ADHD Makes Me Irritable — ADHD Tip O the Day 722

Irritability is one of the many symptoms of ADHD.

Trust me on this.

From a big article on ADHD:

Wender (1998) provided a list of adult behaviours linked to childhood ADHD (see also Weiss & Murray, 2003; Asherson, 2005). Motor hyperactivity may be replaced by a subjective sense of restlessness, difficulty in relaxing and settling down and dysphoria when inactive. Attention deficits may well persist in a lack of concentration on detail, the need to re-read materials several times, forgetting activities and appointments, losing things and losing the thread of conversations. Thoughts are unfocused and ‘on the go’ all the time. Mood changes are often rapid shifts into depression or excitability, irritability and temper outbursts that interfere with personal relationships. Disorganisation is prominent, tasks are not completed, problem-solving is lacking in strategy and time management is particularly poor. Impulsivity continues and leads to problems in teamwork, abrupt initiation and termination of relationships, and a tendency to make rapid and facile decisions without full analysis of the situation.

Although most people experience such symptoms at times, individuals with ADHD experience these to a severe degree most of the time.

I impulsively decided to put that sentence in bold.


More about ADHD and being irritable

The big article

warning scream mood2 slam fone anti social phone call mad women

get a dog

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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11 Responses to ADHD Makes Me Irritable — ADHD Tip O the Day 722

  1. Pingback: ADHD and Attitude Adjustment — ADHD Tip O the Day 743 | ADDadultstrategies

  2. Ty says:

    Hi I’m a first time poster. Been lurking for about a year. I just wanted to share that I recently started Neurofeedback as a treatment for my ADD. I’ve taken stimulant medication for 10+ years with decent results and also side effects (irritability, insomnia, etc) I am amazed! Thus far I’ve had 1 ‘brainmapping’ session and 3 training sessions of 20 and maybe 3 weeks off medication. I have never felt like this before in my life. I’m able to RELAX! I’m also able slow down and complete tasks efficiently that derailed me without meds before. I never realized I was always so high strung and restless. The point of this post is that I didn’t go into the Neurofeedback treatment with the goal of treating irritability BUT… I have noticed (remarkably!) that things that used to set me off (conflicts leading to angry outbursts and emotions taking over) don’t “set me off” now! I found myself at peace and smiling because I could literally feel that my brain and emotional state weren’t in control of me when I normally would have been overly aroused, reacting, and speaking harsh words before thinking it over! I think this is called ‘state regulation’. The treatment is expensive but I already spend a lot on medication. It’s incredibly effective for me. Happy to share with this community and hope someone may benefit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ty – wow! you are fortunate. the research has not shown much benefit for ADHD from neurofeedback, but one of the weaknesses of such research on meds or other treatments is that it reports the average and ignores the outliers, the one ones made worse (if any?) and the ones that were helped.
      thank you for commenting


  3. Anonymous says:

    Good post. Irritability is my biggest cross to bear yet, especially with people – it’s the sypmtom that triggered my diagnose. I’ve been struggling with it recently, despite the meds. It’s very hard. Especially when you learn to identify the red flag and steer away from people, but they selfishly nag and nag and nag “ooooh, you’re in a bad mood. Why are you in a bad mood?”. They already made a pill for me. Now the pharmaceutical companies need to make a pill I can stick into others :p

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      By the way, this is Ram. My phone logged me out. *sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

    • ram – there are strategies for irritability. I find them somewhat helpful. I think it may be one of the things that the medications are less helpful for, although if they help us mess up less, that should indirectly lesson irritability
      May I suggest one strategy. For example –when they ask “why are you in a bad mood” you could smile and reply, “it’s my nature.” And no matter what they say, just repeat the same answer. In the same way. They may eventually get tired of asking.
      Do you think they are bugging you on purpose to try to get you upset? Whether they are or not, this strategy might work.
      What do you think?
      good luck, and thank you for commenting,


    • holdthatthought says:

      hey, i know what you mean about people being the main source of your irritability. I’ve discovered since getting on the meds that on the nights (few and far in-between) that i get the best quality sleep help with my moods a lot. like, big time–especially when I’m on the meds.

      IN ADDITION, actually eating breakfast the next morning right before i take the meds seems to really help with that as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hold – sleep is a big issue for ADHD, hard to do and very important for our well being. and it is very clear that 3 meals a day are very important, the next issue is eat what?
        as always, thank you for your contributions


        • holdthatthought says:

          i think i have a solution to your answer in what to eat. it depends however on whether one likes to cook or not.
          solution 1: you like to cook, but don’t really know what to eat. there’s a service out there called Blue Apron.

          very cool, check it out. they actually ship food and really easy recipes to your door step (no grocery shopping needed!)
          solution 2: you don’t really like to “cook. ” but you can power through it just once a week meal-prepping! but meal prep what? here’s another (much cheaper) service that can help with just that!

          i think i spend too much time on the Internet.

          Liked by 1 person

          • hold- thanks for the info. sounds like good services. i am fortunate to live in a care community that provides meals, but unfortunate that the food is too good and too many choices, so, for example, i am tempted to sample all six deserts to make sure i dont miss the best one.
            too much time on the net. i know what you mean. please dont cut down on your commenting though


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