taking away the hyperfocus

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    • #103866

      I have a question. So I really enjoying something so much that I hyper focused on it. I’ll tell you what it is so you understand. I have a long time singer that I have loved since the 80s. I used to try to look like her and I loved it when people told me I did. Well time went by years and years and I wasn’t doing that anymore period then now I am in my 40s and and last year I started doing my hair like hers again in finding clothes that look like hers and then I would do side-by-side shots posted on Instagram and even the singer was liking my photos and she commented on it. It’s kind of what I was looking forward to every day when I woke up. It became like a hobby Obsession and that’s why I say hyper-focus. Well my husband after about a year this was sick of it he was troubled by it he thought there was something wrong with me. And I am not diagnosed with ADHD. But I realize now that it was. Since then he has pretty much banned me from this singer I can’t listen to her music I can’t have nothing to do with her anymore because he thinks it’s a problem. Now every since I have been quote unquote band it’s been about a year. I have been in a depression I ended up gaining all this weight sleeping on the couch having no desire to do anything anymore I’m diagnosed with fibromyalgia. What do you guys think about this? Do you think him taking away something that I hyper focused on was a good thing or a bad thing for me? He really believes it was an obsession and he was getting afraid for mee

    • #103891
      Penny Williams

      That does sound a little extreme for hyperfocus. It sounds like the compliments made you feel good, so you are super driven to keep them coming.

      Maybe it’s time to find another interest to focus on for a while.

      I think it would be wise to get some counseling and help for your depression and maybe even this extreme interest.

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

    • #103935

      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!

    • #103985

      thank you both.wow I really needed to hear this! I will ponder on it for some time!
      very very enlightening

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