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ADHD Adults

Does anyone else frequently feel grumpy?!?

I’m new to this group and this is my first time posting a question to any online group. I write in the hopes that I can get some feedback on an issue I have. I am a full time mother of two and I have ADD and ODD. I don’t take medication but try to manage my symptoms as best I can. Some days are easier than others! My issue is this: I feel like I’m grumpy (bitchy, whatever word you want to use) quite often. It takes very little to set me off, especially when I’m in a hurry (ie to get my child to school or to make an appointment). When my patience is tested (as it often is by my son!), I try VERY hard not to lose my temper. Sometimes I’m successful…sometimes not (that’s a whole other post!:). Either way, it makes me GRUMPY! I have a really hard time “snapping out of it” and one thing leads to another. Pretty soon I’m just sounding grumpy and snapping at my son with every word out of my mouth! Little things tick me off and they build up. At other times of the day, I have no problem dealing with the curve balls life throws. I don’t know why my behavior and mood is so changeable in this way! It’s like sometimes I can cope with challenges and sometimes I can’t at all! Does anyone else have difficulties like this?? I really could use some help finding strategies that would prevent me from acting like this because I truly hate it when I do…but feel powerless to stop! Help please!


Hi Mitzi!
Thank you very much for your feedback! Hearing what you had to say was a good wake up call for me. I don’t take medication because I’m currently breast feeding my one year old daughter. I used to take Adderal, with excellent results, but I stopped before my son was born many years ago. I can relate to your experience. My life was very different prior to my diagnosis and treatment. It seems however that I’ve forgotten how different life can be when I’m properly medicated. I can relate to your sunburn analogy! I feel overly-sensitive to everything! Your feedback helped me to remember that this isn’t just a “personality flaw” of mine…I can get help for this. I have thought about going back on medication when I’m done nursing (although I’m in no rush! smile  and I think it’s a good idea. Thank you again for your help!

Posted by Beachmama on Mar 14, 2014 at 5:22am

I was always told when I was growing up that I was way too sensitive.  Before diagnosis & meds, I took “grumpy” to a new level.  I thought the world was trying to annoy me.  Meds are not a cure-all, but moods are definitely under control.  I had to go through several kinds of meds, dosages, etc. before we hit on the right combo for me.  It took a long time but was worth the wait.  Nothing will ever be perfect, but I don’t fly off the handle easily these days, Thank God!  Hang in there.

Posted by ctm1 on Mar 14, 2014 at 5:45am

You said your daughter is one year old.  I imagine she is eating some solid foods. If she is increasing her solids, perhaps she is decreasing her nursing?  This might be setting off your hormones - some people experience significant mood changes each time the child changes the nursing schedule.  Many people find ADD increases with an increase in stressors, so even if this didn’t happen with your first child, that might explain part of what is happening to you - increased stressors and maternal hormone adjustments.  If she’s decreased her frequency maybe you are getting less of a “fix” of the calming hormones that are released during nursing.  Consider bringing this up with your gyn or lactation consultant (if you don’t have one, try the local hospital - see if you can get a consult) to see if your story makes sense in the context of moms of babies your daughter’s age.  I know they will first remind you to drink more water - consider if you are dehydrated - you are a busy mom AND nursing. It’s easy to forget to hydrate - so your brain might not be getting what it needs in fluids too.

Posted by Juggler on Mar 14, 2014 at 6:11am

I still get a bit grumpy and overwhelmed, but eliminating gluten 100% from my diet a year and a half ago has helped a lot. It has helped my explosive impulse anger significantly.  Sandy Newmark wrote the article in Additude Magazine that changed my life and started me on the path to a better ADHD immune system.  It was in the November 2012 issue.

I remember how difficult it was to be off medication, pregnant, then nursing.  The hormonal changes didn’t make things any better.

GOOD LUCK smile!

Posted by TimeMgtQueen;) on Mar 14, 2014 at 6:42am

Juggler—WOW!!! I can’t believe I didn’t think about that! I think you really hit on something there. My daughter is certainly eating a lot of solid food, she just supplements with nursing. We also bed share so she nurses at night. I know my milk production has decreased naturally over the past few months and indeed you are right—I am definitely getting less of a fix from those calming feel-good hormones when she nurses. I will definitely pursue this with my lactation consultant! Great point on the dehydration too (I’m NOT getting enough water). I can’t thank you enough for your input!
Ctm1—thank you for sharing your experience! It’s so nice to know I’m not alone in this. I wish I’d joined this group sooner!
Timemgtqueen;)—Again, wow! I have heard others say there’s a connection between mood and gluten. My naturopath took me off gluten for some time awhile ago to determine if I had any sensitivity. I was pregnant at the time but I didn’t notice much of a connection for me. I’m going to pursue this again however. Maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance or maybe my hormones played a role since I was pregnant. One question—would someone without a gluten sensitivity see an improvement in ADHD symptoms? Or is the connection between mood and gluten present mainly in individuals with a gluten sensitivity? Does that make sense? Anyways, I’ll try to find that article! Thanks again for your great input!
Mitzi—it sounds like your on a good path and your experience gives me hope! Thanks so much for sharing and for your help!

Posted by Beachmama on Mar 14, 2014 at 7:27pm

Let us know how it’s going, Beachmama. It’s been about 11 years since a baby weaned me; but when I read your story, it came back to me like it was this morning (even more recently than yesterday!). I remember thinking a crazy idea that maybe I could get a job as a wet nurse to keep those hormones going rather than ride that roller coaster! LOL!

Posted by Juggler on Mar 15, 2014 at 8:00am

Oh I remember when my 2nd child started to need my attention more. The 2 were louder and more demanding and my anger went thru the roof. Especially when I was finally trying to get something done and they keep pulling on my arm… I hated the way I’d react to them. It’s like you can see yourself doing it but can’t stop it. My meds Dexedrine XR helped tremendously. I can tell when I forget to take it. I take extended release in a.m., and a regular Dexedrine at 2:45 to make it through the dinner and bedtime routine. Life changing diagnosis and medication!

Also my naturopath had me do a saliva test, a kit you do at home every 4 hrs for full day. Not any surprise to me,  my hormones are all out of whack. But surprise to me, she put together a cream with hormone per-cursors and other ingredients to rub on my arm morning and night. Who knew? Again Life Changing! Moods and stress and that “fight or flight” response totally leveled out.

Lastly I do think eliminating gluten can help even if u don’t have true sensitivity because blood sugar highs and lows can affect mood a lot too. My moods regulated a lot when I went off of gluten. I did a stool sample with Naturopath to confirm gluten sensitivity and even found dairy sensitivity. That’s another story- what a bummer.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

Posted by Carandtruck4 on Mar 17, 2014 at 4:23am

I am so hoping you all can figure out how not to take it out on your children, while trying to sort out your meds and diet. Children do not understand an angry mom and think it is their fault. Children forgive, but they do not neccessarily forget the message they get, right or wrong. They sometimes carry it with them through adulthood.

Posted by Barbwired on Mar 18, 2014 at 2:16am

I have always been “moody”. When I was a teen they put me on anti-depressents but I felt like a zombie. Now that I am older and medicated for my ADHD, I’m a bit better. But I still have a hard time managing my moods. I have found that I fit alot of the criteria for pre-menopause even though I’m only 32. Moody, night sweats, irregular periods etc
I started taking black cohosh supplements and it really seems to help. On the days I forget to take it I’m a roller coaster of mood swings. I also take St. Johns Wort and fish oil supplements. (St Johns Wort wasn’t enough by itself so I spoke with my PCP and added the black cohosh.)

Whatever is going on you need some outside help sorting it out. If you can, make time for yourself once or twice a week to relax. Easier said than done but well worth it! I try to plan 2 nights a month with my friends or even by myself for some alone time.

I’m not sure how old your kids are but have a talk with them about feelings, ways to express them, how to ask for alone time or help etc. My kids are older (12 & 8) so when I’m feeling especially irritable I throw out something like “I’m feeling irrationally angry. Please give Mom time to cool off”. My older son will now do the same thing (he’s ADHD too)

Feelings are normal and need to be dealt with. I don’t see any need to hide it from the kids so long as you explain what’s happening and apologize if you need to. Just my opinion but I think that apologizing when I’ve done something wrong shows my kids I’m not perfect but I care and love them.

Best of luck to you! I hope it helps to know you’re not the only one struggling with these things. smile

Posted by msmouse99 on Mar 18, 2014 at 4:20pm


I love this!

“when I’m feeling especially irritable I throw out something like “I’m feeling irrationally angry. Please give Mom time to cool off”. My older son will now do the same thing (he’s ADHD too).”

I’m going to use that myself and try to get my son to acknowledge when he’s irrationally angry. At 11, I’m not sure he can do it quite yet, but soon.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:22pm

@Penny my 12 year old still struggles to name his emotions but I do see improvement since I have started naming my own emotions.

@Mitzi- It helps me move on too when I say what I’m feeling outloud. Even if it’s just the cats listening smile

Posted by msmouse99 on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:47pm

I feel so blessed to have stumbled upon this online community! The advice and support has been so helpful and is much appreciated!
Juggler—I’m trying to drink more water smile and keep better track of what things seems to set off my feelings of frustration, impatience and irrational anger. So funny about the wet nurse idea! smile I love nursing and am in no rush to stop!
Carandtruck4—Thank you for the great info and advice! I’ve got the date set on my calendar to go gluten free! I plan to keep a journal so that I can hopefully determine if I have a gluten sensitivity. I’m glad to hear you’ve had such great luck with your testing and diet changes. I’m curious to see if I notice a difference after a month of GF. I
Who_is_keri—I’m sorry you’re also struggling with these issues but it helps to know we aren’t alone!!! Please let me know if you find anything that works particularly well for you! smile
Barbwired—I’m “normally” a very loving, nurturing, highly attached mother. I didn’t mean to give the impression in my post that I’m always, 100% of the time, grumpy and lashing out at my son. Actually, most of the time I have the patience of a saint!!!! My son, who also has ADD, can be very challenging. Since I’m human, and since I have ADD (which, for me, manifests as a quick temper and poor control of my thoughts and reactions)...I often resort to yelling. I DO NOT abuse, verbally or otherwise. Nor will I ever. I understand your point—children can internalize things. That is why I always try to explain why I’m feeling frustrated/mad/etc. and apologize afterwards. Would I be a better mother if I didn’t occasionally get so frustrated I yell things I shouldn’t? Yes!! But that’s why I’m on this site, seeking advice on my quest for self-improvement!!! 
Msmouse99—YES!!!!! That’s exactly what I do! GREAT advice, I’m so glad you posted it. As I was saying above, I can’t always adequately or appropriately control my actions (I yell) and then I need to apologize and explain to my son why I reacted in that way. If I can avoid yelling by saying something like that, I do. I usually tell my son “Im feeling really angry right now, I need to take a time out so that I can deal with my feelings”. I also try to remember to breathe when I feel myself getting angry/frustrated/etc. I’m hoping that he will learn coping techniques when he’s faced with challenges by modeling good behavior. The problem for me is….I can’t always manage to get it right!! I have good days and bad days and there’s no rhyme or reason (that I can tell so far) that makes one day different from the next. Today I was peaceful and calm, no yelling all day, at anyone. Tomorrow may be a different story. smile I try my best every day but feel guilty when it doesn’t work. I’m glad I’m not alone!!!
Adhdmomma—I’m also going to try to have my son use the words shared by Msmouse. My son is only 7 though and we haven’t told him much about ADHD yet. Anyone have any advice on HOW to describe ADD/ADHD to a child?? I have only told him “mommys brain works differently than other peoples and sometimes I say things without thinking”.
Thanks again everyone!!!!

Posted by Beachmama on Mar 19, 2014 at 4:58am

There are lots of ways to explain it to kids (and adults too)
Sometimes people explain the attention problem part of ADHD by saying it feels like when you’re in the car and the radio keeps blipping back and forth between two stations (this can be demonstrated with a radio to a child very easily) and sometimes there is static too so even though you are trying to pay attention to the song you want to hear, it’s hard because of the other noises only it’s not actually noises, it’s thoughts.

You can also ask him to think about adding his numbers (or some hard new task he is learning - practicing spelling words) but only he is at a parade and there is someone with puppies sitting behind you and maybe the parade hasn’t started, so it’s quiet, but it still hard to study your spelling, isn’t it? ...To some people, even little things like a clock ticking or a plane going over or someone talking quietly in the next room FEELS like a parade to them so they have to try really really hard to pay attention and sometimes they forget things because it’s hard to pick out what is important to remember and sometimes when they find out that they forgot something they get mad at themselves, but sometimes people think they are mad at them…  and that’s why sometimes Mommy asks you where she parked the car - she’s not being dumb, she was probably just thinking about remembering what to get in the store and not about where she put the car or what she could give you for snack when you get home.

.  ... And sometimes, they think of a really really good idea and they are afraid they will forget it because of all the things they are trying to remember at once that they forget other people are talking and they just blurt out their idea without waiting their turn but they’re not trying to be rude. 

Or sometimes they find that the best way to pay attention is to tap their foot a lot or sometime even stay standing up when other people are fine sitting down perfectly still, so sometimes they need to go take a little walk or jump up and down a couple of times to help them pay attention again and if they get in trouble for that sometimes the person has to explain what is happening to their boss or if it’s a kid their parents have to explain to their teacher so everybody understands and finds ways to get their work done.

Anyone? anyone?  When I say “some people say”... well, it’s just me, I have no idea what anybody else says because I don’t know anybody in real life who admits to having it and really has it (it seems to be fashionable - only to people who don’t really have it, yes?).

Just think of what ADD means for you and what odd behaviors your child may need explanations for and you’ll be fine.  Be cautious not to make it sound somethings “wrong” with the brain - because you can’t cure it and it might scare him. You can talk about how it’s different and sometimes it’s hard to behave like other people, but also, people with those kinds of brains come up with really great ideas because when everybody else is sitting there looking at something trying to solve some problem with it, people with this kind of brain might notice all these other little things nobody else pays attention to and they often come up with a new way to do something nobody ever thought of before because even though people with our kind of brain almost notice too many things, those other people often don’t notice much of anything!

My meds are worn off - motor mouth engaged. I’ll stop here.

Posted by Juggler on Mar 19, 2014 at 6:05am

Have you considered Adrenal Fatigue?  My ADHD lifestyle, followed by trying to be a Vegan and over-doing the sugar/carbs led me not only to Adrenal burnout, but pancreatic damage. I’m now working with a Naturopatic Dr. (N.D.) to restore my health. What’s fascinating is that he talks about the many different body types, and how different people need different diets for maximum health. I, for instance, need to eat protein every hour and a half (no going more than two hours max without eating protein). So I have to eat animal protein (organic, free-range/grass fed) with every meal, and then nuts/seeds and almond butter between meals for snacks (or turkey jerky without added sugar). So I’m on a completely sugar/carb/grain/starch free diet, and my energy no longer goes up and down like a roller-coaster! I’m now no longer living off of sugar (fruit is also excluded, at least temporarily) and eat zero processed food/chemicals, etc.

Posted by Chris R on Mar 24, 2014 at 6:09am

I just told my son out brains are wired differently. It’s not a bad thing, just something we have to learn to work with. 
For me I’m spacey, forgetful, flaky and moody. For him it’s fidgety and fast paced.
I found a great picture that really helped. I’ll see if I can find it to share.

Posted by msmouse99 on Mar 25, 2014 at 6:21am

Chris R—thanks for your great comment! Sorry for not writing sooner…what can I say, I’m a bit forgetful smile
Adrenal fatigue isn’t a good “match” for me BUT you really got me thinking about sugar and my addiction to it. I’m happy to say, I’ve been sugar free since the day after reading your comment! I still eat fruit (and probably couldn’t succeed being sugar free without dried fruit!) but I no longer use any sugarcane, honey, maple, rice syrup or artificial sweeteners including stevia. All gone from my diet…and good riddance! Thanks so much for drawing my attention to the issue of sugar in my diet! I honestly don’t know if it makes much difference in my mood but having stable blood sugar certainly can’t hurt any!
Everyone—thanks so much for all the great info, advice and help! XX

Posted by Beachmama on May 21, 2014 at 5:18am

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