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ADHD, Anger, and Emotional Regulation

Calling triple “A”?

I was once told that I had anger management issues. I was told this by a friend I respected. But I didn’t respect her as a psychologist. Fortunately, she isn’t a psychologist.

I know I can get emotional, and what sounds like anger really is anger, but it’s anger at situations. And yes, people can cause situations so it seems like I am angry at the people involved.

And I’m sorry if it seems that way, but if the shoe fits, sometimes you have to wear it, even if it isn’t your shoe.

Size matters …

Well, maybe not so much size, as your involvement. that was just stretching the shoe analogy too far.

But what I really do want to tell you is that ADHD does involve an inability to regulate emotions optimally. So when I get upset with a situation, as I said, it can seem very much like I’m angry. Angry at people. Angry at you.

Anxiety and anger

I suffer from anxiety still. I don’t talk about it much. It’s so much better than it was, that I feel I mask it very well from all but the closest of friends. And these days even I can’t find traces of it a lot of the time.

But when it comes, it is ugly and fearsome. And that too makes me upset. So a situation that makes me angry, and triggers my anxiety, is the perfect storm of emotion and I am just a chip on the waves to be slammed about in whatever direction.

What kind of situation?

Well, a situation where things are decided that affect me, when I’m not present to give my defense or consent is a good one. Especially if it changes things in my future that I was planning on.And because of the reduced emotional regulation, I may find myself having to explain my actions and reactions even to me.

Not what I want …

It certainly isn’t, nor do I want people to have to tiptoe around me. If I had a choice I would deal with this stuff much better. But I don’t.

I’ve said in the past that ADHD is having to say “I’m sorry” a lot. And it doesn’t help that I’m Canadian. And I won’t stop being polite and seeking absolution when things go foul for me, but I do wish that I could change this one aspect about myself.

Because …

Well, because, quite frankly, my anxiety and my underdeveloped emotional regulation really do piss me off.

ADHD, Anger, and Emotional Regulation

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2017). ADHD, Anger, and Emotional Regulation. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2017/03/adhd-anger-and-emotional-regulation/


Last updated: 27 Mar 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Mar 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.