Interest is required for memory encoding – it can be positive or negative

Memories are encoded with interest – when we are not interested in the thing we tend not to encode it. This is how exam info is forgotten really quickly for subjects we don't like. But we also do this for tasks we don't like doing, and we berate ourselves when we do them.

Instead of robbing ourselves of joy – as I am super guilty of, if we can take a moment and record that we did the task and remember the feeling of completion rather than saying: "OMG WHY DID I TAKE SO LONG TO DO THIS?"
We can actually encode success, not the perceived failure.

We do encode the interest in that situation – but it's the negative interest, not the positive one.

This leads to all or nothing thinking:

"I can NEVER do this easily, why do I ALWAYS struggle with this" etc.

Nothing like completing a task and then deciding to reinforce the ‘Wall of Awful’ with another failure brick and corresponding emotion.

Remember hyperfocus is stuff we are interested in:
That interest can be positive – hobbies, things we enjoy doing.
That interest can also be negative – repeated failures during rumination.

The curse of the super interested brain and a lot of negative reinforcement – endless invisible barriers built by other people that we use to stop ourselves.

Originally tweeted by Rory – ADHD Autistic OCD (@roryreckons) on November 24, 2021.

Published by roryreckons

I am an ADHD/Autism Coach as well as ADHD/Autism/OCD/CPTSD advocate and independent ADHD/Autism researcher. I am an ADHD/Autism Coach who trained through the ADD Coaching Academy. I write mainly about ADHD/Autism/OCD/Mental health issues, but will also discuss morality, abolition, and current affairs occasionally.

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