I take my husbands head off when he calls me just to tell me he is on the way home. He always does it when I am trying to concentrate on something. Sometimes I am hyperfocusing and sometimes it's because I've been trying to get started on cleaning the house or something else for hours but haven't quite gotten to it yet. I would like to take the phone out of the house and I refuse to carry a cell phone. The only concession I've made to that is I have Onstar in my car and that has a phone line so if I have car problems I can call someone.
I also have to say that when I finally get going on something my kids drive me crazy when they want to help. Once I hyperfocusing on cleaning or paperwork and they interrupt me by wanting to mop or clean the toilet or whatever I have a really hard time not screaming at them. I have gotten better at it but I get all jangled up inside and I loose my momentum and usually end up getting distracted and never getting back to what I was working on.
My husband just this weekend told me I was wierd and anti-social on 2 different occasions. I was watching something on TV when people stopped by unexpectedly and I didn't want stop just to chit chat. He made me feel bad though so I did. That's when I was anti-social. We were in the car having a conversation about something when we drove through this town that made me think of a legislator in the state government that I can't stand. I began talking about him and stating my opinion. That was when I was wierd. If my spouse thinks this about me how can I make it in the "REAL WORLD"?gettingagrip38139.5952777778I think another symptom of hyperfocus is that sometimes I get so obsessed with a thought; (usually the thought of whats wrong with me) ; that I for some reason forget that everyone else isn't tuned in to my "topic"; and i'll just come out of left field with a conversation that has nothing to do with what they might be discussing. People tell me all the time.........."Wow! That was random!" gr8art38139.7830787037Does anyone else HATE it when they are in the kitchen trying to cook and someone else comes into the kitchen, say to get a glass of water or something like that? I have gotten to the point where I just walk out until they leave.
I frequently carry on mental only conversations with other people. (They are so much more witty in my mind ;-) Then, when I meet that person, I sometimes try to continue that conversation as if I had actually spoken with them already. This, of course, confuses the heck out of them.
I also will bring up a topic out of left field, particularly when something has grabbed my attention during a conversation. For example, my wife and I were talking about a political figure while on a trip. I saw a nice house and noticed that it had no basement. I next commented to my wife: "Why don't builders put a basement in every house they build? It's so much cheaper." My wife looked at me quite wierdly. You would think that after 16 years of marriage and 4 of dating that she would be used to me by now ;)
So, when in conversation with an ADD sufferer, please be aware of all potential distractions, all thoughts in their head, and for goodness sake, please try to keep up!
im so glad that people responded to my post, thank you so much!!! i am very impulsive, and it takes a lot to organize more than one thing to do..two hours can pass and im like huh?? what have i been doing...and when i am cleaning house i can pick something up in the living room, walk into the bedroom put it down and start doing cleaning that room then pick something up in the bedroom and bring it to the bathroom and start cleaning that room. well, if anyone can relate,,,then i end up not getting one room throughly finished.
it is true i am able to accomplish my work at work and i dont have any socializing..infact i probably "small talk" too long to people, sometimes i cant help myself even if i tell myself,,,ok im just going to pay for my stuff and say thank you, well there i am talking to the cashier on and on. and no, im not lonely either, i have a full life and im happy most of the time..
feel free to respond again
thank you so much Julie
i am a recovering drug addict and alchoholic (8yrs)so i may just still be trying to discover myself and what makes me tick..
You mentioned something that I have always experienced but have nevr heard it mentioned. You said that it is PHYSICALLY hard to switch hyperfocus. It really is. When I am locked onto something there is a very strong physical aspect to it. If my wife comes in to ask a question, I feel almost like my neck and eyes are locked on my computer screen and it is extremely difficlut to break away in order to look at her when she speaks. It is like somewhere in my sobconcious this hyperfocus strategy developed. And my mind tells my neck to point my head a certain way because this job MUST be done. When I try to shift, the neck muscles simply do not get a strong enough command to move. I have to go through a major mental shift and give new set of "high priority commands" to refocus elsewhere. This results in an "order" for my body to break away from what is going on.
Man! Just doing normal stuff with ADD is so damned exhausting!
Wow! You brought out yet ANOTHER symptom that I forgot about. I absolutely HATE "small talk". I always have. It makes no sense to me. I go to church on Sunday; and although I am obsessive about being early anywhere else; I purpously wait to walk in because i can't stand the meaningless "chit chat" while people are standing around. As soon as the service is over; I make a beeline for the car almost knocking people out of the way to get away from the crowd. I thought for years maybe I had something like "agoraphobia" . But it wasn't so much that I was afraid of people (because I long for "meaningful" human contact) It was because the "small talk" could not keep my attention. How much can a person talk about the weather and what they had for dinner last night? I'm sure people thought I was the most unfriendly person they have ever met; but if somebody would bring up a meaningful topic that I had at least a little knowledge of; I'd talk their ear off while following them to THEIR car! I guess thats why I love coming to this forum; IT'S MEANINGFUL AND IMPORTANT!
Is there any study that groups ADDers into democrate or republican catagories?
I'm new to this board. Hyperfocus is one of my biggest problems. I started hyperfocusing when I was very young. If I am reading a book, I am in a world removed. My children learned that they could only get my attention when I'm reading if they call me by a "funny" name. If they just say "Mom, Mom" , I stay "spaced out' but if they call me "Mrs. Pumpernickel" or something similar then I will look up. It's weird how the ADD brain works. I'm calling hyperfocus a problem because frequently I'll find myself in that state while driving and suddenly not know where I am.
Focus in general is a problem for me because I can only maintain high interest in a couple things at a time. One month I will be totally immersed in perennial gardening, for instance, and I will plan and plant an elaborate bed. The next month I will only be interested in reading 19th century novels and my perennial bed will be full of weeds. The next month I will realize I better pay some attention to my business and there will be a stack of unread novels by my chair. I have a very limited ability to balance my priorities/interests.fasttalker,
Thank you for your post gr8art,
I continue to be amazed by all of the similarites in each of our personalities. As a study group, we must be a psychologist's dream . I mentioned to my therapist, my disappointment at not being able to enjoy small talk. She said that I should not be ashamed that I seek more interesting conversations. She is right, of course. But that information won't help me be more sociable and that is what I want.
I hate small talk too! Nothing is more uncomfortable for me than to try to talk about mundane things to anyone. I just want to scream "who cares?!!!" I even get upset when my husband or other family member wants to talk and really has nothing to say. It really kills me to have to sit and listen to someone ramble on about nothing for ten minutes before they get to the point, but I tend to do it also.
Hyperfocus! I do it all the time. When I was a kid, they used to say I was in a trance. I still feel that way sometimes. There are other times when I can't focus on anything, its like I am walking with my head in a fog. I can't even think straight. I wonder if thats the direct opposite of hyperfocus, if it has something to do with the way the neurons are firing at that time.
I never realized hyperfocus could be learned though. Does this mean it can be taught? Has anyone ever helped another ADDer learn to hyperfocus about important things? I would love to teach my son to hyperfocus whenever he needed to concentrate. I never felt that I had that much control over it. It just happened, or sometimes when I needed to, it wouldn't.
Wow! It's so nice to know that I'm not alone when I get bored with "small talk". If I want to get to know someone I usually want to really start to get to know them, and I skip over the preludes. That's why I get bored at parties and go home early, I start getting annoyed and impatient and just leave. It's usually for the best anyway because I have only approximately a 2 hour time limit before my foot lodges itself deep in my mouth.
I wish I could pick what/when I hyperfocus on but I do it every now and again. It's better now that I'm on meds, I seem to have a better awareness of time. But I could read a novel in one sitting, I did a psych project all in one night (got a perfect grade too) and especially a new program for my palm! I play with it FOREVER untill I could give a presentation on how to work it. Weird... but things that are boring, not a chance. It takeg a HUGE ammount of energy to just plain old focus. I think if my brain isn't thoroughly entertained/engaged, it wanders much more easily and I have a harder time bring it back to what it's supposed to be doing.
Does anyone get really irritable when taken out of hyperfocus suddenly? I get SO UPSET when I'm hyperfocusing on something and the phone rings! It's like I was in a nice little productive trance and I need to get this done and now I can't because it's ruined because someone inturrupted. Just wondering...
You're just bonkers.
Your "symptoms" do not sound to me like ADD. You seem to be able to complete more projects than an ADDer would. I think that for the ADDer, talking to one's self is a function of not having someone to converse with when you have something important to say. You seem to just use it as a means of organizing your thoughts in order to accomplish some goal. The ADDer tends to lack certain social graces and isolates herself to some extent. There simply are not enough people in her life to whom she can relate when she wants to converse. An example of this is my inability to enjoy "small talk", an important aspect of socializing. The ADDer can often be found to engage aquaintences in deep philosophical discussions that are not appropriate in every setting. But to him, if small talk is so small, why talk about it? It serves no purpose. People get turned off by the conversations and eventually distance themselves from the ADDer or the ADDer picks up on the lack of interest of the other person and keeps quiet until they are by themselves and can complete the conversation to no one. Get it?
OH BOY CAN I RELATE TO THIS STUFF.I AM 40 YEARS OLD AND VERY GOOD AT MY JOB, BUT MY COWORKER THAT I SHARE MY DUTIES WITH HAS A SON WHO HAS ADHD. I STARTED LOOKING THINGS UP BECAUSE SHE SOMETIMES SAYS I DO THINGS THE WAY HER SON DOES.
ANYWAYS I KNOW THIS ABOUT MYSELF. I CAN GET ON A PROJECT AND NOT LET IT GO UNTIL I HAVE INVESTIGATED, MADE COPIES, EMAILED ANYONE INVOLVED AND GIVEN COPIES TO WHO NEEDS THEM.. THIS SOUNDS NORMAL TO YOU BUT THE WAY I DO IT IS NOT..ITS ALMOST LIKE I AM TO THOROUGH..(IS THERE SUCH A THING??) THEN I END UP GETTING BEHIND ON OTHER THINGS.. I AM ALSO PRETTY DARN HYPER FOR MY AGE AND YES, I TALK TO MYSELF, ALL THE TIME WHEN I AM ALONE..BUT ITS NORMAL FOR ME, A NORMAL WAY TO THINK, A WAY TO ORGANIZE THINGS, BECAUSE FOR ME, "TO DO" LISTS NEVER WORK. WHAT I HAVE TO DO (ARE YOU READY FOR THIS, REMEMBER IM 40!!) I WILL PUT A NOTE ON A MEDIUM YELLOW POST IT NOTE AND TAPE IT TO MY PURSE HANDLE. I HAVE TO SEEEEEEEEEE IT TO GET IT DONEEE.MY FIANCE MOVED IN LAST WEEK AND I WAS IN ANOTHER ROOM JUST A'MUTTERING AWAYAND HE SAYS"DO YOU DO THAT WHEN IM NOT HERE?? AND IM LIKE OF COURSE...IT SEEM SO ABNORMAL TOHIM ANYWAYS I THINK IM HYPERFOCUSING RIGHT NOW)????)SO I BETTER GO OR ILL GO ON FOREVER.. SO, DO YOU THINK I HAVE ADHD/OR ADD?? CAN I GET SOME FEED BACK??
OR AM I JUST BONKERS??
JULIESome factors that accompany ADD/ADHD are: