Reply To: Emotional Outbursts — Help!

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I have ADHD and definitely know what you are talking about. I’m 36 and feel I have really tried to understand these outbursts and emotion that goes along with them.
1. Hyperfocusing- I get very very cranky when I hyperfocus for more than 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter what task I’m doing. It’s worse when I’m on the computer. It’s much worse when I’m frustrated about the task at hand. I can’t even think straight. If I’m tired as well, forget about it.
2. Patronizing parents- the worst is when parents don’t understand and pretend like they do, or when they try to fix the problem but don’t understand the problem – more importantly, they dont understand what the problem is from MY point of view. We think much differently. Don’t even try to ask us.
3. There is no logic or helping in circumstances like these. We want to vent, not to be touched, and to somehow calm down. When we vent, don’t try to fix anything. All you can do is agree. That’s it. We don’t want hugs. We feel like punching people. Learning now to calm down out of the moment so we have something familiar to go to in the moment would be useful.
4. I have had many periods of self-loathing. It’s worse when you’re smart. You try SO hard to do something you know shouldn’t be hard and you fail. Not just once, every time. Failing socially is really difficult. Everyone else just “gets” how to act or behave or have friends. We don’t. And when we mess up in life, it’s usually because we’ve hurt someone close or said something inappropriate. We do this over and over and over. I lose things every day, even when I have systems. I get SO angry with myself. All we want to hear is that it sucks that whatever is happening is happening. “That’s must be really frustrating” is a good comment to make. We cannot be fixed in the moment. Don’t bother trying. Talking to your son later to ask him what kind of things you could set up for him to make specific outbursts not happen is critical.

These behaviors will be with him for life. All you can do as a parent is give him firm boundaries, talk through his frustrations WELL AFTER the outburst, and lovingly teach him how to navigate his world so he knows he isn’t worthless- because he will feel that strongly. Get him to focus on things he’s really good at. Music saved my life!

I hope this helps!