BNI Treatment Centers Connects ADHD and Anger

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at 10:03pm UTC

Agoura Hills, CA – People usually don’t link ADHD and anger together, but BNI Treatment Centers, a local adolescent mental health and substance use disorder treatment facility, did just that in a recent blog. They highlight how often angry teens are misunderstood, and express the need for more education and compassion.

A large reason for anger associated with ADHD is because of emotional dysregulation, the blog says. The article defines the term: “Emotional dysregulation is when someone has trouble managing their emotions.” There are five major components of emotional dysregulation: irritability, lability (mood swings), recognition of other people’s feelings, affective intensity (extreme emotions), and an inability to appropriately adapt emotions to situations. The blog also is sure to point out that all teens experience some form of emotional dysregulation, and a diagnosis of ADHD requires symptoms of inattention, too.

Impulse control can also contribute to anger in those with ADHD, the blog explains. This may be due to an imbalance of dopamine, an excitatory neurotransmitter, and serotonin, a calming neurotransmitter. “It’s suspected that people with ADHD have a low level of both dopamine and serotonin receptors. Serotonin typically counteracts high dopamine levels to calm someone down, but that excitement continues with more dopamine in the system. Some research suggests that sometimes, individuals with ADHD produce a large surge of dopamine. These are the moments when people with ADHD are at their most impulsive,” BNI Treatment Centers informs the reader. The blog then says emotional dysregulation combined with a lack of impulse control can lead to angry outbursts.

The blog also points out that sometimes, the anger of teens with ADHD can be due to medication side effects, or frustration with their inability to channel their energy into something productive.

BNI Treatment Centers covers what can trigger anger in teens with ADHD, too. Stress, frustration over lack of progress with their goals, rejection, and any reason anyone else could get angry may cause explosive anger due to emotional dysregulation.

The blog takes a more positive spin near the end, offering advice on how to improve anger in teens with ADHD. It suggests exercise, setting boundaries, routine, support groups, healthy sleep, relaxing hobbies, medication, and therapy as possible helpful options.

Specific therapies BNI Treatment Centers spotlights are self-regulation training, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness meditation. “Self-regulation involves an individual understanding and managing their behaviors, emotions, and reactions. Self-regulation enables self-control. Both of these things are challenging for teens with ADHD, and require active practice and training,” the blog explains of self-regulation. It also says self-regulation can be improved through strategies such as focusing on being a good role model, identifying triggers, considering the consequences of impulsive behavior, removing themselves from situations that make them angry, accepting change, and reframing negative thoughts.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one way of reframing these negative thoughts, the article shares. “One of the first steps in CBT is to recognize what triggers anger. After teens with ADHD-induced anger recognize this, they can proceed to strategies to deal with the anger. Some of those strategies include deep breathing, recording negative thoughts and triggers to restructure them, problem-solving, behavioral rehearsal in hypothetical anger-inducing situations and assertive communication,” BNI Treatment Centers says. The blog speaks about the research supporting CBT’s effectiveness.

Mindfulness is another strategy the blog covers. “Mindfulness is being present in the moment and taking notice of what we’re experiencing without being overwhelmed by what is happening around us,” it explains. It acknowledges the difficulty of people with ADHD clearing their mind enough for mindfulness meditation, but stresses, “Mindfulness meditation requires letting those distracted thoughts pass and returning to the present, no matter how many times the person has to refocus.” Additionally, the blog points out that practicing mindfulness meditation can help teens with ADHD be more self-aware in their regular lives.

The blog closes with a reminder that sometimes, the outlined strategies aren’t enough, and that’s okay. In those cases, they recommend seeking treatment. BNI Treatment Centers is owned and operated by doctors, providing care to teens in the Los Angeles area. They treat all mental health conditions and substance use disorders in adolescents, with 24/7 nursing staff and highly involved psychiatrists who visit teens in treatment nearly every day. For more on their services, visit their website or call (888) 522-1504.


For more information about BNI Treatment Centers Outpatient - Dorothy, contact the company here:

BNI Treatment Centers Outpatient - Dorothy
Doug Jewell
28038 Dorothy Dr
Agoura Hills