How focused is your hyperfocus?

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    • #102345

      Does anyone else get so wrapped up that you don’t eat or drink anything ALL day?
      I was working on a project yesterday and around five thirty I was wondering why I was feeling dizzy and I was starting to shake, then I realized I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink all day except for a glass of orange juice (nothing else) for breakfast.
      This happens more often than I’d like to admit.

    • #102365
      Penny Williams

      I do this and I don’t have ADHD. I work from home online. I have so many things going on and so many tasks I want to accomplish that I’ll tell myself to eat after I’m done with x, y and z. Then my alarm goes off mid-afternoon to pick up my son from school, and I realize I never moved — never ate or drank or anything. Not good.

      If you can, make sure you eat lots of protein and a good meal before you allow yourself to start on the project/work (I don’t do this but know I need to 😉 ). Then the impact of not eating in the middle of the day won’t be as bad.

      When I think to do it, I put a few protein-rich snacks on my desk before I get started. Then I can get a little something to eat, but not stop what I’m in the middle of.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #103585

      I definitely do this – to the point that I get UTI’s because I don’t get up to pee! My body doesn’t even tell me when I have to pee anymore. I’ve gotten some relief by setting alarms on my phone that remind me to pee every few hours so I make sure to drink lots of water then too. Big tip though – never ignore this alarm (or even say “just 1 more minute” to yourself) or you’ll get in the habit of ignoring the alarm which defeats the whole purpose! I also always keep fully prepared food next to me at work, otherwise I will forget to eat.

    • #103624

      Every single day, I don’t get hungry usually but even if I do…I won’t stop until I feel that I have completed my task, which usually leads right into the next one. More often than not, I only eat when I feel like I am going to be sick or feel faint.

    • #103630

      Like others have said, I become so hyperfocused that I don’t eat or drink. I don’t work outside the home. If I start a project that I really enjoy after I get the grandkids off to school, I won’t move until my alarm goes off to pick them up. That’s when I realize how much time has passed, and that I haven’t managed to get anything else done. Sometimes even then, after the kids come home I am right back to what I was doing. I have sometime beco.e depressed due to the guilt I feel when other things are neglected.

    • #103632

      This happens to me too. Eventually, hunger does win and I’m forced to drop what I’m doing and get a bite to eat. And wouldn’t you know it, I feel better after eating.

      One suggestion I could offer that I do all the time is to pack snacks (i.e. apple, banana, protein bar, yogurt, nuts) and water. Eating something every couple of hours – or so – helps me keep going without depleting my body of energy.

      Recently, I experimented with leaving my bag of snacks somewhere else other than my desk. For example, the break room. The purpose was to push me to stand up, stretch my legs, circulate the blood, take a short break, disrupt my hyperfocus and get something to eat.

      I found this exercise to be helpful in resetting priorities.

    • #103635

      I do it on an almost a daily basis. This is partially because my job (as a school counselor) requires a heavy load of clerical work and data entry – which of course, I am really, seriously bad at. However, I cannot afford to miss a deadline (I have lots of those), or turn in incorrect or shoddy work. Thus, I spend a tremendous about of time, just keeping up with the clerical and data portion of my job. During school hours, my data work is frequently interrupted by the need to work with students, parents, or teachers – it is a little sad to me that the activities that made me want to be a counselor are considered interruptions. The result is that I frequently stay at work until at least 7:30 p.m. (not unusual at all) or even later. I am a little bit better at leaving my desk (to at least visit the restroom) after the students have gone home for the day. But eating is just a luxury I rarely afford myself. I do try to keep beef jerky or almonds on hand, so at least some of the time, I do get a little nourishment.

      But, this is just the norm for me. The thing that bothers me most though is that at times, my husband calls and asked me to meet him somewhere for supper or just to tell me he is home. I usually say that I have just one more thing to finish then I will be on my way. But more than once, I have totally lost track of time. I think that 10 minutes have passed – only to be faced with the reality that is was actually an hour or more.

      I find the most baffling. When I am in a relaxed state – not hyper-focused – I am pretty good at estimating the amount of time that may have passed between events. But when I am focused on clerical-type work, that for me, requires massive amounts of concentration, my time meter is nothing short of useless and possibly damaging.

      Fortunately, my husband is the most gentle, patient, and understanding man I have ever known. And yet, when this occurs I feel so embarrassed and ashamed. I would love to get a hold of some cure or even one more intervention to try for this. If you have something that has worked for you – I’d love to hear it.

    • #103682

      Wow, I thought it was just me and that maybe I had some kind of eating disorder or something. I don’t know if this happens to anyone else but part of the problem for me is that when I get up in the morning I can’t eat anything for about an hour. My stomach is too anxious. Then it’s stays anxious throughout the day which makes it hard for me to want to eat. So I focus in on something else and then just forget to eat. I drink a lot of water though.

    • #103694

      Yes, this happens to me all the time. And I don’t remember to get up and go to the bathroom. I don’t even move enough muscles to keep my joints movable. I get up after 3-4 hours in the same position and I can’t even stand up straight. It takes some walking to get everything moving again. I have absolutely no sense of time even when I’m not hyper-focused. The hyper-focus just makes everything else go away. It’s a good thing I work from home.

    • #103750

      Thankfully, the things I get hyperfocused on are somewhat physical, so I’m moving around, but it’s funny I’m like beverly.burke, in that, when I’m not completely absorbed in something my timekeeping is scary accurate, the oven timer or microwave as I walk through the door they go off.
      I don’t wear a watch, someone with ask me what time it is and I’ll say its about xxxx o’clock, before I’ve looked at my phone and I’m usually less than five minutes off.
      Now ask me what day and date it is and I usually have no clue, even if I’ve looked at a calendar a few minutes ago.

    • #103907

      Oh I know it to well too!: but I eat something called “Skyr” an islandic form of youghurt, that is packed with protein, and therefore takes care of the need for nourishment for a long time :-). I remember my ADHD medication, it’s besidde the refrigerator (skyr) and cofee = nuding! Yeah! And also the ADHD medication I take, supresses the hunger feeling. So not all is hyperfocus for me. I think it’s the intense concentration + the interest in what I’m doing, because if I’m not that interested, I feel my need for food a lot.
      NB I’m sorry for spelling errors ao, beare with me, I’m from Denmark ☺

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by sysmey.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by sysmey.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #103940

      I lucked out on what I can use my hyperfocus on. I’m an Autocad Detailer/3D modeler and its been a great use for it. While I can sit for hours on projects, I started to set alarms and playlists. Just have to figure out how to stick to them sometimes haha. But with the playlists I make them 1-2ish hours long, so when its done i gotta get up and just move a bit. Plus I had some major injuries that kind of make me have to get up and move a bit.

      I dont know for anyone else, but I feel so much better and relax after a good hyperfocus session. My brain feels like a Jack Terrier that is stuck in a cage all day. When i get to focus Im out running around in an open field, without a care in the world.

    • #104133

      I was thinking about this and I came to the conclusion I hyperfocus on Military History and Firearms.

      The whole reason I am studying accounting is to be able to do my Masters Degree in Military History.

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