just a deliberate legit strength?
Hi Sarah,

That's what I'm trying to figure out. I understand that some don't believe in this and that it doesn't happen for everyone. I know that a lot of people with ADHD don't experience any type of focus or positives.

Maybe you're right. Maybe my ability to 'hyperfocus' is not part of my ADHD, or maybe I don't have ADHD at all, but just an anxiety disorder? My doctor thought that might be a possibility. I haven't really been able to give Anxiety meds like Cipralex a solid try because of side effects that really mess with me. I'm going to continue to work with my counsellor on reducing unhealthy anxiety.

But come on people. Am I the only one that experiences this gift/curse that some describe as 'hyperfocus'? I've always wondered what I might produce if were able to get away from it all for a few weeks and write. As it stands, I have absolutely no quiet place free of interruptions to try.
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Old 01-11-13, 04:23 PM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SudburyDude View Post
Hi Sarah,

That's what I'm trying to figure out. I understand that some don't believe in this and that it doesn't happen for everyone. I know that a lot of people with ADHD don't experience any type of focus or positives.

Maybe you're right. Maybe my ability to 'hyperfocus' is not part of my ADHD, or maybe I don't have ADHD at all, but just an anxiety disorder? My doctor thought that might be a possibility. I haven't really been able to give Anxiety meds like Cipralex a solid try because of side effects that really mess with me. I'm going to continue to work with my counsellor on reducing unhealthy anxiety.

But come on people. Am I the only one that experiences this gift/curse that some describe as 'hyperfocus'? I've always wondered what I might produce if were able to get away from it all for a few weeks and write. As it stands, I have absolutely no quiet place free of interruptions to try.
Hi,

You are not the only one. Hyperfocus is something that some ADHDers unconsciously develop as a coping method for their inability to focus. It develops over time, at least for me it did. So it's not a symptom, per say, but it often goes hand in hand with the disorder.

I still remember watching Doctor Who as a child, having the tendency to watch shows over and over again. I remember this one time I was watching a show for the third time, and it shocked me that I didn't remember a certain scene even though I had seen it twice before. I deduced (and this was before I knew what ADHD was) that I simply hadn't been paying enough attention the first two times, so I trained myself to exclude everything except for the TV show I was watching.

I was only able to do this because I was interested in the show. Applying this technique to something in which I have no interest, or worse, something I don't like, is ineffective.

I often wonder what I could accomplish if I could grasp some of the fleeting thoughts that run through my mind, but then I wonder if I am just having delusions of grandeur! Maybe someday, I can figure it out...
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Old 01-11-13, 05:48 PM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

I look at the whole focus issue as being intimately related to the problem we have with our brains' reward pathways.

The difficulty we have with focusing on things that we aren't interested in must be related to the fact that our brains do not reward us for focusing on them.

So the ability to focus exclusively and for long periods of time on interesting things must be related to the fact that what's interesting is rewarding to the brain, and being continually rewarded therefore makes it difficult to pull ourselves away.

But sometimes we're able to focus on uninteresting things, because we're under a lot of pressure from a deadline or severe consequences of failure. I think what's happening when we kick into high gear as a deadline looms, is that panic sets in and the adrenaline rush acts as a temporary substitute for the usual focus neurotransmitters.

There's more I want to say but it's going to have to wait cos I'm getting pulled AFK for a bit...
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Old 01-11-13, 06:35 PM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

One other thing that I think can help with focus at times is something I think I may have caught a whiff of in your post, SudburyDude -- and that's perfectionism.

I have always been a big time perfectionist and never thought of it as a potentially negative trait until relatively recently (within the past year). Like you, I started realizing that I might be able to find fault with others' results, but at least they HAD results, which is often better than my no-results-because-I'm-still-trying-to-perfect-it problem.

I'm now also starting to consider that I may have, in part, become a perfectionist as a method of trying to engage my reward system. So that if I had to do something boring or uninteresting, perhaps I could at least give myself a boost of dopamine for having done it perfectly (or what I considered to be perfect, which for the purposes of my reward pathways was all that mattered).

I am now in the process of trying to learn to shift my expectation of neurotransmitter rewards to the act of accomplishing things at all, rather than continually and exhaustingly holding myself up to my wolf-in-sheeps'-clothing evil standard of Perfectionism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SudburyDude View Post
Does having a wife, job, and other obligations that set goals for me that are unattainable and debilitating to my true strength and passion mean that maybe I'm doing all the wrong things? Has anyone else maybe wondered that if you were to just say **** all this ****, **** anxiety, ADHD, and expectations that you can't meet anyway despite struggling your entire life, you'd be alot happier? I know I have, but there are just too many people that I would hurt, I love my family and would be lonely and depressed without them. My only choice is to try and be the best that I can be in the place I am now.
I brought up all that about perfectionism because I am wondering... is it possible that something like that may be playing into your considerations of what to do with your life, and whether trying to meet all these expectations is worth it?
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Old 01-11-13, 09:32 PM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

SudburyDude,

I can relate to a lot of what you describe. I was fortunate enough to be diagnosed in elementary school and started medication early on, which enabled me to do fairly well in school, but not in the usual way. I've always had horrible issues with procrastination, though didn't associate them with ADHD until I discovered this forum. Medication, while it helps with a lot of things (sitting still, attending to conversations, remembering where I'm going, the fact that I may be operating a vehicle, etc.) has never done a whole lot for the procrastination.

I struggled for years to force myself to keep to a schedule with assignments, reading, etc., and was pressured to do so. It was incredibly frustrating to fail so consistently, and contributed to the depression and anxiety that I've always struggled with. Ultimately, I gave up, and began to accept that I would do everything at the last minute. The relief from this (and some other positive changes that occurred) increased my motivation, and I actually started doing better.

I've always 'hyperfocused' though I didn't use that term until, again, I discovered the forum, and my experience of it is very similar to how you describe it. I have no control over it, though it does seem to kick in almost magically at the last possible second I can start a project and finish it in time. Reading some of the material out there about executive function issues, time blindness and the point of performance in people with ADHD was fairly enlightening though, particularly some of the Russel Barkley videos on youtube.

When I 'hyperfocus' I'm able to focus to a degree that I cannot approach, medicated or not, other times, and work without stop for hours. Really, it's near impossible not to work nonstop for hours. I'm terribly unpleasant to be around in this state...it's almost painful to respond to people talking to me about unrelated matters. (in this sense, it matches up with some of what I've read of 'perseveration') I have to force myself to eat, and it's always while working, and I don't get tired at all.

Each time I handed in a paper, I was sure this going to be the time I'd fail, that in my sleep-deprived, single-mindedness I'd missed something critical. I could never stand to go back and look at the papers once I submitted them. Ultimately, I've gotten through professional school without having once started a paper or studied for an exam prior to the night before it's due, through hyperfocus combined with very good luck (I've submitted papers by e-mail due at midnight at 12:00:47, and physically handed in papers 2 or 3 minutes from the deadline after sprinting from the subway).

While I've done okay, I haven't done great, and it's very difficult to contemplate how different my life would be if I had just been able to start my papers, say, 2 days before they're due instead of three. It's also been difficult, in some ways, to adapte to a full-time job, where I have lots of assignments with sort of open deadlines and lots of smaller tasks to do each day and interruptions..the hyperfocus can make me incredibly efficient when I know I have a deadline, but when I don't, it can make make me incredibly detail-oriented and perfectionistic...I've lost hours making sure I do a ten minute task "right" before catching myself when the days half over. And, wincing when co-workers stops to ask something, interrupting my focus hasn't made me terribly popular.

I know many believe that when people with ADHD say they experience 'hyperfocus', what they're describing is merely the experience of someone with an impairment being able to focus normally. In other words, what we call 'hyperfocus' is just normal focus. That may well be true for some. I'm also well aware that there's no research supporting the existence of 'hyperfocus' as a mental state experienced by people with ADHD in which they have a heightened ability to focus or perform. It just doesn't match my experience though. I've talked with many others without ADHD to compare notes about how they completed tasks which I did in a single hyperfocused night, and none ever contemplated being able to cram the work into the time that I did.
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Old 01-12-13, 06:58 AM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

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Originally Posted by SudburyDude View Post
Hi Sarah,

That's what I'm trying to figure out. I understand that some don't believe in this and that it doesn't happen for everyone. I know that a lot of people with ADHD don't experience any type of focus or positives.

Maybe you're right. Maybe my ability to 'hyperfocus' is not part of my ADHD, or maybe I don't have ADHD at all, but just an anxiety disorder? My doctor thought that might be a possibility. I haven't really been able to give Anxiety meds like Cipralex a solid try because of side effects that really mess with me. I'm going to continue to work with my counsellor on reducing unhealthy anxiety.

But come on people. Am I the only one that experiences this gift/curse that some describe as 'hyperfocus'? I've always wondered what I might produce if were able to get away from it all for a few weeks and write. As it stands, I have absolutely no quiet place free of interruptions to try.
by the way I hope my response did seem like I was dismissing you...I totally experience hyperfocus and I recently looked it up and found no actual definition and have been mulling it over. I dont know what to call it but alot of us seem to have it.
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Old 01-12-13, 11:34 PM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

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Originally Posted by Phoenix Ash View Post
I brought up all that about perfectionism because I am wondering... is it possible that something like that may be playing into your considerations of what to do with your life, and whether trying to meet all these expectations is worth it?
Yes! While writing this post I meant to add the word perfectionism, and I'm glad you picked up on that. I think, over the past few years as I've really come to understand my condition, I've been trying to let go of the extremely high expectations I have for myself. I could literally spend hours improving and refining a piece of work, only to realize that it would probably have been just fine after the first draft (that is, if I started at all).

Quote:
While I've done okay, I haven't done great, and it's very difficult to contemplate how different my life would be if I had just been able to start my papers, say, 2 days before they're due instead of three. It's also been difficult, in some ways, to adapte to a full-time job, where I have lots of assignments with sort of open deadlines and lots of smaller tasks to do each day and interruptions..the hyperfocus can make me incredibly efficient when I know I have a deadline, but when I don't, it can make make me incredibly detail-oriented and perfectionistic...I've lost hours making sure I do a ten minute task "right" before catching myself when the days half over. And, wincing when co-workers stops to ask something, interrupting my focus hasn't made me terribly popular.
Yes, having deadlines helps me as well, usually to get a task done just in time, but even so I still can sometimes put tasks off for too long. Just like you, having small task and interruptions on top of projects with open deadlines is very hard for me to manage. I almost want to give up but I must keep grinding it out for the sake of my family. Despite knowing that breaking up these projects into smaller chunks and creating my own deadlines should help, it's almost as if knowing that someone's not going to come asking about this particular aspect of the project give me an I'll do it later attitude. The most difficult part of my job is being interrupted by a coworker or phone call in the middle of an important task. Sometimes, someone might even pull me away before I've been able to add something to my to do list, and it gets lost forever, only to come up again when someone asks me "Oh, by the way, did you ever call this person about whatever, it's been three weeks!"

Quote:
by the way I hope my response did seem like I was dismissing you...I totally experience hyperfocus and I recently looked it up and found no actual definition and have been mulling it over. I dont know what to call it but alot of us seem to have it.
Don't worry Sarah, I didn't feel that way at all. I'm grateful for all the insight that I can get.

Hyperfocus for me has always been about becoming totally absorbed in a task. It's usually about something I'm interested in, but it can also be a task that I simply want to perform well. This type of focus works wonders for me; I can do great work in a fairly short time. Unfortunately, this focus is virtually useless if I have to work in any kind of group, or even near or around other people, or if I have any sort of deadline. The problem that I have is that virtually any interruption can break this focus, be it anxiety about other tasks, coworkers, phone calls, emails, really, anything at all.

This is something that my wife really has a hard time with. If let's say I'm doing something as simple as painting a room and my wife calls me over to tell me something, or ask a question, or whatever, when I try and get back to painting, I'll be disoriented, not know where I was, or do something spacey like forget to cover the paint can. I might even really lose my motivation to finish the room even though before I was completely gung-ho about it.

Vyvanse has been helping me with focus although it's only one tool in the toolbox. I'm working on maintaining other tools such as a to do list for work and home, calendars, reminders etc but with inconsistent results so far.
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Old 01-13-13, 01:28 AM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

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Originally Posted by Phoenix Ash View Post
One other thing that I think can help with focus at times is something I think I may have caught a whiff of in your post, SudburyDude -- and that's perfectionism.

I have always been a big time perfectionist and never thought of it as a potentially negative trait until relatively recently (within the past year). Like you, I started realizing that I might be able to find fault with others' results, but at least they HAD results, which is often better than my no-results-because-I'm-still-trying-to-perfect-it problem.

I'm now also starting to consider that I may have, in part, become a perfectionist as a method of trying to engage my reward system. So that if I had to do something boring or uninteresting, perhaps I could at least give myself a boost of dopamine for having done it perfectly (or what I considered to be perfect, which for the purposes of my reward pathways was all that mattered).

I am now in the process of trying to learn to shift my expectation of neurotransmitter rewards to the act of accomplishing things at all, rather than continually and exhaustingly holding myself up to my wolf-in-sheeps'-clothing evil standard of Perfectionism.



I brought up all that about perfectionism because I am wondering... is it possible that something like that may be playing into your considerations of what to do with your life, and whether trying to meet all these expectations is worth it?
Oh, my goodness! You too? I am the biggest perfectionist with everything. Let me ask this: Are you also a control freak? Do you hate sitting in the passenger seat of a car? Must you always have the remote? I was wondering if any ADDers out there were like me.
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Old 01-13-13, 01:31 AM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

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When I 'hyperfocus' I'm able to focus to a degree that I cannot approach, medicated or not, other times, and work without stop for hours. Really, it's near impossible not to work nonstop for hours. I'm terribly unpleasant to be around in this state...it's almost painful to respond to people talking to me about unrelated matters. (in this sense, it matches up with some of what I've read of 'perseveration') I have to force myself to eat, and it's always while working, and I don't get tired at all.
When you finish your task, does your brain feel exhausted?...or like it has been through a meat grinder?
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Old 01-14-13, 05:54 AM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

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Originally Posted by SudburyDude View Post
Hi guys, here's nother long post. Sorry to those that don't like them. I often find that long posts can be either the most interesting and informative or the biggest waste of my time. I'm hoping this is the former.

I have ADHD-Pi as well as severe anxiety issues. It seems as though I've had mild to severe general anxiety as well as social anxiety my whole life. It may be that I developed ADHD as a result or maybe I've always had it. I'm not sure.

Anyway, before being diagnosed and on meds, I was a mess. Forgetful, lazy, procrastinating, and unable to focus, unless it was on a task or activity that I was interested in. If I'm into a high interest activity, I'm all in and hyperfocussed on it and can do it for hours and hours without getting bored, refining and improving as I go. If I'm interrupted during a hyperfocus session, I can get irritable and angry. It's almost as if someone cracked by skull with a bat, leaving me unable to get back on track and I fee disoriented, angree and confused.

Leading up to high school, I managed to maintain straight A's simply by paying attention in class, and always completing homework assignments at the last minute, late at night before a due date or in the morning before class.

During these periods of last minute work, I would zone into a hyperfocus mode to complete the tasks quickly and to do them well enough to get a high mark despite not doing any of the lead up work. I'm thinking that I was lucky that I'm intelligent enough to accomplish this.

In my senior years of highschool though, I changed, or rather, I didn't change, and could not adapt to the higher amount of homework that was required. When I couldn't finish an independent study for the course the night before the due date, I failed my first class, and from there, either due to anxiety or something else, I gave up. I suppose the fact that some projects would require more than one night to finish, I gave up entirely. Oh, how I wish I could go back in time...

The hyperfocus that I used to complete ininteresting tasks seemingly could not be broken up in smaller chunks of time.

At times, I've considered that what I might have thought was hyperfocus at the time was actually just sporadic examples of normal focus. But I don't think that anymore. I'm pretty sure that I do possess a unique ability to hyperfocus on a task even when not super interested. I can be motivated at times by a desire to so something really well that lives up to my standards of quality, which I've noticed are sometimes quite a bit higher than others.

For me, this has always proven to be a disadvantage. A lot of people that succeed here are doers; they are organized and get jobs done on time, and do a good enough job that seems to please the bosses. When I see their work, often I think that it could be better, or they should have done something different, or it's not up to par, until I realize that they've actually accomplished a task that it would have taken me quite a bit longer to do.

I realize that if I were to do the same level of work, it would take me less time, although I wouldn't be able to hyperfocus on it because doing something poorly does not motivate me well not matter how much I try.

But, as I described above, I can hyperfocus if motivated, but I do find it very difficult to get into this state and maintain it when I do. Some difficulties that I have are ADHD related, as in if I have too many things on my plate, the anxiety that generates will prevent my hyperfocus. Or, if I am able to hyperfocus, get on a roll doing high quality, fast work, I often get interrupted by a phone call, or someone coming up to my desk, or my wife yelling at me because I forgot to turn off the hall light again.

I've found that Vyvanse has been the most effective in helping to maintain a more even level of focus to motivate me to develop tools such as my to do list that help me to finish some less interesting things. I do still have difficulties. My anxiety is not really improved, and normally I have to find a way to minimize it before getting anything done. The Vyvanse allows me to make more convincing arguments with myself that my levels of anxiety are not really appropriate and should not be taken seriously. I can function a little better because despite still having anxiety, I'm able to disregard it a little easier.

Vyvanse also helps me to get into an effective hyperfocus state. The trick that I've found is this can be a double edged sword. If I'm not careful, I can begin to hyperfocus on the wrong task, or something that will completely waste my time and effort. My to do list helps me as long as I've taken the time to properly prioritize it, although this is an ongoing challenges. On the days I do this first thing in the morning, I can usually get quite a bit done. On the other hand, there are many days where this doesn't happen and I waste a lot of time on doing nothing and everything. On these days, it's usually high levels of anxiety that are to blame.

One tool I also use that was suggested by a counsellor who I've only been seeing for a few weeks, provided by my workplace EAP. His strategies to reduce my anxiety using mind tricks were completely ineffective and difficult to apply in real world situations, so he suggested Hypnosis. I never would have even considered this before but I was in a bad place and open to anything.

To my incredible surprise, using a CD, earphones, and these weird flashing sunglasses, I did fall into a hypnotic trance, and he planted suggestions about reducing anxiety into my 'subconscious'. To tell you the truth, his suggestions didn't do ****. But I've found that the Hypnosis CD put me into a completely relaxed state, and after the session this feeling of relaxation and calm lasted the rest of the evening. My body was actually loose and I felt great, instead of tense and worried.

Never would I have imagined that I would have been able to be put into a trance. Never. But it did, I think partially because I was open to it and really listened and focussed on the CD.

So I've found a pretty great 50 minute sleep hypnosis audio on Youtube that I use to help me get to sleep. I've had issues with sleeping since I was a kid with my mind racing constantly with thoughts and worries, tossing and turning throughout the night.

My wife laughed at me the first time I set up my tablet with big earphones on to try it. But to her surprise, after I layed down and closed my eyes with the sleep hypnosis CD playing, I did not move positions one inch until 2:00 am, completely relaxed until she jolted me awake by trying to take off the earphones for me. But I laughed, and took off the earphones, turned over and instantly fell asleep.

I've been using it for a few weeks now. Not everynight, but on days that I'm feeling anxious and need a long, full sleep, I use it and it works, everytime. I strongly recommend to anyone that has sleep issues to try a sleep hypnosis CD. I don't know that it will work for everyone, but it worked for me. It doesn't cure my ADHD, or take away my anxiety, but without a doubt I perform much better during the day if I've had a good night's sleep.

A few final notes on my hyperfocus, and I'll leave you with some questions, so please answer them. I've been doing some deep thinking about this and need your input.

I sometimes feel that maybe I was meant to be this way. Maybe using my hyperfocus to do just one thing really well is my destiny. Does having a wife, job, and other obligations that set goals for me that are unattainable and debilitating to my true strength and passion mean that maybe I'm doing all the wrong things? Has anyone else maybe wondered that if you were to just say **** all this ****, **** anxiety, ADHD, and expectations that you can't meet anyway despite struggling your entire life, you'd be alot happier? I know I have, but there are just too many people that I would hurt, I love my family and would be lonely and depressed without them. My only choice is to try and be the best that I can be in the place I am now.
The notion of so-called "hyperfocus" in ADHD is an urban myth. There is no such thing as ADHD-driven hyperfocus.
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  #13  
Old 01-14-13, 11:04 AM
SudburyDude SudburyDude is offline
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

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Originally Posted by JOHNCG View Post
The notion of so-called "hyperfocus" in ADHD is an urban myth. There is no such thing as ADHD-driven hyperfocus.
Perhaps you are right. Maybe the hyperfocus that I experience is just my normal level of focus that I have when sufficiently motivated.

Just like normal people, people with ADHD will have varying levels of talent and intelligence. For some, they may appear to be hyperfocussing when in fact they are simply performing at their optimal levels.

But , I have to say it, even if you don't like the term 'hyperfocus' I feel that it's an appropriate label for what happens to me, and I'm sure others, when they are completely absorbed in a task.

I get 'in the zone', if you will, and can accomplish huge chunks of work in a short time, whereas normally I would be so lost in even deciding what task to do first, never mind actually finishing it.

Even though the term 'hyperfocus' as a state driven by ADHD is not supported by studies or literature, my own experience is proof enough that it is real. I will be happy to concede that my hyperfocus may not be caused by my ADHD, but is instead a level of focus that feels so intense because most of the time I am an ADHD mess.

So, despite others and yourself being so quick to dismiss the idea, those of us who do experience it will be happy to keep using the term, since it fits us so nicely.
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Old 01-14-13, 07:45 PM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

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Originally Posted by ladykrimson View Post
When you finish your task, does your brain feel exhausted?...or like it has been through a meat grinder?
I usually feel relief, initially, then sleep for a long time, and then am basically fine.
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Old 10-28-17, 02:01 AM
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Re: ADHD, Vyvanse, Hyperfocus and Hypnosis - Long Post

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Originally Posted by Phoenix Ash View Post
I look at the whole focus issue as being intimately related to the problem we have with our brains' reward pathways.

The difficulty we have with focusing on things that we aren't interested in must be related to the fact that our brains do not reward us for focusing on them.

So the ability to focus exclusively and for long periods of time on interesting things must be related to the fact that what's interesting is rewarding to the brain, and being continually rewarded therefore makes it difficult to pull ourselves away.

But sometimes we're able to focus on uninteresting things, because we're under a lot of pressure from a deadline or severe consequences of failure. I think what's happening when we kick into high gear as a deadline looms, is that panic sets in and the adrenaline rush acts as a temporary substitute for the usual focus neurotransmitters.

There's more I want to say but it's going to have to wait cos I'm getting pulled AFK for a bit...
Brilliant. This is so informative and really answers a lot of questions.
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