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General Medication Discussion This section is to be used for general medication discussion and other medications not broken out in their own respective forums.

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Old 05-14-08, 03:23 PM
mr.sandman mr.sandman is offline
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New...with questions about hyperfocus and meds

Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum and I've just recently been diagnosed with having ADD.
Reading through a lot of the threads, I realized my symptoms are most like what many here call "hyperfocus" -I get incredibly stuck on one thing and can't switch out of it. Sometimes it's valuable for hw and such, but a lot of the time I just can't control it and it causes me to procrastinate so much!

I just went on Adderall XR to try to combat this, but while I am more awake, I can concentrate better, and my mind seems much clearer, I still lapse into bouts of hyperfocusing that I still have no control over.
[For example, I would randomly start playing a video game and finally stop 12 hours later!]

I was wondering - does anyone else have experience with the effects of adderall on hyperfocusing, and are there other medications or means that might be more effective than adderall?
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
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Old 05-14-08, 04:08 PM
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DeloresMelon DeloresMelon is offline
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Re: New...with questions about hyperfocus and meds

I think in instances of hyperfocusing on a video game, that's a whole different can of worms. With or without ADD meds, video games affect a part of your brain that is hard to turn off.

For me personally, while I still find there are times when I'm hyperfocusing, should something pressing require my attention I'm now able to redirect and then come back to my original task and pick back up.

The appeal with meds for me was that ability to stop task A, attend to task B. and then resume task A.

Pre meds, I was all the way to F before I remembered A.

Theres a fine line between "I just cannot stop and redirect my attention" and "I just don't want to". ADD meds can do beautiful things, but they cannot physically remove you from a task nor can they physically make you do something.

Focus and attention, yes. At some point you have to become accountable for your actions and simply say "I have to do something productive, and this video game isn't it".

That's just my 3 cents.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:59 PM
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Re: New...with questions about hyperfocus and meds

You're right Delores. I really just have to make that decision for myself.
The thing is, I brought up the topic of video games, but I actually forced myself [largely] to stop playing them and will only go on maybe once or twice a month [but for a long time].
My biggest problem is actually just the temptations of the computer in general. I'll need to write a paper and I might even decide to completely turn off my internet. But I might start tinkering with Microsoft Word or randomly get the idea i need to get the ability to highlight in pdfs, and then I can't think of anything else until I get it done. Once I start, I can't switch out - almost ever.

I don't believe meds are any kind of cure-all. I just was hoping that there might be something that could start me in the right direction. You seem to know this yourself - living with hyperfocus can be at times very useful, but also really debilitating and confidence draining.
I just can't seem to do what I want to do.
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Old 05-15-08, 09:49 PM
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Re: New...with questions about hyperfocus and meds

You know what? I think a lot of people are struggling to not spend so much time on the internet or playing video games.

I was such an internet junkie at one point that I declined internet service at my apartment, leaving it for work only. I just felt I was spending so much time and my ability to regulate internet time was so poor, I just stayed away from it at home ....

I currently do not own a television for the same reason--I just couldn't turn that sucker off. Now, I rent a dvd if I want to watch a show. And having to take that extra step sets a limit.

You may need to get a timer, a kitchen timer or something with an alarm and set yourself a time limit ... and practice getting off the game or off line when the alarm goes off.

This won't happen overnight. But good luck. There are strategies for this .... I don't think you can expect the drug to keep you away from video games .... But the medicine can help you strategize better for limiting your time on games.
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