ADHD & Volcanic Emotions


Do you have ADHD? Do you often feel as if you’re an erupting volcano of emotions, covering all the people around you in toxic anger gases and blistering verbal lava? Like a volcano, your eruptions are unpredictable and fierce. They can offend or anger bosses, friends and family members. And what’s weird is: they’re often caused by a tiny glitch in your day, nothing particularly BIG in the scheme of things.

That’s how ADHD people often experience emotions, especially frustration, fear, and anger.  ADHD people often report being overwhelmed by an emotion, unable to stop expressing what they’re feeling. This is called emotional dysregulation, or flooding. 

Dr. William Dodson, an expert in ADHD syndrome, says that having little ability to regulate emotions is perhaps the most important component of ADHD, yet it’s often ignored in an ADHD diagnosis.

For many people with ADHD, the brain’s mechanism for regulating emotion doesn’t see a difference between potentially dangerous events and minor stressors.  As a result, the ADHD brain doesn’t deal rationally and realistically with events that are stressful but not “life-threatening.” Fear or anger is felt so intensely that there’s no ability to stop the volcano from blowing.

So, what can you do to cope with this symptom of ADHD? 

Here’s a link to a great article in ADDitude Magazine. You’ll see that a primary resource is the support of people who accept you for who you are and encourage you, even when you have an eruption! One of those support people could be an ADHD coach. A coach can help you increase self-awareness around how your ADHD shows up and find strategies to mitigate volcanic activity.

About Judith Houlding ADHD Life Coaching, LLC

Judith Houlding is an International Coaching Federation-certified coach. Schedule an exploratory call at 303.817.4424 or email