Last updated:

March 10, 2024


 min read

What is Hyperfocus? Can it affect Adults and Children?

Discover the impact of hyperfocus in children and adults with ADHD, exploring its symptoms, misconceptions, and how it can affect daily life. Learn how lifestyle factors and early intervention play a crucial role in managing and preventing ADHD symptoms.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects one’s ability to concentrate, control impulses, and manage hyperactivity. A diagnosis of ADHD is usually made after the age of 4 years.

To diagnose the disorder, a RCI registered clinical psychologist/Associate Clinical Psychologist /Psy.D. In Clinical Psychology will take a comprehensive evaluation of the child. This includes details of the child’s prenatal and perinatal history, medical and physical history, and developmental history. The psychologist would also use rating scales to ensure a more holistic overview of the diagnosis. 

Adults and children with ADHD may show hyperfocus and hyperfixation, while the link is considered rather controversial by some health professionals. This is due to a lack of evidence supporting them as recognised symptoms, as well as the fact that not all people with ADHD show cognitive difficulties with attention regulation.

Exploring Hyperfocus in Children

Hyperfocus is defined as a brief period of intense, sustained attention on a specific task or activity. A child who has hyperfocus may become so involved in a task that they appear to 'block out' anything else going on around them until they eventually get out of this state. A child, for example, may be so immersed in a smartphone game that they find it difficult to move their attention away from it (until the phase of hyperfocus ends), even when a parent calls their name or talks directly to them. 

After doing an activity that requires maximum focus, for example, reading a comic book, the child's hyperfocus usually decreases. Children experiencing hyperfocus may show these symptoms:

  •  An extended and intense period of focus on a specific task or activity
  • An evident absence of awareness of items irrelevant to the hyper focused task
  • a tendency to become overly fixated on enjoyable or interesting activities
  • A improvement in the task or activity's performance

Hyperfocus is not always related with ADHD, and much of the scientific evidence relating the two is based on anecdotal evidence. However, hyperfocus is a symptom that many children with ADHD might experience, and the way it impacts the child varies tremendously depending on how it is managed.

If you think your child is dealing from ADHD or any mental health disorder it is best to reach out to a mental health professional. 

Exploring Hyperfocus in Adults 

When an adult with ADHD becomes hyper focused, they remain so until they exhaust themselves or something of greater interest comes along. Things like hunger, the need to use the restroom, or a partner's gentle reminders are usually insufficient to cause an improvement in concentration. These interruptions may frustrate and annoy the person with ADHD until they become sufficiently urgent or uncomfortable.

Hyperfocus is most likely to result from activities that activate the brain's reward systems. Playing video games, practising a musical instrument, browsing social media, or making art are a few examples. Working on a car or cutting the hedges, which appear to be monotonous jobs, can be quite exciting for some people.

Adults with ADHD experience hyperfocus in a number of situations, including college, employment, and hobbies. It can be useful in some circumstances. In others, it can be a significant obstacle.

Many people, for example, find that their hyperfocus on "fun" activities causes them to neglect other important things. They have little time and energy left after using up all of their time and energy during a hyperfocus session. This can lead to frustration, exhaustion, and regret.

On the other hand, hyperfocus can be an asset. It enables persons with ADHD to achieve increased productivity. When activated, this "flow state" can allow for great progress on critical activities. 

Breaking the Misconceptions of Adult ADHD 

We are all in need of a little more help with focusing and staying on a task. However, for those suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it is about more than just trouble concentrating. People with ADHD have excessive energy levels, face difficulty in focusing, and are prone to impulsivity, among other symptoms. Just a few years earlier, children and adults with ADHD received the same treatment. However, now there are different approaches for both children and adults. Many individuals continue to hold onto this common myth, however, we now know that it is false!


ADHD is a complex condition influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, including lifestyle choices. Understanding the role of lifestyle factors in the development and management of ADHD is essential for individuals and families dealing with this condition. By adopting healthy dietary practices, sleep routines, exercise, and stress management techniques, individuals can better manage their ADHD symptoms. Moreover, early prevention and lifestyle modifications can play a significant role in reducing the risk of ADHD in the first place.

Ready to take control of your mental health journey? Reach out to Rocket Health today and start prioritizing your well-being!


20 Stress Management techniques: Your Guide to Stress-Management. (n.d.).

Attention-Deficit / hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). (2023, October 16). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.