“Mental Health Out Loud: How to De-escalate Explosive Stress Reactions” [Video Replay & Podcast #409]

Access the video replay, listen to the podcast episode (#409), and see related resources for this Q&A session originally broadcast on June 29, 2022.

Episode Description

Emotional dysregulation is a core facet of ADHD. Though it’s not included in the DSM diagnostic criteria for ADHD, deficient emotional self-regulation is an almost-universal problem that looks like this:

  • Inappropriate or exaggerated responses triggered by strong emotions
  • An inability to self-soothe or reduce the severity of a strong emotion
  • An inability to refocus attention away from emotionally provocative events or people
  • A struggle to adopt healthier responses to stressful situations

In males, emotional dysregulation is more likely to manifest as aggression or hostility. In females, it may look like anxiety or a mood disorder. In both genders, it is exacerbated by elevated stress and by trauma — both of which our children and teens have experienced in spades during the pandemic and amid news of recent school shootings.

When emotional dysregulation spirals out of control, caregivers and educators often feel helpless and trapped. Here, learn how to de-escalate an explosive situation with a dysregulated child or student while protecting everyone’s safety.

In this conversation with ADHD expert William Dodson, M.D., you will learn the following:

  • How to recognize the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive signs of agitation
  • How to safely approach and respond to a person’s anger, aggression, and/or agitation
  • Age-appropriate de-escalation techniques including active listening, reflections, and emotion-less responses
  • Self-calming strategies to teach children and teens
  • Suggested language to use when flooded with emotion during an outburst

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More on Emotional Dysregulation and ADHD

Meet the Expert Speaker:

Dr. Dodson is a board-certified adult psychiatrist who has specialized in adults with ADHD for the last 26 years. He has written on how the basic research on ADHD can be applied to everyday clinical practice.

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