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The Ability To Hyperfocus With ADHD

the ability to hyperfocus with ADHDIntroduction

According to, “When you think of someone with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you likely think of someone who can’t focus on any subject for any period. You see someone constantly moving between topics, someone who can’t concentrate — a person unable to accomplish anything because of their poor attention.” Yes, a common symptom for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is difficulty concentrating and an inability to focus. However, individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may also hyperfocus. According to, “Hyperfocus is being able to focus on one task for an extended period. In some cases, this period can last for several hours of unbroken focus. During the hyperfocus, it will be challenging to engage with the person or distract them from their task.” This article will focus on some areas where the ability to hyperfocus is common.


The first general area where the ability to hyperfocus, particularly for children, is common is videogames. According to, “Video games, especially some of the more sophisticated ones, demand high levels of attention, but they are giving constant feedback to the player. This feedback engages the player into the world of the game with increased depth and interest.” If you think about it, it kind of makes sense. According to, “We all pay attention better to the things that we’re interested in, and it’s more of an effort to pay attention to things we’re less interested in,” Dr. Auciello says.


In addition to videogames, another area where the ability to hyperfocus is common is while watching television. According to, “TV is another prime example of an activity where hyperfocus is easy. Think about the shows your loved one with ADHD is likely to watch. Chances are great they are not watching a documentary on the Civil War blacksmithing; they are watching cartoons with bright colors, fast motion, bold storylines, and scenes that cut quickly. This style is highly desirable for someone with ADHD because it fits in well with the needs of their brain. Unfortunately, these types of shows have been linked to increased ADHD symptoms. It is challenging to tell if the show produces the symptoms or the symptoms make the shows more appealing. It is likely some combination of the two.” The question remains how do you tame the balance between hyperfocus and inattentiveness.


According to, “Though Dr. Rosenthal cautions that ADHD is still a disorder that can benefit tremendously from appropriate medication treatment, he also sees the self-esteem building value of hyperfocus for kids. “If you can hook his attention to something he’s interested in and channel it in a positive direction he can do outstanding things.” Therefore, to conclude this article, try to see the good in the situation and not focus too much on the negative side of the situation.


The Ability To Hyperfocus With ADHD

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). The Ability To Hyperfocus With ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Aug 2016
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