I touched on this on a different post, but I realized that I wanted input on this from fellow brains! SO, feeling deeply: has anyone else felt like their emotions heightened and/or are difficult to control? I know Jessica made a video on this but it would be beneficial in my case to know I’m not alone and what people have found to cope with this. When I’m happy it’s great, though any negative emotion is just…overwhelming and hard to manage. I’ve realized I tend to hyperfocus on these emotions in the past, and as I am going through a breakup, its hard not to do so now (hence why I am posting to distract myself). I write poetry sometimes, but I’m looking to add to my tool kit. Thanks!
There are 2 things that can help me if I’m on hyper-focus mode on something destructive:
First: people! friends, even if its not a deep conversation, just do something with someone. that can distract me.
Second: games! but the problem is… my hyper-focus only shifted in this case, not turned off
Still better than being tortured by your own mind and feelings.
And i give myself time, and patience. At least i try to. When something hart to ingest happens in my life.
What i found the worst tactic is trying to run away or push the feeling away. Trying to ignore it.
It will only get bigger and deeper in that case. So i tell myself: OK, that’s what it is, but this period will pass too, and harder i fight against if, later will it pass…
I hope I made some sense
The problem is, i cant really control my emotions. Not like most people. So i have to accept it, work with it. Like… a breakup can completely turn me off for months. Most of other things looks distant and unreal, and all i have is the loss. So yeah, its not easy at all. But it will pass, just wait.
Definitely - I tend to sublimate my emotions into art, so that’s poetry, singing, essays, painting and drawing. I agree with Zanga, too: Even playing a game can help though, if you’re experiencing strong negative emotions, immersing yourself in what is essentially a violent fantasy can help release some of that in a non-harmful way.
The big thing though, for me - is communicating it. To someone else, ideally - but talking to yourself on a long car-trip or in the shower might also help.
It does pass, that’s also important to remember, but like a river - it passes more easily if you don’t fight it.
You’re allowed to feel bad.
The pain of a break-up hurts, but experiencing that pain gets a little easier, over time. There is a grieving process when we experience change, perhaps more intense with ADHD. It is a process though, and it does pass. Accepting what you’re feeling as a form of grief, and dealing with it in that context certainly helped me get through my latest break-up in relatively one piece.
Good luck, and take care of yourself.
This is the reason I’m glad that I don’t own a car. I’m riding my bicycle to work and back and I’m aggressive and angry SO damn fast. And then I scream and shout after the cars (not very smart if it’s hot and their windows are down and they can actually hear you…).
Also if something doesn’t work the way I want it to I get frustrated pretty quickly - if it’s a bad day I have to actively keep myself from crying in the office which is really NOT what I want.
In addition my depressed phases are really bad, I barely find the motivation to get to work and when I’m there I’ll basically scroll through the internet all day long since I simply can’t bring myself to actually do any work.
On the plus side I can also be really giddy and ridiculously overzealous if something good is happening, so silver linings and all that I presume…
I definitely struggle with strong emotions and feelings, which can sometimes be great for a moment. I love that rush of feeling excited or feeling incredibly happy, the only downside to that is that my excitement tends to taper off, and after that initial hit of OMG YEAH, I can’t generally get it back easily.
For example: If I am excited about a concert I’ll be excited when I get tickets, but then I have to wait… and that excitement tapers and doesn’t return until I’m literally IN the building waiting for the concert to begin. I don’t know if anyone else struggles with this… but I’m actually really self conscious about it.I hate getting excited because people who I might be going with will stay excited the entire wait period, where as I’m just like… I feel happy I’m going? But like my excitement burst came and went. Now there are SOME things I get super excited about before - like meeting some of the brains at Disneyland. I was SO excited when I said I’d go, I was SO excited when I bought tickets, and I was SO excited two days before, the day before and the day of Disneyland. However, THAT is a rare occurrence. And it’s hard to not feel like my “excitement box” isn’t broken, y’know? Because it’s SUDDEN, then gone.
I also crash really hard if I had a really great day. If I’m really happy or was having a lot of fun, a lot of times, I tend to feel like total crap the next day. Anyone else? Again I’m self conscious about this because I feel like something is broken - I know it’s the ADHD but it’s hard not to feel like something’s wrong y’know?
I used to let my emotions outburst without any sort of containment, such as anger or sadness, anger being the worst one. I have a major anger issue but I’ve worked hard for years to contain it and try to control it. I used to say what was on my mind right as the words came into my brain, a lot of which were words I didn’t actually mean, they were just a by product of my intense emotion. So after hurting some people and losing some close friends, I re-evaulated myself (this is pre-ADHD diagnosis, mind you) and I basically vowed that I wouldn’t lose friends to anger again. I still feel the intense feeling I just have learned to contain it better… I haven’t quite learned how to control it yet though, but I have select people I go to that will listen to me vent and rant without judging me, knowing that it’s just a release for the energy. Which is really nice to have that understanding.
I also get sad very easy, and will do that thing where OH I’M SAD LET ME LISTEN TO SAD MUSIC TO MAKE ME EVEN SADDER. Yeah… it’s not the great idea. But I have my support systems for when I get too sad and feel like I’m sinking too deep so that’s nice…
and this turned into a novel guys I’M SO SORRY. >_<
Emotional dysregulation is probably one of my biggest ADHD insecurities so… kind of… hyper focused it and wrote a ton?
NEEDLESS TO SAY you definitely are not alone with the emotion thing!
I think I’ve got a grip on pretty much everything related to my ADHD except sleep and emotions, and I doubt either of those are happening any time soon. Like you said: when it’s great it’s great. When it’s negative I’m lucky to have people around who might be able to cheer me up or calm me down. Otherwise I reach for sports such as archery or anything else that forces tension out of a body.
Sorry to hear that you’re going through a rough patch. Reaching out to others is a good move. You’ll make it!
Art is a big go-to for me on things like this - ESPECIALLY the negative feelings. If I’m angry, acrylic paint works best for me, since I can create something with it very quickly and get all the angry out right away. If I’m feeling sad, it can be really nice to zone out into some more methodical artwork, like sculpting with clay or wire. Usually, if that’s the case, I’ll put on podcasts or long video game playthroughs to “keep me company.” With sadness, especially when it’s related to a life change like a breakup, sometimes it just takes getting the time to pass and life to go on.
Weirdly, I also find that my tie dye habit is a good go-to when I’m sad. It’s a lot more work, but it usually means I’m making a bunch of t-shirts or other stuff to give away to friends/family. I like making stuff, and I like giving gifts, so really improves my mood to make cool stuff with particular people in mind and give it to them.
Not really directly ADHD related, but do you know your love language(s)? Perhaps take some time to tell yourself you love yourself through your best love language (get yourself a gift, finish a project you’ve always wanted to finish, write down words of gratitude or affirmation for yourself, etc). Or, tell someone else you love them in their love language, and be open to their appreciation/gratitude. Connection helps us feel better.
@HarleyKyn I totally get what you’re saying. I have the same problem with being excited. I buy the tickets and I’m giddy as fuck but when the Thing actually comes around I’m just normal. (That usually changes when the Thing starts and then I’m back to being happy and excited.)
I also know those lows after a high. For example I had a great weekend with my mum and on Monday I got back home and my mood went from “Damn that was a great weekend!” to “…” to “I don’t want to do anything, just eat junkfood and wait for the day to end” and that basically happens after every great weekend. I hate it but I haven’t really found a cure against it.
So you’re not alone with those side effects of adhd.
@Nessii I have spent literally over a decade suffering with this alone. I cannot properly express to you just how happy you just made me. I mean, on one hand, I’m sorry you have to suffer with it too, because it sucks. But on the other hand, I’m so thrilled to not be alone! Like, usually I’m really good at just feeling comfortable with my ADHD symptoms, and finding some sort of way to be positive with them, but this was the one area I just felt broken, really.
I also haven’t found a cure for it either… I end up binge eating fast food and just being a mopey lump on the couch. Even my boyfriend has noticed this happens (I mean how can he not notice it, it’s painfully obvious x_x) and we’re still trying to figure out… how to counteract it? If I ever find something that helps I’ll let you know so you can try it out, so long as you do the same for me?
AHHHHHH I’m just so happy in a … really weird way! THIS IS A REALLY WEIRD THING TO BE HAPPY ABOUT KIND OF BUT WHATEVER.
I used to have extreme emotional reactions, which is part of why I was diagnosed with BPD. The most recent medication I was put on, however, has done what I thought was impossible. I have less extreme emotional reactions, but… I’m not numb! I still feel happy and sad, and sometimes even depressed or excited. It’s almost hard to remember what I used to feel like. But I DO remember it a bit, and my goodness can I say I’m sorry you have to go through it. <3
I’m taking Abilify for this, in case you’re curious. :3
Find a few songs that always encourage you, uplift you, give you hope, make you happy, make you want to dance…you get the idea. Listen to them with earbuds so the music is the only thing you can think about. You will be able to recall it later whenever negative thoughts take over. You can’t easily think about two things at the same time so “play the music in your head”.