So, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD) and emotions…apples and oranges, right? Not so much.
The most cutting-edge research continues to demonstrate that the inability to regulate emotions is a core feature of ADHD. Many ADHD adults struggle with sudden bursts and prolonged periods of anger, fear, or guilt (to name a few) that can cause issues in their relationships, careers, and self-esteem. Difficulty with emotional regulation can even increase susceptibility to other conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Despite the research, the connection between ADHD and emotions has been left out of the mental health conversation for years. As a result, emotional regulation therapy for ADHD has been overlooked. And as it turns out, learning tools to manage emotions isn’t just helpful for a happier ADHD life, it’s critical. Let’s dive in, shall we?
How are Emotional Dysregulation Issues Experienced in ADHD Adults?
Many ADHD adults feel that they experience emotions more deeply than others. They are not wrong. ADHD causes affective intensity, which means the emotional depth they experience is more significant than neurotypical people. As a result, they might hear from others that they are “too sensitive.”
Secondly, ADHD people also experience emotional modulation issues, which means they struggle to regulate the big emotions they experience. Think of it like a lion being let out of a cage (rather than a house cat), and the lion tamer is running ten minutes late.
How Does Emotional Regulation Look to Others in ADHD Adults?
ADHD people are more prone to anger and irritability than neurotypical people. At times, this can result in sudden and unexplainable outbursts. One theory as to why has to do with the inherent frustration involved in struggling to regulate your thoughts and actions.
Excessive Fear and Worry
The ADHD brain is more prone to catastrophic thoughts. This can be tied to an anxiety disorder, the result of an overwhelmed nervous system, or both.
Big emotions can cause two main issues with emotions. The first is emotional flooding, which causes excessive yelling or difficulty organizing one’s point of view. For some, this can look like tunnel vision, driving home one’s perspective and not taking into account additional perspectives or information.
The second is shutdowns. This is a way of expressing big feelings by simply not expressing them at all.
How Emotional Regulation Therapy Help with Adult ADHD?
It sounds simple, but many ADHD adults will tell you that they’re often unaware of how they feel in the first place. Learning mindfulness skills to get better at identifying feelings helps. Part of emotional regulation therapy also involves identifying triggers for strong emotions.
After you name it, you need to learn to tame it. Emotional regulation therapy can help you learn the most effective tools to down-regulate big emotions.
Ok, so you’ve named it, you’ve tamed it, now it’s time to learn to express it. Learning how to communicate more effectively can help you feel more understood.
Begin Adult ADHD Treatment in Columbus, Ohio
You don’t have to live your life feeling like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster. ADHD-focused counseling can help you feel more present. Our Columbus, OH counseling practice in Columbus, Ohio has caring therapists who specialize in ADHD Treatment. To start your counseling journey, follow these simple steps:
- Fill out the contact form to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.
- Meet with one of our caring therapists.
- Stop feeling overwhelmed. Start finding your calm.
Other ADHD Services Offered at Focused Mind ADHD Counseling
Adult ADHD treatment is not the only service we offer at our Columbus, OH counseling practice. At Focused Mind ADHD Counseling, we offer a variety of mental health services including ADHD testing. As an adult with ADHD, we know you may also benefit from anxiety treatment for ADHD, counseling for men with ADHD, or depression counseling for ADHD. You can also view our blog for more resources and helpful info!