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LJ's Mum
LJ's Mum asks:
Q:

Has anyone else dealt with an extremely angry child who has ADHD?

My 12 yr old daughter has some serious anger issues. Today has been utter hell, she woke up angry, went to school angry and came home angry. Swearing, yelling, fighting, stealing, is part and parcel of everyday at the moment. She is ADHD and we are beginning to see a psychologist, what I cant handle is that it is happening more and more. We are not sure if she has Aspergers, still waiting for her to be reassessed. She has made comments about wanting to kill herself, that she thinks we all think she is dumb which I have told her we dont. Does not recognise the word NO. Gets so upset that sometimes she curls herself into a ball and rocks in the corner.   Just wondering if anyone else has seen this before in their children?? I need some advice or help. It is becoming so stressful for me and I am becoming more and more depressed because of it.
In Topics: ADHD & attention issues
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Sep 19, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

Many young people dealing with ADHD (approx. 37%) are also dealing with other psychological issues. One of them is Oppositional Defiant Behavior which is manifested as anger.

Your psychologist needs to address this issue concurrently with the ADHD and adolescence.

You are doing the right thing and are by no means alone with your daughter's behavior.

If the psychologist is not able to make advances in behavior suggestions for your family, some times a child and adolescent psychiatrist (who is an MD) can evaluate whether medication would be helpful.

Wayne A. Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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Additional Answers (3)

Boys Town National Hotline
It is concerning to see our children so upset. I think you are very wise to set an appointment with a psychologist for further evaluation.

Children with ADHD deal with maintaining focus in the classroom as you know. It is not an issue of intelligence. However they will often times express that they feel dumb because their peers in the classroom seem to understand what they do not.

Typically they are following the instruction in the classroom and they temporarily lose focus. When they return their attention to the discussion in the classroom they have missed what the other students heard. They feel lost and as the situation repeats itself they can become very frustrated and make the assumption they are not as intelligent as their peers.

At age 12 school becomes more challenging and the instruction is more lecture oriented which is a challenge for children with ADHD symptoms. It may also be beneficial to help with some classroom strategies. Does she currently have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)? Your daughter school guidance counselor likely has many resources for you to consider in helping your daughter both in the classroom, socially with peers and at home.

Regarding her curling into a fetal position and rocking herself is an attempt to comfort herself. Learning other ways to calm her anxiety and nurture herself can replace this behavior in time. The seeming inability to accept no also is part of the impulsiveness that is characteristic of ADHD.

Hopefully with help from professionals, your daughter will get the help that she needs to work though these issues so she can feel more comfortable and confident in herself and her abilities.

Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
> 60 days ago

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missk
missk writes:
I WAS that girl. I wish back then I had been diagnosed and had medication. I might have finished school.

From an ADHD perspective, it's not other people that us feel dumb, it's the fact that we try so hard but just keep failing at things.

You also need to understand that the way our brains work, is to try to find a solution for every problem that effects us. And when the solution does not present itself, the problem keeps churning around. The older you get, the responsibilities you have, and the more unresolved problems are churning around inside. Eventually it gets too much and you end up up with anxiety issues. This increases frustration levels immensely.

ADHD is caused by a defiency of dopamine. The neurotransmitters are not doing their job effectively. No psychologist will be able to fix this, you need medication.
> 60 days ago

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amom
amom writes:
I know that you posted this 2 months ago, but I swear you are describing my child.  She too is 12 years old, is belligerent, mornings are especially tough.  Right now she is refusing to get up and go to school, (7th Grade).  My husband and I have decided to draw the line, I don't think this is her ADHD talking I think it is her just wanting her own way.  She sees not going to school as a punishment to us and doesn't see the connection and consider the consequences to her.  We have begun taking away her privileges one by one in hopes to get her to understand her behavior is not acceptable and we will no longer let her drive how we function as a family unit and what the rules are.  I know this doesn't answer your concern, but I wanted to let you know that you are not alone.
> 60 days ago

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