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Fenn
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09 Nov 2022, 2:26 pm

What do you want - avoid loosing sleep? I have a limit on my Internet time - the internet turns off at 10 pm

https://meetcircle.com/

Helps.
No perfect answer.


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redqueenspawn
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09 Nov 2022, 3:51 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I've read that CBT / visualisation / mindfulness and all that mumbo-jumbo are useless for autistics.
We are too hyper-vigilant, self-aware and conscious of our environment.
My sleep study even said I don't let down my guard when asleep.
I don't go to the deepest sleep stage after REM because my brain stays alert.
I went to a skilled hypnotist who said my subconscious was protected like Fort Knox.


My experience has been otherwise.

It does work for some of us, in the context of learning to detach from and not always follow our dominant thoughts. Mindfulness is not really about visualization. Nor is it about hyperfocus, nor about any kind of self-hypnosis. It's about learning to implement a broader view, using metacognition, which is said to be something most autistics are stronger in than NTs.

Devon Price, for a famous autistic example, talks about the benefits of mindfulness training, and though sometimes adaptations may be needed, some autistics do benefit from all of the above.

Just another example of how we are all different, I guess.



Carl Friedrich Gauss
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10 Nov 2022, 2:26 am

When I deal with something, I instinctively try to learn everything about it. As if I am lack of something and I am fulfilling the void. But it never filled.

I find a way to get rid of this. I sort all the important (information) things in my life. Then realized that there is no time to learn all of them. Then, I decided to start with mathematics and AI. I focus all my hyper focus on these. And no more waste my time on other things.

Because I cannot control my mind. I don't have free will. I am just manipulating it. When sun sets, there is no input, especially sun rays, flowing into my consciousness. And I am in hell. To get rid of this, I am working on math and AI. But eventually I am in bed ,(hell) with no input. And my mind go light speed, with fear of panic attacks. Sometimes I multiply 5digits by 5digits in my mind. To give the beast inputs.
When dawn breaks, input starts to flow. And I am the happiest man in the world.



Fenn
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10 Nov 2022, 2:40 pm

redqueenspawn wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
I've read that CBT / visualisation / mindfulness and all that mumbo-jumbo are useless for autistics.
We are too hyper-vigilant, self-aware and conscious of our environment.
My sleep study even said I don't let down my guard when asleep.
I don't go to the deepest sleep stage after REM because my brain stays alert.
I went to a skilled hypnotist who said my subconscious was protected like Fort Knox.


My experience has been otherwise.

It does work for some of us, in the context of learning to detach from and not always follow our dominant thoughts. Mindfulness is not really about visualization. Nor is it about hyperfocus, nor about any kind of self-hypnosis. It's about learning to implement a broader view, using metacognition, which is said to be something most autistics are stronger in than NTs.

Devon Price, for a famous autistic example, talks about the benefits of mindfulness training, and though sometimes adaptations may be needed, some autistics do benefit from all of the above.

Just another example of how we are all different, I guess.


I find CBT to be of limited use. My mind tends to do more than one thing at once. Also I tend to see "Thinking" as a way of understanding the world around me and modeling it. Changing my thinking simply with the hopes of changing my feelings is kind of like "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain". The only way I can do it is to compartmentalize. So there is a part of my mind doing the "change your thinking" thing and part doing the "but there is part of me that is still thinking" thing. I am working on DBT now. Perhaps that will work better.


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ToughDiamond
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10 Nov 2022, 3:44 pm

Man wrote:
For example, I'm trying to pick my first car and for the past 24 hours or so, I'm hyper focused on cars. Reading specs sheet, looking up reviews, that sort of thing. And I'm by no means passionate or enthusiastic about cars in any way. They're just a tool for me as I actually prefer motorcycles.

But right now, I just want to learn everything about them, soak up all the information. And that's just one example. Once I sink my teeth into something, it's hard for me to let go. And it actually starts to affect my life.

Whenever I'm hyperfocused, I start tuning people out (more than usual). I just keep thinking about what I'm focused on everywhere. Reading, pooping, walking, commuting... even sleeping, actually!

My question is, how do you deal with it? How do you let go? For example, I stayed awake till 3AM last night, even though I tend to sleep at around 11PM. I only stopped when my phone's battery died.

P.S I'm a 'certified' Aspie with ADHD tendencies.

That's remarkably like me, and it's a good question, how to fix it.

It's worse now I'm retired and more free to do as I "like." I need somebody to watch over me and whack me over the head with a rolled-up newspaper whenever I've been down the rabbit hole too long. But I stick with nice people when I stick with anybody at all, so it's unlikely to happen. Nonetheless, I think social involvement on its own can help to a degree, especially if people I've undertaken to help are with me at the time. When I was scared of my boss at work, that helped, though the pain and humiliation* of spending all day doing the bidding of somebody I didn't even much like makes me wonder whether that was much of an answer, if my overall happiness was the main goal.

* [I'm rather egalitarian, and as well as humiliated, I felt guilty at playing into the hands of those at the top of what I see as a cruel, unequal system]
It certainly can have a downside, though my life hasn't collapsed yet through it, I just tend to scare myself when I finally get unstuck and see how little time I've got left for dealing with important matters. I suspect it can't be entirely fixed, and if it could, there may be undesirable consequences. Hyperfocussing is often great fun, though it's sometimes painful to me - I start noticing how I've trapped myself and then I feel I'm wasting my time and neglecting all the things I think I should be getting on with. But it's very like an addiction.

Medication - my gut reaction is no, things might be bad, but I'm not that desperate yet. I don't trust tablets too much. Too many side effects, too little therapeutic power. But I wouldn't rule it out if the results of my hyperfocus got really bad.

Maybe I could just try a bit harder to self-control. Sometimes when the mood takes me I can get good results that way. But as you'll see by the length of this post, which I never meant to be so long, when the mood doesn't take me, not so much. :oops:

Right now it's hard for me to hit the Submit button until I feel I've added everything that occurs to me about the subject. So I'm racking my brains for any traces of relevant thoughts. There's probably a certain intellectual satisfaction in having completed the mission, and I'm starting to get angry with myself for woffling on so much, and it seems to help when I start getting mad at myself, as it helps me to take myself in hand, so now I think I'm pretty much done and will now hit the button. I can do this......

EDIT: I find hyperfocus good for taking my mind off my sensory issues. And it helps me to avoid getting obese because I forget all about eating and don't notice when I'm hungry, so when I do stop I can pig out without putting on weight in the long term.



IsabellaLinton
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10 Nov 2022, 5:55 pm

redqueenspawn wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
I've read that CBT / visualisation / mindfulness and all that mumbo-jumbo are useless for autistics.
We are too hyper-vigilant, self-aware and conscious of our environment.
My sleep study even said I don't let down my guard when asleep.
I don't go to the deepest sleep stage after REM because my brain stays alert.
I went to a skilled hypnotist who said my subconscious was protected like Fort Knox.


My experience has been otherwise.

It does work for some of us, in the context of learning to detach from and not always follow our dominant thoughts. Mindfulness is not really about visualization. Nor is it about hyperfocus, nor about any kind of self-hypnosis. It's about learning to implement a broader view, using metacognition, which is said to be something most autistics are stronger in than NTs.

Devon Price, for a famous autistic example, talks about the benefits of mindfulness training, and though sometimes adaptations may be needed, some autistics do benefit from all of the above.

Just another example of how we are all different, I guess.


Yes but do you also have ADHD and synaesthesia?
My thoughts are so fast and simultaneous that none are "dominant".
Even when I'm in a rabbit hole I'm thinking about 30 things at the same time.

I know mindfulness isn't visualisation but the two are usually taught in tandem in CBT.
Also, I know it's not supposed to involve hyperfocus.
The problem is that I need to hyperfocus to channel my thoughts in one direction.
Even then it doesn't work.
I've never known how to think about anything "on purpose".



DanielW
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10 Nov 2022, 6:57 pm

I don't have a single dominant thought, or one at a time in progression. I get everything, all at once, many parallel thoughts. It can be difficult to sort out which information I actually need in the moment vs whats not needed. I've tried to explain that to NT's, but they don't really get it. Hyperfocus, can almost become micro-focus compared to what my normal though process looks like



Last edited by DanielW on 10 Nov 2022, 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

IsabellaLinton
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10 Nov 2022, 6:59 pm

DanielW wrote:
I don't have a single dominant thought, or one at a time in progression. I get everything, all at once, many parallel thoughts. It can be difficult to sort out which information I actually need in the moment vs whats not needed. I've tried to explain that to NT's, but they don't really get it.


We need a like button. ^

It's hard to explain it to some of the people on WP as well.



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10 Nov 2022, 10:23 pm

DanielW wrote:
I don't have a single dominant thought, or one at a time in progression. I get everything, all at once, many parallel thoughts. It can be difficult to sort out which information I actually need in the moment vs whats not needed. I've tried to explain that to NT's, but they don't really get it. Hyperfocus, can almost become micro-focus compared to what my normal though process looks like

I get the parallel thoughts - or tons of thoughts that branch off like a tree, and then I feel compelled to track them all down. Every one of them feels really important at the time, but often not so important later. I can't easily sort out which thoughts I need, so I try to grab or communicate the whole lot. And my poor short-term memory means that the thoughts are disappearing on me as I try to catch them. I've become quite good at it, if it can be called good, but at the time it feels like there's something impossible about it. I don't think it happened when I was a child.

I once read a book (can't remember the subject) that said the way to think well was to first collect all relevent information and then process it (can't remember how it was supposed to be processed). For a few years I thought I must have taken the book's idea too much to heart, but now I think it was just ASD.



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11 Nov 2022, 4:15 am

I'm with redqueenspawn on this.

I find people's difficulty with mindfulness meditation is often a result of having the goal of wanting to relax. Having a goal is antithetical to mindfulness. And relaxation can be a consequence of mindfulness but it is not what we are doing sitting on the mat.

Mindfulness is being aware if what is happening, while it is happening, without judgement.
So if my mind is busy, then I am just non-judgmentally being with my busy mind. And Yes, that is hard. The most difficult thing to do, possibly.
The more I do it though, the shorter the time gets between when I leave the support (breath) and when I realise I'm thinking. And I can be very distracted!! My worst was sitting down to meditate and then finding myself in the kitchen making tea! But I understand now that if I keep doing it without making a judgement of myself, it very gradually gets better. And with that training my life flows better and I have more control.

I look at it as the practice of being with myself. All of me without deciding what is good or bad or even labelling what I think I am. That is very liberating. I have found enormous self acceptance through this method.

I think a lot depends on finding a good teacher. The problem with stuff online is that there are many pitfalls and one needs help through those.


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11 Nov 2022, 10:48 am

ThisTimelessMoment wrote:
I'm with redqueenspawn on this.

I find people's difficulty with mindfulness meditation is often a result of having the goal of wanting to relax. Having a goal is antithetical to mindfulness. And relaxation can be a consequence of mindfulness but it is not what we are doing sitting on the mat.

Mindfulness is being aware if what is happening, while it is happening, without judgement.
So if my mind is busy, then I am just non-judgmentally being with my busy mind. And Yes, that is hard. The most difficult thing to do, possibly.
The more I do it though, the shorter the time gets between when I leave the support (breath) and when I realise I'm thinking. And I can be very distracted!! My worst was sitting down to meditate and then finding myself in the kitchen making tea! But I understand now that if I keep doing it without making a judgement of myself, it very gradually gets better. And with that training my life flows better and I have more control.

I look at it as the practice of being with myself. All of me without deciding what is good or bad or even labelling what I think I am. That is very liberating. I have found enormous self acceptance through this method.

I think a lot depends on finding a good teacher. The problem with stuff online is that there are many pitfalls and one needs help through those.

I recognised some of my experiences in that. I've been fond of the "stilling the mind" thing for decades - the process of emptying the mind of thoughts. When I tried it I soon discovered that I wasn't as much the master of my own mind as I'd always assumed. It was like trying to smooth the surface of a pond with a flat-iron. It was reassuring to find out that the Zen people know that's the way it is. I gather there's a better approach that resembles your description. What I did was to switch to a Sufi meditation which involves paying attention to the air coming in and out of the nostrils. I can't say I've had great results, but nor have I completely failed, which I see as good enough at this stage.

As for the teacher thing, I like what Alan Watts said - "Anybody who wants to see a psychiatrist ought to have their head examined." It both agrees and disagrees with you.



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11 Nov 2022, 11:25 am

ThisTimelessMoment wrote:

Mindfulness is being aware if what is happening, while it is happening, without judgement.
So if my mind is busy, then I am just non-judgmentally being with my busy mind. And Yes, that is hard. The most difficult thing to do, possibly.


I am aware of what's happening, when it's happening, without judgement. Always. 24/7. Even when I'm asleep. I'm a spectator inside in my own mind, seeing, noting, recording and remembering in third person. It's this metacognition I need to escape from because it can lead to dissociation, especially given my poor interoceptive awareness (forgetting I have a body.)

Every thought, word, or sensation that crosses my mind deconstructs instantaneously to associations, flashbacks, colours and tastes and textures (from synaesthesia), to waves of emotion, song lyrics, and metaphysical noumena. Given that I have parallel thoughts this can be happening tens or hundreds of times in a split second or one moment of introspection.

Mindfulness for me means simultaneous explosions, masses of colour, light, thought, sensation, and emotion, often with conflicting moods or triggers. They tangle and overlap causing Alexithymia. I never know quite what I feel because it's never one emotion at a time, and multiple colours mixed together make brown. I can't isolate or follow one thought individually since my thoughts aren't linear. I can start thinking about what to make to lunch and before I think the question, I'm making connections to time, food, childhood, the colour silver, my grandmother's tea service, her house, the trees I climbed, the kid who died on the train tracks, and back to life itself. By then I forget to eat.

This is what I experience all day every day, even in my sleep. My mind is always aware of itself and its processes. I narrate my own life in my head like a stream of consciousness, so I can organise some of the chaos. Sometimes the only way to understand my mind is to be an objective, omniscient observer but when that happens I forget I'm part of the world and my place in it.

What works best for me is to shut off my mind and remember I exist. That's why I did so much OT work about finding my body and connecting to it using interoception and proprioceptive cues.



Fenn
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11 Nov 2022, 11:48 am

If I could deal with hyperfocus I probably wouldn't be replying to this thread right now. :D

One way that sometimes works for me is to "externalize" the missing EF. One of the jobs of EF is the job to "Stop" some mental task. Another job is to "Start" some mental task. My shrink once pointed out to me it is often necessary to stop one thing to start another. I notice that for a variety of reason's my "stop" and "start" functions don't fire off nerve signals to other parts of the brain. I have created software to automatically shut down my laptop at 11:55. This way I will be sure to "stop" whatever I am doing for work and go to lunch. I have tried to set alarms with lunch reminders but they just didn't work as well. It was too easy to close the window and ignore. I heard about a lawyer with ADHD who told his assistant she was not allowed to leave until he had left. She would cajole and sometimes drag him out of the office. If she didn't, his "stop" function would never fire and he would be there late into the night or until the next morning.

I have also set alarms by halves. I first calculate the amount of time from now to the event I want to "start" and divide by half. When the alarm goes off I look at the time and repeat the process: half the number of minutes from the new "now" to the event I want to "start". Like speed bumps as you near the toll booth, they get more frequent as the destination approaches. This makes it more likely that my "start" function will fire at the right time and I will not miss an important appointment, or forget to go pick up my kid at karate.

Externalizing non-working or unreliable EFs can help with hyperfocus.


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IsabellaLinton
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11 Nov 2022, 11:55 am

I've never had enough EF to make a list of all the things that would need alarms, sort the order and priority, or learn how to program them into my phone. I know the noises would just piss me off and I wouldn't want to do the thing at that time anyway. I don't like having my time regimented or structured. I'm very go-with-the-flow.

It's a good idea for the OP though.

I'm thinking of making a typed list of my daily morning "tasks" and laminating it.
Likewise I could make one for bedtime for closing the house and organising the pets.
In between I might make a few random cleaning lists for different energy levels.
Laminate all.

Then I can look at them or not, if I feel like it.
That's not to say I'll follow it all but at least it's a guide.

I needed an alarm on my phone to wake up yesterday and couldn't figure out how to do it.
It didn't ring so I give up trying again.
Good thing I'm not working anymore.



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11 Nov 2022, 12:14 pm

HYPER-focus?? I'm lucky if I can focus at all on anything, anymore. I can't really enjoy anything unless it's in small doses before my mind wanders off or I get bored and disgusted. I was once put on drugs in my early teens to help me with my concentration at school, but they didn't work and only gave me awful side effects. Of course, when I can focus on something for a long time it's always things you're *not* supposed to be focused on, like drawing a cartoon or making a craft. Whatever.



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11 Nov 2022, 1:12 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:
HYPER-focus?? I'm lucky if I can focus at all on anything, anymore. I can't really enjoy anything unless it's in small doses before my mind wanders off or I get bored and disgusted. I was once put on drugs in my early teens to help me with my concentration at school, but they didn't work and only gave me awful side effects. Of course, when I can focus on something for a long time it's always things you're *not* supposed to be focused on, like drawing a cartoon or making a craft. Whatever.

I get bored with long verbal stuff because my brain works slowly and thoroughly so I can't keep up, hence the boredom. Unless I happen to be interested. Even with written stuff which I can take at my own pace, I have to interact with it by writing my reactions to each bit as I went along or paraphrasing it chunk by chunk. Whoever decided to make kids pay attention to essentially random verbal material has a lot to answer for, but I guess NT kids have less of a problem with it. And yes, the stuff I happen to take a natural interest in is pretty much out of my control, so it's only a matter of chance when that thing happens to coincide with something that could be called important, though I've come to think that it's actually quite hard to really waste time. Your cartoons and crafts might not be a bad move.