ADHD and emotions

How ADHD affects emotions


Not many might be aware of this but ADHD can really affect the way we experience and process emotions. Momentary emotions can quickly become too strong, flooding the brain with intense frustration, hurt or anger. 🤯 It might also be difficult to self-soothe when experiencing this kind of intense feelings. These reactions can look quite dramatic to those observing us, based on the things that triggered them, but it is a real experience that we often go through!

Many ADHD'ers experience intense emotions which might be difficult to regulate
emotional impulsivity. Acting on emotions without thinking through consequences.


Impulsivity might make us act on emotions without thinking through the consequences. We might also try to self-soothe by impulsive actions, such as shopping sprees, binge eating, or reaching out to that one ex, that we swore we will never text again. 🙃


Rejection sensitivity makes us vulnerable to real or perceived rejection. This can lead to intense feelings of shame, anxiety, and depression. For those with ADHD, RSD can be particularly challenging because we may already struggle with feelings self-doubt. RSD can exacerbate these feelings and make it difficult to handle criticism or rejection. 

Rejection sensitivity. ADHD'ers are more sensitive to real or perceived rejection.
Low frustration tolerance. Small frustrations might feel overwhelming.


Low frustration tolerance is a common symptom of ADHD. It is defined as difficulty in coping with unpleasant or frustrating situations, leading to intense emotional reactions such as anger, irritability, and emotional outbursts. 🤯 We can become easily overwhelmed and frustrated with tasks that require sustained attention, such as studying or working on a long project, especially if we find these tasks unstimulating or unclear, leading to feelings of boredom and restlessness.


Talking about boredom, we might need more external stimulation to maintain attention and focus. When not sufficiently stimulated, we can quickly become restless and irritable. When ADHD’ers become bored, their brains may perceive this as a negative experience, triggering an emotional response. We might feel anxious or agitated and seek out stimulation. 😑🥱 

ADHD boredom - adhd brains want to be constantly engaged


Due to our time blindness, we can also perceive emotions as a never-ending experience. It might feel that the intense emotion that we are feeling right now is going to last forever, making the experience even more overwhelming. 🌀🌪️ 

Found This Helpful?

Help raise ADHD awareness and share this post to your socials. Together we can make a change!

Related Posts

Want to continue reading? Check out these related posts.

Find even more here…