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Children's Diagnosis & Treatment This forums is for parents to discuss issues related to diagnosis and treament of children with AD/HD

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Old 07-05-13, 06:21 PM
lindy1 lindy1 is offline
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is being overly emotional related to ADHD?

My 6 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with ADHD (not the hyperactivity part). We are still in the thick of trying to get the right medication for her. Here is what I am wondering. She has ALWAYS been overly emotional. Is this a symptom of the ADHD or is this just who she is?

She tends to cry at the drop of a hat, she takes everything personally, complains about kids being mean to her (even when I have wittnessed an entire "incident" and they weren't). She has trouble waiting for her turn and gets upset when kids insist that she do so. I recently took her to a birthday party that she was really excited to go to, but when I got there to pick her up, she was crying. The mothers there said she had spent most of the time crying for one reason or another. This is just an example of an almost daily issue.

We have tried Ritalin (5mg), Aderal (5mg), and now Concerta (also the lowest dose). I noticed what I thought was increased emotional outbursts on ALL THREE. The Aderal seemed the worst.

So, are the emotional outbursts related to ADHD? Should I be looking for improvement in that area with the meds or is that a totally unrelated behavioral issue?

Thanks for any ideas you might have.
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Old 07-05-13, 07:49 PM
daveddd daveddd is offline
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Re: is being overly emotional related to ADHD?

emotional regulation issues are what russell barkley thinks is the core of ADHD
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Old 07-05-13, 08:20 PM
amberwillow amberwillow is offline
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Re: is being overly emotional related to ADHD?

Try searching for Russell Barkley on YouTube... Some of them are fairly long, but 'emotional regulation' is what you are looking for.

He explains it fairly clearly. I found the information quite helpful for myself as well as in relation to my other family members with ADHD.
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Old 07-05-13, 09:55 PM
bwalwayswins bwalwayswins is offline
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Re: is being overly emotional related to ADHD?

my son was quite the opposite. pre-meds he didn't seem to stop long enough to ever digest ANY thing regarding how he was being treated or how he was treating anyone, he also rarely noticed if he was being picked on or singled out....i can't even tell you how many times the kids on the play ground made him "it" and he spent the whole time chasing kids around he could never quite catch and they seemed to do it intentionally for various reasons (everything from he was the ONLY kid there without a friend to he was running around crazy ANYWAY, he might as well be 'it')....

after he started meds, his emotional barometer seemed to suddenly kick in. even his teachers took note and made a point of telling me he was 'suddenly noticing' things that he didn't see before. He was getting along better than ever and making much better decisions, etc...but he was taking things personally, suddenly feeling 'left out' or lonely...me and his teacher talked about it, and we figured it was because he could suddenly stop and ingest what other people were doing and saying and thats not always fun. especially when your a sensitive/intelligent person.

perhaps your daughter does take things too personally...but her feelings are still real. i'm not sure what we can do to help except continue to be supportive, loving and remind them that other kids are still kids and don't realize what they are doing or saying is hurtful. its probably a rare occasion that another child is intentionally being mean.

i am curious what advice anyone has to share....we have struggled with the overly emotional side effect of medicating too...
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Old 07-05-13, 11:58 PM
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Re: is being overly emotional related to ADHD?

Yes, I agree that her feelings are still real. I can see that she is really distressed and that breaks my heart. And yet, I can also see the reaction she is getting from her peers and I just want to change her behavior so badly. I admit that I get frustrated and don't know the best way to handle it.

So, my next question is this: Can I expect/hope for the medication to help with the emotional outbursts as well as the inattentiveness? So far I haven't seen any improvement in this area. In fact it seems maybe even a little bit worse. Do I continue to try different medications until we see some improvemet in that area? My Dr. doesn't seem that familiar with the "emotional regulation" component of ADHD.
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Old 07-07-13, 07:45 AM
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Re: is being overly emotional related to ADHD?

Like dave said, emotional regulation is the bane of adhd. My kids all have adhd, my husband and I were gracious enough to pass that down to the kids . My third daughter is EXTREMELY emotional and often reacts emotionally to things that dont seem to be as horrible to most people, i guess you could say its not appropriate to the situation but its who she is. I am not sure if this is just because of the adhd. I tend to think that she is just really emotional and the adhd makes managing those emotions twice as hard. Rather than wondering if its because of the adhd or just her, we are just learning how to help her navigate her emotions and help her cope in a society where overly emotional people are very accepted. I am also emotional but I am bipolar so my experiences are different than hers.
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Old 07-07-13, 08:11 AM
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Re: is being overly emotional related to ADHD?

How long were you trailing the meds for? When started meds itīs quite common for kids to be very emotional, especially when meds are wearing off. My son was tearful, moody, sad, subdued and my daughter was very angry when her meds wore off.

This subsided after about 6 weeks, when the both increased their dosage. All in all it took 5 months to reach 36 concerta, not a high dose by any means but starting low and increasing slowly can help lessen the severity of side effects and to properly evaluate the child to see whether the meds are having a positive beneficial effect.

I think the basic character traits remain when a child is on meds but they just donīt react so quickly or explosively. They are able to keep their emotions in check (as far as age appropriate).
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Old 07-08-13, 02:52 PM
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Re: is being overly emotional related to ADHD?

My 5 1/2 year old daughter (ADHD combined type) is extremely emotional. She will completely lose it over the littlest things. I'll give you an example. One day, she steps off the bus from school and is hysterical. She is crying so hard she can barely speak. So, I'm assuming something really bad happened...maybe a kid hit her or something. Nope. When she finally calmed down enough, she told me it was because she lost her hair clip. Or sometimes she'll come down in the morning and break into tears because her brother is sitting in her favorite spot on the couch.

Homework was near impossible. She would cry for half an hour if she made a mistake.

She is a thousand times better on her meds (Quillilvant XR), without a doubt. Much more in control of her emotions, and she is better able to sort of take a breath when something bad happens and tell herself "hey, this is no big deal".
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Old 07-09-13, 10:40 PM
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Re: is being overly emotional related to ADHD?

Thank you, everyone, for your responses. I think I have come to the conclusion that I need to seek out a Dr. who has more experience in this area than our general practitioner. She is great and delivered both my children, but my research (and it's only beginning) has already shown me that she doesn't seem all that aware of all of the issues with ADHD, how to medicate, what to watch for, how I need to change my ways of dealing with my daughter, etc. Thanks again!! I'm so glad I have found this forum.
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