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"Sensitive Much?" Understanding the Sensitivities of ADHDers and How to Cope

Updated: May 3

Many ADHDers have reported to us that they are frequently told things like...

"Why are you so sensitive to everything?"

It's not uncommon for individuals with ADHD to experience sensitivities when it comes to:

  • Emotions

  • Injustice

  • Sensory

  • Rejection or criticism

ADHD emotions often feel BIG and difficult to manage due to a lack of emotional regulation in the brain. (It heavily influences our other sensitivities and our ability to deal with them.) Lots of ADHDers experience justice sensitivity. We often get agitated by injustices in the world around us and our frustration may seem disproportionate to our peers. Some, but not all ADHDers have sensory sensitivity. Intense or too much stimulus can be extremely overwhelming and make it hard to think and function. Things like bright lights, strong smells, clothing tags touching out skin, or busy/loud places can overstimulate us. Another very common symptom for ADHDers is rejection sensitive dysphoria. It is an extreme emotional sensitivity to being criticized or rejected. We may have situations that we perceive rejection and become defensive.

If you struggle with any of the above, consider trying:

Emotional Tools


    • Sometimes just identifying your emotions can help make them feel more manageable. A few examples:

      • Let yourself cry

      • Breakdown

      • Punch a pillow

      • Scream

      • ...Whatever you need to do to SAFELY release the energy


    • If you often feel paralyzed by your sensitivity, try to find a solid grounding technique that will break you out of it. A few examples:

      • Splash face with cold water

      • Focus on 5 second inhales and exhales

      • Identify things that you can see, hear, feel, and smell in the room

Sensory Tools

  • Noise canceling products

  • Comfortable seating

    • Floor options

    • Crisscross office chair

    • Exercise ball

  • Alternative lighting options

    • Dimmable lights

    • Lamps over ceiling lights

  • Sunglass & blue light filtering glasses

  • Comfortable clothing

    • Cut out tags

    • Micromodel fabric

    • Pick a larger size

If you're an adult ADHDer struggling with emotional regulation, consider checking out our Healing ADHD Emotions program! Join this 8-week group journey to heal the past and develop emotional regulation skills for life.

All the best,

ADHD Coach Brooke

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