ADHD And Emotions Articles

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People think that problems with ADHD are just cognitive problems. Not true. ADHD is also an emotional problem too. Here’s a quote on emotions I like by Dr. Candace Pert, former chief of brain chemistry at National Institute for Health, author of Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine

“Emotions are the glue that holds the cells of the organism together in the material world, and in the spiritual world they’re the glue that holds the classrooms and the society together. That’s why they are so interesting, because they’re on a material level – the molecules of emotion as I’ve studied them as a scientist – and they’re in the spiritual realm as well.”


ADHD and EQ (Emotional Intelligence/IQ)

From Do people with ADHD have low Emotional IQ and are they able to improve on it?


Brain study links negative emotions and lowered immunity news service. “Brain activity linking negative emotions to a lower immune response against disease has been revealed for the first time, claim researchers.

Many previous studies have shown that emotions and stress can adversely affect the immune system. But this effect had not been directly correlated with activity in the brain…This study establishes that people with a pattern of brain activity that has been associated with positive [emotions] are also the ones to show the best response to the flu vaccine.”


What Can Happen If You Don’t Release Anger Or Uncomfortable Feelings

Why do ADHD adults have stronger emotions / ride the emotional roller coaster more than others? Ways to Develop Self-Awareness (have to be in a calmer state to achieve this). Effective Ways to Deal with Strong Emotions.


Emotions and Adult ADHD. How to Feel And Manage Them

Triggers/Warning Signs of emotional overload. Possible ways to deal with highly charged emotional situations/ Emotional control


Emotional Evolution Back To Home

By Anil Bhatnagar. Gives short and long term strategies for dealing effectively with your negative emotions. Very comprehensive and interesting.

“To disconnect himself from the unbearable pain that accompanies his feelings he has subconsciously developed numbness towards them. But nature persists untiringly by creating and re-creating the experiences that will give Kapil the opportunity to feel and let go of the pain and thereby grow spiritually.

Like these four people, most of us find it difficult to deal with negative emotions and our usual responses to them are uneducated and therefore ineffective and risky. The common ineffective responses are

(i) repressing

(ii) wallowing in,

(iii) exploding,

(iv) denying or comparing, or

(v) numbing.

Emotions as borderland

Through life’s events and experiences, nature keeps sending messages necessary to make us learn and evolve. Emotions are the borderland between what is happening within and without us in a 10-stage unfoldment of an intuitive message.

Stage I – Instinctual whispers: We are not trained to recognise our intuitive messages. We must pay heed while they are still whispers. After a day’s work you are leaving office and get an inexplicable feeling of uneasiness, getting more and more intense as you make your way out. You cannot bear it and decide to return to your workstation. And lo! You find your wallet with your money lying partially visible underneath a file.

Stage II – Anxiety and nervousness: As you start trusting these hunches, you obviate the necessity for them to reach the next level wherein vibrations rise from the body to the conscious mind and have a nervous quality in them.

In trying to push these vibrations to the subconscious mind, people give in to addictive behaviour like drinking, smoking, overeating, excessive television or web surfing, etc. When ignored, the message gets transformed into the next stage.

Stage III – Sensory information: One starts perceiving the vibrations of the message as visuals (”golden idea, I can see that happening very clearly”), sounds (“this rings a bell in me sounds interesting”), tastes (“the meeting left a bitter taste in me”) or touch (“we are on a sticky wicket”).

Stage IV – Emotions: In this stage vibrations get transformed into recognisable emotions. You may feel disturbed, irritable, heavy or sad. If you feel emotionally low, run over the day’s happenings to track the possible cause of the uncomfortable emotion being felt deep within you.

Stage V – Stress/addictive behavior: Unacknowledged, the information coded in vibrations gets transformed into a headache, shoulder, wrist or lower back pain, indigestion or a more deeply entrenched addiction such as pornography or alcohol.

Stage VI – Physical pain: Ignoring these signals makes them a permanent feature of your life as you resort to all kinds of drugs.

Stage VII – Full-blown ailments: If unacknowledged, these result in a permanent disease or an emergency waiting to be diagnosed-a flu sticking to you for weeks, a cancer, a heart attack or an ulcer. If you don’t listen to the inner cries of the soul, you force nature to shout even more loudly and you enter the seventh stage.

Stage VIII – Shocking episodes: You lose your job, you meet with an accident, someone cheats you of a heavy amount or a loved one dies unexpectedly. Even so, you may still not wake up from your pernicious slumber. You may continue to ignore the messages.

Stage IX – Lose touch with life: At this stage you may invite depression, coma, paralysis, Alzheimer’s disease or a nervous breakdown to keep yourself from having to listen to these warning signals.

Stage X – Curtains: If you still get out of this situation but decide not to pay heed to the messages, Nature draws the curtains.”


Emotions How ADHD Adults Can Recognize, Feel, And Manage Them

Why do ADDer’s often have more problems with emotions than Non-ADDers? How can you get better at recognizing your emotions at their early stages? It’s far, far easier to deal with anger at the irritation level than the rage level. How can you get better at feeling your emotions fully?  How can you get better at managing emotions more skillfully.


The Emotional Path to Success: Harvard University Magazine

“The research shows that for jobs of all kinds, emotional intelligence is twice as important an ingredient of outstanding performance as cognitive ability and technical skill combined,” Daniel Goleman says. “And the higher you go in the organization, the more important these qualities are for success. When it comes to leadership, they are almost everything.”

“Unlike IQ–which some argue doesn’t change throughout life–emotional intelligence can be developed. It’s a neurological fact that the brain is plastic throughout life; brain structures and circuits shape themselves through repeated experience. You can discipline yourself and get better at things you once weren’t good at. In fact, emotional intelligence tends to increase through each decade of life.”


The Healing Force Within

By Dr.Gabor Maté, Vancouver doctor who has gone public with ADHD, and the author of  of When the Body Says No. The Costs of Hidden Stress, and Scattered Minds: A New Look At The Origins And Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, and In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. Close encounters with addiction.

“In over two decades of family medicine, including seven years of palliative care work, I was struck by how consistently the lives of people with chronic illness are characterized by emotional shut down: the paralysis of “negative” emotions–in particular, the feeling and expression of anger.

This pattern held true in a wide range of diseases…People seemed incapable of considering their own emotional needs and were driven by a compulsive sense of responsibility for the needs of others. They all had difficulty saying no.”


The Importance of Emotion in ADHD

By Dr. Russell Barkley. This is a great video to help you understand how ADHD not only affects us cognitively but emotionally too. At the link there are also his slide on his talk. I send this to all my Adult ADHD coaching clients and they’ve found it very useful.


The Value of Positive Emotions PDF

By Barbara L. Fredrickson the director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory at U. of Michigan. “The emerging science of positive psychology is coming to understand why it’s good to feel good.”


What Can Happen If You Don’t Release Anger Or Uncomfortable Feelings

This is from one of my Adult ADHD coaching clients, I thought this was very insightful and useful and so I’m sharing it with you with his permission. I know he’s not the only one who has had difficulty with releasing anger and dealing with uncomfortable feelings in a healthy way vs suppressing it, or instantly puking it out on others.

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