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ADHD and irritability 

ADHD and irritability
ADHD and irritability

Argyris Stringaris

and Eric Taylor

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date: 10 December 2019

Emotional lability is a very common feature of ADHD and its usual expression is irritability. It can arise for several reasons: evocative transactions with caregivers, in which ADHD elicits hostility in others which then has an effect on the child; dyscontrol and lack of inhibition as a result of ADHD; genetic and environmental risk factors in common for both irritability and ADHD; and the effects of conditions comorbid with ADHD. Assessment should be based on a developmental formulation. Interventions usually begin with the control of ADHD—usually with stimulant medication. Psychoeducation, manipulation of environmental contingencies, attention to details of reward, and simplicity of instructions and demands are also described.

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