HYPERFIXATION: DEFINITION, BENEFITS, DISADVANTAGES AND MANAGEMENT
What is Hyperfixation?
How Does Hyperfixation Affect Children and Adults with ADHD?
Advantages and Disadvantages of Hyperfocus
Advantages of Hyperfixation
- Get a lot done in a short amount of time
- Complete tasks and projects
- Fully devote attention to an area of interest
- Improve skills through hours of focused effort
- Hyperfocus on relationships, making them stronger
Disadvantages of Hyperfixation
- Forgetting to do critical things like eating and sleeping
- Focusing on pointless, irrelevant, or inappropriate tasks
- Failing to show up—physically or emotionally—when people need you
- Neglecting important responsibilities and relationships to the point of destroying them
How to Manage ADHD Hyperfixation
1. Set boundaries: Before getting immersed in a task or project, decide what might be a reasonable time commitment. Maybe you allow one hour per day for the project and ten minutes per day to discuss how it’s going.
2. Involve loved ones: Being honest with those in your inner circle can help shatter stigmas and make everyone comfortable addressing these issues. Brainstorm ways of helping the fixated person “break free” when they seem lost in the process.
3. Redirect attention: Don’t be afraid to set multiple highly visible reminders. These might include alarms, timers, or enlisting someone to help the hyperfocused person break free with an instant message, phone call, or knock on the door.
4. Remember that hyperfixation can be a superpower. There are many examples of people who harnessed their focus to complete complex projects, master complicated subjects, or excel at sports.