Hyperfixations, are thought by some to be hyperfocus gone bad! This is a very fine line. Hyperfocus is a positive thing, as you will read elsewhere. It’s a real perk for autistics and ADHDers (and we need every perk we can get). Hyperfixations, on the other hand, seem to describe the point at which our focus excludes everything else to the point of being unhealthy. That could be unhealthy for us, the impact it has on those around us, or both.

ADHDers are thought to be particularly vulnerable to this. And who can blame us? When we finally tap into our flow, and find something that holds our attention, something that soothes our electrified bodies and minds, why would we want to stop? It’s completely understandable that we’d just stay there – doing our thing.

I do it. I sit here for 14 hours a day at the moment, while I’m writing this glossary. I have no regrets. I am hurting no one. I’m lucky to have an understanding husband, who knows that I need this in order to stay emotionally level. I’m also fortunate in that the two dependents I still have are very lazy Miniature Schnauzers – happy to sleep all day and go wild on the beach for an hour in the early evening.

If my husband suddenly declared that we needed to go out and I was in the middle of writing this, that wouldn’t go down well at all. I’d probably refuse. Does that mean I’m hyperfixated? Or does that mean I’m prioritising my hyperfocus and my special interest? Who gets to decide whether I’m fixated or just deeply engaged?

I suppose that what makes it potentially unhealthy is if we forget to eat, take medication, rehydrate, walk the dogs, collect the kids from school, attend important appointments – all those mundane but essential aspects of life that really annoy us when we’re in the zone.

This article: ADHD & Hyperfixation: The Phenomenon of Extreme Focus may make things clearer.