17 Ways to Throttle Intense Emotions
We asked our readers: Which therapy, treatment, or strategy has helped you best manage the difficult emotions that can come with ADHD?
1. I manage intense emotions by walking away from a situation, counting to myself to calm down, then returning to the situation.
— Nicole B., Amherst, New York
2. Medication and articles on the ADDitude website.
4. I learned some techniques in therapy, including taking several seconds to stop and ask myself things like, “What am I really angry about right now?” before I respond.
—Jen, Orange Park, Florida
5. A combination of Concerta and psychotherapy. The meds helped me stay focused and the therapy helped me deal with the shame I felt growing up, thinking I was stupid.
—Lee Wardlaw, Santa Barbara, California
6. I’m still working on it, but prayer, reading my Bible, and specifically focusing on anger are helping. Joyce Meyer’s books, especially Battlefield of the Mind (#CommissionsEarned), are great, as well.
—Terri, Camarillo, California
7. Talk therapy and having my therapist monitor my medication. She has also suggested nutritional changes that have made a huge difference in my mood and focus.
—Lalena Lent, Torrance, California
8. A combination of medicine, talk therapy, executive coaching, and cognitive behavioral therapy has helped.
—Chris Keating, St. Louis, Missouri
9. CBT and ADHD meds have helped, but an understanding spouse, with gentle reminders and strong rebukes, when needed, is the key.
—Peter, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
10. Focalin has helped me manage my emotions, along with journaling and listening to motivational messages.
—Marilyn Batchelor, Los Angeles, California
11. Medication and counseling have helped, but nothing beats a good night’s sleep for keeping me on an even keel.
—Lisa Marks, Springfield, Missouri
12. Meditation has been invaluable in helping me manage my moods.
—Elizabeth Milner, Spring, Texas
13. Hmmm, great question. Once I figure it out, I’ll let you know. Seriously, my husband is a godsend. I’d be a total mess without him to calm the storm.
—Stefanie DeLuca, Lowell, Massachusetts
14. Talking with my mom!
—An ADDitude Reader
15. I use exercise and clean eating to help keep the stress levels down and to improve my concentration.
—Lisa Bakewell, Joliet, Illinois
16. Play therapy has been great for my son. It took him a while to warm up to his therapist, but now that he trusts her, he’s willing to try her suggestions.
17. Routine exercise! I enjoy kickboxing three days a week and resistance training on three other days. It has been the best choice for managing my emotions.
—Amy, Omaha, Nebraska
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Updated on January 4, 2021