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Twilightprincess
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25 May 2019, 8:23 pm

How do you shift your focus from a detrimental special interest to something more positive?

I think this might be a common problem that a lot of us struggle with.



The Grand Inquisitor
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25 May 2019, 8:48 pm

What would be an example of a detrimental interest?



Twilightprincess
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25 May 2019, 9:00 pm

Anything negative, really.

My brother and I both tend to obsess about our religious experiences, and it’s probably not very productive.

When he was over today, we watched a documentary about it which was factual but very depressing and somewhat triggering for me.

Sometimes people can obsess about things they hear on the news, too.



shortfatbalduglyman
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25 May 2019, 9:29 pm

What is an example of a positive special interest?



breaks0
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25 May 2019, 9:47 pm

Being totally frank here I sometimes watch porn for too long in one sitting. W/o going into details at those times I should probably cut back a bit. But I wouldn't call it an SI of mine at least I don't think so.

My main SI actually is politics (partly b/c that's what I studied in school). And while it's not unhealthy per se since I'm a radical and the world isn't really built for radicals it can too often lead me to getting angry or quite depressed at times. I've been told by friends on the spectrum that I need to diversify. I have other interests but maybe I need to spend more time on them and/or get some new ones as well.



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25 May 2019, 9:54 pm

Twilightprincess wrote:
How do you shift your focus from a detrimental special interest to something more positive?

I think this might be a common problem that a lot of us struggle with.

Shifting focus does sound like a good approach. It may be very difficult to completely switch topics, but easier to move your sights slightly to a different, but related aspect of the subject. Move a little as needed until you land on something productive/healthy.



Twilightprincess
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25 May 2019, 10:16 pm

breaks0 wrote:
Being totally frank here I sometimes watch porn for too long in one sitting. W/o going into details at those times I should probably cut back a bit. But I wouldn't call it an SI of mine at least I don't think so.

My main SI actually is politics (partly b/c that's what I studied in school). And while it's not unhealthy per se since I'm a radical and the world isn't really built for radicals it can too often lead me to getting angry or quite depressed at times. I've been told by friends on the spectrum that I need to diversify. I have other interests but maybe I need to spend more time on them and/or get some new ones as well.


Having a special interest that makes one angry and depressed is a problem because it’s not going to change anything, except make the person more miserable.

I deal with those specific emotions a lot, and it’s just not healthy.

My counselor wants me to get involved in activism at some point, but I don’t think that’s feasible right now, so I just need to find a way to switch gears, I think.



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25 May 2019, 10:19 pm

I don't think any interests are inherently detrimental. If you're obsessed with religion then get a PhD in the subject or become a priest. If you're obsessed with serial killers then become a criminologist or detective or write a book on the subject. If you're obsessed with porn... I hear that be a renumerative career as well. Or intellectualize the interest and study it academically.


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Twilightprincess
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25 May 2019, 10:20 pm

Exuvian wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
How do you shift your focus from a detrimental special interest to something more positive?

I think this might be a common problem that a lot of us struggle with.

Shifting focus does sound like a good approach. It may be very difficult to completely switch topics, but easier to move your sights slightly to a different, but related aspect of the subject. Move a little as needed until you land on something productive/healthy.


Maybe I could try shifting my focus during these times to healthier forms of spirituality, like yoga.

Perhaps I also need to connect with my brother more over stuff that’s not cult-centered.



Twilightprincess
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25 May 2019, 10:22 pm

Benjamin the Donkey wrote:
I don't think any interests are inherently detrimental. If you're obsessed with religion then get a PhD in the subject or become a priest. If you're obsessed with serial killers then become a criminologist or detective or write a book on the subject. If you're obsessed with porn... I hear that be a renumerative career as well. Or intellectualize the interest and study it academically.


Mine is detrimental to me.



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25 May 2019, 11:21 pm

Twilightprincess wrote:
My brother and I both tend to obsess about our religious experiences, and it’s probably not very productive.

When he was over today, we watched a documentary about it which was factual but very depressing and somewhat triggering for me.


Do you think you could turn this obsession itself into something positive by writing up your and your brother's story, with an emphasis on what finally enabled you and your brother to leave this oppressive religious group?

If you were to put this on a website, it might be helpful to others. There are support networks out there for people who have left, or are in process of leaving, various abusive religious groups. Perhaps such a support network might also be productive for you as a place to make friends, as well as giving you the satisfaction of helping others?


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26 May 2019, 12:29 am

Any special interest can be good, as already mentioned. Made to do business, specialized careers, healthier outlet or more organized life, etc.

... But any special interest can be as bad, when it causes neglect and done out of mismanagement. One can be interested in the good, interests that leads to excellence, supposedly helpful and practically useful ones; except that didn't happen. It's almost no different from unbridled addiction.
Yeah, it's mostly just another outcome partially from EF issue related issue.


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MrsPeel
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26 May 2019, 12:46 am

Benjamin the Donkey wrote:
I don't think any interests are inherently detrimental. If you're obsessed with religion then get a PhD in the subject or become a priest. If you're obsessed with serial killers then become a criminologist or detective or write a book on the subject. If you're obsessed with porn... I hear that be a renumerative career as well. Or intellectualize the interest and study it academically.


I like that point of view.
Me, I've developed a SI in autism spectrum conditions, which is not proving particularly healthy as it leads to hyper-awareness of my own AS-related difficulties.
Before my diagnosis I was into writing sci fi novels but I've had a deeply frustrating writers block since.
I'm thinking maybe I should try writing about AS instead.



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26 May 2019, 5:12 am

I used to obsess over a certain person or people, local people that is. That is not very healthy, if you get so obsessed that you end up looking like a stalker.


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Twilightprincess
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26 May 2019, 6:55 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
My brother and I both tend to obsess about our religious experiences, and it’s probably not very productive.

When he was over today, we watched a documentary about it which was factual but very depressing and somewhat triggering for me.


Do you think you could turn this obsession itself into something positive by writing up your and your brother's story, with an emphasis on what finally enabled you and your brother to leave this oppressive religious group?

If you were to put this on a website, it might be helpful to others. There are support networks out there for people who have left, or are in process of leaving, various abusive religious groups. Perhaps such a support network might also be productive for you as a place to make friends, as well as giving you the satisfaction of helping others?


I’ve done these sorts of things. It doesn’t really help. It tends to make me focus on it more.