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physicsnut42
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14 Feb 2014, 12:15 pm

I've noticed a pattern recently. The pattern only has two occurrences to support it, so I was wondering if any of you guys had experienced something similar.

When I was five or six, I took on my first special interest--animals. My greatest desire was to be a veterinarian, I spent much of my free time reading about pets (which I could never acquire because I wasn't responsible enough to take care of them), and I volunteered at the animal shelter. When I was around eight, I steadily started to lose interest in animals, which were the centerpiece of my entire life. I'm not sure whether this was the cause or result of my depression around the same time. The depression was probably also caused by my Aspergers diagnosis and my parents' divorce.
Later, when I was nine or ten, I became interested in physics (hence the name). This has been my special interest until recently, but now I'm thirteen and beginning to lose interest in physics, too. I also feel depressed a lot of the time (though I'm not sure if I would actually be diagnosed with depression if I was taken to a psychiatrist).

I think the problem is that I become so deeply and monomaniacally obsessed with my special interest that I become bored of it rather quickly, and then have to move onto something else.

TL;DR: Every three years (so far it's only happened twice), I become depressed and lose my special interest. One may or may not be the cause of the other.

Have any of you guys had similar experiences? Is there a way to prevent this?


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14 Feb 2014, 12:24 pm

From what I have read, not everybody has one permanent special interest. Sometimes AS folk get bored of one thing and move on to the next.

My focused interest changes a lot, though the only real trigger for change is boredom and which books are available at the library. For example, one week I read a lot about mycology and got really into it, but the next week I was reading about toponymy and forgot all about mycology. Now I wonder how I ever cared about either.



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14 Feb 2014, 3:09 pm

I'm bipolar, and have had the same experience all my life. One of the symptoms of depression is that you lose interest in your favorite activities – so yes, it tends to suck away my passion for my current special interest, to the point where I need to find a new one.



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14 Feb 2014, 5:11 pm

My interests have definitely waxed and waned throughout the years, I think it's a fairly normal aspie phenomenon. I've gone through Garfield, Peanuts, Star Trek, dinosaurs and Gene Wilder in the past eleven years. I wouldn't worry about it unless you go a considerable period with no interest, and that adds to your depression.


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14 Feb 2014, 5:17 pm

I usually get so obsessed with something than I get burned out and lose interest. Recently I have been controlling that obsession/special interest into something positive that I want to improve on. Now that I'm aware that I'm obsessing I sometimes purposely do something else instead and tell myself "you're obsessing". Works for me.



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14 Feb 2014, 5:41 pm

Hello, physicsnut! I love animals and physics, too. In fact I began my academic career as a physics major at Princeton, until I realized that I needed to be in a major that would make me some money. :roll:

First of all, as others have said, interests wax and wane for all of us.

But secondly, you need to figure out for yourself if you are suffering from clinical depression or bipolar II. If you are depressed for no apparent reason for over a month, you need to seek medical help for depression. Moreover, if you have had at least one -- only one is necessary -- "manic" episode, e.g. staying up all night with excitement, full of ideas, euphoric, needing little sleep; then you need to be treated for bipolar.

Depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder are common co-morbidities with Asperger's. If you think you are chronically depressed or bipolar, you need to seek psychiatric help to get some medicine. And, no, such imbalances do not go away. They get worse with time if you do not treat them with medicines. Good luck!



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14 Feb 2014, 7:02 pm

physicsnut42 wrote:
I've noticed a pattern recently. The pattern only has two occurrences to support it, so I was wondering if any of you guys had experienced something similar.

When I was five or six, I took on my first special interest--animals. My greatest desire was to be a veterinarian, I spent much of my free time reading about pets (which I could never acquire because I wasn't responsible enough to take care of them), and I volunteered at the animal shelter. When I was around eight, I steadily started to lose interest in animals, which were the centerpiece of my entire life. I'm not sure whether this was the cause or result of my depression around the same time. The depression was probably also caused by my Aspergers diagnosis and my parents' divorce.
Later, when I was nine or ten, I became interested in physics (hence the name). This has been my special interest until recently, but now I'm thirteen and beginning to lose interest in physics, too. I also feel depressed a lot of the time (though I'm not sure if I would actually be diagnosed with depression if I was taken to a psychiatrist).

I think the problem is that I become so deeply and monomaniacally obsessed with my special interest that I become bored of it rather quickly, and then have to move onto something else.

TL;DR: Every three years (so far it's only happened twice), I become depressed and lose my special interest. One may or may not be the cause of the other.

Have any of you guys had similar experiences? Is there a way to prevent this?


It's totally normal for special interests to change all the time.

Narrow interests - Autism Wiki



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27 Feb 2014, 5:34 pm

My full blown special interest has never changed since it became fully developed in sixth grade. It is WRLL. I have had smaller interests which mostly revolved around sports, pogo, or gambling for free. WRLL has always been there though and I have never been away from WRLL for long.


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27 Feb 2014, 7:55 pm

My special interests vanished in 2007 and 2008 and they came back with a vengeance over the last 4 months of 2009. My special interests have remained with me along with my Mod hair since those 4 happy months.


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28 Feb 2014, 1:29 am

I've definitely experienced this. I was obsessed, very obsessed with baseball cards for more than a decade. I would organize and reorganize them, memorize the stats, everything. I would get in trouble for taking them to school and even had my own booth at a flea market where I sold them. Then my Grandma died and for some reason, I just stopped caring about them overnight.

Since then, I have developed a special interest in restoring old furniture. I have tried to reclaim my love of baseball cards, but to no avail. I think things can trigger changes in special interests, but I also think that we can outgrow them or even find other things that satisfy that need within us that our special interests satisfy.

Mostly, I just want to reassure you that you certainly aren't alone and that I have been there, too. It worried me (and my family), but I did find another interest and it gives me the same, if not a higher, level of satisfaction and stress and anxiety relief.



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02 Mar 2014, 6:22 pm

I'm dx ADHD so not sure if you'll be interested with my experience, but my interests cycle rapidly. I get an interest that is all consuming that can last for minutes to months, as soon as there is no problem that is interesting to solve or I realise that I'm gone wrong somewhere and am going to have to go over everything I've done without encountering anything novel and interesting to find the problem I abandon immediately lose interest.

More often than not a new perspective or problem will occur to me and I'll go back to the interest at some point.

Recently it's been XBMC and Linux satellite receivers but I'm currently in a period where I've lost interest in both. Today the tumble dryer broke so tomorrow I will start probably start to learn how that works to fix it which may become my obsession.



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02 Mar 2014, 6:27 pm

I'm dx ADHD so not sure if you'll be interested with my experience, but my interests cycle rapidly. I get an interest that is all consuming that can last for minutes and to months, as soon as there is no problem that is interesting to solve or I realise that I'm gone wrong somewhere and am going to have to go over everything I've done without encountering anything novel and interesting to find the problem I abandon immediately lose interest.

More often than not a new perspective or problem will occur to me and I'll go back to the interest at some point.

Recently it's been XBMC and Linux satellite receivers but I'm currently in a period where I've lost interest in both. Today the tumble dryer broke so tomorrow I will start probably start to learn how that works to fix it which may become my obsession.



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03 Mar 2014, 10:43 am

Ashariel wrote:
I'm bipolar, and have had the same experience all my life. One of the symptoms of depression is that you lose interest in your favorite activities – so yes, it tends to suck away my passion for my current special interest, to the point where I need to find a new one.


I have cyclothymia myself and my interests change every few days or weeks with my mood cycles. I picked up on this and with the actual diagnosis, I've learned to limit myself in what I take interest in. I take on no new interests beyond any I have already done. I can't really afford to get into any others.


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28 Mar 2014, 6:40 pm

physicsnut42 wrote:
I've noticed a pattern recently. The pattern only has two occurrences to support it, so I was wondering if any of you guys had experienced something similar.

When I was five or six, I took on my first special interest--animals. My greatest desire was to be a veterinarian, I spent much of my free time reading about pets (which I could never acquire because I wasn't responsible enough to take care of them), and I volunteered at the animal shelter. When I was around eight, I steadily started to lose interest in animals, which were the centerpiece of my entire life. I'm not sure whether this was the cause or result of my depression around the same time. The depression was probably also caused by my Aspergers diagnosis and my parents' divorce.
Later, when I was nine or ten, I became interested in physics (hence the name). This has been my special interest until recently, but now I'm thirteen and beginning to lose interest in physics, too. I also feel depressed a lot of the time (though I'm not sure if I would actually be diagnosed with depression if I was taken to a psychiatrist).

I think the problem is that I become so deeply and monomaniacally obsessed with my special interest that I become bored of it rather quickly, and then have to move onto something else.

TL;DR: Every three years (so far it's only happened twice), I become depressed and lose my special interest. One may or may not be the cause of the other.

Have any of you guys had similar experiences? Is there a way to prevent this?


I can relate.
I don't think it needs to be prevented, but that is at your discretion.
What special interest is taking the place of Physics in your life :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

Some seem to be able to 'choose' their special interest, while others feel drawn to the interest. I f you can choose what would you elect to focus on?


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28 Mar 2014, 6:48 pm

Yes, I hate it when my special interests start to wane. SOmetime this co-occurs with an episode of clinical depression but not always, I'm not sure why.