How to Tame Your ADHD Emotions
Welcome to our blog series for Turbo ADHD brains (watch the movie, you’ll get the reference, but the short explanation is: slow as a snail when not important to you, and superspeed when you are interested). Coffee is what gets most of us going on a Monday morning, but it’s really the super juice for ADHD brains. SO, coffee and quick tips to learn more about the ADHD brain and how to make it work in your favor.
Emotions are reactions to an event that just happened. People with ADHD express emotions more intensely that are often not justified (or warranted), to the point that they are often diagnosed with a mood disorder (such as bipolar).
Whatever the emotion is in the moment becomes the FOCUS because the ADHD brain has a difficult time slowing down, putting things into perspective, and processing the event.
An emotionally mature person (by the way, there are many people without ADHD that are struggling with emotional maturity) will be able to slow down, assess the event that just took place, work through and figure out the thoughts regarding the event, figure out the emotion that comes along, think of alternate responses and be able to apply some soothing techniques to make themselves feel better. All of this takes some practice and a good coach.
In addition, ADHD people generally have a slower processing speed. They need time and space (away from the event) to process what just happened. This is especially difficult in relationships with non-ADHD partners who want an immediate response, as well as the right response.
However, 9 out of 10 times this will NOT happen when there is a child or an adult with ADHD. This can cause them to feel cornered and attacked. In some instances, they may lie to get out of the situation, they may get anxious, depressed, or even aggressive.
Emotional maturity takes time and practice but it leads to better relationships, better jobs, and better mental health. Here are a few things you can work on:
- Expressing needs and wants calmly
- Accepting differences of opinion
- Accepting losing
- Expressing unpleasant feelings
- Identifying emotions in self and others
- Paying attention to non-verbal cues
These are huge areas that should be addressed. In my “From Emotionally Challenged to Emotionally Savvy” free mini-training, I go over the beginner steps of this journey. Indifferent to whether you struggle with ADHD or an emotionally unavailable attachment style (yeah, that’s a real thing), this training will show you the steps to manage your emotions better.
If you would like additional ADHD support, I'd like to invite you to the West Valley ADHD Resources & Support Facebook group. In this free community, you will gain positive connections, helpful resources, and support without judgment or criticism for parents of children diagnosed with ADHD (or on the spectrum). I can't wait to connect with you further!
ABOUT: Dr. Ruxandra LeMay is a private practice psychologist in Litchfield Park, Arizona with experience in family therapy, ADHD, stress and anxiety management, and executive coaching. She is the author of My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2-Minute Solution For a Happier Marriage. Click HERE to check out her free resources on effective communication, emotional unavailability, intimacy, and anxiety management, or join her at www.ruxandralemay.com for monthly blog posts.