Reply To: taking away the hyperfocus

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Spaceboy 99

Hey there!

I hope this doesn’t violate community guidelines or anything, but based on what you’re saying, and my own understanding of the topic, what you’re talking about doesn’t sound, to me, anyway, like ADHD hyperfocus. Don’t get me wrong- I’m not saying that you do or don’t have ADHD, nor that you do or do not hyperfocus generally, but this specific example doesn’t quite seem to match up.

Typically, ADHD hyperfocus tends to refer to being so focused on one particular activity that you forget things, you struggle to switch to other tasks, and you struggle to disengage from what you’re doing. It tends to occur in EPISODES lasting some hours, rather than as a persistent, pervasive focus on a thing over several weeks.

I’d describe your relationship with this singer as a fixation, rather than hyperfocus. I know that I, personally, get fixated on things like all living hell. I started up axe-throwing recently (we’ll see how long that lasts), and for about a month the only thing I would talk about was that. Now my obsession has switched to whichever video game I played last (the autumn season this year has been particularly good for video games), but these are not instances of hyperfocus. Hyperfocus is where I get so into reading my new book that I forget to eat, forget to drink, forget to use the bathroom, don’t see when people leave the house, don’t hear my phone go off, or hear people speaking to me, and don’t want to go to sleep because my book is so interesting. The hyperfocus ‘breaks’ when someone or something intervenes to the extent that I can’t ignore.

As for my thoughts on your fixation, there’s nothing wrong with having a hobby, nor with emulating people you admire, so long as it doesn’t start to become a PROBLEM. Things become a problem when you start to neglect other areas of your life in favour of the problem. Problem gamblers are the ones who gamble away their rent money, problem drinkers are the ones who drink when they should be working, or drink instead of confronting emotional or other issues. ADHD hyperfocus is a problem, because it stops you engaging with life when you need to. Your fixation is only an issue if it causes you problems in other areas of your life, at least as a very, VERY broad approach to problem/not a problem. If your husband was getting worried, it may be worth trying to understand precisely WHY he was so worried, or if he just got particularly annoyed with your fixation. If you do think it was a problem, as ADHDMomma said, it may be worth talking to someone about it- about why you became SO fixated. For depression, having come very close to depression myself, and having friends and family members who have suffered with depression, counselling can be a godsend.

Anyway, I hope that this helps. I know I may have seemed a little nitpicky over the difference between hyperfocus and fixation- this isn’t because I in any way doubt or want to devalue your experience, I just know from my own experience that having the best possible description of your issue or situation is vital when trying to deal with medical professionals, or even just when trying to understand yourself and what you’re going through. Hell, since I started looking into ADHD, I have words for concepts I never even knew existed that describe my situation so much better than “I concentrate too hard sometimes and I forget stuff”.

Best of luck!