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Women with ADD/ADHD This forum is for women to discuss issues related to being a woman with AD/HD.

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Old 07-04-17, 09:51 PM
Librarian97 Librarian97 is offline
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ADHD Rage/Tantrums

I'm new here so hi! Just recently was diagnosed with ADHD after struggling for years with related behavior.

I've found I struggle with rage. I will have little things start to upset me, and they will begin to build up. Eventually something will set off an episode. I, a nearly 20 year old woman will proceed to throw a temper tantrum. It starts with me getting angry yelling at whoever has set me off, or arguing if its over text. Then it proceeds to "I need to hit something now" where I will normally punch a wall or some sort of hard surface to try and release some of my frustration. Sometimes this works, but I'm finding more often now that it isn't enough.

Today was unfortunately one of those times. I started crying, lashing out at things, hitting walls. Eventually I threw myself to the ground while I sobbed and screamed myself hoarse. I had to leave my house to get away from my sister who I had been arguing with. In the car I had to pull over and sit for another hour and a half where I had a second round of a more subdued tantrum.

It took me literally hours to calm down. I am slightly disgusted with myself. I don't remember exactly what she said that set me off, I just know that my reaction was overblown. It was like tunnel vision. Part of what set me off the second time was a text she sent me demanding I come home and telling me "you don't get to play this card..." I wasn't trying to play any card. At that point I was hyperventilating in a parking lot.

I finally went home and apologized. I just wish she understood what's going on in my head. I don't even think I was mad at her most of the time. I was mad at myself for not being able to calm down, which has now turned into shame.

I'm just curious if anyone else struggles with this as much as I do? I think part of why today was so bad is becuase I've been sick and it's been really stressing me out. Then I just get in my own head and put myself down. If anyone else has similar issues, what do you do to try and calm down? My mother tries to get me to do meditation but sometimes that doesn't feel like it works fast enough.
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Old 07-05-17, 03:28 AM
PillBlast PillBlast is offline
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Re: ADHD Rage/Tantrums

Hi Librarian97,

I have something similar. My husband makes fun of me about it because he said he never met any adult that had temper tantrums before. It never gets as bad as you describe, but I tend to snap at people or act in a brash way, throw whatever on the table loud, or whatever.

The thing I saw helped me the most was actually paying attention to the moments before a "tantrum" would start and take myself out of the situation. It's better for me and the ones around me to just say I can't deal with this right now, or if I'm really on the edge I can't deal with this S#%& right now and leave.

Usually, I can come back in 5 minutes, apologize for the outburst and end the conversation in a reasonable mature way.
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Old 07-05-17, 07:38 AM
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Re: ADHD Rage/Tantrums

Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian97 View Post
I'm new here so hi! Just recently was diagnosed with ADHD after struggling for years with related behavior.

I've found I struggle with rage. I will have little things start to upset me, and they will begin to build up. Eventually something will set off an episode. I, a nearly 20 year old woman will proceed to throw a temper tantrum. It starts with me getting angry yelling at whoever has set me off, or arguing if its over text. Then it proceeds to "I need to hit something now" where I will normally punch a wall or some sort of hard surface to try and release some of my frustration. Sometimes this works, but I'm finding more often now that it isn't enough.

Today was unfortunately one of those times. I started crying, lashing out at things, hitting walls. Eventually I threw myself to the ground while I sobbed and screamed myself hoarse. I had to leave my house to get away from my sister who I had been arguing with. In the car I had to pull over and sit for another hour and a half where I had a second round of a more subdued tantrum.

It took me literally hours to calm down. I am slightly disgusted with myself. I don't remember exactly what she said that set me off, I just know that my reaction was overblown. It was like tunnel vision. Part of what set me off the second time was a text she sent me demanding I come home and telling me "you don't get to play this card..." I wasn't trying to play any card. At that point I was hyperventilating in a parking lot.

I finally went home and apologized. I just wish she understood what's going on in my head. I don't even think I was mad at her most of the time. I was mad at myself for not being able to calm down, which has now turned into shame.

I'm just curious if anyone else struggles with this as much as I do? I think part of why today was so bad is becuase I've been sick and it's been really stressing me out. Then I just get in my own head and put myself down. If anyone else has similar issues, what do you do to try and calm down? My mother tries to get me to do meditation but sometimes that doesn't feel like it works fast enough.
I dont suffer from what I would consider rage but I have had tantrums. It seems to be most prevalent with my shoes, lol. I have a 240year old house and my closet is sloped with no electricity. I cant see what I have in there without a flashlight and even then not really. When I am looking for a match to a shoe or specific ones and Im tossing them around and getting all hot I can flip out and start cursing and throwing them. This is very rare for me. If you have real rage issues I would talk to a doctor. Yes adults can have tantrums but hitting hard surfaces and walls opens the door to major injuries.
Anger management can help, relaxation techniques can too, but sometimes medication makes all the difference.
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Old 07-05-17, 08:18 AM
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Re: ADHD Rage/Tantrums

i do....

excerise or medication helps me the most.... on medication mindfullness works a treat.... off medication....

it's really hard.... kinda rules my life....
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Old 07-05-17, 05:55 PM
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Re: ADHD Rage/Tantrums

thanks all for the quick responses. I think there were several causes of why yesterday's episode was so extreme. I've been very stressed dealing with several illnesses that make me feel very crappy, and also the fact that I just started treatment with Adderall and didn't really eat anything when I took my dose, which I am gradually increasing up to what my Doctor prescribed (her instructions to do this.)
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Old 07-07-17, 10:59 AM
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Re: ADHD Rage/Tantrums

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
...my closet is sloped with no electricity. I cant see what I have in there without a flashlight
Not wanting to derail the main topic (which is important and fascinating, IMO), but....

Until 2008, there was no code requirement in the US for lights in closets, so they existed only in more costly homes...or if the owner was handy enough to add them...mains wiring and all that sot.

But today, voila! the magic of battery-operated LED lights. You can get all manner of such lights intended to be adhered to a surface, hung on a closet rod, some can even attach to a doorframe and turn on when the door is opened. I have added "tap lights", which are dome-shaped and turn on/off by pressing on the dome. Often sold as "emergency lights", for use in case of power outages, they often come bundled 6 to a package for quite low prices.

I find them particularly handy for selecting matching shirt/pants without turning on the major overhead light and disturbing my SO's slumber.
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Old 07-07-17, 11:12 AM
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Re: ADHD Rage/Tantrums

Had anger issues for most of my life. Can remember my mom saying I needed
to learn to control my temper ... but that didn't tell me HOW to do it.

Finally as a grandmother I learned that I have ADHD and probably Autism ...
and that anxiety disorder is very common with both of those. So the psych
prescribed a SSRI and the anger is nearly all gone.
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Old 07-07-17, 11:15 AM
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Re: ADHD Rage/Tantrums

Someone already mentioned Mindfulness. There've been some recent studies out of UC Berkeley that Mindfulness training significantly reduces ADHD symptoms in school children. I have tried the technique and found it useful to stay on track, although I would certainly not say it "cures" all symptoms.

It's often presented as a religious practice, and turns people off, but I think that presentation is misguided.

The best explanation I've come across of what it does for you is this:

Being in a Mindful state does not mean you have turned off your emotions. It means that you have temporarily disconnected your emotions from your body, which eliminates the physical response. The physical response to strong negative emotions is "fight or flight", the body flooding with adrenaline and cortisol, to enable you to either physically fight an attacker, or rapidly flee a life-threat. If the body creates these chemical floods, and you don't physically act on them, the chemical overload impairs the immune system, and if continued, the cortisol begins a chain reaction that leads to accumulation of adipose tissue around the belly. Also, when in such an agitated state, the frontal lobes of the brain are de-activated, which is why it's sometimes hard to get out of that state - the frontal lobes are the centers of reasoning and problem-solving. So, being able to temporarily disable the physical response to emotion enables you to actually use your thinking processes to deal with the issue, instead of remaining purely in a reactive mode.

When practicing Mindfulness, the usual entry point is to focus on something that's always with you - and generally inside you. Like the breath. Where do you feel it? Nostrils? Lungs? More in the diaphragm muscles? What this does is turn your attention to something that normally would not induce an emotional response. As you focus on your breath, other thoughts come in, like "I hate the winter". When this happens, without emotion, you think to yourself "Oh look, there's a thought. Good-bye thought." and that's that.

It's not something that you can keep in mind until needed. Like riding a bike or playing an instrument, it is a practice, and you only get good at it by doing it when you do not need it. Took me about 2-3 months of twice per day 5 minute practice for me to get to the point where many things that might incite me to strong anger...did so, but I recovered my ability to think through it in moments, instead of hours.

Not for everybody, but I know lots of folks who've learned to be on top of their reactions, from "a little" to "a lot" better by trying it.

You can look for youtube vids on things like "mindfulness for beginners".
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Old 08-01-17, 05:39 PM
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Re: ADHD Rage/Tantrums

You totally described me!!! I am a wall puncher. I am an almost 40 year old temper tantrum thrower. Or at least I was until I started taking Lexapro. I am ADHD (recently diagnosed) with anxiety. The anxiety was what was causing my temper tantrums. I refer to my Lexapro as my "happy pill" and also my "anti-wall-punching-pill".
I've tried all the other tricks, like counting down or taking myself away from the moment...nothing worked and I still wanted to punch walls. This Lexapro has been a life saver for me!!!
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Old 08-09-17, 07:48 AM
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Re: ADHD Rage/Tantrums

I haven't punched walls, but i do have tantrums. I start feeling stressed, and i have an outburst. I feel bad later. This just happens, and its difficult for me to control it.
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Old 08-15-17, 05:16 AM
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Re: ADHD Rage/Tantrums

We have a couple of doors with filled holes in from where I've lashed out at them. I know I should walk away from the situation causing me stress (and it can be so minor too), but I struggle to do that when I'm in the moment. These outbursts tend to happen when I'm not taking an anti-depressant, but are well under control when I am.
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Old 10-06-17, 09:22 AM
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Re: ADHD Rage/Tantrums

Omg yes! I get filled with rage over the smallest things, for example, if someone tries to wake me up before my alarm goes off. This rage builds inside me and I feel like crying. I have broken things on many occasions due to such seemingly minor nuisances. I get so easily frustrated that I cry and cannot communicate from this. I have taken many medications to try and control this but the only thing that helped was cymbalta. Even when I forget to take it and start feeling the same rage and frustration, I know that it is not normal and I do not react to it.
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