ADHD or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental mental health condition. This particular disorder incaptivates the person’s capacity for concentration, control on impulsivity and how they manage their energy.
On the contrary, a layman might confuse hyperfixation with ADHD because the symptoms of both the conditions are almost the same. Hyperfixation is a loose term used to describe ADHD sometimes. An individual going through this condition generally experiences extreme concentration, obsession with a particular hobby, activity or interest. In actuality, hyperfixation does not have a formal legitimate term medically or psychiatrically.
What is ADHD hyperfixation?
A person with ADHD shows signs of being excessively interested in a particular hobby, subject, or endeavor. This is generally referred to as hyperfixation.
It can be difficult neurologically speaking, because it enables forgetting important tasks, activities and obligations. It also enables forgetfulness or overlooking an important situation. But the disorder also helps the person perform in certain areas like being more creative or productive when they want to!
People affected with ADHD have trouble paying attention sometimes to their surroundings and conversations several times a day. Sometimes they exhibit signs where they are focusing on a particular project way too highly, even if it is not that important.
It is important to understand a simple differentiation between ADHD being a disorder on its own and hyperfixation being just a part of someone’s ADHD. not every person who has ADHD has to have hyperfixation.
There is a general misconception between hyperfixation and hyperactivity. The basic difference is simple in nature, as the name suggests, hyperactivity is the extreme restlessness and impulsivity. On the other hand the latter means an extreme avid interest on a particular topic.
What are ADHD hyperfixation symptoms?
As it is apparent that ADHD hyperfixation is completely not a recognized illness by medical professionals because it does not have an exact set of symptoms. But controversially, below you would find a popular set of symptoms that people with hyperfixation have experienced.
There is a laser focus on very precisely certain topics and subjects that people with ADHD hyperfixation are interested to pursue and give their time to. The basic repercussion to this is that individuals sometimes forget to attend to their own needs and sometimes themselves as well for hours or days. Often this is at the expense of their other daily commitments or chores.
Sometimes there are certain thoughts or concepts that fixate people with this disorder so much so that they are sometimes not able to escape their own thoughts even when they want to. This turns into the excessive hyperfixation attached with ADHD.
Disorientation is common for people with ADHD and hyperfixation as well. This makes them often forget about how much time has passed them.
An issue that is very frequent in nature to people with ADHD hyperfixation is forgetting their obligations in the process of their fixation. These basic necessities such as eating, sleeping, household work, academics and as well as other people and their commitments with them.
In the life of a person who has a partner with ADHD hyperfixation, generally have issues with the attention span and fluctuating behavior is seen while they are in a romantic relationship or a friendship.
Examples of ADHD hyperfixation
There are certain examples that explain ADHD hyperfixation in detail and with some more nuances so that a layman can at least understand their interests and how they function in society on a daily basis. Below you would find their interests and why these interests in particular are a fixation for the hyperfixated.
Collecting merchandise such as stamps, action figures, vintage records, video games and comics. The hyperfixation in this interest is, that they would spend hours and maybe days researching, buying, trading, and organizing their collection excessively.
Individuals with ADHD hyperfixation might be gravely interested in a multitude of hobbies which could be suited to a person according to their interests. They generally spend very long periods on their hobby. These hobbies could be anything such as, painting, singing, woodworking and also any sport. The surprise here is that most of the time they produce outstanding results, even due to their condition.
Video games, be it of any type, attract and trigger an intense focus for the people who have ADHD hyperfixation. Gamers specially with hyperfixation spend hours and some days playing, building their empire, leveling up and building their basic characters in their games.
Another very useful trait that hyperfixation enables is the ability to do research work with a paramount state of focus and captivation. This generally lasts for a long time, depending on their severity to the subject and their condor.
DIY projects are something that people with hyperfixation tend to do with ease. These projects evidently include, crafting, building complex models or home improvement projects.
ADHD hyperfixation can create a sense for exploration and new learnings. Because of their symptoms, they are more open mentally to explore things like coding, languages, traveling to offbeat places, educating themselves excessively on a subject, etc. these fixations totally depend on the person’s main interest in the particular field.
ADHD Hyperfixation makes up fixations over TV shows and movies as well. This creates the urge to have a collection of fan fiction and active participation in fan communities.
How to stop ADHD hyperfixation
Stopping any disorder or condition completely is difficult and sometimes next to impossible. But in some cases it helps the individual and sometimes it does not. Such understanding creates the safe space to understand and keep an open mind to educating yourself about a particular set of symptoms or maintenance tips to see if it resonates later.
Below you would find the tips to stop or maybe maintain the progression of your well being during the condition of ADHD hyperfixation.
People who address their hyperfixation could start off by creating healthy boundaries for themselves. During their episodes where they are stuck on a particular fixation, they could set alarms prior or during these episodes in order to avoid the loss of time and priorities. Set timers for being the fixation streak, so that you can spend time more on things that do not fixate a person into oblivion.
Setting your priorities is difficult while having ADHD hyperfixation. To help with managing in between the fixations, individuals can make a set priority list giving each priority a time and date to do and finish. This makes the person a bit more calmer when it comes to daily chores or other un-fixated interests.
Any or all tasks that seem like big steps in life or in general. These steps should be broken down to baby steps and prioritized one by one slowly. Overwhelming is a normal symptom for a person with ADHD hyperfixation. This may facilitate the shift from hyperfixation to finishing necessary tasks.
People with this condition should assign a member in their family or a close friend with their priority list and instructions for them to hold them accountable in case they do not follow through on their commitments during that particular time period they had assigned their task.
Awareness is important in the journey of a life of a ADHD hyperfixated person. Because once a person knows their symptoms and description of their condition. They can either treat it better or get professional help for it before the symptoms get out of hand.
Strategies such as pomodoro technique, helps in evolving and preserving productivity for other aspects of life. This technique could help people having symptoms of ADHD hyperfixation. This technique basically works for a predetermined amount of time, with a break in between which helps control the very root aspect of obsession.
Hyperfixation associated with ADHD is an intriguing subject of a complex illness and its symptoms. This condition highlights the best and worst parts of ADHD and the aspects of hyperfixation attached along with it. It exhibits the laser focus and persistence and strong interest in a particular interest. This quality helps lead to amazing achievements be it in any aspect of life. It has its own set of challenges, the intense passion which cannot coordinate with daily household and domestic priorities. The people affected with ADHD who adopt strategies to encourage their hyperfixation to understand their own way of working, go on to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives mentally.
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