July Sweepstakes: Win Access to the Inflow App!

Enter to win a one-year subscription to Inflow — the #1 app to help you better manage ADHD — by answering this question below: What kind of emotional dysregulation most impacts your life and how do you deal with it?

The Emotional Symptoms of ADHD

The prefrontal cortex is a busy intersection through which attention, behavior, and emotions zoom. In ADHD brains, this intersection is unregulated, causing runaway emotions to barrel right through, slamming into the other cars on the road. This dysregulated emotion could look like rejection sensitive dysphoria, extreme anger, frustration, or any other strong feeling of the moment.

How Inflow Helps

Inflow is the #1 app to help you better manage ADHD. It is based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and combines psychoeducation, habit development as well as community support.

Enter to Win a One-Year Inflow Subscription

To win a one of two one-year subscriptions to Inflow (a $95.99 value each), use the Comments section below to tell us: What kind of emotional dysregulation most impacts your life and how do you deal with it?


Saturday, July 31, 2021, at 11:59 pm EST.


One entry per household. The editors of ADDitude will select one winner at random and notify them via email on Monday, August 2, 2021. (Full official rules)

45 Comments & Reviews

  1. My most common emotional dysregulation is frustration, coupled with irritation and then anger. I’m not prone to outbursts or violence — but is more situations that I would like, I find myself snapping, firing off a really nasty comment, or in some cases, breaking things. I recall one time when I was driving a new car that had a turn signal function i was not familiar with — a way to signal a lane change without turning the signal fully on. Problem was i had not read the owners’ manual (shocker) and every attempt i made to shut it down after i activated it by mistake only caused it to keep flashing… and flashing.. and flashing. Reacting to other drivers honking and waving at me… i finally smashed it down so hard it snapped off. Cost me about $200 to fix.

  2. My most concerning emotional dysregulation symptom is feeling like a failure at home, in public, at work, almost everywhere & everyday. It causes so many issues with my partner, family, friends, even coworkers and my boss. I lost a job because of it! Any kind of feedback or comment, will sting like an attack and I will immediately feel attacked and hurt. My reaction is almost always the wrong way to respond & then I feel guilty or terrible afterwards because of how I acted to a misperception. This leads to more feelings of inadequacy combined with the ones I carry with me because of my ADHD. Looking back now this reaction sensitivity has affected me my whole life and I’m just now realizing how pervasive it is in my life and relationships.

  3. I’m currently suffering from ADHD as well as major depressive disorder. The emotional dysregulation that I suffer from the most is extreme sensitivity to criticism. I am not comfortable with confrontation or driving up for myself so I’ll pretend that I’m really not that upset and then do whatever I can to leave the situation. Then I break down crying. The worst part is that I whatever criticism I received starts with me usually for days or weeks. If it’s bad enough, even years. I can still remember things that people said to me when I was 10…and I’m 42

  4. Imposter syndrome is my biggest issue. I’ve been successful in my field and my logical brain knows I’m well-respected and others look to me as a source of information but my emotional brain keeps screaming at me that I’m a total failure and everyone hates me.

  5. I get frustrated easily. Situations that are repetitive would be easier to deal with access to tools at my finger tips. As a recent adhd diagnosed adult, I’m always looking for tips to help me become better

  6. I deal with depression and anxiety; this past year of pandemic has exacerbated my anxiety to the point where I find it difficult to leave my apartment. Add to this my fits of online shopping – not a constant thing, but bursts where I spend 2-3 days shopping and, far too often, buying – and you have a formula for clutter. I’ve let things get to a point that’s beyond the pale, in part because I’ve yet to find a therapist – having only recently realized that all the things that made me “quirky” growing up (sitting in class reading while everyone else was paying attention to the teacher, “spacing out” while walking home, jumping from interest to interest and never being able to settle) are symptoms of inattentive ADD, I’m finding it difficult to locate someone willing to listen to/work with a 56 year old woman who’s only now realizing that she just might be that inattentive ADHD person – and not a screw-up, or lost, or unable to make change. All of these things stem from anxiety, which I’ve realized is based in my fear of not doing something perfectly. At this time, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, taking an antidepressant that also helps with anxiety, and practicing mindfulness meditation – just to stay present long enough to accomplish things. It doesn’t always work – my apartment is still cluttered with 35 years of living there – but it helps. Some.

  7. “What kind of emotional dysregulation most impacts your life and how do you deal with it?”
    Which emotion do you want to hit on first? The hyper sensitivity to criticism, anxiety of being in a group situation or the feeling of never being “put together” and “faking it”. I am now almost 59 and was finally diagnosed with ADHD 3 years ago after being told I had major depression for 30 years. I begged my doctor to let me see a neurologist because my body was being ruined by side effects of depression medications. After 3 hours of testing, the neurologist asked how I made it this long with out being treated for ADHD. My major complaints were the inability to get anything done and my relationship with my husband of 30 years was on the line. Little did I know that my explosive behavior, temper tantrums, anxiety of job performance, and inability to take any criticism was linked to ADHD. After the first day on Adderal my husband came home to a clean kitchen and asked if I had hired someone to clean it. Wow, did I feel like a million dollars! I started reading anything I could get my hands on regarding ADHD and found that my lonely world was shared by many and it is changeable. Unfortunately, the one relationship that my ADHD emotional dysregulation ruined is the one with my daughter. I have learned, although difficult at times, to reign in my emotions. Unfortunately,I am on my own in helping myself as my insurance does not cover ANY counseling or mental health.

  8. My husband has ADHD/anxiety and I have anxiety/(Highly Sensitives Personality trait). Both of us experience emotional dysregulation and often at the same time. When he is worried and insecure his emotions bounce between being hopeless, resigned and apathetic, to critical and hyper focused on what I am doing. Two minutes later he’s frustrated an angry because his desk charge won’t go up and down. I tell him that I feel all of his emotions and he needs to take a walk so he can get himself together.

  9. kjmchome started it the best – “Which emotion do you want to hit on first?”. For me personally it’s dealing with anything that is very upsetting or frustrating I can go from rage to complete despair. Non-constructive criticism hurts me to my core and I have always felt like my range of emotions had more breath than other people. Turns out its all ADHD related which is helpful to know but still doesn’t solve it.

    I have been meditating everyday, proactively working on self-care (doing the dishes instead of relaxing, etc.) and try breath work to try to regulate. I have also found that giving the feeling a color, shape, personality attributes makes the feelings a bit easier to handle and relate with. I would love to have an app in my tool kit to help!

  10. What kind of emotional dysregulation most impacts your life and how do you deal with it? Rejection sensitive dysphoria or hypersensitivity is what causes my feelings of extreme anger, frustration, and sadness to boil over . I also have Bipolar Disorder which makes it very difficult for me to know what strategies or methods to use to manage my feelings of insecurity, or extreme anger or sadness. Sometimes I feel like I just don’t want to go to work or talk to friends or family. I am tired of feeling like I have to explain why I forgot to complete a task or why I am late to a meeting which started 10 minutes ago when I thought I was on time. It’s exhausting trying to “catch up” to my brain. I talk so fast that even I forgot what I just said and the awkward silence after that realization makes me feel even worse than someone saying hey could you repeat that but a little slower? Here’s an example of something that happened at work this morning. I woke up late (no surprise there) but knew if I hurried I could still make it on time (9AM). I hurried got myself ready, took the dogs out for a quick #1, made my coffee and I was out the door. I sat in the car and the clock said 9:13 AM (what happened?), I said oh no I better send a text to let the team know I am on my way, but then looked at the dash and GAS light was on. I took my stuff out of the car and got into our other car. Crap I forgot to send the text! I finally sent the text at 9:29AM; “be there in 5 minutes. problem with the car.” Yep, I lied about the problem with the car but not about arriving in five minutes. I went inside sat at my desk and opened my laptop and noticed I had a reply in the team chat;
    “[9:38 AM]
    Hi, Martha: The office opens at 9:00 am. Just a reminder: If any staff members are unable to come to the office, it’s customary for them to notify the team before the shift begins.” I immediately felt my blood boil and wanted to explode but I kept my cool. Then I felt bad that I got angry. After all, I was late and didn’t communicate to the team that I was running late. However, she’s has no supervisory role in the office or over me. The problem for me was that she posted her comment to me in the Team Chat where everyone can see what she wrote. My boss is on vacation, but my boss’s boss and also bosses of other departments can also see those messages. So, now I went back to being angry again because I don’t like being called out in public. So, I was like screw it there’s nothing I can do about it now anyway. I tried to avoid looking at the team chat but there it was…only her message stood out and I just kept going back to read it over and over again. I was debating on whether or not she was right or whether she was right but that she should have directed the message only to me. At around 12 pm today I started to write a private message to my co-worker that decided to put me on blast (that’s the way I felt at that moment). I wrote and erased and then re-wrote, re-worded. Worried that I would say it wrong or that she would get offended that I was upset. I sent a different message in the team chat at 1:44 PM about needing someone to cover me next week since I’m on vacation. All because I just wanted to take my focus off of her. It’s now 3:27 PM and I am now sitting here writing to all of you about the same thing! This is real folks! Ha! What am I saying? You know what I am feeling! If I don’t say something I will have this on my mind a year, 2 years, or even 3 years from now. After, debating with myself, creating and recreating my words to make sure they don’t sound mean or too weak for over 6 hours (obviously didn’t get much work done today) I finally came up with a good answer for her. This what I have: “Hello… I just wanted to take a minute to respond to your comment from this morning in the Admissions Chat. I was late because I had some car trouble. Sorry, I will be better about communicating to the team.  Moving forward, I would like if you could make those types of comments directly to me by chat or email.  I take constructive criticism well, but I don’t like being coached publicly. Thanks!” Message SENT.  

    Ok, so there it is. This is my biggest issue. I am- like the old saying goes-like a dog with a bone. Except it doesn’t have to be just a bone, it could be anything. I will add this last thing. I noticed I have been feeling worse these past few weeks and suddenly realized that it may be that Menopause is also causing inattentiveness, forgetfulness, anger, sadness. This is what actually prompted me to come to the ADDitude website. I wanted to see if there was any literature/articles having to do with ADHD and Menopause and was so happy to know that I was not actually losing my mind…again. Then I saw the contest and decided to procrastinate at work a little more to write my story.

  11. Embarrassingly, cooking is an emotional trigger, especially if I hurt myself at home while cooking (TBH if I don’t cut myself or or burn myself or drop dinner on the floor it’s a good day!) I became a swearing insane person for a few minutes. I hate cooking for that reason, and my hubby can’t stand the angry vibes so he usually does the cooking thankfully!

    BUT the thing I struggle with the most (that has the biggest impact on my life) is rejection sensitivity and the negative rumination and perfectionism this creates.

    It not only makes me a social isolationist, it also makes work life hell.

    I always focus on what I’m not doing well. Especially if I’m not doing things like ‘other people do it’. For example I know I waste time going down rabbitholes researching work things, and I know I’m not super organised like some people, so although I know people say I’m talented at what I do, I never allow myself to feel I’m doing a good enough job. But… to be fair, the marketing industry is renowned for making EVERYONE feel like an imposter sometimes. CBT doesn’t help me feel any better about it.

    I also overanalyse. I will take several hours to write/rewrite/agonise over an email to someone at work who I know doesn’t like me and wields a lot of influence with the bosses. Tack on a couple more hours at night for Rumination running scenarios in my head of how to better deal with them.

    The unnecessary cognitive load this puts on me is HUGE. And emotionally awful.

    Basically I’m lucky I’m smart and can hyperfocus and work thru the night to catch up because the time all the above takes is massive.. And it’s no wonder I’m burned out and have taken a 4 month break from job hunting. Who would want to go back to that if they didn’t have to? I mean… I’m going to have to… but I’d rather skate perilously close to being penniless (or even bankrupt) before I am forced to return to work.

    P.S. So another not talked about impact to this kind of avoidant work behaviour is intermittent financial problems and that’s going to have a HUGE knock on impact on my retirement lifestyle in 25 years or so.

  12. What kind of emotional dysregulation most impacts your life and how do you deal with it?

    I experience several symptoms, including self-surprising extreme anger (like, “Why did I just act that crazy?”), but by far my worst symptom is rejection sensitive dysphoria. I feel emotional hurt as real physical pain. My stomach churns, I lose my appetite immediately, and just want to disappear. It’s so strong, and it is impossible to describe to someone who does not experience it.
    The way I deal with this right now is to just remove myself from the situation. I physically walk away and shut down all communication. I usually go find some random housework to do – folding clothes is my favorite go-to for this – which seems to slowly calm me down, at least until I can think straight and more objectively.

  13. RSD…I feel the need to explain myself to people who don’t care to listen. I hold on to the past to give me a sense of what answers might be before I ever ask them. I’m too hard on myself and yet it also makes me good at my job. My whole life is a big catch 22.

  14. What should be simple frustration can take me down, leading to extreme overwhelm, confusion, and a short temper. BPD, PTSD, chronic depression and anxiety all play their parts in my being easily frustrated, but I’ve recently learned that the ADHD diagnosis I ignored 20 years ago because I didn’t consider it valid may contribute more.

  15. My Biggest Thing that Effects My ADHD and Aniexty is Getting Triggered By Family Members and Unexpected Changes to my Routine and Last Minute Notifications. My 19 Daughter also Has Multiple Mental Health Issues as Well as ADHD and Aniexty BUT is REFUSED TO Get ANY Outside Assistance and Constantly Bombards ME with Text Messages During Her Aniexty Attacks or Due to Intermittent Explosive Disorder where she goes from 0 to 100 in minutes and Just Cannot stop herself From Sending Nasty Verbally Abusive Texts to Me and Other Family Members. I’m Also in Menopause and Cannot get Doctor to Give me Hormone Replacement Therapy to Reduce Symptoms or the Psyche to give me a Higher Does of Anti Aniexty Medicine. My Mother just Got Home from the Hospital Today and I’m the one who Visits Daily to Assist Her Where My Older Sister Doesn’t Even call or visit her from 2 hours away. Yet I’m Treated by My Dad like I’m Worthless and Yet I’m the One who Visits Daily and Babysits Her when He Goes Out for a longer period of time than just running for lunch. My Daughter’s Boyfriend – who does not even Have A GED moved up here with no WARNING and is Staying at My Parents House but He Also Verbally Abuses Me and Is Constently Telling Me What I Can and Can Not Do!
    So I try to take my Anti Aniexty Medicine on time daily and Try to Do I Self-Care Nap Daily – Which is often Interrupted By My Daughter’s Aniexty Attacks and Pounding on my Locked Bedroom Door if she is Over here or Bombarded with Texts Messages and Phone Calls – Because I am Trying to Shut Off My Brain to Destress!
    I’m a Single Disabled Mother with No Child Support and only Receiving SSI not higher SSDI Benefits.
    I try To Breathe out the Stress but that doesn’t Always Work because I’m too Aniexty Driven at that Point.
    I Really Need this TO Help Me with My Emotions and Aniexty.

  16. Though I have definitely experienced some of the above emotional dysregulation, I am most self-conscience about crying over nothing or almost nothing in public. Anything that moves me makes me cry. It’s gotten worse since I’m now in menopause, but I’ve always been this way. My mother always made me feel like an alien for crying while I’d try to tell an inspirational story–she still does. Honestly, that’s what I hate most about it, it leaves me unable to communicate as it makes me blubber. People then concentrate on the crying instead of what I’m trying to say. It’s extremely frustrating and it has made me much quieter around people that I don’t know really well since I feel like it still sneaks up on me. The upside if there is one is that it comes from being a very sympathetic and empathetic person, and feeling things very deeply. I accept that and I think that’s a good thing. All the blubber/crying though is an annoying distraction from the talking and the listening that I would like to be engaged in.

  17. I was diagnosed less than 2 months ago. I am still learning about this medical condition and discovering who I really am. My family always knew I was different, at least subconsciously. They tried to change me, they tried to control me and my life, they made me the “wall flower of the family”. I was suppose to show up whenever they wanted, however they did not want to hear my opinion. As I became an adult and distanced myself from them, I actually thought I was adopted. The whole round peg square hole idea and I don’t belong here, however I have had 23 and me and done to find out “Yes, they are my biological family”. I know that I do not fit into their box and they will never accept me for who I am. I have a loving husband and a group of friends that care for me and love my quirky behavior. I do not stick to the “Gender specific hobbies”, I love cars, photography and being creative. That was not considered “Lady like” in my parents house.

    The emotion that I have the hardest time dealing with is being overwhelmed. I become overwhelmed if there is too much information in one conversation. I become overwhelmed by piles of paperwork that need to be dealt with. Too many options or decisions overwhelm me. I am a business co-owner and I need my repetitive daily tasks written in my planner so I can check them off one at a time.
    When I become overwhelmed, I shut down and I don’t want to deal with anything or anyone. When this happens, my husband gets frustrated with me and he shuts down. A well meaning conversation or task is left in ruins.

    I have all kinds of alarms set – one to wake me up, a second alarm in case I didn’t get out of bed for the first one. An alarm 5 minutes before I should start work, an alarm for my last chance to have caffeine for the day (1pm), an alarm to take my medication at night, an alarm to get ready for bed. Some of the alarms are on my cheap smart watch and others are on my cell phone, so both are always going off (and irritating my husband, lol). The internet is a catch 22 for me, I need to log into my business systems, however I am easily distracted by articles and stories. And there goes an hour of work that I didn’t accomplish anything and I can’t get back. This year our income taxes were done by April 10th, however I have had to ask for an extension several years in a row.

    Identifying these issues and realizing why I do them is a good start. I need help to be better organized, to have my alarms synced with clear explanations, to put my thoughts and to do’s in one place instead of writing them on scrap pieces of paper that get lost.

    I need help and I don’t where that is going to come from. I am on medication that could take several more weeks to start working or not work. I have tried natural remedies that I didn’t see a difference with. I have tried new organization ideas and products with out any results. Since it’s the end of the day, it’s OK to say that I am once again overwhelmed. TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY.

  18. Firstly, it was very helpful to read all the other comments. My child has recently been diagnosed with ADHD after having depression for the past 4 years. I think the hardest emotional dysregulation has been when she overloads and we don’t recognize it and think it’s depression. The two need to be treated differently. Now we find reducing noise and visual stim(screens) but providing opportunities for movement such as swing in her hammock work best and help her to get regulated more quickly.
    We would love to check out the app to see if it can further help her as she is becoming very tech savvy.

  19. I’ve been diagnosticated 4 years ago, and I’ve been going to therapy since 2012. During this time I’ve learned and applyed lots of helpful and different tools, EXCEPT how to deal with procrastination.

    I’ve tried a bunch of things: having a planner, alarm apps to remind me constantly of my to-do-list, tried to envision me doing what I should do (so my brain could understand that doing the to-do-list is going to be pleasurable), positive thinking, positive sentences… BUT NO, I only do what I want to do, when I want to do it…
    It’s not like I’m doing something useful, I’m watching TV or sleeping or eating or reading (the blessings of immediate pleasure…)

    ADD medication helps A LOT (I’m also seeing a psychiatrist), when I take it, I do feel like getting up off the couch and doing stuff (it’s magical!).

    BUT – NOW A HAVE A TOTALLY DIFFERENT CHALLENGE. On 2019 I’ve started Masters Course, to get a master’s degree, just because I wanted one (not because I need it for my career), and now there are only 07 months left and I STILL HAVEN’T STARTED WRITING MY DISSERTATION!!!

    SO, due to boredom (which it isn’t, because I like reading about my dissertation’s subject) and perfectionism (I’m afraid to write things down because it might be bad, although I know that I have to start somewhere and the start is made of initial thoughts and drafts), procrastination is what most impacts me, and I have almost zero control over it…

  20. My biggest issue with emotional deregulation comes with work; too often, I feel like a complete fake in my position. I am just good at convincing people I know what I am talking about rather than truly understanding the problem or requirements. This often leads to my taking a backseat in meetings with management. I should be driving more and an extensive amount of “research” on my own time to try to stay current. This self-image issue gets magnified as I normally work on 8-10 different “projects” daily due to my position in my company. At the end of the day, I am so emotionally and mentally taxed that I am seen as anti-social in the off-hours while I try to recover for the next day.

  21. My anger. It doesn’t even have to be an outburst; just my seething, or my intensity when I’m trying to communicate makes people understandably not want to deal with me. Just happened yesterday when I slammed my laptop shut in the middle of a Zoom therapy session. It’s really embarrassing, but also devastating to my personal and work life.

  22. I don’t even know where to begin! Do I start With myself or with my clients? I am a mental health therapist and I own a group practice. Frustration frustration frustration. Intense frustration. Usually frustration with myself more than with others but sometimes that’s not the case. I work on providing a lot of education to my clients who have the exact same dx as myself. I’m definitely going to be looking into this app not just for myself but for my clients because I need help and the more I help myself and the more effective I am in helping myself and the more tools I utilize the more effective I am in the treatment of my clients.

  23. I think I speak for every commenter above when I say that emotional dysregulation is one of the worst attributes of ADD. It’s all but unavoidable when coupled with the shame (and often self-hatred) that stems from the perpetual disruption ADD causes in our daily lives.

    Through medication management and some very fundamental CBT, I’ve been able to mitigate some of these symptoms. HOWEVER, my biggest challenge is imparting my (underdeveloped) coping mechanisms onto my nine-year-old son. Aside from my misplaced guilt of passing this onto him (which would also benefit from CBT), I don’t know what works. We’ve avoided medication thus far, but I know that if I don’t give him the tools now, he’ll face the same challenges I did growing up and into adulthood.

    Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it, read up on it, or try something new to help my loving son.

  24. I tend to get frustrated which can lead to outbursts if I don’t take some time out to unwind.My frustration can come from a number of sources but more often than not, I get frustrated at myself for forgetting things or not being able to make a decision because of the many different possible outcomes, this in-turn can lead to feelings of rejection due to people around me not understanding the way I think and process, and that it takes me longer than them to come up with a solution.

  25. accidentally pressed submit before filling out the strategy part. When I start to feel overwhelmed I try to distance myself from the situation so that I can calm down and make a better decision. One way I do this is to build lego and try to see how what I have created make speak to the issue I’m dealing with at the time, using lego as a kind of therapy and outward expression that can shed some light on what is really going on, and being able to approach my build from different perspectives in order to gain a better understanding of how to approach the problem so that building/situation is able to be given the correct pieces to stand and last.

  26. I suffer from a lot of issues regarding Inattentive ADD. However, I have studied CBT and DBT, and I suffer from high bouts of anxiety when I am highly stressed due to unforeseeable situations I was unaware was coming, and I’m met with a highly stressful reaction due to anxiety brought on by confusion. I have learned to not let my anxiety run away with my mind. I have learned to analyze my thoughts that race through my head, and I assure myself that I know what I’m doing, I take deep breaths and ground myself emotionally that I have options, that It’s not my life on the line, that I will be okay, that I am capable of doing the task I’m stressed over, and tap my hand on my chest to help focus my mind on something tangible so I’m not lost in my head. I remind myself that there is always a fix that can be done and that it’s not a life or death situation. I have gotten through some stress with these methods recently, and I feel relieved to know I am able to calm myself from a meltdown and feeling the need to flee from an opportunity where I can feel good about my skills and know I’m not choosing to run as an option.

  27. Frustration impacts me the most, and is mainly due to lack of organization within the home environment and lack of frequent communication with my partner due to crazy work hours. I have a long commute and full work days, so most of the time when I get home I struggle to find the energy to accomplish basic home cleaning tasks, much less organizing tasks. This is exacerbated by having a young child who craves my attention as soon as I walk in the door (and rightly so!), a partner who is a first responder who has had to work longer hours or double shifts due to COVID, and we are looking into moving closer to my job, which means the pressure is on to get rid of stuff we don’t need. Some days, I feel like a bomb went off in the living room and want to scream because I know it will most likely stay that way until I have time to get things back in order. And even then, I want to shut down because sometimes it is hard to prioritize tasks and doing so adds to energy I would expel actually doing them. So, I’m mentally exhausted halfway in. The way I’m working toward dealing with frustration is to try and tackle the things that make me more prone to it. I chunk tasks and actively try to manage my time (i.e., use small spurts of time like 15-30 mins out of an 2-hour period rather than planning to work on something for 3 hours straight). I’m also trying to communicate with my partner more in writing (i.e., notes or text messages), rather than always verbally, so we communicate more, and I let him know more of what I am thinking ahead of time (i.e., of things that NEED to be done), rather than as an afterthought.

  28. “What kind of emotional dysregulation most impacts your life and how do you deal with it?”

    I think the emotional dysregulation that impacts my life the most is probably the way I lose my temper with my kids when things don’t go the way I want them to. Not only do I feel a great deal of shame for yelling at my kids, and generally like I’m a bad mom and bad human, I’m also modeling behavior that I’m desperately trying to help my kids overcome, namely, losing it when they don’t get exactly what they want. I really struggle with noticing when I’m starting to get frustrated, and removing myself from the situation to regain some composure. Instead, I usually try to white-knuckle through my impatience until I explode.

    The only thing that has helped is when I’ve made time to meditate first thing in the morning. But it’s hard to make that happen regularly with two kids, and life. My avoidance tendencies crash in and tell me to do anything but sitting, bored, with noting but my breath and unwanted thoughts to keep me company.

  29. At times, social interaction is a slow motion car wreck—a cue noticed too late or not at all—wanting to slam the brakes and swerve, but I standing high up on a ridge of grey matter and can only wince and try to tense up before impact. Tension leads injury. The opportunity cost of unmade friends is bearable—if my first gaff is a deal breaker, it would only be a matter of time. Internally, well, watch Christian Bale’s portrayal of Dr. Michael Burry reaction

    Apropos of nothing:

    MB: in neutral to complementary tone “Nice haircut”

    Job Candidate: “ uh, thanks?”

    MB: same tone “Did you do that yourself”

    Now that I’m father to more than one collage age son and I’ve grown more selective about the people I spend time with, when I’m introduced to someone and there’s a genuine affinity, I tend to tense up or relax too much. Relaxed vigilance? Of course it compounds over time. I live a smallish town outside New York City, nice place to raise kids kind of place, lots of smart, interesting, accomplished people amidst the flat, uniform Type-As. For a decade, I’ve met up with same group of guys once a month. All good people and few that I’d been or expected to become good friends with, yet today I’d say I have a couple of casual friends amidst the 18, am welcomed by half and tolerated (or mostly tolerated) by the rest. So far as I can tell, the pattern has nothing to do with who I feel the most affinity with and every to do with tolerance, a thick skin and a good sense of humor.

  30. What kind of emotional dysregulation most impacts your life and how do you deal with it? Frustration. I get overly frustrated and sometimes angered by other people’s actions (or more often, inactions) all day, every day. I try to deal with it by expressing it, but my husband says it’s too much. He gets tired of my constant complaining and overreacting. I’m not sure how holding it in will go, but I’ve resolved to try. 😑😔

  31. My most challenging aspect of emotional dysregulation is in dating. Anything that even hints of criticism or her disagreeing with me, especially regarding my most cherished interests, makes me feel like the friendship/relationship is completely over with no hope of recovery. This also has happened if plans change or a text or phone call is not immediately responded to. The RSD really kicks into overdrive, whether or not I have actually been rejected (usually not). I’ve gotten much better at managing it but it still sucks of course. The second most challenging aspect is engaging with either entertainment or intellectual pursuits. I get very easily overwhelmed thinking about all the problems either of the characters in the show or movie or the problems of the world when reading non-fiction. Also I always find myself having so many questions when I read a book and then being in danger of falling into despair when I realize the obligations of life as well as my ADD might not let me find all the answers before I die. It takes me forever to read a book even if I’m very interested in the topic so I get a lot of anxiety about not having all my questions answered. People tell me just relax and enjoy life but I’m like “there’s too many questions” lol. Sometimes I wonder if it would be better to have more anxiety about making sure the house is clean but getting better at that too. Thank God for this site and magazine and I wish you all the best in your ADHD journeys! God bless 🙏

  32. I find my ADHD emotional disregulation causes me to “spin” out of control. When I get upset or angry or even just a little annoyed about a situation, I tend to focus on just that and not what I want to do or even have to do. For example, there was a situation at work where I disagreed with a colleague’s approach with a patient. For the next 2 hours, I wondered who I should call, how should I approach her, who could I get on “my side” of the issue, and why the whole situation was wrong (“the Injustice!). I could have been organizing or sleeping, both needed. But this issue took up my time. Went to bed later than I would have liked, didn’t organize. My co-worker explained her rationale and that she did, in fact, medicate the patient as prescribed. So all the emotional energy for naught! This is why I need help regulating and not letting emotions run my day – or evening.

  33. I would say my biggest concern with emotional disregulation is the constant anxiety that I feel as a result of not living up to my potential. There’s so much I want to do and achieve, but my mind spins so fast that I can’t keep up with it and it drags my emotions along with it. It makes me feel like one of those videos where you’re sitting still, but everything else around you is moving fast. The sun comes up and goes down and you’re still sitting there. It represents both the speed of your thoughts and time passing by, along with your inability to act on even things that are important to you or would improve your life.

  34. My life is most impacted upon by how easily and quickly I am to become frustrated and angered; it causes me to respond impulsively in social interactions, in both my personal and professional life, making comments that in retrospect I can identify may be perceived as rude or inappropriate.

    I am currently trying to manage this by working on developing the habit of practicing ‘stop, breathe, think, do/say’.

  35. My most difficulty is emotional dependence, from both my parents and my boyfried. Like I could not live without both, currently, dont know how to deal with it.

  36. I think the area of emotional dysregulation that most affects my life is criticism from others and from within. I am finally seeing a counsellor and using CBT techniques. I feel some emotions as a physical sensation and all my life have felt flawed and amazed others could have calm conversations about even constructive criticism!! It makes my reaction to some situations challenging for people around me who don’t understand my hypersensitivity to almost everything!! I was diagnosed with ADHD in my 50’s and am now in my 60’s and learning to live with myself and not regret parts of my life. Can only go forward!!

  37. It’s car rage. Not road rage, no one else is threatened; but my car is where my brain rewinds to recent or long-past insults, the not-great news of the day, or anything else that triggers me and I end up doing the 70’s primal scream therapy thing. Which is why I sound like I’ve smoked 10 packs of cigarettes today, thanks to last night’s rage-out on the way home. When the insults or stressors happen in real time, my brain goes into a fog of what I now assume is cortisol overload — there’s an ocean-like roar in my head that freezes me up and makes me useless and unable to react. Was diagnosed at 59 last year, so at least now I know more why the rage and freeze-ups happen, but meds didn’t help and boy am I tired.

  38. My biggest dysregulation is frustration and then plain grumpiness. I don’t feel angry, just shut down in communication and expression of emotions.
    Tends to happen with change of plans, which happens lots with 3 young girls!
    It impacts communication with my wife and she is brilliant at being patient with me helping me recognise what is happening and breaking out of that.
    Thanks team, love the info I’m reading.


  39. Emotional dysregulation in my mind manifests as rejection sensitivity. It impacts my life horribly to the point I don’t bother attempting things in life because of the fear of being turned down or a negative comment could ruin a whole month for me. I’m an artist but I don’t draw a-lot anymore because if I even hear a single negative comment about my work, i’ll end up wanting to quit. I hope the inflow app can help.

  40. RSD is my biggest emotional challenge. I am so hard on myself and take even the silliest of slights so personally. I am fairly successful at my job but always resist trying for more for fear of failure. That is my biggest challenge right now.

  41. Reining in responses when time management is in play or sensory input is in play is a major source of emotional dysregulation for several in our household.

  42. Emotional Dysregulation has affected me in lots of ways- family relations, friends, work, school, and most of all with myself. I was 49 when I was diagnosed with ADHD. My emotions and how I experienced them always seemed different and therefore wrong- at least that is what my mother told me regularly. That and I should grow out of feeling passionate about causes and other strong emotions. Most of my life I would ignore or put off figuring out my emotions at a later time- usually when it was way past the moment when something could have been resolved. The biggest thing is that I don’t trust my emotions or my “gut feeling” and Intuition. I am sure that plays into my anxiety and depression too. I hope that I get picked o get the subscription- I could really use ongoing help- not just read a book or watch a video. I also have a hard time letting people in so it is hard to enlist a friend or my husband to keep me focused on changing or understanding. Especially since they don’t understand me or what it is like to be me.

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