Intense Emotions and Anger (Associated with ADHD Symptoms)
Controlling the Intense Emotions Associated with ADHD Symptoms
I frequently receive e-mails from readers asking for advice about controlling the intense emotions commonly associated with ADHD symptoms. ADHD can cause anger, depression, anxiety, fear, and other extreme feelings.
I can relate.
As someone who has struggled with ADHD their entire life, I am no stranger to the severe emotions that can accompany my “usual” ADHD symptoms. It is frustrating to not only feel your emotions spiraling out of control but watch it actually happen like an out-of-body experience.
What Causes these Intense ADHD Symptoms?
Here's the deal:
The challenge of processing certain emotions starts in the brain.
Dr.Thomas Brown suggests that impairments to the working memory in someone with ADHD allow momentary emotions to become too strong, which floods the brain with one intense emotion. Unfortunately, these moments can cause major problems in the life of a child and/or adult with ADHD.
Few doctors factor emotional challenges when making an ADHD diagnosis. However, research suggests that ADHD symptoms can also include a significant intolerance with patience, anger, frustration, and overall excitability.
The Catch-22 of ADHD Emotions
Here's the kicker:
Sometimes these types of symptoms can cause the brain to become overly flooded with one extreme emotion. A person's ADHD may act up in a way that makes them seem insensitive or oblivious to the emotions of others around them. The network of brain activity in individuals with ADHD seem to carry a limited amount of information related to emotions.
Those struggling with ADHD symptoms may involuntarily find themselves focusing on one emotion while crowding out other important information to the brain that may help moderate and regulate their behavior. This is commonly the case in those who experience moments of rage. If anger is the one emotion th
ey are focusing on, anger will also come across in an extreme manner.
Extreme Sensitivity to Disapproval – ADHD, and Anger
Those struggling with ADHD symptoms may become immersed in one emotion and have trouble focusing on other information related to the situation. Hearing even the slightest criticism may spark an immediate self-defense mode without listening to all of the information that was said to them. I have personally had this trouble from time to time in relationships. It is easy to hear a slight criticism and focus only on that part of the conversation, quickly overreacting in your response because your anger emotion has been set off.
I would highly recommend that adults with ADHD take a look at the “Ultimate Guide to Anger Management for Adults with ADHD.” This incredible video provides 9 extremely effective ways to manage anger with ADHD. It is a valuable resource for those that go from 0 to 10,000 in the raging anger department and then act as if nothing ever happened two minutes later. This valuable video teaches you how to get rid of that impulsive anger that is commonly associated with ADHD symptoms. Not only have I found it to be a great resource but our readers and customer reviews have been extremely high on this valuable video resource.
Social Anxiety and ADHD
ADHD and anxiety can often go hand in hand. Social anxiety is a very common ADHD symptom experienced by both ADHD children and adults. People with ADHD commonly live with exaggerated fears of how they are seen or heard by others. They may feel they are being seen or heard as incompetent, stupid, and/or not as cool as others.
Self Defense by Denial
Some people with ADHD are aware of their emotions but don't know how to appropriately and effectively manage them. This can lead to negative behavioral patterns to avoid situations that may incite certain emotions. They are in denial about a certain action or behavior they are feeling and demonstrating.
ADHD and Stressful Situations
Many people struggling with ADHD symptoms have trouble distinguishing the difference between serious threats and minor problems. They can often go into panic mode caused by their own thoughts or perceptions that do not warrant the response. The ADHD brain has a much more difficult time dealing rationally and realistically during stressful events.
ADHD and Depression
People struggling with ADHD symptoms can often also suffer from different forms of depression. Some being milder while others are more serious. People with ADHD who also struggle with depression symptoms can often struggle with low energy and self-esteem. The inability to better control their thoughts and actions can also lead to feelings of depression. However, feelings of depression are quite common in those with ADHD. They are almost inevitable.
Inadequate Working Memory and ADHD
Having an inadequate working memory is one of the very common ADHD symptoms. Our working memory plays a critical role in helping our brain to focus, organize, and self-regulate ourselves. Many individuals with ADHD have an inadequate working memory which explains why we are so commonly disorganized, procrastinate, and have a short temper. This causes a lot of frustration for both the individual struggling with ADHD symptoms and their loved ones. It makes communication difficult and can often result in conflict if neither party knows how to handle the situation.
The impairment of the working memory in those with ADHD can result in certain emotions becoming too strong. The impaired working memory can lead to what seems like insensitivity to the importance of other people's emotions because they are not properly processing all of the relevant information in front of them.
Coping with ADHD and Intense Emotions
Unfortunately, there is not one simple solution.
However, there are a variety of techniques and therapies that can greatly help control these ADHD symptoms. The bottom line is that children and adults with ADHD feel everything more vividly and intensely. We have trouble controlling our moods and emotions. Therefore, people with ADHD must be prepared and aware to help better cope with emotional triggers.
How to Better Manage Your Emotions with ADHD
The following are some tips that may help your ADHD from getting the best of you and making your emotions go awry.
- Put aside time to let loose – Set aside time each week to let loose in a safe way. It might be listening to listening to loud music, taking a trip somewhere, or feasting on a big meal. Either way, take some time to do you and not think twice about it.
- Recharge – People with ADHD may sometimes need time to waste without feeling guilty about it. Therefore, take some time to nap, watch TV, or even meditate. Meditation can do wonders for those struggling with ADHD.
- What about Mood Changes? –
Here's the deal:
The first thing we need to understand is that our moods will change. Regardless of what is going on around you, it will absolutely change. Don't waste time trying to figure out why or look to point the finger at someone to blame. Instead, focus on learning to tolerate bad moods, understand that it will pass, and look for ways to make it pass more quickly. Try getting involved with a new activity. Meet up with a friend, play a game, join a group of some sort. These things will help with mood swings.
- Plan ahead to deal with those inevitable days – Plan ahead of those days that you feel kind of “blah.” Have a list of friends or family to call. Sit down with some videos that engage you to take your mind off of things. Remember to tell yourself that you have been here before. The ADHD “blues” are common and inevitable. Remind yourself that you are OK because these feelings will soon pass.
Feeling Depressed After Success with ADHD
- People with ADHD commonly experience depression symptoms after having moments of success. This is because the ADHD brain was stimulated by the preparation, the challenge, and the chase of whatever they succeeded at doing. Especially ADHD adults will experience these feelings of depression after a big success because they miss the stimulus of the moment. Setting expectations for these times can help you better cope with them.
- When you are overstimulated or upset, simply leave the room. Take a walk around the block. Get into a quiet space where you can help yourself calm down. Essentially, give yourself a time-out.
More Ways to Better Manage ADHD Symptoms
Managing ADHD and Emotional Sensitivity –
People with ADHD can have very unpredictable emotions associated with their ADHD symptoms. “ADHD and Emotional Sensitivity” is a video worth the small investment. It teaches about the impact of ADHD sensitivities and provides real solutions to deal with them. It will help you develop strategies to stop the feeling of being constantly overwhelmed. This video will help you harness your sensitivity and master your moods with unique and effective strategies that you can immediately implement. It has been called required viewing for anyone struggling with ADHD!
Advocate for yourself –
Especially, adults with ADHD can get used to being criticized. This can cause them to become overly defensive trying to fight their “case.” Find ways to stand up for yourself. Don't always accept the criticism but learn to respond in a calm manner. Once you learn how to appropriately stand up for yourself, you will become less defensive when someone criticizes you in the future.
Avoid rash closure –
Don't “cut to the chase” too soon, whether it be a project, a conversation, and/or a conflict. We have a tendency to grow impatient and prematurely seek closure. Ride out the situation and make yourself aware of whatever or whoever is involved. Don't rush to find closure to everything that makes you slightly uncomfortable or stressed.
Appreciate your successful moments –
Those with ADHD tend to forget their successes all too soon. Hyperfocus is one of the most common ADHD symptoms. It can be used constructively at times and be used quite the opposite at other times. Be aware of the destructive tendency to obsess over problems that don't yet exist. Make sure to take the time to appreciate your success and you will find more gratification from the moment.
Remember to keep a sense of humor –
It is OK to joke with yourself and others about some of your symptoms. This may include your forgetfulness, getting frequently lost, or being overly impulsive. Others will forgive you more quickly if you have a sense of humor about it and acknowledge your symptoms from time to time.
Healthy Habits and Nootropic Supplementation Can Help Alleviate ADHD Symptoms
It is extremely important for those struggling with ADHD to manage their overall health.
I can't stress the importance of getting regular exercise enough. It helps us unleash all of the pent-up emotions and aggression that we may feel throughout the day.
If you haven't done so already, join a gym or put the membership you haven't been using to good use again. You will be amazed by the positive results that regular exercise can have not only for the body but for the brain, too. It also gives you an opportunity to put all of your focus into something productive. This is where hyperfocus can be used in a positive manner.
But here's the thing:
Eating the right type of foods is just as important as regular exercise.
I am speaking most specifically about brain foods and the ADHD diet.
The types of foods we eat on a regular basis can have a major impact on the symptoms we experience from ADHD. There are specific foods you should be eating and important foods that should be avoided. Be aware of the bad brain foods as well.
What is a Nootropic?
About 4 years ago I discovered nootropic supplements.
In the simplest terms, Nootropics are cognitive enhancing supplements that can improve overall cognitive functioning. This may include focus, concentration, creativity, attention, memory, reduce stress and anxiety, brain health, and overall cognitive functioning.
Nootropics are mostly meant for adults. However, there are nootropic supplement companies developing nootropics for children as well.
There are many different types of nootropic supplements. They have personally allowed me to get off of the amphetamines and other potentially dangerous prescription medications that have their fair share of short-term and long-term side effects.
Not all nootropic supplements are created equally. Some are certainly better than others. Many companies have developed pre-formulated nootropic supplements that can easily be taken on a daily basis. I have spent the greater part of the last four years testing and reviewing many different brands. You can read all of our nootropic supplement reviews to find out if any seem like they may be helpful for you.
There is also a fair share of brain supplement scams that you want to avoid. This includes companies that use word-play in an attempt to trick their audience into thinking it is a natural form of Adderall, such as AddieUp.
The Bottom Line About Managing Intense Emotions Associated with ADHD
The bottom line is that there are answers to better coping with the intense emotions commonly associated with ADHD. It is up to you to utilize these tools and strategies to help better cope with your symptoms. Remember, it is common to experience emotions of anger, depression, anxiety, fear, and other intense feelings. The first step is recognizing it and preparing yourself for the moments that you may struggle the most.
Understand that these intense emotions are common. You are not alone.
There is no need to panic or isolate yourself because you experience these extreme emotions from time to time. Some of these feelings may be worse than others. Other feelings may occur more often. Try to take action and change your habits, routines, and strategies. Don't forget that meditation can help your ADHD.
And remember that if all of these emotions become too overbearing for you, you should seriously consider speaking to a physician or specialist about your problems. Sometimes medications are necessary and there is no shame in it.
What are some of the intense emotions you have experienced with your ADHD? What types of strategies have you put into place to better manage your ADHD? Please leave your questions, comments, and ideas below!