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Adult ADHD and depression/anger
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Cyclerider123 posted:
I have been diagnosed with Adult ADHD. How much does ADHD affect having depression and anger issues. I am depressed and on cymbalta but also have anger issues. My family says I am angry all the time and snap at them and am grouchy. I sometimes do not see this, or feel it.
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ChristophorM responded:
I have ADHD and people say the same thing.

It might not be anger. It might be impulsiveness. "Normal" people or most people, might have an impulse to say something snarky, but hold themselves back.

For me, whatever I think I say most of the time. For example, someone might meet a person and think "Wow! This guy is a jerk." but they smile and carry on in a friendly manner anyway.

Same situation, only it's me meeting some one. I meet someone and they're acting like a jerk. Maybe I don't notice and carry on in a friendly way. Then again, maybe I do notice it and I think "Why are you such a jerk?" only it turns out I said while I was thinking it. Now he's mad at me. To top it all off, I can't remember why I'm standing here talking to this angry jerk in the first place. So I walk away.

Through the whole thing, I'm not angry at all. It's just that I pretty much say whatever stupid thing pops into my head without even thinking about it. I also have a tendency to over react emotionally, so the doctor prescribed an SSRI to go along with the Adderall. The two of them working together has worked reasonably well for me.

It's something you're going to have to work on. Talk to your doctor about it. They may have some advice. You should also talk to your family about it one on one and let them know that you don't mean to be snippy, but everyone has to be good at something. Right?

Good luck.
Chris
 
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GinaPera responded:
hi Cyclerider,

ADHD can greatly affect "depression and anger issues."

Think of ADHD being, at its core, a challenge with self-regulation. For many people with ADHD, that includes challenges with regulating one's emotions, including anger and irritability.

Some people with late-diagnosis ADHD have even gotten into the habit of "self-medicating" with anger and provocation, because it "wakes up" their brain. This isn't intentional, but it can be an unconscious habit.

Have you ever been prescribed a first-line medication for ADHD: one of the stimulant classes? Cymbalta is not generally recognized as helpful for ADHD on its own.

The fact that you might not see your anger and irritability can also be an ADHD-related challenge -- something called "low insight." The right medication often helps with this, too.

I suggest that you ask your doctor why you are taking Cymbalta; what was the treatment goal with that choice? Sad to say, some doctors will just pick a "favorite" medication and hope it works for most of their patients. This isn't the way to find an effecting treatment regimen for ADHD, however.

I hope this helps.

Gina Pera, author
is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?


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