ADHD and Hyperfocus
I found this article last night and it really struck me. I was unaware of hyper-focus, but once I started reading, I soon knew exactly what they were talking about. You know that ADHD prevents me from fully being able to focus, yet at the same time, if there is something that stimulates my brain, I can almost super-focus on that thing, and still be out of focus all around me too. It’s a weird phenomenon.
“Hyperfocus is something in between a rumor and a symptom.”
“Part of the reason might be that the idea of having your attention glued to something with laser-like intensity doesn’t seem to line up with the idea of ADHD. People with ADHD, however, know that ADHD is more about not being able to regulate your attention than about never being able to pay attention to anything.”
“So when we find something engaging that gives our brain some kind of immediate reward, we sometimes just keep doing that thing, maybe long after other people would stop and go take care of other responsibilities. I’ve talked about ADHD as having magnetic attention, and the analogy here is that your attention gets stuck in a magnetic field so powerful you can’t pull away.”
“This can be good or bad. If the things that activate your hyperfocus are work projects, you’re probably not going to be complaining about that. If they’re things that are better done in moderation like playing video games, that might start to interfere with your life.”
“In a way, hyperfocus and inattention are two sides of the same symptom. Any time you’re not paying enough attention to one thing, there’s a good chance you’re paying too much attention to something else.”
“Some researchers are starting to take note that studying hyperfocus might provide some new insights into what ADHD is all about. For example, a group of researchers have just published a study showing that both medicated and unmedicated people with ADHD score higher on a questionnaire measuring hyperfocus than people without ADHD.”