Drowning in an emotional swamp - ADHD? Something else?

Anyone else feel this?? Or maybe this is related to something else…
Do you ever just feel like you’re drowning in an emotional swamp? Like, get up in the morning, day off - YAY! Have coffee, breakfast… start planning what you want to do today… And then start crying for no reason. “Why do I feel this way?” No clue. I’m drowning ALL the emotions. They’re just swirling around me. I can’t even identify them (not really a typical problem for me) - they’re just these swirls of stuff I can’t describe. (Except I don’t typically experience rage - for some reason that one doesn’t hit me much. I’m more of a sobby person.)
My poor ASD husband… Today was the first time I was able to recognize I’m in the swamp and warn him. (Not that it helps a lot, but it’s something.) Other days, I freak on him for some unknown or ridiculously stupid reason. Or start bawling. He has no idea what to do. I have no idea what to do!
It has destroyed entire days. One of my pet peeves is feeling like I’ve wasted a day off; done nothing productive or fun. Which just keeps the cycle going. Emotions everywhere, flying around me and in me… laying in bed, feeling all the emotions and feeling worse every minute until suddenly, I can get up, do SOMETHING (usually go out, shop, whatever) and as long as nothing bad happens, I can be fine the rest of the evening.
It is SOO incredibly frustrating and infuriating! And not helpful in my marriage.
Anyone else feel this? Any tips you have found that help?


Sounds really tiring! How are you doing? How long have you been feeling like this? I would say have a chat with your doctor if that’s possible? It could be related to your ADHD but it sounds like something else might be going on as well :heart: sending hugs!


No clue if it’s ADHD related, but you’re definitely not alone in this. I felt like that yesterday, and many days before that. I usually just try to distract myself (doesn’t always work though) with cute animals or interesting youtube videos.


Yes, I feel this. It’s really difficult for me to put it into words but you did a really good job. Sometimes I feel emotions just bubbling up inside of me and I don’t know when or where it’s all going to overflow but I feel sure that it is. I honestly don’t know if it’s ADHD related but I think that ADHD at least contributes to it.

I’m usually quite good at knowing what I’m feeling even if I cant control it but some days I haven’t got a clue. One day I cried on my walk home from work (about 45 mins) and I didn’t know why. When I got home I wrote a list of all the possible reasons I why I was crying and was really surprised how long it was. I didn’t register that I had so many little things going on that could make me sad. When I was reading them it was obvious that I was dealing with a lot and that all the little things add up. So maybe you could try that if you think it would help. It made me feel less out of control and scared because I knew that there were reasons I was feeling so emotional. Honesty I’m still working on this but talking to the right people helps. For me that was professionals because that’s who I felt comfortable with and they don’t judge me, brush me off or tell me what to do. My biggest fear is people not taking me seriously.

It can be scary and distressing to be so full of emotions and not know why or what to do. Your not alone in this and if seeking help is something that you feel comfortable with I highly encourage you to do that.


Emotion dysregulation is typical in ADHD. It may also be some co-morbid condition if it’s that extreme. I have personally noticed that I am much moodier when I’m tired, many of my emotion-related distortions are resulting from past traumatic events. If I am cognitively well I am usually more able to regulate my emotions and the environment plays a huge regulatory role. Listening to classical or other calming music or sounds and meditation or some sort of calming behaviour helps.

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Honestly? Especially if I have this on a low requirement day, I just wallow in it all. Let go, feel everything. It’s not a waste of time. Explore it, delve deep into how each thing feels emotionally and how it effects you physically. Let it wash over you…

Then maybe instead of drowning you will develop gills. :slightly_smiling_face:

Emotional dysregulation is a biggie for me. Has been for most of my 75 years! I learned to love classical music when I was in my early teens. That love is still with me. So I would stand in a room all by myself put on Beethoven, Sibelius, Brahms, Shostakovich, etc. I’d crank up the volume, grab my baton (literally) and just conduct as I saw fit to do! I’d get lost in the music’s drama, sadness, joy, complexity, human story . . . I would just let go and imagine whatever came to mind. There were times when I would select a specific genre of music because I knew ahead of time exactly what it would do. The best example of that would be when I was depressed and thinking of my mom, my dad, my sister . . . All gone from this earth. Particularly difficult for me was the death of my sister at the age of 40, almost 40 years ago. When those feelings occupy my heart and my mind I am drawn to cantorial music. For those of you not familiar with Cantorial music, that refers to Jewish prayers sung by Cantors in the synagogues throughout the world. As a boy I heard these chants, more accurately “Pleas to God” . . . during religious services, on the the high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Hearing them in the isolation of my room I let my emotions go where I know they will. Sadness, tears, heartache . . . as difficult as it is to do this was . . . it is like having a "good cry " . . . “Getting it all out” (well not all . . . and not for ever . . . But at least for “now”!
Like a temporary reprieve from memories, sad memories that I could not and will not let go. Some people eventually put sadness aside and remember only the happy times.

That is not me . . .

So there it is . . . A portrait, one of several, of a complex human being.

Aren’t we all!

PS: On a lighter note (pun intended) . . . When I was a teenager friends of mine would tease me because I was ignorant of the latest Rock 'n Roll music. But then again, they wouldn’t recognize Shostakovich if it hit him in the face. Or if hit by a gust of Mahler . . . (of course there’s a pun here too . . . For you fellow classical music lovers!

It is well known that comedians, and I suppose being a punster makes me sort of a comedian, frequently suffer from depression. Humor as a way to deal with angst. To poke fun at what hardships or oppressors . . . you cannot control.

Well I’m gonna stop here because I see where this train of thought is going and I’ll save it for another time, if at all. Thanks for listening. All of you here mean a great deal to me. wouldn’t it be great if somehow we can meet on Facebook! don’t know if that can happen but I’d be open to it.

most sincerely,

(from Brooklyn . . . NY)


It sounds like you may be overwhelmed, I get like this a lot. I am still like this. I do find this can cause a burnout if I don’t address it. If I am honest I recently have recovered from a burnout. It really depends on you what helps. It’s trial and error, for me I find 3 things helpful the most. I might go for a ride or blast my music and dance, burn this restless energy that seems to have overwhelmed me, or I will find a good audible book, close my eyes and let myself stop, although sometimes what I need is a good open proper cry, there may even me scream crying. Just let these things out when I can. Obvious


The few times I allowed myself to have “a good open proper cry” . . . was a great catharsis. . .
But crying is not easy for me to do. Perhaps a “man thing” . . . (I do think that women find it easier to cry . . .). Men need to liberate themselves!



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Welcome, and thanks for joining us here on the HowToADHD forums @DeeOo !

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I can understand that. I am not much for crying either, in fact I hated it for years. I tend to hold it back until I just break. It’s how I go now. Its better than how I used to be. I hope you have found a way to help calm the emotions down. It’s rough.
Thank you by the way. I joined than saw it may be ending, timing is great.