Anger management and Adult ADD

Everyone gets angry. In the appropriate situations, anger can even be a healthy emotion.  Some people, however, have a hard time controlling their anger. We see this a lot with ADD in adults.

It’s not just anger. ADD in adults is associated with difficulty controlling a range of emotions – from anger and anxiety to sadness. Dr. George Sachs has a unique understanding of this and other challenges that adults with ADHD must face. He is not only a preeminent ADD/ADHD doctor, he is also one of the millions of adults living with ADD. (According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “About 60 percent of children with ADHD in the United States become adults with ADHD; that’s about 4 percent of the adult population, or 8 million adults.)

The frontal lobe can be considered the “adult” part of your brain. It allows you to think things through before you act by communicating with the amygdala, which is the primitive “child-like” part of your brain. When it comes to ADD in adults, the frontal lobe isn’t very good at communicating with the amygdala.

A positive diagnosis following an ADHD test for adults isn’t a free pass, though. Since your frontal lobe isn’t quite up to the job, you’ll need to learn other methods of controlling your anger.

Anger management and Adult ADD

Dr. Sachs has developed a three-step method that works for him when he feels the anger boiling up inside:

  1. “The first step,” he says, “is to ‘box it up.’ Angry feelings can come on so quickly that you need a response that is already practiced and available—a quick response strategy that acts when your brain can’t. When you get angry, imagine a box around you, protecting you from those in your vicinity. This box is your safe zone. Mine has a sign on it that reads, ‘Danger… Do Not Cross.’”
  2. “Once you visualize the box around you, expel all the air from your lungs. Don’t breathe in—breathe out. Get all the air out of your lungs. The body will take care of the rest, naturally refilling your lungs and creating an autonomic response of relaxation.  Do this three times: Expel all the air from your lungs, and let them refill naturally.”
  3. “Finally, walk away from what is provoking your anger,” Dr. Sachs advises. “Science shows once the anger system is activated, all rational thought is impossible. Take an hour to settle down and come back with a more clear and level head.”

If you have been asking yourself, “Do I have ADD?” don’t base your assessment solely on the basis of your anger and your ability – or inability – to control it. Not everyone who has anger management issues has ADHD.  Other traits associated with ADD in adults include, but are not limited to: difficulty focusing, forgetfulness, restlessness, lack of motivation, anxiety and impulsivity. Do you have problems with time management? Do friends and family comment on your lack of organization?

If you struggle to control your anger and are troubled by many of the other traits associated with ADD in adults, you may want to consider adult ADD testing. At the Sachs Center, we offer ADHD testing for adults and children. We also have the necessary experience to not only administer neuropsychological testing in NYC, we also have the ability to interpret ADD testing results and diagnose ADD in adults.

Following, ADD testing, you can trust us to take a holistic approach to ADHD treatment in NYC, offering neurofeedback and social skills groups as well as traditional counseling and medications.