Understanding emotional dysregulation
It can be extremely difficult to understand issues around emotional instability or ‘affective dysregulation’ and it is often very draining for the individual concerned. In some cases this can fit with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD). BPD is often identified through assessing emotional instability, disturbed patterns of thinking, impulsive behaviour and the quality of relationships. It is characteristic of the emotional dysregulation that fits with BPD that relationships tend to be intense and unstable.
There are a range of symptoms that an individual will experience when it comes to emotional dysregulation. If you have problems with emotional dysregulation you are likely to experience powerful mood swings where your thinking may become dominated by a powerful sense of your worthlessness, shame and bad feeling. When in the grip of such intense negative emotions It is likely that you will find it hard to communicate, and at those times you are more prone to self-harm. Cutting, biting yourself, burning your skin with cigarettes, these impulses often go with emotional dysregulation or BPD. It is common to feel suicidal with despair and then to feel reasonably balanced and positive later.
It is important to speak to someone about your experience
If you notice that your patterns of thinking are becoming more disturbed it is important to get help and to speak to someone. Start with your GP, if it is out of hours when you need help, then contact the Samaritans. If these kind of feelings are left unchecked they may start to develop into hallucinations and psychotic symptoms. If you can tell someone about it and contact you GP or other services, then you are more likely to start to find ways to regulate your emotions.
Working with me
In my work with presentations involving emotional dysregulation I try to use the predictable framework of the psychotherapy session to develop an experience of regulation. It can be very difficult to contain the clients’ extreme sense of worthlessness when they are in the grip of those feelings, but often through working together we find a way to do so. Contact me for a free telephone consultation to explore how Counselling Buckinghamshire might be able to help you.