At a Glance

  • Kids with ADHD feel the same emotions as their peers.

  • Emotions are more intense with ADHD and impact everyday living.

  • ADHD makes it hard to manage emotions.

If your child has ADHD, you probably know about the major symptoms. Trouble focusingImpulsivity. And in some cases, hyperactivity. But many kids with ADHD (also known as ADD) share another symptom that often isn’t mentioned. They have trouble managing their emotions.

There are official criteria that doctors use to diagnose ADHD. Trouble with emotions isn’t one of them. But researchers and professionals who treat kids with ADHD often report that emotions play a big role in the daily difficulties kids face.

Kids with ADHD don’t have different emotions from most of their peers. They feel hurt, anger, sadness, discouragement, laziness and worry just like everyone else does.

What is different for many kids with ADHD is that these feelings seem to be more frequent and intense. They also seem to last longer. And they get in the way of everyday life.