Thomas ADHD: Anger Management by Thomas Etienne

Often, when we suffer from an illness, it is temporary. Medication can treat it, and we only feel symptoms for a short time. However, imagine a condition present in you all the time. It affects you like an injury or an illness, but it also affects everyone you love. ADHD is precisely that; it is present all the time inside of me and makes me impulsive, aggressive, and often insensitive to others. Externally, I seem cold, but deep down, my impulsive reactions sadden me. I am the elder of three brothers with whom I sometimes have a good and occasionally a bad relationship.

My condition does not help improve our bond between brothers. When something doesn’t suit me, I’m always on edge, which triggers undesirable or bad behaviour. I realized too late with great sadness that I mostly hurt my mother, to whom I said harsh and hurtful words. I have a better relationship with my father. However, even him, I did not spare. One of the aspects of my condition my father helped me understand is to, first, be honest about my situation. He also told me I might not solve every problem related to ADHD at the same time. I have overcome problems one thing at a time. For example, I know I curse a lot, even while I am sleeping. The words are so bad I would not want to write them down. One thing I started doing is to replace my swearing with goofy expressions.

Another example is when I know that I will burst like a volcano; I run and lock myself in a place where I can let all the negative emotions out. To be honest, it works well, but only for about 10 minutes. In an ADHD brain, impulsivity is like a door that cannot be closed. That’s why it’s hard to control our impulses. The last trick and the most difficult one is learning to accept that the things that I say can hurt people, particularly my family.

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