Does ADHD affect emotions and mood?
'Emotional dysregulation', or the inability to control or regulate emotions, is increasingly recognised as a core feature of ADHD.
Adults with ADHD regularly experience sudden and extreme changes in their mood when strong emotions or feelings happen (uncontrollable laughing or crying, or heightened irritability or temper). Sometimes these expressions are more extreme than the person's feelings.
Adults with ADHD can experience stronger feelings of irritability and frustration and are quicker to get angry. They can also struggle to manage these feelings (e.g. recognising when you might be over-angry and trying to calm yourself)
What can I do about it?
- Evidence suggests that medication for adults with ADHD can help many people with the emotional aspects of ADHD. Make sure to discuss going on medication with your clinician first.
- Recent research has shown that mindfulness reduces the emotional dysregulation symptoms reported by adults with ADHD. Read more about practicing mindfulness here.
- Emotional dysregulation is most strongly associated with hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. You might find it help to read our tips for hyperactive-impulsive symptoms here.