Is Anger a Symptom of ADHD?

Tips for Coping With ADHD and Anger

There are techniques and skills that can be incorporated when working to control ADHD and anger, and the reasons behind it. In some cases, prevention is key when it comes to lessening the blow of anger, and there are a number of ways to address the root causes to promote better regulation of emotions.

Incorporate Physical Activity

Exercise is a healthy outlet for hyperactivity and restlessness, but it can also improve your overall wellbeing. Benefits of exercise may include being more alert and focused, getting more restful sleep, and decreasing the risk of other illnesses, such as diabetes.

Interrupt Impulsive Thoughts

Since impulsivity can trigger anger if the person is not allowed to act on impulses, diffusing the impulse itself may be helpful.

When dealing with impulsivity, it is important to interrupt those thoughts before they spin out of control. For instance, if the impulse is to shop or spend money, asking how the purchase will impact life in both positive and negative ways before buying is a step that can be taken.

The goal is to slow down and consider actions before making them, which can result in wiser decision-making. This skill may not be easy to implement, as people with poor impulse control tend to be very ‘in the moment,’ but with time and practice, interrupting negative thought patterns is possible.

Stopping to think, even for a moment, is progress. Even if you do not succeed at first, celebrate those steps taken towards making better decisions.


Seek Support

Talking about it, whether with a loved one or in therapy and addressing the root causes may lessen the weight or even calm anger. Exploring your feelings may help you to not only address the current situation but also lessen the severity of future outbursts.

Talking can get out those thoughts and emotions in a healthy way, which can result in lessened struggles with anger.

Take a Step Back

If you find anger is building up, it may be beneficial to temporarily step away from the situation before it escalates. Don’t respond in the heat of the moment if you feel your anger is building up, as this could have disastrous results.


If restlessness or hyperactivity is causing an influx of emotions, fidgeting may help. There are fidget toys available that may be of use.

Coping With Anger When It Rises Up

Sometimes, as hard as we try to prevent it, we get angry. It is something we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about.

There are techniques you may want to implement if you are in a difficult situation, such as:

  • Take deep breaths
  • Count backwards from 10
  • Recite positive affirmations inside your head
  • Visualize calming images or soothing sounds
  • Ask to have the conversation later or in a different setting
  • Walk away if it gets too intense

These may calm racing thoughts or allow you the chance to think before reacting.

Managing Anger Is Possible

It is important to gain control over anger so it no longer rules your thoughts and actions; however, it is equally essential to deal with the anger and its cause rather than internalizing it. Though it may seem difficult or overwhelming, it is possible to manage anger and lessen the hold it has over your future.

Identifying the cause of anger is a good place to start. From there, addressing the struggle in healthy ways may provide a venue to let go of the anger rather than acting on it.

Previous 1 2
Up next:
ADHD and Emotions

Healthy Ways to Process Grief and Move Forward

People with ADHD tend to process and express emotions a bit differently, particularly in grief. This can bring challenges, especially in children.
by Angela Finlay on September 8, 2014
Click here to see comments