Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental condition that makes it difficult for adults and children to control their behavior.

About 4 to 12 percent of school-going children have ADHD making it difficult for them to get along with other kids and teachers. Failure to have ADHD impulse control can lead to lifelong challenges like failing in relationships and a life full of chaos.

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What Does ADHD Impulsivity Look Like in Adults?

ADHD in kids and adults manifest differently due to their different social settings. 

Below are impulse control signs in adults:

  • Having temper outbursts
  • Blurting out answers before questions are completed, especially in meetings
  • Having impulse shopping spree even when you don’t earn much
  • Getting involved in risky and antisocial actions
  • Getting easily distracted when doing even the simplest tasks

How Do You Fix Impulsivity?

To fix impulsivity, you need to have different solutions for what to do at home and school. Getting kids and adults to do time out might work for a few minutes in different setups. 

The best solutions to fix impulsivity are:

  • Attach classroom room rules in the kids’ desks to act as reminders for them
  • Keep visual reminders to make the most of your memory 
  • Make a schedule for the day on all the daily activities and keep the keeps in the loop
  • Prepare the classroom for the transition by giving them a 5-minute break to adjust to the changes
  • Offer positive reinforcement anytime a child with ADHD controls their impulse [1*]
  • Instill discipline by letting them know that ADHD is not an excuse for bad behavior
Impulse Control Disorder

Impulse Control Disorders

ADHD Impulse Control Medication

Treatment for ADHD impulse control includes non-stimulants like:

These antidepressants have been used to treat ADHD impulsivity:

  • Tricyclics
  • Venlafaxine
  • Bupropion
  • Monoamine oxidase 

However, antidepressants are not approved by the FDA. Treatment plans for both kids and adults are different.

Psychotherapy like behavioral therapy and training are incorporated with medication to help people with ADHD control their impulses. Psychotherapy for families with ADHD patients is essential in assisting them in understanding more about this condition.

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ADHD Impulse Control Foods

Some foods help with ADHD, and others make it worse. 

Some of the foods to include in your meal include:

1. Proteins

Foods like lean beef, beans, nuts, fish, and eggs rich in proteins help the body to boost neurotransmitter activity. Proteins also prevent an increase in blood sugar that is responsible for impulsivity.

2. B Vitamins

B vitamin supplements help increase brain activity and minimize aggression and antisocial behaviors, especially in kids. Vitamin B-6 has also been shown to increase dopamine levels, which in turn increases alertness.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Foods rich in Omega-3s like tuna, salmon, fatty fish, and sardines help the brain and cell function. By improving brain functioning, ADHD symptoms are reduced by almost 50 percent.

4. Ginkgo and Ginseng

Ginkgo and Ginseng are herbs that are known to improve cognitive functions. The two are stimulants and do not interfere with ADHD medications. A study has shown that kids and adults using ginkgo and ginseng are not easily distracted and are less impulsive.

Just like there are foods to include in your diet to help with ADHD, there are foods that you should avoid when you have ADHD.

These foods are:

  • Sugary Foods and Snacks

Sugar makes people with ADHD become more restless and increases inattention in some people, especially kids.

Such foods and snacks include:

  • Candy
  • Fruit juices
  • Cocktails
  • Syrup   
ADHD Impulse Control Treatment

How to Stop Being Impulsive?

  • Preservatives and Artificial Dyes

Foods with preservatives like sodium benzoate make most kids with ADHD restless. Colorful cereals like Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops which are commonly used for breakfast, have a lot of sugar so that you can opt for a healthier choice for breakfast.

Impulse Control Strategies

If you are wondering how do I stop being impulsive? or how you can help your child who has impulsivity?

Below are five strategies for ADHD impulse control:

1. Be Knowledgeable on the Behaviour

The most crucial step in dealing with impulsive behavior is understanding it.

For instance, a person struggling with impulse control may interrupt others from talking or even shouting answers to the questions asked. Just understand that such people react first instead of thinking first.  

2. Make a Note of Patterns

People with ADHD tend to have a pattern in thinking and acting. Take notice of when your child gets impulsive and what triggers them.

Learning from this pattern will help you to help them find a solution to their impulse behavior or restlessness, and you will always be ready to intervene should the same happen in the future.  


3. Use Positive Feedback

When your child does not act on impulse, make sure to give them positive reinforcement. By praising the right behaviors, you will encourage them to keep doing it. Once in a while, you can also buy them a gift as a reward for good behavior.

4. Discipline them when they go overboard

Discipline should not be viewed as punishment. You can discipline your child by communicating effectively with them and letting them know the effects of their behaviors towards others. Keep your anger in check and use a calm tone to avoid escalating the situation.

5. Allow Kids With ADHD to Get Involved in Fun Activities

Do not lock in your child with ADHD for fear of losing control. Find games that require them to use energy and encourage them to participate. Games that require concentration are also beneficial to kids with ADHD since they help them develop their brains and have impulse control [2*] .

The impulsive behavior in people affected by ADHD is one of the signs that can always be managed- Click below to schedule your appointment.

Finding solutions to help you achieve ADHD impulse control is a challenging journey that requires immense patience. Contact us at EZCare Clinic at (415) 966-0848 to set an appointment with our team of professionals.

We will help you find workable strategies to deal with ADHD and other mental illnesses.


+2 sources
  1. Impulse Control Strategies for School and Home. (2022)
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  2. Impulse Control Disorders and Substance Abuse. (2023)
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This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.