I was diagnosed with ADHD one year ago at the age of 27. During the previous decade, I felt like a total outsider and (now I know) hyperfocused on figuring out what is wrong with me. Now I know! (And I can appreciate that there wasn't anything "wrong" to start with.) I've reached a place where I can take care of myself and am no longer steeped in depression. But I can't stop researching ADHD and trying to figure myself out. How do I end this hyperfocus and get on with my life?
Okay, so this has been here a while and we had a long conversation about it. I’m going to basically summarize for you what we concluded (and leave out the irrelevant bits because yeah, irrelevant).
So first of all, you’re describing a special interest or an obsession, not a hyperfocus. Hyperfocus lasts for a period of consecutive hours and does have an end point. If you sleep in there then it’s not hyperfocus. However, you can totally hyperfocus on a special interest, so there’s that!
Now, it sounds like you’re doing this thing that I am prone to, which is introspection and self-analysis. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but can become a problem if you do it too much. I felt like an outsider all my life and started writing constantly in a journal when I was 13. I basically only stopped when I started blogging in 2004, when I was 27. Now I blog a lot but I don’t spend so much time navel-gazing as I used to. There’s too much else going on in my life!
So here’s what I’ve learned about this stuff: my diagnosis does not change who I am as a person; I was always this way and I will probably always be this way (with small changes, because nobody is static). Also, nobody has themselves figured out, so I don’t have to figure myself out either. I just have to accept myself as I am in each moment of the day. The rest will sort itself out if I can do that. Finally, life is happening whether you figure yourself out or not. If you are waiting to know everything there is to know about yourself before you get out there and do things and live your life, you will never do anything with yourself. I am going to challenge you now to do something new, to just pick something you have always wanted to try, and make it happen. You don’t need to know yourself before you do something like that, and doing things with your life is a great way to learn more about yourself!
The last thing I am going to say here is that if you are having a really hard time letting go of this obsession, you should probably talk to a counsellor of some kind and get help making that happen.
Good luck, and let us know what you decide to try first!