ADHD Parents Together
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Violent, threatening outbursts

My 7 year old has severe ADHD, and generally my husband and I are able to handle his outbursts, tantrums and calm him down. He is becoming increasingly unreasonable, violent and threatening. After moving he and his 10 year old brother inot their own rooms this weekend, he demanded we put a lock on his door. We explained that we would all respect his privacy, knock before entering and not come in unless we needed to (for safety, etc) but he flew into a rage, threatened me and threw a large mason jar full of water at me. It shattered into a million pieces and he is still refusing to take responsibility or apologize. His horrid behavior is moving past obstinate and becoming scary. He is on adderall and is seeing a psychologist, but we are really at our wits end. Despite therapy, reward systems, medication, the toll it is taking on our family is overwhelming. Dies anyone have similar experience with violent outbursts and tips for de-esculating them?

13 Replies

I TOTALLY understand what you are going through! When my son was seven he pulled a knife on me and threatened to kill me. We've tried three types of stimulants for his ADHD (he also has a mood disorder, anxiety, depression and the MTHFR gene mutation), and the stimulants all have had an adverse reaction. He's currently on fluoxetine and abilify, and that helps with the extreme violence, but he's still angry every day and melts down about most things--especially when he is told no.

Right now I'm trying to read the book "From Calm to Chaos," but it's slow going, because it's SO overwhelming. I also suffer from mental illness, and we've been working through things with our son for six years now. I just try and take one day at a time.

This is my first time ever posting something in a support group like this, and I want you to know how much I appreciate your post. I feel like a failure nearly every day, and knowing that there's else out there who understands what I'm going through Helios so much. Thank you for your words! They are an answer to prayers!


We're all doing the best we can, and it is helpful to have a network of other parents who can understand the extremes that we deal with on a daily basis. This too was my first time posting anything online, and just typing it out and acknowledging the fear, frustration, isolation and sadness made me feel much better. I appreciate your response, it's nice to know we're not alone. Good luck, mama, I'm sure you're doing great!

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Good luck to YOU!! We need each other in this daily battle! Because it's a BATTLE! My therapist said something to me I will never forget. She said, "Jennifer, unless someone has a child like yours, they cannot possibly understand what you are going through, so you can ignore what everyone says about your parenting and your child. You know what's best and you are doing your best." It's hard to remember that sometimes, but I try. :)


My son had been showing the same type of behaviors but at the age of 4 I took him to his pediatrician and he was diagnosed with ODD OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER and then at 6 was also diagnosed with ADHD but the ODD is what was causing him to have the angry outbursts cussing hitting me disrespectful ect


He is 9 now and still has days with his meltdowns but has been on meds for it since Kindergarten



Hope he is on meds! He needs to see his pediatrician ASAP!! Does he have an IEP at school? If he does they should have a Behavior Specialist for him.. I not trying to tell u how to parent but I myself take things a way from my son and seems to work ! If that doesn't work u may have to send him off to school.

Hope that helps!


Get him out of the house and onto the playing field. Tire him out. He is clearly frustrated. Take him where he can run around to get rid of the frustration. One of the major problems that goes unnoticed is that ADHD kids don't like to be surprised or touch unexpectedly. They see it as an act of aggression or disapproval.

Also sensitivity to criticism is a common problem. Dealing with the emotion of what he did wrong and the lack of ability to control his impulsiveness, will prevent him from learning to not make the same mistakes, are all things that create frustration and subsequently anxiety, panic attacks and Depression .

Most unruly behavior can be controlled by learning the concept of controlling our own responses to behavior of other to regulate and understand theirs.

Sometimes our own behavior is driven by our own bruised egos because of our childs behavior and our response goes beyond the severity of the problem.

The child find it difficult to comprehend why in his own mind what may be a simple mistake for him could have such a volatile response. No longer does he look at what he did as a mistake but starts to see himself as the mistake.

I am an adult with ADHD that manage to regulate my own behavior and responses to what happened to me but it does not take away that we experience things in a similar way.

Some will come through the experience with scars bare;y visible but others not. So all i can say is that to tread carefully but to read as much as you can and to learn as much as you can so as to retain control for long as what is needed for him to adjust to the effects of the medication.

In my case medication expose more of my ADHD symptoms than what was visible before I was diagnosed at the age of 53.

There is always hope. Never give up.

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I know what u mean my son is 8 and was diagnosed with adhd and bipolar he is always mad is always negative and always mad at the world and at everyone I recently started taking him to church and it's worked for the past two days I don't know if your reglious or not but it has helped him calm down and have a better mood


My almost six year old was very aggressive punching me and his preschool friends. We added the mood stabilizer Respirodone. It's a drug given sometimes to autistic children who have anger outbursts or to adults who have psychotic episodes. It has helped tremendously - one dose in morning and one dose at 3 pm.


Thank you all for your input. He is a very active little boy and we encourage him to run, ride his bike, swim, hike, climb trees and be a part of nature every day. We also are trying to change the 'power struggle' into one where we let him have his big emotions then revisit the situation when he (and we) have had time to calm down. This was my first time posting anything online mostly because it was such a difficult day. We recognize that we cannot regulate his behavior, but can adjust how we react and redirect his attention. It's comforting to know that we are not alone, and I appreciate all of the feedback and insight.


Just a suggestion, but my husband was on a few medications when he was young and while I don't remember which one specifically I do know one made him very angry and violent. Maybe look into his medication?


I came by this TED talk today and am planning to visit their clinic.

If nothing is working, maybe this is a good try...


It might be more than just ADHD get another opinion from another psychiatrist or Nuerologist.


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