Taming the Temper-Prone ADDer

Original post from ADDitude

‘……….by Sandy Maynard

If you overreact or get defensive for no reason, these anger-management tips can help.

ManageAngryOutbursts0902Do you lash out when your spouse reminds you — nicely — to take out the dog or pick up a gallon of milk? Do you fly off the handle when the boss asks you to turn in the next assignment on time?

I know many people who do, including myself. In fact, many of us adults with attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD) lack restraint when we think that someone is dissing us. The question is: Are they? Because many of us have low self-esteem — after years of negative interactions — we arehypersensitive to criticism, real or imagined.

Bursts of anger have repercussions that last much longer than the few seconds it takes to vent. Having an argument in the workplace can get you fired. Blowing up at a loved one can strain the relationship. And it all takes a toll on your self-esteem — bringing remorse or shame for days afterward.


Get the Anger Out?

My client, Mike, came to me to learn some anger-management strategies after he realized his ADD tantrumshad damaged his relationship with his teenage son, who, like Mike, has attention deficit. Mike had long believed that “getting the anger out of [his] system” was healthy.

Until now. “My outbursts are creating a rift between me and my son that doubling his allowance won’t repair,” he told me. “I need to figure out how to keep anger in check — or I may make front-page news for strangling my son!”

I explained that most teens know which buttons to press, because they installed them. After a good laugh, we identified the times when Mike was most likely to lose his temper — after a tough day at work when he had screwed up an assignment. When he came home to find that his son hadn’t taken out the garbage — again — Mike got upset. If his son had a fender bender, received a parking ticket, or cut out of school early, Mike blew his lid.

Help, Don’t Yell

I reminded Mike that he must maintain realistic expectations about his son, who was easily distracted. Mike came to see that neither he nor his son was perfect, and that he should adjust his own imperfect behavior. Instead of yelling at his teen for forgetting to do a chore, Mike worked on helping him remember to do it by posting a list on a bulletin board in the kitchen and reinforcing it with text messages during the day.

If Mike’s son still forgot — or got into trouble at school — Mike learned to observe his rising anger, and figured out ways to short-circuit it. He took a relaxing walk with his dog and deferred discussions with his son until Saturday or Sunday morning, when he felt refreshed and less pressured by his job. He and his son were able to talk calmly — and productively — during those chats.

Finally, Mike found comfort in a local ADD support group for parents contending with similar problems. It is a great comfort to him to know that he isn’t alone with his anger problems.

Continue reading more short-fuse strategies…    …………..’


Short Fuse? It Could Be Adult Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Original post from ADDitude

‘……….by Russell Barkley, Ph.D.

ODD is often associated with temper tantrums in unruly ADHD children. But expert Russell Barkley, Ph.D., explains that Oppositional Defiant Disorder occurs in adults with attention deficit.

NeedtoKnow_boxerWhat are the Symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) in Adults?

Adults with Oppositional Defiant Disorder(ODD) feel mad at the world, and they lose their temper regularly, sometimes daily. Adults with ODD defend themselves relentlessly when someone says they’ve done something wrong. They feel misunderstood and disliked, hemmed in and pushed around. Some feel like mavericks or rebels.

What Causes Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Adults?

It’s unclear. It could be that a pattern of rebellion sets in when children with ADHD are constantly at odds with adults who are trying to make them behave in ways that theirexecutive function deficit prohibits. By the time kids have had ADHD symptoms for two or three years, 45 to 84 percent of them develop oppositional defiant distorder, too.

How does ADHD Relate to Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Adults?

It could be that the emotional regulation problems that come with attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD) make it more difficult to manage anger and frustration. The impulsive emotion associated with ADHD means a greater quickness to anger, impatience, and a low frustration tolerance, which can be the spark that lights the fire of ODD. Venting and acting out toward others leads to conflict. Maybe that’s why adults with ODD are more likely to get fired, even though poor work performance ratings are caused more by ADHD.

How is Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Adults Treated?

In many cases, the stimulant medications used to treat ADHD also improve ODD.

What if ADHD Medication Doesn’t Help?

Enroll in an anger-management course given by a mental health professional at a health clinic or a community college. Taking Charge of Anger, a book by Robert Nay, offers practical advice that may benefit an adult with ODD. Some adults require a second medication, in addition to stimulants, to manage ODD. Learn more about oppositional defiant disorder in children here.  ………..’