This reply was originally posted by user ADDRussian in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
In my life (i am 40+) I have lost jobs, money, freedom, relationships, health… (to name a few) “thanks” to ANGER.
Every time I get angry at someone it is like an attack that i was “returning” to someone who supposedly “attacked” me… (sometimes it was an ‘attack’ at me indeed, but the might and nastiness of my ‘returned favor’ by far exceeded the harm or insult or disrespect to me…besides, getting angry is like a shot of adrenaline.
It wakes you up, it makes you feel stronger, more important, more capable to ‘defend’ yourself, etc.
It often makes you feel more alive, regardless of the negativity behind anger episodes.
It took me a while to not only realize that in most cases when i got aggressive/angry or acted like an asshole without necessity I HURT MYSELF with this anger, not the ‘attacker’ to presumably offended me.
Anger is a natural thing though (think of how many animals (and sometimes humans…) have saved their lives due to anger warning (think about roaring bear or tiger or million other examples of mammals using anger as a necessity, to truly protect themselves…). However. when a human erupts with an impulse of anger he often acts out of his (past) pain and discomfort and/or general unhappiness and feeling inadequate or hurt, and/or of his/her inacceptance and condemnation of him/her/self… I was shocked to discover that 4 out of 5 times when i got seriously angry (and therefore caused immense destruction in my life or lives of the others) , i was shocked to discover that the direct cause of my anger was some kind of inferiority feeling or even inferiority complex..),
in other words, i may have been already inadequate (in whatever it is, per situation…) and feel hurt or mistreated or judged during most of my life of an ADD-er, and by anger and its CONSEQUENCES
i hurt myself twice as much again!!! a year ago, i loudly and angrily cursed at my co-worker (it was only a 30 second long conversation into which i injected all my bitterness and aggression…) , and next day i was fired.
It had taken me 3 months to find that job, and it took me 4.5 months after that to find a new job again ! imagine all the frustration, chronically destitute, etc…etc…
I strongly believe that no matter how difficult it is for an ADDer to control impulses and overcome a feeling of my life-long failure and inferiority, regardless of the fact that it is much harder for us to deal with anger than for most other neuro-typical folk, I strongly believe that it IS possible to learn to a certain degree control one’s anger.
To a degree enough not to be DANGEROUSLY destructive through anger and its intensity. And #1 ‘technique’ to do it is to become somewhat happier, more content, more APPRECIATING things which may at certain point be enough to reduce the devastating consequences of anger, to turn down its volume, so to say.
Just by alone becoming kinder to yourself it can already be achieved, improved. If you are tired of your mishaps, impulses, consequences, bad decisions, losing friends, and overall SUFFERING caused by anger, you will find a way not to eliminate but to dramatically reduce your anger, to become more forgiving and compassionate to others and self…anger creates a lot of unnecessary suffering (while some suffering (as well as a small ‘amount’ of anger…) IS in fact necessary…) the suffering which becomes overwhelming and devastating. they used to call it ‘hitting the bottom:. ” . It hurts to be angry. and it COSTS !!
here is what Buddha said about anger:
“YOU WILL NOT BE PUNISHED FOR YOUR ANGER. YOU WILL BE PUNISHED BY YOUR ANGER.”
i repeat this quote to myself as often as i can remember. and such self-reminder alone has helped me a great deal. hopefully, it will help you too.
do not give up, and do not too much trust medication either .. do not give up. there is a sure hope, and it is possible to learn to manage anger better (ADD manifestations will never be ‘cured’ or gotten rid of completely, incl. anger and impulsivity). when something (anger) starts threatening your life and survival, many people , incl. myself, have reported starting to pay more attention at this something that your life and health depends on. when something is too much or too dangerous, it is often easier to deal with it. anger is not an acception. I have met a dozen of people who have successfully curbed their anger, over the time of course, at least to a level when it does not jeopardize any more their life and health.
there is hope, for sure.