Hyperfocus is a common symptom in ADHD women. It occurs when someone with ADHD becomes so focused on an activity that they cannot pay attention to anything else. It can also lead to problems, as hyperfocus can cause people with ADHD to miss an important deadline or neglect their relationships.
Hyperfocus is also a superpower for people who have ADHD. For example, my husband was able to rip up our whole front lawn and plant a vegetable garden in one day. It was amazing.
Rony Slar at the University of Johannesburg suggests that there is a spectrum we can channel our attention along. ADHD people DONT HAVE A deficiency of attention but struggle to filter and focus when needed. People don’t understand hyperfocus in people with ADHD because of the name Attention Deficit.
When I worked with children for years, hyperfocus was used to discredit the ADHD diagnosis in many of the kids I would work with, and it infuriated me! I would have to explain over and over again how the diagnosis is a misnomer.
Adhd and hyperfocus can help you be excellent at achieving projects that are interesting to you. It can help you in the initial stages of a relationship because the person you are interested in feels like you’re incredibly into them. It can help you when you’re under the gun because you’re going to finish that project the day before it’s due! It can help you when you have a business and are an entrepreneur. Guess what? 35% of people who have ADHD have their own business by the time they’re 30. Fabulous.
However, it’s not so good because you might forget to eat, forget to sleep, and forget to do essential things. There’s a story of a woman with ADHD doing a project, and her house was on fire, and she didn’t know it until the firefighters were in her home.
Tips about what to do to help yourself with hyperfocus
- Be honest about your tendency to do this. Once you’re honest with yourself, you can put systems in place to help you set a timer, use cues, use alarms, use your phone, anything that will help you know to stop.
- Having a support system in place is essential, as friends and family can help provide distraction or assistance when needed. Once you’re honest with other people that you love in your life, like your partner or your roommate, you can use other people to tap or alert you to shut you down when you know you’re going to be too immersed in a task and forget about everything else.
- Hyperfocus is a common symptom of ADHD, but it does not have to be negative. People with ADHD can use it to their advantage by managing it healthily.
4, Use hyperfocus to your advantage and plan blocks of time where you allow yourself to enjoy this trait.
Hyperfocus can become addicting and it’s understandable.
Many of my clients love to the feeling of hyperfocus because they accomplish things, almost like mania. They use hyperfocus to regulate their nervous system. It’s what makes them feel good about themselves. They may create beautiful things when in this state. Hyperfocus can even reinforce procrastination habits because it can help you focus at the last minute.
The Adhd and Hyperfocus Crash
One thing that can happen if you love to hyperfocus and get in this pattern is you can have what’s called the hyperfocus crash. You can feel dysregulated and down when you finish a hyperfocus project. It’s essential to guard against this and learn to harness and manage your hyperfocus powers for good and not evil.
Armor yourself up against the hyperfocus crash by doing these things.
- Have something planned to wait in the wings, ready for you to start so you can get excited again and feel good about yourself
- Reward yourself when you have hyperfocused and finished a big project
- Have a small trip or vacation planned when you are done with a project ( if you can prepare for this)
( I got these 3 ideas from a hyperfocus article and can’t find the source. I apologize. Please email me if you are the source!)