Can untreated ADHD cause low emotional intelligence? - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 10-07-2017, 01:12 AM #1
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Trig Can untreated ADHD cause low emotional intelligence?

Okay, so stick with me here, ha.

I'm 28 and was diagnosed with ADD, Ring of Fire subtype, as a teenager. I've always been angry and depressed, unable to focus on anything that isn't fast paced (which is why I LOVE video games), sensitive to light/sound/touch/etc. I ended up getting an emergency appointment with a visiting psychiatrist because I was refusing to go to school and I was in a very dangerous headspace. He diagnosed me ADD and.... Then I never saw him again. The diagnosis wasn't even put on paper (if it was, it's long destroyed), so now I've been diagnosed with BPD instead.

Fast forward 14 years and I'm in a really crappy way with my entire life. I never finished school because I struggled too much (dropped out 15), I can't focus on ANYTHING, if I get bored I get incredibly depressed and I'm so sensitive to my environment that I'm prone to outbursts if it's too noisy or too bright. Because I've been given a diagnosis that doesn't quite fit now, the treatment I'm getting isn't helping at all. No matter how much therapy or how many antidepressants I take, I'm constantly the same way. Nothing helps whatsoever and I fear I've learned some really bad coping mechanisms that I can't undo. I'm starting to rely on dangerous amounts of caffeine, alcohol and benzos just to function.

Emotionally I'm super stunted as well, I haven't "grown up" and I still feel, act and react exactly as teenager me did. I'm prone to outbursts when things become to overwhelming, I'm easily agitated, I'm almost always depressed when I'm bored... I'm just generally unpleasant sometimes, and I feel like I can't control these things. I try, but the more I fight it, the worse it gets. I've been told I'm "too immature" and "too sensitive" a lot, even by my own mother.

Is this a common ADHD thing? I just feel so alone with it, I'm really distressed that I can't be the adult I need to be. I'm honestly trying but it's so hard and no one will help me because I'm "BPD" and being "difficult". I'm seeing both a therapist and a psychiatrist, but neither one believe me about the previous ADD diagnosis and seem to think I'm doing it just to get on drugs.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:46 PM #2
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Default Re: Can untreated ADHD cause low emotional intelligence?

Hi. Yes, this a common occurrence among people with AD/HD; acting "younger" than their age. Many people with AD/HD are seen as "immature" or "silly" because the brain lags behind by a few years than people their age.

Also, emotional dysregulation is a common issue in people with AD/HD, as it is a type of executive function, which seems to be a main problem in people with AD/HD, and why people are seeing it more as a learning disability than before. Executive functions are what control several aspects of your brain and are like the headquarters for other functions like working memory, inhibition, flexibility, metacognition, and etc..

Emotional dysregulation is when you can not control your emotions appropriately for the given situation, whether it is anger, sadness, excitement, or other emotions.

Also, if you believe you do have AD/HD, look up AD/HD specialist in your area, and ask to get an assessment by someone who knows AD/HD. They will be the right people to determine whether or not you have AD/HD. Also, you can look up different strategies to implement in the meantime, such as organizing your time, organizing your house, making lists, and planning things on a calendar, whether that is a physical calendar or a phone app.

Some pdocs and therapists don't understand AD/HD, and believe it is not a real condition, and just a way for kids to get drugs to get high or have an advantage of people (lack of sleep, extreme concentration). But with people with AD/HD, this just allows them to be on the same playing field.

I suggest you look up information on the internet regarding AD/HD, and I wish you the best of luck in finding someone who knows AD/HD.
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:27 PM #3
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Default Re: Can untreated ADHD cause low emotional intelligence?

In people with ADHD/ADD, the prefrontal cortex typically is slower to develop than in those without the disorder. That area of the brain is responsible for executive functioning (which in turn related to impulsivity, decision making, planning, etc.)

I wouldn't say that ADHD/ADD causes low emotional intelligence. I actually think the sensitivity that comes with ADHD/ADD can lead to high emotional intelligence as many tend to be hyperaware of those around them. I would say that ADHD/ADD may hinder one's social skills (due to the lagging prefrontal cortex) and that impulsive behavior/being prone to outburst/sensitivity might appear as though the person has low emotional intelligence.
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:03 PM #4
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Default Re: Can untreated ADHD cause low emotional intelligence?

It sounds like you could be on spectrum too (as in Asperger’s). Your extreme sensitivity to sound and light was what clued me in. However, this could also be a symptom of ADHD too, since both have similar symptoms. I suggest finding a good psychiatrist, who can properly evaluate you, in order to get a more accurate diagnosis and give you the proper treatment.
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:54 PM #5
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Default Re: Can untreated ADHD cause low emotional intelligence?

I can totally see how it is easy to miss some developmental milestones with that to deal with. But I would say, just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it will never happen. Not being able to control emotions can be typical ADHD, and when someone has that, a lot of other learning is sort of put on hold.

In this case I think maybe neurofeedback? It's bull in many conditions, but with these things it might help, because it is strengthening the feeling of control over thought and emotion.
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Old 04-08-2019, 08:26 AM #6
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Default Re: Can untreated ADHD cause low emotional intelligence?

I'm so sorry you're hurting so much, samj40! I hope you're still there with us and that you'll be able to read this thread! I completely agree with what all the other wonderful people on this thread have already wisely said better than I ever could! You've been lots of great, wonderful advice on this thread! I'd suggest to follow it as much as you can if you want to! I'd suggest to loon for another psychiatrist and therapist if you can! I'd suggest to look for someone that specializes in ADHD or at least someone that can refer you to someone that specializes in ADHD! I hope you'll be able to get the help you need and deserve! You deserve to get better and to feel good! You deserve to live an happy, fulfilling life just like everyone else does! PLEASE REMEMBER THAT! I'm so sorry no one believes you! You deserve to get help! I hope you'll be able to find the help you need and deserve! YOU DESERVE IT! I hope you'll be able to read this thread and to read all the great, wonderful advice all the other wonderful people on this thread have already gave you! We all care about you here! We all love you here! Feel free to vent and write here as much as you need and want! You know we won't judge you! I promise you that! Remember that I'm here for you if you need it! Feel free to PM me anytime! Let me know if I can do something to help you! Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes! I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of this, samj40! You're AWESOME! You're STRONG! You're a WARRIOR! You're an AWESOME, STRONG WARRIOR! PLEASE REMEMBER THAT! I'm so sorry you're gong through all of this! I believe in you! We all believe in you! We're all rooting for you! We're all cheering you on! I hope you'll be able tobelieve in yourself as much as we all believe in you because YOU'RE AWESOME AND YOU KNOW IT! PLEASE REMEMBER THAT! I'm so sorry you're going through all of this almost entirely by yourself! Remember that we're here for you if you need it! You don't deserve to suffer at all! Nobody deserves to suffer AT ALL, certainly NOT YOU! PLEASE REMEMBER THAT!
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