ADHD and mood swings

ByThe Understood Team

People with ADHD often have trouble managing their emotions. And they tend to feel emotions more intensely than other people. The result? For some, it can mean mood swings that leave the people around them wondering what caused such a quick change in attitude and behavior.

It may not take much to set the pendulum in motion. Getting a bad grade, having to work late, even spilling a drink can instantly change a fine mood into a foul one. The anger or frustration may last the rest of the day — or disappear within 10 minutes.

When people with ADHD have mood changes, they may not see their behavior or how it’s impacting others. Afterward, they often feel bad about how they’ve been acting. They typically don’t mean to be moody or grumpy. But sometimes they may need support to build the skills to control it.

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About the author

About the author

The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Thomas E. Brown, PhD is a clinical psychologist and clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.