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ADHD and Hyperfocus


Hyperfocus is something in between a rumor and a symptom. Among people with ADHD, it’s a commonly recognized phenomenon. Anecdotally, many people with ADHD can’t concentrate on some things but…

8 thoughts on “ADHD and Hyperfocus

  • October 2, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    When medicated with a stimulant,hyper focus is more inevitable with tasks that are detailed and creative in nature. Soon to come,after many years on a stimulant, Anxiety,OCD and then seclusion from the outside world of stimuli, almost symptomatic of Austism features.

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    • October 2, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      I haven’t known anyone who’s had those side effects from therapeutic doses of stimulants, but if you’re having that reaction to any medication, obviously you should consider stopping that medication. One interesting point from the study I linked to is that medicated and unmedicated people with ADHD reported equally high levels of hyperfocus.

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      • October 2, 2016 at 8:34 pm

        After being on the same stimulant for ADHD (primarily inattentive) for many years,slowly I have developed anxiety and OCD (routines and rituals)…I’m not sure if it is a the medication because I have been on it so long..6+ years.I am considering titrating down (I’m on the highest(mg)dosage. My doctor says…”oh I guess you need zoloft” **No**! Research hasn’t come to full completion about the development of other side effects(phycological) from extended usage of the same stimulant amongst the 40+ age group,has it?

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      • October 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm

        Well, if you’re at a point where you aren’t sure whether the things you describe are side effects from being on the wrong med or too high a dose vs. something unrelated to the meds, it does seem like a med break might help you sort that out. Good luck.

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  • October 2, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Spot on Neil!

    Hyperfocus can trick folks with ADHD to think they are being highly productive & then BAM!!! -> They forgot to pay bills for the past 6 weeks.

    I know research is slim, but I’ve noticed hyperfocus tends to coinside with sensory stimuli. Have you noticed this as well?

    Best wishes,
    Heather

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    • October 2, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks for commenting, Heather! That’s interesting. My experience is that anything providing some kind of immediate reward or stimulation can bring out hyperfocus. You might be right that sensory stimuli are more likely to fulfill this — for example, music is something that just grabs my brain.

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  • October 3, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Anyone who’s ‘lost’ half a day doing something understands this. I’ve found the task does not have to be productive – just interesting. The trick is to try to go about them in a way that makes your ‘productive’ tasks interesting. Not easy, but when it works, it really works. Being able to stay glued to a project for 6-7 hours is amazing. The flip side is NOTHING else gets attention during that time.

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    • October 3, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      Yeah, definitely more than half the things that grab my attention like that are unproductive. 😛 As you point out, there’s definitely a whole art to making uninteresting things interesting, and sometimes it’s more doable than others. I think that’s a big part of ADHD management. Thanks for commenting!

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