Date: March 4, 2021

ADHD Reality#4 - Look Back In Anger

While I can laugh at most of my ADHD symptoms, the one that troubles me the most is anger. We ADHDers (what is the collective noun for a group of people with ADHD?) suffer from ‘emotional dysregulation’ which is the inability to regulate negative emotions. And since we also have hair-triggers and respond quickly to situations and stimuli, it can be a toxic mixture.

My anger most often manifests itself when I’m driving. I haven’t got out of the car and punched someone yet, but I’ve come close a few times. My constant anger at the relative driving abilities of the motorists I encounter out on the road is a source of some distress for my wife Catherine who hates the outbursts.

Fortunately for me my bursts of anger don’t usually involve anything other than me getting red in the face and shouting. Occasionally I throw or break something. I shout often at family members. I have got better, but it still happens and I always feel shitty about it afterwards. What’s weird is just how quickly everything can just flip, in a nano-second, from ‘normal silly Andy’ to ‘shouty arsehole Andy’. Catherine’s even caught it on video a couple of times and it’s so weird to watch it back — it’s like Mr Hyde emerging instantaneously from within Mr Jekyl.

Many people with ADHD also suffer from Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and, yep, I can tick this one off the checklist too. I’ve lost jobs and destroyed relationships because of this one. I have a huge problem with anyone in authority telling me to do something, whether it’s a teacher, an employer or a policeman. I will simply tell them to fuck off.

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