Is Emotional Lability an Indication of ADHD?
Emotional dysregulation and poor control of moods are common symptoms in ADHD patients. It is worth mentioning that the association between these conditions starts way back from early childhood, possibly persisting into adulthood. Despite all, emotional lability does not fall under listed ADHD symptoms in the DSM criteria. In a recent presentation at the 5th World Congress, Dr. Philip Aherson presented emotional lability and its prevalence in ADHD patients. Based on his report, he sensitizes that emotional lability can sometimes classify as a unique impairment in people living with ADHD. The significant link is that emotional lability patients responded extremely well when placed on ADHD treatment. This was quite clear when Philip and his team proposed a treatment experiment on some patients for approximately 12 weeks. When Philip anticipated treating ADHD prisoners with methylphenidate, he had no idea how it would work. Nonetheless, the results were nothing short of incredible. Further on, a new study suggests that the rate of occurrence of emotional lability is more harsh and severe in ADHD patients.
How Is Emotional Lability Diagnosed?
Diagnosing emotional lability can be tricky, as symptoms coincide with other mental health conditions like major depressive disorder. Currently, there are no approved diagnostic criteria for the ailment. Therefore, medics only diagnosed through a process of elimination and noticeable symptoms. To make a diagnosis, they will rule out other possible causes of a person’s emotional outburst like bipolar disorder, head injury, and thyroid dysfunction. Qualified therapists then ask intensive questions about the frequency and intensity of flare-ups. If doctors suspect lability, they usually order tests like brain scans to rule out other mental health issues like ADHD or schizophrenia. For this reason, recording mood swings and their intensity simplifies the entire diagnosing process. In addition, consider using the questionnaire below to test emotional lability.
|How often do you experience emotional outbursts episodes?||Never||Sometimes||Always|
|Do you suffer from an unexpected transition of emotions abruptly?||Never||Sometimes||Always|
|Have you ever laughed or cried uncontrollably in inappropriate situations?||Never||Sometimes||Always|
|Do you struggle to make sense of your feelings?||Never||Sometimes||Always|
|Are there incidents where you experience no symptoms in between emotional outbursts?||Never||Sometimes||Always|
|Do you feel guilty because of your behavior around other people?||Never||Sometimes||Always|
|How often do you manage to control the emotional intensity and mood swings?||Never||Sometimes||Always|
|Do you stay worried, especially when you go out of control?||Never||Sometimes||Always|
|Do people around you complain about your behavior and mood swings?||Never||Sometimes||Always|
A= 0 points
0-20 = Normal to Mild
What Is ICD-10, and Why Is It Used?
ICD-10-CM is a set of medical codes used for diagnostic coding and reporting. Developed by the World Health Organization under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), the code standardizes health diagnoses across international boundaries. The acronym represents International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, and Clinical Modification. Experts use the code set to track disease statistics, mortality figures, outcomes, and billings. For individuals eager to learn about the latest emotional lability global trends, you can do so through ICD-10 code R45.86.
It is not always easy to block an emotional turmoil attack. Slow, deep breathing can force you to concentrate on the present moment. It also promotes relaxation by minimizing your heart rate and reducing tension in your muscles.
Ignore the Attacks
This technique is often used to stop obsessive thoughts. If you can, try to distract yourself with another activity or thought. This will help the emotion pass instead of letting it grow in your head. The best distraction is talking to a reliable person. Sharing your thoughts with loved ones can help them understand you and make you feel better. It can also relieve the burden of carrying the emotions around by yourself.
Educate Yourself and Other People on the Condition
Educating oneself on dealing with emotional lability is a great way to gain control over the condition. The more you know about emotional lability, the better equipped you become in managing it. It is also essential to educate your loved ones on how to help in case you get an attack. This way, they will understand your behavior and not take it personally. Plan relaxing activities like hiking or playing cards with your loved ones to reduce triggers if need be. Then between activities, take a rest and focus on the progress done on the recovery journey.
Face Challenges Head-on
Do not shy away from complex tasks just because you are emotionally unstable. Tackling challenges can help you build resilience and learn to cope with difficult emotions. In short, stay positive, focus on the good, and try to manage your triggers. With time and effort, you can overcome emotional lability.
This involves being kind and understanding yourself better during difficult times. Accepting your emotions and feeling the pain that comes with them can be difficult, but it is an important step in recovering from emotional lability.
Untreated emotional lability can cause a myriad of issues if not monitored. The condition can be distressing but easily managed with proper care. Remember that emotional lability is a medical diagnosis and not a term describing normal mood swings. That said, if you experience intense or prolonged emotional reactions that disrupt your life, it is crucial to seek professional help. A therapist will work with you to find the best way to manage your emotions and improve your quality of life.