Anger and ADHD: How to Build up Your Brakes
100 Comments


Hello Brains! ADHDers tend to be impulsive and not just when we’re buying office supplies. [Ding!] We’re emotionally and socially impulsive too, which can make us a lot of fun, when we’re in a good mood. The problem is, we’re not always IN a good mood. [Intro Music] We get angry, we get frustrated. Angry thoughts lead to angry actions and we do things that end up costing us friendships, relationships, even our jobs. Afterward, we feel awful. We regret it. And then? We do it again! It’s not that we aren’t smart or capable
of making good decisions. As Dr. Russell Barkley puts it, ADHD is
*not* an “information deficit” disorder. We know we shouldn’t scream in the middle
of class or hit another kid on the playground. We TOTALLY GET that telling off our
coworker is “not acceptable behavior.” The problem is we get SO MAD we can’t control it. You know what I’m talking about. The kind of feeling that builds in the pit of your stomach and makes your teeth clench and absolutely
want to destroy the person who EERRRAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHH Well, actually…I did the research, and it’s not just you. Everybody gets that upset. What? How? Then WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE IN DETENTION? [Ice cream truck] [beep beep] [Ice cream truck] [Throws more papers] You weren’t the only one who WANTED to flip a table when your teacher assigned extra homework, you’re just the only one who DID. Why? Because YOUR BRAIN is faster than your brakes. To help me explain, cool science stuff!! [Music] Turns out, there’s a part of the brain whose JOB it is to HELP us hold back emotions and actions when expressing them might not be the best idea. It’s called the anterior cingulate cortex or ACC. In neurotypical brains, it activates anytime they experience an emotional or social conflict. As in, they might WANT to hang up on their boss but that could have consequences. Their ACC picks up on the fact that they’re
about to do something that could be bad for them and buys them time to think about
how to handle the situation. That way, the part of the brain that
knows they NEED that job and have plans to retire someday is able to step in and suppress those impulses. In a fight, the ACC would be the friend holding you back while your other friends talk some sense into you. The problem is, in ADHD brains, the
ACC doesn’t always work that way. Or at all. In fact, according to Dr. Russell Barkley, in adult ADHD brains, the ACC appears to do…nothing. Which means your other friend, the frontal lobe might have some amazing wisdom to share but with no one to hold you back he won’t have time to share it before
YOU get punched in the nose. Dr. Barkley describes this as “trouble
with response inhibition.” Dr. Hallowell calls it having a Ferrari
engine brain, with bicycle brakes. I call it being enthusiastic. Whatever you call it, it can be a
problem for those of us with ADHD. So what’s a Brain to do? You gotta build up your brakes. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to do this! Here are 5 ways we can help out our ACC: 1. Meditation. Hear me out! Meditation doesn’t mean sitting still
and clearing your mind of thoughts. It’s just an opportunity to practice
having thoughts and emotions without reacting to them. You know, the thing were having trouble with? Plus, research has shown that meditation
actually changes your brain, thickening the parts responsible for decision making, maintaining attention, and taking
action in line with our goals. In other words, the parts affected by our ADHD. If you haven’t tried meditating yet, don’t worry. It’s way easier than you think I explain more in THIS video. 2. Mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply being aware of your
thoughts, feelings, and your body’s reactions without judging them. The great thing about mindfulness is if you only remember to meditate when
you’re already about to scream at somebody or eat a box of cookies, it’s not too late to use this technique. One of the easiest ways to do this is
to focus on your breath. That’s it! That’s enough to active your ACC. There’s a link to a cute video on belly
breathing in the description below There’s also this video! 3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, is a kind of therapy that focuses on how you process your thoughts and feelings in the present moment. Are you starting to see a pattern here? All of these methods are about creating
space between an event or an emotion and your reaction to it. Basically, what most people’s ACC
does for them automatically. CBT is especially great for dealing with
depression and automatic negative thoughts, but programs have been developed
specifically for dealing with ADHD, emotional self-regulation and impulse control. 4. Medication. Yeah, I don’t talk about this much because I am clearly NOT A DOCTOR! but I have to include it because for most people with ADHD, it’s very effective. It can not only help us focus, it also helps with self-control. I’ll include links to more information in
the description below, but if you are considering medication: talk to a doctor (which, I AM NOT). Finally, 5. Exercise. Research suggests that physical activity
can make a huge difference as well. Aerobic exercise, like running, swimming or dancing seems to have the most impact on
ADHD symptoms overall, while mind-body exercise like yoga seems to
have the biggest impact on self-regulation. So the next time you need to have a difficult discussion, try doing it in downward dog. ahh! and 6. [Ding] If you find yourself judging yourself, remember that the emotions you’re feeling are probably totally normal. You just have to work on your brakes. Of course, it also helps to have a backup
plan for times when your brakes might fail. I’ll go into that, in another video! That’s it for this week! Thanks for making it all the way through. This was a lot of information to cover but really important. Let me know how your brakes have failed or saved you! Comment below or on Facebook or Twitter, and leave me a question for question time. If you like what I do, subscribe. And if you LOVE what I do, consider donating to our Patreon page so we can make even more videos! Bye Brains! Question Time! How do you approach someone in order to make friends (your crush specifically)? Love, true love! I think it’s important to consider the timing. Probably don’t talk to them when they’re in the middle of something or clearly want to be left alone. Wait till you think they might be receptive to conversation, and then try to find
stuff you have in common. Ask them questions about themselves to see
if you guys have the same taste in music or share a hobby. For this reason, a great place to meet is in a class or a group thats dedicated to something
you’re interested in. For instance, Edward and I met at a writer’s group. What do I do about having a lot to do
and not enough time to do it? It helps to focus on stuff that’s
important but not yet urgent. My video on The Priority Matrix explains why. Speaking of which… Remember, Edward promised to do an
FAQ&A — about me if we hit 1,000 #ibnus, so keep working on yours and post
about them when you do! And remember: In case of emergency shake glass!

100 thoughts on “Anger and ADHD: How to Build up Your Brakes

  1. Yeah – I struggle with this, especially when entering a conflict with my 7 year old…who also has ADHD… Needless to say, sparks fly half the time… It's really frustrating!!

  2. Tomorrow morning I go in for an evaluation of my kindergartener who is having this compulsiveness I guess.. it's like fighting to get him help that's what stage I'm at … Trying to get him those accommodations but I may have better luck hitting the lottery ..btw. I love your videos they really do help thank you

  3. I have so many troubles with my brakes that I don't where to begin. Th worst part is after it's all done I figure out that I could reacted better.

  4. Do you get really really really tired when you try stopping doing things you know you should not do it wears me out

  5. I came to this channel to learn about my son and how his mind works. He's 8 and is on the hyperactive AND inattentive side of the spectrum. First, THANK YOU!! It is so amazing hearing this from an adult who can better explain what is happening in their head. At 8 years it's still difficult for my son to express these thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

    However, in listening to you and reading comments from your fellow brains I'm finding myself relating to SO MUCH of what everyone is saying. I've been assessed by a psychiatrist recently for depression and a general anxiety disorder. Still waiting on the official report from the psychiatrist, but now I feel like I should be asking more questions…

    Again, THANK YOU for this amazing channel. I'm tearing up right now because I'm just so thankful. ♥️♥️♥️♥️

  6. How ironic….this just showed up on my feed. I ended an 18 year friendship this morning, after a week of text arguing. Part of me is ok with it, but, this video is making me think more deeply about it.

    I'm an absolute fan of CBT, and cannabis has me off of Ritalin! Life changing combo for me. I feel amazing.

    Thanks for sharing, Brain.

    🙋🏻✌🏼❤️

  7. I walk away angry and talk to myslef but before then I bite ppl or pushed them really hard before I punch them

  8. I struggled with this for so long. Was diagnosed as a child. But had the attidtude when I was 17 that "I didn't want to be on medication for the rest of my life". Went unmedicated for so long and struggled . So much mental anguish I can't even explain it here. Poor actions with friends,family,co workers etc . Just 7 months ago I went to my family doc and got back on meds. Was prescribed adderel xr 30mg 20mg in morning and 10 at lunch. Still struggle bit gets better every day! It causes so much more mental issues when it goes untreated . Depression was a major factor and now I don't get depressed near as much. Thank you for your videos! Life is really good! Wish there were more people out there who understood it. Sometimes I think it's easier for an ADHD diagnosed individual is better off single, especially when it seems like I'm not listening or that I don't care, can be hurtful! All up hill from here though! Good vibes! Awesome video

  9. One time I got mad at a girl in school because she forgot to return my pencil so I told her to fight me I then got scared and told her later that we should have a playdate instead

  10. I uh.. May have made myself worse. I realized I needed to work on my breaks so much that I wound up over-shooting and started dissociating from my emotions.

    That or I have both ADHD as well as BPD considering other things I do…

  11. I watched this because my mother says that I need to start working on anger and frustration because I explode at my siblings

  12. Yeah I have ADHD and this makes sense. I have also out brusts. Love these videos that relate to me. I also am not a doctor and can't give you medical advice for doing the right thing for you. To mention I also don't take medicine because I can mostly control myself so I keep a lot of things in which can't be good for some. Not a doctor so if you have medicine or considering to take it ask your doctor and take the medicine that is perscribed to you. Have a nice day(sorry for typos)

  13. “ADHDers are impulsive, and not just when we buy office supplies” I feel personally called out

  14. I love office supplies! 😀 I just like having them even though I don’t want to actually use them, but I use them a just little at a time so I will still have them to look at.

  15. I’m angry and frustrated everyday, my way of dealing is to be alone and talk loudly to myself and the universe 😉

  16. "Medication" Absolutely with you on this one. When I'm medicated, it's like I can feel the anger coming and I have a better understanding of what I can do to prevent it from getting to the point where I'm about to try and shove my fist through a wall… (which, I am not proud to say, I have broken bones b/c I actually did one time, and my fist hit a part of the wall with a stud. I keep the cast around as a reminder to try and do my best to keep it under control.) But it's like night and day. In the morning, before I take my meds, I'm a grump whose thoughts are all over the place.

    To use a metaphor, unmedicated is driving through a traffic jam during rush-hour. Medicated is like taking the subway instead.

  17. Brakes needed indeed. Six piston, racing grade, Brembo brakes with bright red calipers and braided steel fluid lines.

    I've had five or six jobs where I was just too embarrassed to come back to work for something impulsive that I did. Now that I have been tested and diagnosed, it does not entirely excuse me, but it makes a lot of sense. Sometimes, instead of just going back to work when things would probably be okay, I just went and got a new job, and blocked the number from my old job in case they called and wanted to tell me how horrible I was. And they didn't always mail me a check, so there's definitely several hundred dollars I have just left on the table because of how mortified I was at my own behavior. Same with friends and family. I've always felt like a magnet that repels goodness and stability.

    I'm doing CBT along with meditation, exercise and medication. It's a lot better, but I still cringe when I think about the way I behaved.

  18. my boyfriend with ADHD scares me when he’s angry goes on this ranting tangent without brakes. It doesn’t help when I have ADHD too and I always feeling the need to run away. We’re working on an action plan to control our emotions.

  19. I really think I have adhd after reviewing my childhood to now behavior but as a kid I never did things like throw a desk and get detention because I was always afraid of getting introuble and I was like the teacher pets because I was always trying to be good but every couple months I would do very weird things if I got mad in class like I once destroyed my book after a kid accused me of taking his book idk I just usually had good control but I also had strict parents

  20. Thank you for your videos! You mentioned a back up plan if your brakes aren’t working, is there a following video or link please?

  21. I must say that ballet has helped me kick start the whole being self-aware and mindfulness process since it teaches you discipline, and brain-body coordination which can be useful in social settings when you start getting frustrated….

  22. Why is it that a child with ADHD, yells at people that care for them like mom/dad, bros. But when it comes to other people, they dont really talk and are real quiet. ?

  23. I always imaged it as "negative" energy unleashing. People assume that I might have had a bad day, but no, that's not it. We are overly sensitive people and that sort of sucks at times. I almost got diagnosed with bipolar, unlike I went to a psychiatrist, and did a brain scan to confirm. phew.

  24. Can you do a video on why it’s important take your medication because I don’t like taking it because it makes me feel like I’m boring

  25. I’ve watched this video a few times but I had to watch it again after having a giant meltdown at my mom (I’m….23 years old) this morning because she happened to be the person around while I was having it – this video helps remind me what exactly I have to work on when things like this happen, so thank you so much for your hard work!

  26. I liked every thing but the drugs. I feel the drugs are a orblem…to the problem…and misdiagnosed and way to strong and exoenssive and nuriligically made to hard to get away from. Making your bank account and persinality " introveiniously connect."
    Every thing else was helpful.

  27. When I was in retail, I hunted down and beat up shop lifters, then I got fired cause I kept fighting with shop lifters and argued with management when they told me to stop…..

  28. medication has changed my life, but the breathing thing helps to, since even on meds when i am really stressed or overwhelmed well…….

  29. btw thank you for your videos. i find them helpful and informative, and for someone who only found out in my 50s why i was such a jerk i still learning a lot and your vids are great. ty

  30. For a deep dive on the subject checkout Jordan B Peterson.
    Jessica and Jordan are great examples of true authentic humanity in front of a crowd and on YouTube. I'm so grateful for there intellectual and emotional intelligence.

  31. As a kid punching holes through the wall was definitely a goto. Now as an adult self control is my best friend.

  32. When someone makes me mad I try to hold it in. If they continue I will just yell at them. Normally then they back off which is good.if they continued and we were alone I would have slapped them HARD

  33. Shout out to the bus driver that I almost punvhed because he said my buss pass wasn't valid. Im sorry!!

  34. I try to control my anger. I mostly do it verbally…. in anger……. thankfully I can control physical attack out of anger…. mostly. I try to find something that I can punch or hit out of anger that I can without punishment, so I can calm myself down.
    Once though I threw a rock at a student on the playground cuz I was so mad at him. He is fine but yes I got in trouble BUT thankfully my parents didn’t punish me for it and tried to help me.

  35. The editing is off the charts!…All by urself?….Or do u at least dictate a lot of how u want the video to be?…..By the way…u look a lot like scarlet witch!….. andd.. see ya brain!

  36. also I umm…. yell ALOT when frustrated and I feel like I have zero control over it. my family gets so mad at me over this but what they don't understand is I HAVE NO CONTROL! The result of this is that I get punished, I am getting punished over something I cant control. it only makes me more mad

  37. This would have been helpful information when I threw a jug of juice at my sister… when she made fun of my hypersensitivity. 😬 10 years later, I'm realizing I have adhd lol

  38. I haven’t been too violent in my life, but there have been 3-4 instances in the past 5 years where I WAS violent. Am I really adhd? I just got diagnosed at 24 with adult residual. I’m currently trying to sort out my chaotic life without succumbing to anxiety.

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