Have you ever become wholly lost while working on a project? When the world around you seem to vanish, leaving you alone with whatever is in front of you? Although hyperfixation in autism, also known as hyperfocus, can foster an environment that is ideal for productivity and creativity, it also has a negative side.
Most people experience periods of deep focus throughout the course of the day. However, the word “hyperfocus” (or “hyperfixation”) is actually used to describe a component of mental health difficulties.
What is Hyperfixation?
The terms hyperfixation and hyperfocus may conjure up images of the “flow state” that many people strive for, in which the outside world fades away as you enter a deep state of creativity and time appears to slow down as you complete your tasks. An individual facing hyperfixation, on the other hand, is not in the flow and, in fact, is disconnected from themselves.
Hyperfixation is a term used to describe an overstated interest, bordering on obsession, in a particular subject. People with autism, ADHD or any other neurological disorders are more likely to experience it.
What are The Causes of Hyperfixation?
The underlying cause of hyperfixation is unknown to those who suffer from it. What is understood is that hyperfixation is frequently used by people to avoid negative feelings and emotions. By concentrating all of their attention on one thing, they crowd out the unpleasant feelings associated with ADHD and autism.
The Problems Associated with Hyperfixation
Some of the common problems associated with hyperfixation are:
- Wasted Time: Most people who suffer from hyperfixation are unaware of the amount of effort and time they devote to their obsession. This can result in isolation and wasted hours in a world cut off from reality.
- Difficulty Socializing: Problems in socialising are also common with hyperfixation, as the matter of fixation occupies too much mental space to be pleased with other people. This frequently results in social exclusion, solitude, and boredom.
- Insomnia: As the topic of obsession may keep a person awake at night or awaken them in the late hours of the night, making it difficult to fall back asleep, insomnia is a very frequent side effect of hyperfixation.
How can You Manage Hyperfixation?
Many people who suffer from hyperfixation aren’t even aware of it. As a result, the first step in dealing with hyperfixation is to become conscious of the habit and determine the exact topic of your hyperfocus.
Dealing with hyperfixation can be difficult, but there are tools that can help you move freely. After becoming conscious of the cause of your fixation, you can use rational planning and mindfulness methods to establish distance and framework around it. Working with a professional can be very beneficial in most cases for determining the fundamental root of the fixation and unravelling the obsessive need or constant focus in your life.