Many people with ADD (attention-deficit disorder) have trouble focusing on a task for very long. Because of this genetic assumption may people think that if a person can focus on something for hours on end, then they don’t have ADD. However, being able to hyperfocus on something is a classic symptom of ADD.
ADD is attention-deficit disorder. Common symptoms of having ADD include not being able to focus on things for very long, and getting distracted very easily. Those that suffer from ADD have a tendency to be impulsive. ADD suffers will want to pay attention. Experts still debate as to the cause of ADD, but they have seen a genetic connection. Lack of certain chemicals, head injuries and low birth weight have also been linked to ADD.
What is Hyperfocus
Anybody that has known a person with ADD may be a little surprised to see them focus on an activity for hours with little distraction. These activities can be video games, TV, and/or surfing the internet. Often the activity is one of instant satisfaction and great interest of the person with ADD. Often when others see an ADD patient focus like this they believe that this person could not have ADD because they can pay attention to these things for long periods of time. In fact, often these patients will focus so hard that they have to be ‘snapped out of it’. They will pay little attention to anything else, letting common responsibilities go without attention. This would include house chores, relationships, work responsibilities and many more things that others would consider important.
Why does Hyperfocus happen
Imagine always being distracted by everything all of the time. After awhile, your brain and mental health will get tired. Therefore, hyperfocus is born as a way to cope and ‘relax’ from the constant distractions. When these patients are focusing on their conscious or subconsciously chosen activity it is them given their brains a break of sorts. If a ADD patient can learn to channel their hyperfocus into one of the necessary activities then they would be able to achieve much more then what they realize.
Before making an assumption about whether a person has ADD or not, you must understand the disorder as a whole. ADD is much more then being distracted easily. It is more a disorder that is defined my attention deregulation. Seeing your family or friends hyperfocus will mean that you will need to gently ‘snap them out’ of their place to remind them or things that need to be done. This does not need to be done harshly, but it does need to be done.