Anger management is a problem for adults with ADHDBefore writing this article, I looked up the definition of anger in the Oxford English Dictionary and what I found  was:
” the strong feeling caused by extreme displeasure”

However that seems a very delicate way to describe the intense emotions of fury and rage that engulfs an angry person and results in aggression and violence.

My personal experience of very angry people was in a hospital setting during my days as a nurse. Angry people are a little scary because of their unpredictability. You don’t know what they are going to do next, hurt you, themselves (e.g by hitting a wall) or both. In fact even the angry person rarely knows what they are going to do during this time.

Every day life, can evoke extreme anger in people, that is why there is road rage, fights, and damage to personal property.


Anger management is a problem for adults with ADHD for four reasons:

1) The impulsive aspect of ADHD means if you feel angry, you immediately express it. You don’t get the ‘lead time’ that a non ADHD person has even if it’s only a few seconds.

2) Low levels of frustration, mean that you experience frustration rapidly which can then trigger anger.

3) Mood swings,  ADHD adults can experience the whole range of emotions, from happiness, sadness,and anger all in the space of a morning. People with ADHD experience these mood changes more than a non ADHD person.

4) Stress, having ADHD is stressful. If your ADHD is unmanaged, you feel constantly overwhelmed and stressed.

Anger is a normal human emotion, and it can be useful. However, if you are feeling that your expression of anger is holding you back in life, or is becoming problematic for your relationships, here is what to do:

1.Walk away
No matter how hard, walk away from the provoking situation. The more you do this, the easier it will become. You can resolve the issue later. Because you have ADHD, your anger comes and goes quickly. So it won’t be long before you feel calm again.

2.Develop assertiveness skills
People that express anger, worry they will be taken advantage of. However expressing anger is just one way to deal with situations. Since the repercussions of anger are so devastating to personal relationships, assertiveness is a great tool to develop.

3.Reflect
The intense anger you feel, is unlikely to be a result of what is happening in the current situation. It is more likely to be due to an unresolved issue from the past, and the current situation reminds you of the upsetting past experience. You might need help from a professional to assist you to make these connections, but getting to the root cause can be very freeing.

4.Learn to express yourself
Getting angry is how you express ‘extreme displeasure’. However, you can learn to do that in other ways too. You will be pleasantly surprised how much you achieve when you are developing good communications.

5.Exercise
Exercise helps to dispel negative emotions. Exercise every day.
You might consider taking up a Martial art. Not only is it a great exercise, it is a great way to discipline your emotions and channel them in a controlled way.

Remember, experiencing anger doesn’t make you a bad person. After having an angry explosion, you might feel exposed, ashamed and mortified. Don’t dwell on these feelings to make yourself feel bad. Do however use them them as a catalyst for change.

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