Why do "special interests" have to vanish?

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Bloodheart
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18 Jun 2012, 6:23 pm

I'm so frustrated, having a conversation about cars this evening and I realised that I know nothing about cars...once upon a time I knew a hell of a lot about cars, but that was when it was a 'special interest' when my room was a foot deep in car magazines...now it's all gone.

The same goes for geology and religion, I dedicated years of my life to these subjects and absorbed everything I could on the subjects, I won awards and was head-hunted for jobs, but now I don't remember a single bit of it. I try to have discussions or share my interest in such subjects just to find that I can't, I don't understand why it just suddenly vanishes like it does.

It makes me feel so stupid.


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Last edited by Bloodheart on 18 Jun 2012, 8:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

SpiritBlooms
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18 Jun 2012, 6:28 pm

I didn't know that happened to others. When I was in school I had this fascination with the English monarchs through history, I knew everything about them. I realized about ten to twelve years ago that I remember next to nothing of that, and I wondered how I could ever have forgotten something I was so obsessed with at one time. Granted I had no real use for the information, and even less now, and it was something I studied when I was in school and feeling completely outcast, so it was an excuse to spend lunch times in the library. Still - what a waste! I wonder what else I've forgotten....



Matt62
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18 Jun 2012, 7:06 pm

Most of mine never TOTALLY vanish. I just shift to another interest. One, a real classic, dinosaurs has been somewhat revived by recent discoveries, It seems if tyou use science based ones, you can revisit them and find new info. In your cases, well one, there was just not enough new input to sustain them.
I turned some of mine (snakes, fish) into hobbies. I do forget some things, but can pick up quickly reading newer info which helps contribute to my fascination.

Sincerely,
Matthew



Azereiah
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18 Jun 2012, 7:10 pm

I've not personally encountered this yet, being only 19, and I don't have any specific interest - just general knowledge of science and philosophy.

However, perhaps your obsession turned to boredom? I remember reading somewhere that in some people, obsessions and interests can skip around quite a bit. Perhaps it just took longer for you.

In my experience, when I grow bored of something, just about everything related to it goes out of practice. I don't care enough to remember, as everything else in life begins to take priority. However... I still always have some level of familiarity with the information that's already there, at least so far.


May I suggest either learning what interests you now and tackling it, or going back to read up on these subjects again to see what makes sense? Who knows, something might click. I feel that memory never completely disappears - it just gets shoved somewhere else and requires a little shove to rekindle. Of course, experiences never really go to the back of the mind, so I'm guessing it's only happened because that was a stimulating exercise rather than a true lifelong love.



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18 Jun 2012, 7:39 pm

I'm a bit strange with special interests - I've always had music as my main one, ever since it became the main one when I was 10 or so. But I've had other special interests at the same time, and all of them have come and gone and come again and gone again.

For example, language was a pretty big special interest of mine - I have a degree from a university in German (and other things, too), and was very into linguistics and such - I also speak 4 languages. But my interest in language has been vanishing - it's still there, but I don't actively seek to do things involving it - music has taken over my time, as a special interest and in general. If I sit down and try learning language related stuff, I just feel bored now. I don't mind it, but I was very good with languages - maybe some day they will return as a special interest. But for now, music is the main and only one.



TheSunAlsoRises
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18 Jun 2012, 7:59 pm

Bloodheart wrote:
I'm so frustrated, having a conversation about cars this evening and I realised that I know nothing about cars...once upon a time I knew a hell of a lot about cars, but that was when it was a 'special interest' when my room was a foot deep in car magazines...now it's all gone.

The same goes for geology and religion, I dedicated years of my life to these subjects and absorbed everything I could on the subjects, I won awards and was head-hunted for jobs, but now I don't remember a single bit of it. I try to have discussions or share my interest in such subjects just to find that I can't, I don't understand why it just suddenly vanishes like it does.

It makes me feel so stupid.


I'm glad you posted your experience with special interests. It shows once again the infinite number of differences and similarities that exists between Autists.

You're not stupid. To have accomplished the things THAT you listed in your post, you are far from stupid.

What's your short term and long term memory like?


TheSunAlsoRises



Last edited by TheSunAlsoRises on 18 Jun 2012, 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bloodheart
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18 Jun 2012, 8:07 pm

TheSunAlsoRises wrote:
Bloodheart wrote:
I'm so frustrated, having a conversation about cars this evening and I realised that I know nothing about cars...once upon a time I knew a hell of a lot about cars, but that was when it was a 'special interest' when my room was a foot deep in car magazines...now it's all gone.

The same goes for geology and religion, I dedicated years of my life to these subjects and absorbed everything I could on the subjects, I won awards and was head-hunted for jobs, but now I don't remember a single bit of it. I try to have discussions or share my interest in such subjects just to find that I can't, I don't understand why it just suddenly vanishes like it does.

It makes me feel so stupid.


I'm glad you posted your experience with special interests. It shows once again the infinite number of differences and similarities that exists between Autists.

You're not stupid. To have accomplished the things THAT you listed in your posts, you are far from stupid.

What's you short term and long term memory like?


TheSunAlsoRises


Short-term memory good, but my long-term memory is terrible - it's worth noting that with other information I can at least seem to assimilate it so that I can work on instinct with a basic understanding of what I'm working with, but with 'special interests' the information just seems to disappear completely. I just feel stupid because I want to contribute to discussions on such subjects, but can't...


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18 Jun 2012, 8:21 pm

When I was 12 I knew alot about epilepsy.......but now....I barely know the diffrent types of seizures .....*sigh*



TheSunAlsoRises
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18 Jun 2012, 8:25 pm

Bloodheart wrote:
TheSunAlsoRises wrote:
Bloodheart wrote:
I'm so frustrated, having a conversation about cars this evening and I realised that I know nothing about cars...once upon a time I knew a hell of a lot about cars, but that was when it was a 'special interest' when my room was a foot deep in car magazines...now it's all gone.

The same goes for geology and religion, I dedicated years of my life to these subjects and absorbed everything I could on the subjects, I won awards and was head-hunted for jobs, but now I don't remember a single bit of it. I try to have discussions or share my interest in such subjects just to find that I can't, I don't understand why it just suddenly vanishes like it does.

It makes me feel so stupid.


I'm glad you posted your experience with special interests. It shows once again the infinite number of differences and similarities that exists between Autists.

You're not stupid. To have accomplished the things THAT you listed in your posts, you are far from stupid.

What's you short term and long term memory like?


TheSunAlsoRises


Short-term memory good, but my long-term memory is terrible - it's worth noting that with other information I can at least seem to assimilate it so that I can work on instinct with a basic understanding of what I'm working with, but with 'special interests' the information just seems to disappear completely. I just feel stupid because I want to contribute to discussions on such subjects, but can't...


I knew it ! !!



TheSunAlsoRises
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18 Jun 2012, 8:32 pm

So, what you have my friend is good short term memory combined with intense focus of the Autist. This allows you to learn your 'special interests' quite well BUT....here's the clincher.. in-order to retain the information you've learned, you have to constantly and consistently be involved in your special interest(s)..

...even brief breaks away from practicing your special interests could result in loss of information.

TheSunAlsoRises



vanhalenkurtz
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18 Jun 2012, 9:18 pm

TheSunAlsoRises wrote:
So, what you have my friend is good short term memory combined with intense focus of the Autist. This allows you to learn your 'special interests' quite well BUT....here's the clincher.. in-order to retain the information you've learned, you have to constantly and consistently be involved in your special interest(s)..

...even brief breaks away from practicing your special interests could result in loss of information.

TheSunAlsoRises


Yeah, that's me as well. 1991, I was playing a set-list of 50 songs; 1996, I was quoting Byron like a maniac, w/ his bio down cold; 2003, I knew and documented every Bloodrock session; and so on. For me, use it or lose it. Short term memory. But, good side, usually my special interest dims only after I've done the whole trip. I mean, after reading all of Byron's works & biographies, it seemed fairly natural to move on, he wasn't going to be publishing anything new in the near future, and I wasn't in some PhD program.


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Kinme
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18 Jun 2012, 9:23 pm

I've had pretty much the same interests since I was a child. The difference, now, is that I can't hyperfocus on things like I used to; I become easily bored and have to do multiple things at once. I think the only exception is my obsession with Wrong Planet (FOR NOW...). I used to play video games by myself for hours on end, and now I can barely play them an hour, if that.



CWA
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18 Jun 2012, 9:50 pm

Depends on how long term the interest is for me. My most long term interest is biological anthropology. I majored in it in college and WAS going to go onto gradschool and get my PhD when suddenly... fleeting interest. I still regret it, its almost like I cheated on my main interest and I've been paying for it ever since. Anyway, I became acutely interested in sustainable agriculture and organic farming (total scam FYI). So I got my masters degree in agronomy and I've been rife with regret since. Oh well. At least I got a good job. ANYWAY my point is that the biological anthropology and human evolution stuff, I remember most of that because my interest never really went away. It was just temporarily put to the side for something else. But the agriculture? Most of the important stuff I have completely and utterly forgotten. I remembers the stuff regarding my thesis, but that's it. If you talked to me about farming you'd be hard pressed to know that I have a masters degree in it because it's like I deleted all that stuff from my hard drive to make room for Harry Potter or something.



TheSunAlsoRises
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23 Jun 2012, 10:20 am

Why do "special interests" have to vanish?

Short answer: It depends on the individual....their strengths and weaknesses.

This has been an interesting thread...very informative.

TheSunAlsoRises



naturalplastic
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23 Jun 2012, 11:55 am

Bloodheart wrote:
I'm so frustrated, having a conversation about cars this evening and I realised that I know nothing about cars...once upon a time I knew a hell of a lot about cars, but that was when it was a 'special interest' when my room was a foot deep in car magazines...now it's all gone.

The same goes for geology and religion, I dedicated years of my life to these subjects and absorbed everything I could on the subjects, I won awards and was head-hunted for jobs, but now I don't remember a single bit of it. I try to have discussions or share my interest in such subjects just to find that I can't, I don't understand why it just suddenly vanishes like it does.

It makes me feel so stupid.


How did you "win awards", and exactly what jobs were you "head hunted" for related to your special interests? Wish that would happened to me.

Also-thats an interesting combination: religion and geology. Many religious people seemed to be willfully ignorant of geology if you know what I mean.