Attention Deficit and Hyperfocus: Brain Freeze — Why ADHDers Need Downtime



Mouse brain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My Brain while doing NaNoWriMo-Any Questions?

I know, I know-I’m late posting. Doing the madness inducing

writing dash for NaNoWriMo has given me a hella wicked case of brain freeze..

My own version of ADHD hyperfocus had me sitting still yesterday for…

six, s-i-x  solid hours at the computer and morphed me into a hag. 

I’m in need of downtime.

I know this because I can’t even lift the coffee cup without groaning.

To all my fellow NaNoWriMos-“Go, go, go! Write like the wind.

I’ll wave from the sidelines and rejoin you all tomorrow.” 😉

Have a groan-less good Saturday everyone!




I loved this article at Additude Magazine about Attention Deficit and Hyperfocus: Brain Freeze — Why ADHDers Need Downtime.
Written by: Stacey Turis 

I’m in that uncomfortable spot called stagnation. I’m not moving forward. My wheels are spinning like crazy, but I just can’t get traction. Most ADHDers know and despise that “stagnant” feeling. We shouldn’t take it all out on stagnation, though, because for me, stagnation is the end result of being overwhelmed.

ADHDers are great at hyperfocusing. We can do it for hours, days, or months, depending on how interesting the project is. During that period we don’t need food, water, sleep, or hygiene — though our friends and family may disagree with the hygiene part. It feels good to hyperfocus when something seemingly normal like focus is actually hard to come by. What we don’t realize is that, for long periods of time, busting our butts means busting our brains.

ADHDers need downtime. We need alone time. We need time to process things in our brain that we haven’t had time to do. We don’t process as it’s happening. We have to break it all down later when we can give the act our undivided attention. When I’m in tune with the needs of my brain, I’ll take some time to sit on my couch and look out the window, sometimes for an hour or more. I don’t even know what goes on in my brain as this is happening, because I’m not an active participant. I let it do its thing. I know thoughts are tumbling around and problems are working themselves out, so I kind of observe the process and, when it’s over, I feel less anxious and more focused. Basically, I’ve just made a bunch of room in my brain to allow things to settle in nicely. This gives me a sense of being more on top of things.

When I’m less in tune with my brain’s needs, I go full-throttle, forgetting that I have a bunch of unprocessed thoughts bouncing around in there. If they don’t get processed, they take up room and I can tell you that, with this ADHD brain, the elevator gets full fast.

When I have less room and more thoughts inhibiting my mental space, at some point everything comes to a screeching halt. My brain gives me the middle finger salute and locks the doors. It is closed for business. At this point, I’m out of luck. I can kick the doors, rattle the windows, and try to pick the locks, but until my brain has had its necessary down time, I am in the “Stagnation Zone.”

So here I am. I’ve run myself down. I’ve over-committed. Holidays keep happening, and I can’t get myself together. I’m still trying to kick in those doors and now, after writing this, I kind of feel sorry for what I’ve put my brain through lately. I need to respect its needs to operate at optimal power. I am officially letting the idea of breaking and entering go. Go in peace, brain. Do your thing. If you love something, let it free, blah, blah, blah…you’re coming back, though, right?



6 thoughts on “Attention Deficit and Hyperfocus: Brain Freeze — Why ADHDers Need Downtime”

  1. Sounds just like normal life as well, I find it magnificent you can still find time for NaNoWriMo. Cool down and start again or else we might mix up all those bouncy thoughts with our writing. And create a story that can make Nietzsche even go nuts.
    keep smiling CeeLee I am cheering all of you NaNoWriMo-ers on. Fight on. when you are ready.

    1. Heya Crow,

      Good to hear from you and am always happy to get your comments. 🙂
      Yeah, life is normal. Okay so my version of normal. LOL

      …And create a NaNoWriMo story that can make Nietzsche even go nuts…

      Now that made me smile despite the Numb Brainitis, you certainly have the knack for that! LOL
      And I’m trying my best, or I was…today is break day. The brain demands it.

      Finding the time to write the NaNoWriMo story isn’t as easy as it appears. (glares at laundry pile)
      Nope, not easy, but given the alternatives…(rolls eyes at dishes in sink)
      I like pecking on a keyboard much more 😉

      Thank you so much for being in the cheering section. That just rocks 🙂

    1. Hi kristi 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by the Adult Pool
      and for taking the time to comment.
      I’m really glad you got to read it. I’m always happy to share.
      Killer article wasn’t it?

      Anytime you lose the magazine, just swing on by~
      I’m sure I’ll have it. Er…um…somewhere. 😉

  2. I love people to smile and gladly make them smile. Keep positive right. Or something in that direction.
    A knack for making you smile, i take that as a compliment. Hope you recuperated enough and is ready for an upcoming post you are mentioned in.
    I say throw a Nietzsche curved ball up and have hubby catch it and do the dishes. And he Fumblesss.. redneck looses with one point. the dog beat him with a nose length.

    Pretty sure the laundry pile might have helped sitting in front of washing machine. watching it going around and around and arouind…. and …a…r….ound. yawn. hypnotizing, I am recharged, I have the energy. I want sex on the dryer.
    Okay okay to much..
    keep Smiling.

    1. Curve balls, fumbles, nose lengths, and conspiracies of all kinds, yes-you pegged it right Crow.
      That’s life as I know it here in the hills and hollers I call home.
      At least I’m not as loony and can move without groaning as I was last Saturday. 🙂

      And so it’s my turn to see the bright shiny pieces of your humor and personality shine? Cool. 🙂
      At risk of over-share or opening the door to questions that might get rowdy… hehe
      The dryer thing?…sounds much better than in reality-heh-trust me.
      The body logistics are a bit of a challenge.
      Jus’ sayin’ 😉

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