Is there help for emotional dysregulation?

Hi everyone! I’m Ace. I didn’t know I had adhd till 3 years ago. I was having problems sleeping and paying attention and my mom said her doctor gave her Wellbutrin and it helped. So I asked my doctor and he said that’s weird because Wellbutrin is known to keep people up at night but since it helped my mom we gave it a try. Turns out it was wonderful! But it wore off and I became even more restless. So I talked to my doctor and he said it sounds like I have adhd. So he prescribed me adderall. I was 25. I was totally freaked out. He gave me no other information. He said I’ll either get hyper or calm. If I get calm then I have adhd. So I took adderall and fell asleep… everything I’ve learned about adhd has been from the internet and YouTube. I give this brief to explain if I’m giving wrong information please correct me.

So to the point, I have always had a hard time getting over my emotions, what I mean is when I’m happy, I’m so happy I might speed and not notice, I might interrupt you and not notice. I might forget what time my shift starts even though I’ve been going at the same time for months and come in an half hour or hour late and not even know. When I get sad about something I can’t just shake it off, I’ll be in bed crying unable to go to work. I know I’ll lose my job and I won’t be able to pay my bills and yet I still can’t get up. It’s truly awful. I feel out of control.

I’ve found if I take Ritalin it helps but sometimes I can’t convince myself to take Ritalin. I just watched some YouTube videos and it seems this might be related to adhd. In the videos they described this as emotional dysregulation.

My question is does anyone have anything that helps? Other than medicine… or a trick to get myself to take my medicine?


Wow no that’s not right. Should have sent you to a psychiatrist.

They are specialists for people working towards mental health. A therapist would also not hurt…


Hello Ace - welcome!

It sounds like you need to get a psychiatrist that actually knows what they are doing, not throwing a medication at you and hoping it sticks. I’d also recommend looking into a CBT therapist, and see if it works for you. I’ve use a psychiatrist in conjunction with a therapist for years and I feel that’s helped keep me sane, for the most part. Part of it is still me and me working to implement healthy habits and coping skills, but having the professional help helps a ton too. So yeah I really suggest going to a doctor and getting a proper diagnosis, especially since you’re getting medication for ADHD but your doctor seemed very vague on the actual diagnosis. Which is strange. Definitely go to a mental health professional if you can. Not just a general doctor.


Emotional dysregulation is definitely a thing. I had it all my life, and didn’t know anything about it.

Not long ago at age 49, I found out I have ADHD. Now I’m on meds, and the main benefit I have found is that emotional dysregulation has reduced substantially. Not entirely, but generally much easier.

I’m also on antidepressants. Currently pretty depressed, so I think I’d be completely shattered without the meds.

Definitely see a psych and get properly diagnosed.

The right meds will help, but much of it will be up to you.


Hi Ace,

I’m with everyone here in suggesting you find a medical professional who will work with you to understand your ADHD. The most successful treatment of ADHD usually involves medication and behavioral management/therapy/coaching/etc. Not taking medication is also common. Honestly, I think learning about your ADHD, how important your medication is, exactly what it is doing, and how it is helping you might help with motivation in taking your meds regularly. It looks like you are taking that step by educating yourself, but a professional would be helpful too.

Emotional dysregulation is absolutely common with ADHD. I have struggled with it as well. It’s a terrible feeling being out of control like that.

I use timers. Building strong habits and routines make it second nature instead of something dependent on mood.


Hi Ace!

Yeah, agreed with everyone else, definitely seek treatment from someone who specializes in adhd.

But I also want to say YES, emotional disregulation is definitely something I struggle with in conjunction with my ADHD. I’m either really excited and happy and bouncing around, somewhere slightly in the middle, or I’m in a total brain fog and crying. You might want to look up Emotional Distress Syndrome (EDS), defined as “the cumulative effect of the neurological processing differences and behavioral changes associated with ADHD.” Its a somewhat new concept, I think, but its definitely something I identify with. I’ve had days where I just cry, but can’t figure out why, what’s bothering me, if I’m frustrated, sad, mad, worried, bored…

I wish I could offer you some more useful advice, but I’m still figuring this out myself. I plan on getting a therapist or couch soon to work through this. I hope it helps knowing you’re not alone <3


YES! What you said! I feel the same, some days I’m happy and have energy to get things done and other days it feels like the slightest thing can make me spiral and want to curl up in bed and cry my heart out.
If I have a disagreement with my spouse and get angry, I always seem to end up crying which makes me angry at myself because I didn’t want that emotion at that time.
As soon as I get angry and overwhelmed with emotion, my ADD brain can no longer find the right words to express itself and I end up choosing the wrong words that don’t fit with what I want to say. Sooo frustrating to not be able to express myself and be understood in the right way!
Definitely going to look into EDS, thank you!


I have emotional dysregulation (ED) in a BIG way. A problem in my marriage of 47 years. I get angry easy over small little nothings. And my wife has very low tolerance for anger at any level.

Q: What medication(s) were helpful with your ED?

I have an upcoming appointment with my psychiatrist to discuss medication. Looking forward to your reply.

Thank you,

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Barry, i have kind of similar problem. With anger, not with wife :slight_smile: But still broken stuff and hurting body is unfunny enough.
It’s possible to learn how to at least part of the times prevent the outburst. I try to know what’s triggering me and close my eyes and ears to triggers when i feel it coming. If i have to deal with it, i make sure i ate enough, at least.

Most of the time uncontrollable anger is a response to brain overwhelming with troubling info. For example:

  1. I’m kinda hungry, tired and/or sore and it makes me twitchy;
  2. I just read some troubling piece of news and catastrophized and/or I may be dealing with some important task which doesn’t budge despite my effort - triggering sense of helplessness and fight-or-flight system kicking in;
  3. If that wasn’t enough, someone just needs to ask me about something irrelevant to me right now, drawing my attention from what my body supposes to be a survival situation.

That’s a recipe of disaster. Any step that could have been taken out is helping.
I suppose, those of us who have anger issues tend to unconsciously see a lot of stuff as a survival matter when it’s really not. You may remind yourself that if you agree with it.


I have a problem with emotional dysregulation . I drive badly when I am stressed. If you have to drive and you can’t regulate your emotions , it is risky .

If you are happy it is ok !

I did not know what empathy was.

Does medication help with emotional dysregulation ?

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I confirm. There was time i was depressed and it kinda looked like i don’t care anymore if i crash. And anger happens sometimes too.

I actually think of myself as a rather good driver. I know how to deal with a car, or truck, or bike - in general. I have 4 active classes in my licence - bikes, cars, trucks and tractors.
Maybe not like a racing world champ, but definitely better than your average driver.

But it’s really not about how you can handle your steed, but how you can handle yourself, the changing conditions around, and people - sometimes ignorant and self-centered.
I feel really great when i’m on a road alone. It’s people who disturb me most of the time.
There probably isn’t more agressive environment in an average person’s life than a road.
Your inner monkey feels like “That big metal thing just ATTACKED ME! I have to FIGHT to SURVIVE!

My solution in the end is that i try to drive less. I plan my life so i could do as much activity in a single coming out of the house as possible.
I like driving, but i also like living, health, freedom, and road is the easiest place ever to lose them. Makes me sad, but it is smart i suppose. And it’s cheaper, and there’s less rules involved in your life.

I’m still very much a motorsports fan and i like simulators. I really hope they get even better with time, so i may one day quit real driving and don’t feel i lost something important.

Well, sometimes i wish there would be life simulators, so you could stop living a life on a Hardcore difficulty level. I’d like to be able to reload a save, at least…


As a child, if a person rejects you take on a person as well , bike riding and if you have other mental health problems.

My sister is a doctor, she does not understand my conditions and diagnoses, dyspraxia, ADHD and aspergers traits.

School, I could have had a meltdown. I could not wait to leave the school.

If it was not strict, I would lash out at the teachers ( some bullied) me and the pupils.

If a person with ADHD is happy then emotional dysregulation is good, it is when a person with ADHD is not happy.

People with ADHD have a lower working memory, resulting in difficulty regulating emotions.

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You are a better driver than me.

I don’t like new roads.

I only drive locally , it was an ordeal to pass my driving test.

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That is a frequent event for me . . .

That states clearly how I see so many things that may seem “no big deal” to someone else!

:monkey: YES

Space_Ivan . . . Do you take meds for your ADHD? If so, do they help with your emotions?

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No, i’m not officially diagnosed. So, no meds. I tried to get some anti-anxiety ones under the table, but decided to not take them after some time. Those aren’t compatible with driving anyway.

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I think that this article is a good read about ADHD and Emotional Dysregulation. (It is published under the “ADHD for Professionals” heading on the ADDitude Magazine website, but is great information for adults with ADHD or parents of children with ADHD.)

The article states that 70% of adults with ADHD struggle with Emotional Dysregulation.

At the end of the article, it lists interventions (first for children, then for adults with ADHD).

  • It suggests behavioral counseling (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT) is the most effective treatment. CBT focuses on helping the individual develop strategies and coping skills; it is not simply a “talk therapy”. The article lists various individual and social treatments.
  • Medication and meditation were both listed as “limited” treatment effectiveness. However, earlier in the article, I gleaned that good treatment of co-morbid conditions (which might require an additional medication) may help reduce the severity of Emotional Dysregulation.

As for me, I typically don’t get angry very easily, except when I’m overly tired. However, my kids have found that I can be triggered by them being disrespectful towards any adult (especially if I witness them disrespecting their mom).

Aside from that, I have a “slow fuse”, but I had a bad work situation (previous job working for a manager who seemed to be lacking in emotional intelligence) where the situation just got worse from month to month. I blew up so bad that I got a massive write-up, and for the next year or so felt like I could be fired for any cause. (Which led to anxiety, which led to my ADHD diagnosis, which led me here … So, at least something good ultimately came of it.)

  • My longtime coworkers were stunned by the change that came over me in that period of time, but I felt like only one person even partially did anything to help. The manager was given too much latitude, and the department lost several good, long-term employees under his watch.

Hi, Ace! I’m new here too but I’d like to say that I totally get where you’re coming from with emotional disregulation. Before I got diagnosed with ADHD, I thought I was just a person who, when I felt, I just felt things deeper than most people. Now that I’m diagnosed I’ve realized a lot of it is related to my ADHD and some is related to my depression and anxiety. I started on Adderall in December and my doctor said it would be normal to have either a calming effect OR it could make me a bit hyper at first while I adjusted to the medication. So that idea of Adderall somehow being the diagnostic test for ADHD is totally false. When I started Adderall I was on the short-acting formula which worked well for the focus and organization aspect, but it did make me a little hyper at first and I would need to take several doses through the day. So my doc switched me to the extended-release formulation and increased the dose and that totally evened out the hyperactivity. It was just too much at one time. Extended release slowly gives you an even amount all day and it works wayyyy better for me.


Appreciate your reply!


Welcome to the HowToADHD forums @Kendra_Nieuwendorp !


Welcome Kendra!!!

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