ADHD Emotional Rollercoaster

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    • #47407

      My son was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD six months ago. Since his diagnoses we have tried numerous treatments of dietary and medication. He is currently on his fifth trial of medication, taking Clonidine twice a day and Vyvanse once a day. With the help of his APRN and counselor we are making progress. There have been a few set backs but the overall trajectory appears to being going in the right direction.

      The issue I’m struggling with, is managing my own emotions over his behavior. I often find myself resenting him, thinking he is doing this on purpose, etc. Although I know set backs are going to happen it breaks me down mentally each time they occur. I’m scared each time the phone rings that it is the school calling me to tell me my child has hurt another child. My biggest fear is my child will someday seriously hurt another child. I visit with his counselor once a month but I still lose it from time to time. I just don’t know what else to do to control my own emotions. I want to stay strong so that I can focus on helping him.

    • #47413

      What you are going through is very common! I can’t tell you how many parents I work with feel the same way you do (and I also did when my son was younger)!

      The most important thing for you to keep in mind is that what causes our emotions is not circumstances, what happens to us, or what others are doing (or not doing)–It’s actually our thoughts that result in emotions! This is actually really good news because while you can’t control or change what your son does or doesn’t do, you CAN control and change your thoughts about it…and when your thoughts change, your feelings will change.

      So, you don’t have to be “strong”, or to suppress your emotions. You just have to recognize that when you are feeling a certain way, it’s because of some thoughts…and as soon as you start “looking” at those thoughts, questioning them and replacing them with thoughts that are perhaps more true (like in the example of the thought ‘he’s doing this on purpose’), you will immediately start to feel better. Also, if you can try to stay in the moment and just deal with things as they come up (and stop yourself when you start worrying about what might happen), you will start to feel better.

      I wish you the best!

      Joyce Mabe
      Parenting Coach, school counselor, mom of adult son with ADHD, author

    • #47857
      Penny Williams

      You shouldn’t fight your emotions, but rather validate your feelings and work through them. Here’s a piece I wrote about this process:

      Every parent “loses it” sometimes! The best thing you can do for yourself (and your son) is detach from his behavior emotionally. It’s not personal, and most of the time it’s not likely even intentional. Your energy is so much better spent on getting to know his strengths and weaknesses well and then addressing triggers.

      If you haven’t, read Ross Greene’s book, “The Explosive CHild.”You will better understand the behavior after reading it, and, when you better understand the behavior, you don’t take it personally, or as disrespect, but you address it in a meaningful way.

      Learn the Right Reasons for Your Child’s “Wrong” Behavior

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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