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What to know about ADHD and anger in adults
Understanding attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anger in adults can help a person manage symptoms, reduce the impact of ADHD on their relationships, and reduce the risk of high-risk behaviors.
Anger is not on the official list of ADHD symptoms. However, many adults with ADHD struggle with anger, especially impulsive, angry outbursts. Triggers can include frustration, impatience, and even low self-esteem.
A number of prevention tips may help adults with ADHD manage anger as a symptom.
Keep reading to learn more about ADHD and anger, including the causes, triggers, and how to manage the condition.
Several studies have found a link between ADHD symptoms and anger.
A 2014 study of college students found that more ADHD symptoms correlated with more state and trait anger. State anger refers to brief bursts of anger, such as when encountering a reckless driver. Trait anger is a personality that tends toward anger.
A 2020 study that compared adults with ADHD to those without the diagnosis found that 50.2% of adults with ADHD had frequent emotional fluctuations, compared to just 5% of those without ADHD. Adults with ADHD who reported feeling angry as children were more likely to report frequent mood fluctuations.
This suggests a link between mood fluctuations and anger. It also suggests that the anger of adult ADHD may begin in childhood.
Some reasons why ADHD may make a person angry include:

Triggers vary from person to person. It can help if a person keeps a log of anger triggers, because this empowers a person to investigate why something triggers their anger and gain better control over the reaction. Some common triggers for ADHD-related anger include:

How to manage ADHD related anger
ADHD is a medical condition, which means a person cannot just think their way out of its symptoms. The right combination of treatments can make it much easier to manage anger. Some options include:

Some strategies that can help a person deal with their anger include:

Some strategies that can help prevent anger and impulsive angry outbursts include:

Other similar symptoms of ADHD
Doctors identify ADHD based on a tendency toward inattention, trouble concentrating, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Some symptoms of ADHD correlate more closely with anger. They include:

People who have ADHD and anger should know that they are not alone, and that their symptoms may be related to their diagnosis.
The right combination of treatment and social support can help.
Do not try to fix it alone. Mental health support can ease anger and prevent the destruction it causes.
…written by Zawn Villines