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By Understood Team

People with ADHD tend to feel emotions more intensely than other people. At the same time, they often have a hard time managing those emotions. They may also have trouble keeping things in perspective. It’s all part of ADHD.

Even small problems can spark an angry outburst. Kids might lash out at siblings for taking a toy. Adults might yell at a co-worker who misplaced something. And the anger may last a while.

People with ADHD don’t want to overreact and lose their cool. In fact, they often feel terrible about it afterward. They need to develop the skills to keep a lid on their anger.

Self-control is part of a group of skills called executive functions. Kids with ADHD often struggle with these skills. Many kids with ADHD develop more self-control as they get older. But some struggle with anger into adulthood. With practice, people can learn these skills.

Dive deeper

The connection between ADHD and other difficulties

ADHD and anxiety often occur together. When people are anxious, they’re already emotional and on edge. It doesn’t take much for those feelings to tip over to anger. 

ADHD is linked to other mental health issues that can also drive angry reactions. These include oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and depression. 

People with ADHD may also have undiagnosed learning differences. Those challenges can add to stress. 

Learn more about ADHD and anxiety .

Problems with ADHD medication

ADHD medication can be very effective in helping some kids who struggle with self-control. It can help kids be less irritable and better able to manage their emotions. Medication doesn’t help all kids, though. And sometimes it can cause them to be more irritable.

If that happens, it’s important to tell the prescriber. ADHD medication often needs to be fine-tuned for it to work properly.

Find out why ADHD medication can sometimes cause irritability .

Next steps

When you know what sets off angry reactions, you can find strategies to manage them. Notice when outbursts happen and look for patterns in the behavior. 

You can take that information and share it with people who can help. That includes family members, teachers, medical professionals, and people at work.

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Share ADHD and anger

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Text Message
  • Coming soonGoogle Classroom