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AnneOleson
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15 Jun 2020, 6:22 am

I’m in my early sixties and only received my formal diagnosis of Aspergers the day I joined Wrong Planet. I received my ADHD diagnosis a couple of years after that. I’ve had problems, difficulties, quirks, whatever you want to call it all my life, but most were lumped under “depression”. I’ve been on meds for that for about forty years. I don’t know what to do!

I have been locked in one hyper focus for about six months now, working on my tablet for hours and hours each day. It is an interesting project with good results, but it’s not necessary to life. I am generally enjoying myself but there is so much else that I could be doing - and enjoying too. Summer is here, I have a large yard to work in, outdoor projects to do.

I just can’t break away from this focus. It’s mentally locked me to it, almost physically. I used to set timers to make me break away from things, but it doesn’t seem to work anymore. I take Vyvanse for ADHD. Maybe a stronger dose, or different/additional med?



Edna3362
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15 Jun 2020, 7:12 am

I don't have the right words for it but...

Find a momentum to sway your attention away.
Or maybe you're avoiding inertia, because it can be painful if forced.


But yeah, it's usually the latter.
Which can also translate to avoiding stress and/or paths of resistance.


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timf
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15 Jun 2020, 7:44 am

You might consider cultivating a second special interest and then switch between the two. This could them be modified to include a third and so on until you have developed some skill in switching. This might be extended to allow the development of intensity control in general.



BTDT
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15 Jun 2020, 8:20 am

What I've found is to compartmentalize things into smaller tasks. Someone with hyperfocus could literally weed the entire yard, even it if took all day. Bad idea. Give names to your flower beds. Pick a weed and the bed. Eliminate all of those weeds in the bed. You can stop now. Go in and get something to drink. It is good for your health. Do not pick another task.

What we are doing is combining hyperfocus with black white thinking to make your activities more manageable.



Last edited by BTDT on 15 Jun 2020, 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kraftiekortie
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15 Jun 2020, 12:39 pm

What sort of project is this?

Many people have POSITIVE hyperfocus. This has lead to great inventions.

But I’m “all over the place.” I wish I had more focus.

I’ve been watching lots of YouTube videos about Romani/Gypsies lately.

I believe focus is good.....as long as your job or health isn’t adversely affected.



BTDT
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15 Jun 2020, 12:59 pm

Timers don't work for me either. I find I'm task or project oriented, not time oriented.



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15 Jun 2020, 1:30 pm

Try some software that locks you out of the computer after a certain amount of time.



eyelessshiver
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15 Jun 2020, 1:40 pm

What about watching movies? I recently started a Netflix DVD plan again, which is really cool because once you create the queue, you've always got something coming in the mail (and it's not expensive). That's a solid two-ish hours you can take aside for yourself at any given time, where you aren't having to do this other task. I think distractions like this will be your friend and help create some distance between you and the tablet project.


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ToughDiamond
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15 Jun 2020, 5:01 pm

Hyperfocussing on this computer seems to have pervaded my entire existence these days, so I know what you mean, OP.

I comfort myself by remembering that when something important enough comes along, I seem able to break away from the computer. My wife urgently needed my help last night, and I just shut the computer lid and rallied to the cause. I didn't like it much but I got over it in seconds, without saying anything negative. Frankly I'd have felt a lot worse about myself if I'd ignored her, and what the hell? I'm not doing anything that can't be postponed, it's just my sticky brain.

It's a shame yours is a tablet, presumably with a battery that can't be removed. I've considered removing the battery from my laptop and setting up a mains timer so the juice would cut out and I'd be effectively interrupted. I might do it if I get concerned enough about my appalling habit. A tad drastic though, and probably very annoying.

That time-limiting software idea sounds promising. Also in my case I've found the hibernate-on-closing-lid very useful. It doesn't waste power if I'm a long time returning, and everything is restored to where it was when I left off. I'm still getting used to that after a couple of years - something inside still can't believe I won't lose something if I use it.

Timers have limited value in my case too. The best compromise I've been able to get is one that plays an mp3 I created myself - instead of just firing off a sudden alarm (which I'd probably just silence and then carry on, intending to break off in a few more minutes but forgetting to), it's a reasonably gentle bell sound that fades up over the course of half a minute or so, then fades out again, then I get about 4 minutes of silence and it does it again, and repeats like that till I dismiss it. That alerts me more gently and persistently than a simple alarm. It's better, but depending on how locked into the computer I am, it's sometimes not enough and then it cycles round and round while I just resent the interference and continue, though it usually gets through in the end. I'm planning to make another mp3 that has some kind of audible cue to tell me how many times it's cycled round, in the hope that my motivation to break off will increase with the number of repetitions.

But there's no such thing as "French without tears" and I suppose I have to choose between indulging in my computer activities and getting something else done. The tension comes from not resolving that - if I just accepted that messing about on a computer is what I do, it wouldn't be so bad. If I accepted that I'm not going to let it take over my life, that wouldn't be so bad either. But I'm in the middle, not being able to accept either but somehow insisting I can have my cake and eat it.

As well as knowing that when it's important I can break away, it's also comforting to know that if I don't do much else, my world doesn't really collapse. The outside world will apply increasing pressure on me to pay it some attention if it's important enough. I won't starve to death and the bills will be paid. There was a quote once about a perfect flower, that a person could spend their whole life looking for it and it would not be a wasted life. Who's to say what a wasted life is anyway, but the one who lives it? Which brings me back to the dilemma, I don't know for sure if I should spend so much time with my computer or not. I sense I should break away from it more often, but I don't know.