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  1. #1
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    ADHD and hyperfocus

    ADHD and hyperfocus: What is it, and how can I manage it?
    By Amanda Barrell, Medical News Today
    July 8, 2019

    People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may experience hyperactivity, impulsivity, or inattentiveness. However, a less common symptom is hyperfocus. This is a state of fixation on something that interests a person.Medical professionals describe hyperfocus as unable to shift the attention from events or activities that truly interest a person.

    ADHD is the most common neurodevelopmental condition in children. However, the symptoms are often difficult to discern until the child reaches school age.

    Hyperfocus in ADHD
    ADHD most often manifests as hyperactivity, impulsivity, or inattentiveness. However, some people with the condition may experience hyperfocus.

    Characterized by very long periods of highly focused attention on something that meets a person's interests, hyperfocus is a symptom of ADHD that many people view as opposite in nature to the main ones.

    In states of hyperfocus, a person may find themselves fully engrossed in work, hobbies, or other activities.

    Somebody going through an episode of hyperfocus can sometimes lose interest without any explanation.

    It is important to point out that the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) does not list hyperfocus among its diagnostic criteria for ADHD.

    Tips to manage hyperfocus
    The following tips may help make hyperfocus more manageable for children:

    • Introduce a schedule for activities that tend to result in hyperfocus. This may involve limiting the time they spend watching television or playing video games.
    • Try to make the child aware that hyperfocus is a symptom of their condition. This can help them understand that they need to address it.
    • Try using definitive time points, such as the end of a movie, as a signal that the child needs to refocus their attention. This can prevent them becoming engrossed for too long.
    • Promote activities that remove them from isolation and that promote being social.

    The following tips may help in adults:

    • Set timers and reminders to help complete all essential tasks, activities, or chores.
    • Set priorities and achieve them step by step. This prevents focusing on one activity for too long.
    • Don't be afraid to ask people in the vicinity to turn off televisions or other distractions if it becomes apparent that hyperfocus is starting to set in.
    • Also, try asking people to call or email at specific times. This can help break up intense periods of focus.

    Taking medications to treat the overall condition may also help relieve hyperfocus, as well as other symptoms.

    Other ADHD symptoms
    The symptoms of ADHD tend to start in childhood and can continue through a person's teenage and adult years. Common symptoms include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

    They typically manifest as:

    • feeling restless or fidgety
    • talking a lot and interrupting people
    • being easily distracted
    • finding it hard to concentrate
    • saying or doing things without thinking

    According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a person may have ADHD if they:

    • overlook or miss details and make careless mistakes
    • have problems paying attention while listening, having conversations, or reading
    • find it hard to listen when spoken to
    • are unable to follow instructions
    • lose focus or get sidetracked easily
    • have problems organizing tasks and activities

    Some children may have reduced hyperactivity as they become teenagers. However, symptoms such as inattention, disorganization, and poor impulse control may continue into adulthood.

  2. #2
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    Re: ADHD and hyperfocus

    My symptoms and the lack of a regular life schedule have made my hyper focus, really bad and in exteme on and off cycles. getting worse (or more observable probably) these last couple years the less active and more isolated I become. Scheduling and focusing on even basic daily tasks seems almost impossible then something (like my obsession with counting my pennies coming in and going out and creating more spreadsheet options and formulas to track even more stats) yet I can't focus enought to read more than a couple posts at a time without my brain feeling overloaded rapidly.

    Worse is I have the knowledge and experience to create my own personalized program that would make adding features so much easier but I'm unable to focus like if I'm slowly losing my cognitive skills day by day.
    ​"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." ~ Walter Winchell

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