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This Hyperfocus

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This Hyperfocus

Postby Mike-o » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:11 am

Hello, I've been diagnosed with Aspergers and ADD. I've been scrolling online reading about Aspergers to better understand it, so I could learn to cope with it. I noticed in one article how many people with Aspergers have this condition known as "Hyperfocus."

I've been trying to find a clear definition about this hyperfocus, but they're mostly vague. I know I have Aspergers, but I've been wondering if having ADD over-rides my ability to have Hyperfocus because of my short attention span. But I'm not 100% sure. How can I tell if I possess this Hyperfocus that many people with Asperger claims they have? What examples are there? Is it possible for a person to lose interest in one thing they were hyperfocused with and look to a different interest?

I'm a little new here, if I did anything wrong, sorry :oops:
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Re: This Hyperfocus

Postby PonderThis » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:36 am

When I learned how to touch type (yes, I know I'm old) I was so excited I even dreamed about typing, and could mentally see each finger hitting the different keys. When I learned how to play chess I obsessed over the game, dreamed over chess moves, when I discovered computer chess I played the game for months on end and little else. When I got interested in raising aquarium fish, I didn't have just one tank, but rather soon enough I had 100, and I was buying and selling them too. If I research something of interest to me, I bookmark pages and pages of websites, and then keep going back through them, and spend weeks, months, or years obsessing over the details and trying to learn every part of it. Often I've then tried to turn them into some kind of profit ventures, too (with, varying results). I've sometimes had information spread all over the floor to the point the whole room was covered, and categorized. People that know me have told me if most people study something they go into it a little bit, but if I study something, I go into the ramnifications of it like 10 times deeper. Those are some examples of focus from my own life.
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Re: This Hyperfocus

Postby Twist » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:49 am

if you're on the computer and someone walks in and you do not notice.

if you're playing a game on a console or whatever and realise that instead of an hr passing, it's now tuesday of the following week.

if you could argue the semantics of the legal system with a law graduate because you have an interest in law, even though you majored in engineering.

for me it's a serene calm when i'm learning/focusing on something that might be completely obtuse to other people, but awesomesauce to me.
"Hatred will not cease by hatred, but by love alone.
This is the ancient law."
- The Buddha
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Re: This Hyperfocus

Postby Rascal77s » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:19 pm

These guys have given really good examples.

When I was 7 I started collecting baseball and football cards. By the time I turned 8 I had more than 3000 cards and most of them were from the 40's to 70s, I particularly liked the old cards. I was raking and moving lawns to make money so I could ride my bike to garage sales every weekend to look for cards. Back then I could buy them cheap, it's not like today. I even went so far as making three rounds of my neighborhood on Halloween to fill a pillow case full of candy. I wouldn't eat the candy, I would wait a week until all of the other kids ate their candy then I would sell mine at school. I guess I was the elementary school version of a crack dealer lol. Of course I would use the money to buy more cards. I constantly looked through my cards taking great pleasure from reading the statistics of each player on the back. Then I would compare the statistics to other players. I also made a list with every card I had including it's condition and value. I don't know how many hours I spent with my cards it was like a full time job.

But hyper-focus isn't just about the interest itself. People have asked me about hyper-focus and the best way I can explain it is that it's an altered reality where outside stimuli are completely shut out so your brain can use those resources to focus on the task you are engaged in. Time stands still. You may spend what you think is 30 minutes on the activity but when you snap out of it 12 hours have passed. Olympic athletes train for years to be able to get in "the zone" yet it comes natural to many people with ASD while engaged in their interests.

Right now for me it's learning about ASD and brain function. I have 42 tabs open all related to ASD or research studies on perception.
Alcoholic Anonymous wrote: i don't advice anyone to drink it got me killed 2.5 times.
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Re: This Hyperfocus

Postby Robot575 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:37 pm

Twist wrote:if you're on the computer and someone walks in and you do not notice.

This was me a long time ago. I used to be so focused on my stuff on the computer that I wouldn't know my sisters were sneaking up behind me to poke my ribs or shout.
Now I check every now and then to see if they are lurking behind me. If they are though for some reason I'll jump a bit. I get spooked :?
"BUT I NEED TO PROTECT THE HUMANS!!!"
-Aperture Science Sentry Turret.

Aspergers Plausibility Factor: Likely.
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Re: This Hyperfocus

Postby Mike-o » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:57 pm

Thank you everyone for your comments. The way you explain it, Hyper-focus sounds like a very interesting trait to posses ^^"

I can't remember off the top of my head if I have any examples to share about my experience with hyper-focus. I never partially stuck to one similar thing and lost myself in it for hours I think. Unless I did and forgot about it. I am a 22 male at this point.

Is this bad, if I'm an Aspie that possibly lacks Hyper-focus?
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Re: This Hyperfocus

Postby Twist » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:06 pm

i don't think it's a prerequisite to autism, though i'd expect you do possess it to some degree, you just don't realise you're employing it.

my mum always told me i had "a very addictive personality" to explain how i could engulf myself in something at a whim. though it was never at a whim, it was just something i got obsessed with.

my friend is currently obsessed with graphic design - for the last month or so he goes to work, comes home and spends the entire day redoing the EXACT same thing he's done every other day for the passed month, explaining that "he wants to get good at it, so it's second nature" and i completely understand that (and he's getting freaking fantastic at it).

i did the same thing with dance, pokemon and people skills.
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This is the ancient law."
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Re: This Hyperfocus

Postby Mike-o » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:23 pm

I see...

So I may have been engaged in something at some point in my life, then moved on and forgotten about it? Is that how it is?
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Re: This Hyperfocus

Postby TNSe » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:24 pm

For me, hyperfocus means I never unlearn.
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Re: This Hyperfocus

Postby Mike-o » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:41 pm

I'm usually a very forgetful person, even with topics I enjoy. Unless I drill into them over and over and over again for a long time that I can't forget about them, as long as I remind myself of it every now and then.
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