Azryah Harvey- EMOTIONAL REGULATION
Today I’ll be exploring the fairly new label of Deficient Emotional Self Regulation - the idea that people with ADHD struggle to moderate emotional responses, and I’m sharing this chat with Azryah Harvey.
Emotional dysregulation is notably absent from the criteria for diagnosing ADHD and yet most experts agree it is one of the most common traits of ADHD.
Emotional regulation is after all a part of executive function, something we famously struggle with. Plus, the parts of the brain affected by ADHD are also heavily involved in our emotions, and when you think about the impulsivity often involved, it’s no wonder people with ADHD often experience mood swings, low frustration tolerance, impatience, being quick to anger, aggression, greater emotional excitability, and difficulties around self soothing and letting go.
It’s worth remembering mood disorders can also be a common comorbidity, and so it’s important to differentiate, but for me, emotional dysregulation has definitely played a huge part in my life.
Azryah Harvey is an anti-racism consultant, SEN teacher, presenter, writer and an ambassador of Takeda’s Staring Back at Me campaign raising awareness of the symptoms of ADHD in women and non binary people. She was diagnosed when she was 30.
She shares how her perception of her ‘emotional profile’ has changed since her diagnosis, how confidence plays a part in shedding the shame and how quitting has become a form of regulation for her.
We discuss our experiences of masking emotions as gender norms dictate, and Azryah describes how the intersections of race play into the way others respond to her emotions.
Azryah also reveals how while why she may have struggled herself, she has huge capacity for helping others regulate within her work, first as a SEN teacher connecting with her pupils, and now within her anti-racism work.
You can find Azryah on the following platforms:
Dr Jo Steer is a chartered clinical psychologist working with children in Surrey, and the author of Understanding ADHD in Girls and Women
Please note, your first port of call if you think you might have ADHD should be your GP. In the meantime, you can find more information here:
The ADHD Foundation
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