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Emotional dysregulation
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Old 16-04-2019
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Emotional dysregulation


Emotional dysregulation (ED) is a term used in the mental health community that refers to emotional responses that are poorly modulated and do not lie within the accepted range of emotive response.

Emotional dysregulation can be associated with an experience of early psychological trauma, brain injury, or chronic maltreatment (such as child abuse, child neglect, or institutional neglect/abuse), and associated disorders such as reactive attachment disorder.[2] Emotional dysregulation may be present in people with psychiatric disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,[3] autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. In such cases as borderline personality disorder and complex post-traumatic stress disorder,[7] hypersensitivity to emotional stimuli causes a slower return to a normal emotional state. This is manifested biologically by deficits in the frontal cortices of the brain

Possible manifestations of emotional dysregulation include extreme tearfulness, angry outbursts or behavior outbursts such as destroying or throwing objects, aggression towards self or others, and threats to kill oneself. Emotional dysregulation can lead to behavioral problems and can interfere with a person's social interactions and relationships at home, in school, or at place of employment.

Child psychopathology
There are links between child emotional dysregulation and later psychopathology. For instance, ADHD symptoms are associated with problems with emotional regulation, motivation, and arousal.

One study found a connection between emotional dysregulation at 5 and 10 months, and parent-reported problems with anger and distress at 18 months. Low levels of emotional regulation behaviors at 5 months were also related to non-compliant behaviors at 30 months. While links have been found between emotional dysregulation and child psychopathology, the mechanisms behind how early emotional dysregulation and later psychopathology are related are not yet clear.

Borderline personality disorder
  • Contents
  • Overview
  • Symptoms
  • Causes
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) can cause a wide range of symptoms, which can be broadly grouped into 4 main areas.

The 4 areas are:

emotional instability – the psychological term for this is "affective dysregulation"
disturbed patterns of thinking or perception – "cognitive distortions" or "perceptual distortions"
impulsive behaviour
intense but unstable relationships with others






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HOW TO DEAL WITH EMOTIONAL DYSREGULATION
Old 16-04-2019   #2
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HOW TO DEAL WITH EMOTIONAL DYSREGULATION

Dealing with uncomfortable feelings is a part of the human condition. In our daily lives, we all encounter conflict, stress, frustration, and grief – but emotional regulation helps us keep our reactions to these situations under control. By properly managing our emotions, we’re able to respond to difficulties in a healthy and socially appropriate way.

Dealing with uncomfortable feelings is a part of the human condition. In our daily lives, we all encounter conflict, stress, frustration, and grief – but emotional regulation helps us keep our reactions to these situations under control. By properly managing our emotions, we’re able to respond to difficulties in a healthy and socially appropriate way.

Not everyone has such a firm handle on their uncomfortable feelings, though. For some people, it can seem as though your emotions are controlling you, instead of the other way around. Maybe you’ve been called “emotionally unstable” or a “drama queen. If any of this sounds familiar, and it’s happened more times than you’d care to recall, you might be experiencing emotional dysregulation.

What Is Emotional Dysregulation?
Even though we aren’t always aware of it, we’re constantly modulating our responses to the world around us. Social interactions and stray thoughts can provoke emotional reactions, such as sadness, anger, or shock. When we encounter these feelings, we then have a choice as to how to respond. People with emotional dysregulation disorders will usually respond in an overly exaggerated manner – for example, an aggressive outburst or a self-destructive behavior – which can often lead to a chaotic and hostile environment.

Symptoms of Emotional Dysregulation
Emotional dysregulation can manifest itself in different ways. Some of the more common signs to be aware of include:
  • Strained interpersonal relationships
  • Sudden outbursts of anger
  • Exaggerated crying fits
  • Accusatory statements
  • Extensive grudge-holding
  • Severe conflict avoidance
  • Wild mood swings
  • Impulsive and/or risky behavior
  • Threats of suicide
  • Substance abuse

Causes of Emotional Dysregulation
The causes of emotional dysregulation disorders aren’t completely known. Some scientists believe there is a genetic component, and there is also evidence linking emotional dysregulation with traumatic brain injury or damaging life events in the past. Many people with PTSD struggle with emotional regulation, particularly when it comes to excessive fear or anxiety.

Other mental health disorders feature emotional dysregulation as well. People who suffer from borderline personality disorder have difficulty controlling their emotions and, as a result, often engage in self-destructive and risky behaviors. Bipolar disorder is also characterized by major mood swings; it is frequently misdiagnosed as borderline personality disorder, and vice versa.

How to Treat Emotional Dysregulation
Because of the link between emotional regulation and mental health, professional psychological counseling and psychiatric treatment is essential to overcoming this condition. One of the most effective methods of treating emotional dysregulation is dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT. DBT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy in which patients are taught skills and strategies for managing emotions, handling conflict, and building tolerance for uncomfortable feelings. One of the skills taught most often in DBT is mindfulness, which helps to cultivate emotional awareness and build a sense of self-control. Through both one-on-one and group sessions, patients undergoing DBT are given the opportunity to practice these newfound skills in preparation for applying them in the real world.

Alvarado Parkway Institute Offers Therapy for Emotional Dysregulation
Treating emotional dysregulation requires a serious commitment, but you don’t have to live with it forever. Help is available at Alvarado Parkway Institute. Our caring and committed staff will develop a treatment strategy that’s right for you, walking you step-by-step through the process of recovery. With over 35 years of experience providing San Diego with inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services, we can properly diagnose your condition and give you the skills you need for long-term success.

Your emotions don’t have to control you any longer. Call us at (619) 667-6125 to find out how we can help you overcome emotional dysregulation.

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What Is Affect or Emotion Dysregulation?
Old 18-04-2019   #3
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What Is Affect or Emotion Dysregulation?

In research, clinical and therapeutic settings, we sometimes use the term Affect Dysregulation. Affect is the clinical term that is used to describe emotions and feelings. Many practitioners also use the term Emotion Dysregulation. Essentially, Affect Dysregulation and Emotion Dysregulation are interchangeable terms in the psychiatric literature.

What is Affect/Emotion Dysregulation?

Emotion Dysregulation may be thought of as the inability to manage the intensity and duration of negative emotions such as fear, sadness, or anger. If you are struggling with emotion regulation, an upsetting situation will bring about strongly felt emotions that are difficult to recover from. The effects of a prolonged negative emotion may be physically, emotionally, and behaviorally intense.

For example, an argument with a friend or family member may cause an over-reaction that significantly impacts your life. You can’t stop thinking about it or you may lose sleep over it. Even though on a rational level you feel it’s time to let it go, you are powerless to control how you feel. You may escalate a conflict to the point it is difficult to repair, or you may indulge in substances to help yourself feel better, thus creating further stress for yourself and others.

Where does it come from?
The evidence linking early childhood interpersonal trauma and emotion dysregulation is robust. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex post traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) often result from child maltreatment. Emotion dysregulation has long been recognized as a central symptom of trauma disorders (van Dijke, Ford, van Son, Frank, & van der Hart, 2013).

There is also evidence that trauma (and as a consequence, emotion dysregulation) may be transmitted from parent to child. Research investigating holocaust survivors and Aboriginal populations in Canada demonstrate that the children of surviving parents tend to struggle with symptoms of trauma such as debilitating depression, unexplained grief, and an increased vulnerability to stress (Kirmayer, Tait, & Simpson, 2009; Kellermann, 2001).

Why don’t we all just have effective emotion regulation?
It is important to understand that children are not born with emotion regulation capabilities. An infant is biologically immature and is therefore physically incapable of soothing himself during times of upset. This is why a nurturing relationship with a caregiver is so important to the healthy emotional development of a child. As the child grows, he or she learns emotion regulation skills from parents and other important adults such as teachers or close relatives. For example, the child may be taught helpful ways to think about problems rather than become overwhelmed when facing a challenge.

A child raised in a healthy environment will be taught to ask an adult for help — and then will typically experience assistance. Instead of feeling sad or anxious about a problem, children with healthy caregivers will learn that they can reach out for comfort and receive comfort when experiencing a problem. This is only one example of how a child learns skills to cope with challenging emotions.

In contrast, children raised by parents who are struggling with PTSD or C-PTSD often do not have the opportunity to learn emotion regulation skills. A traumatized parent who is unable to control their own emotions is unlikely to have the ability to help their child. In some cases, the traumatized parent may escalate the child’s distress with angry or fearful reactions to the child’s problems. In these cases, the child does not have the opportunity to learn valuable emotion regulation skills while growing up.

What is emotion dysregulation associated with?
Emotion dysregulation is associated with many psychiatric disorders such as major depression, PTSD and C-PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, and substance abuse.

It is common for those suffering with emotion dysregulation to experience difficulty with interpersonal relationships. Extreme emotional reactions and difficulty resolving conflicts, adds stress on personal and professional relationships.

Many individuals suffering from emotion dysregulation may turn to alcohol or drugs to find relief from upset and stress. These behaviors add additional challenges to career and family relationships as well as take a toll on physical health.

Emotion regulation is essential for healthy functioning (Grecucci, Theuninck, Frederickson, & Job, 2015). If you experience emotion dysregulation, you should consider seeking qualified help.

What treatments are available?

Building a strong and supportive therapeutic relationship is helpful for those struggling with emotion dysregulation.

There are cognitive and behavioral interventions that have been shown to be effective in building emotion regulation skills. Cognitive-behavioral techniques focus on using conscious thought and behavior to regulate emotions (Grecucci et al., 2015). In therapy, opportunity is provided to learn the skills needed to regulate your emotions and start you on the path to healing.

By Fabiana Franco, Ph.D

https://psychcentral.com/blog/what-i...dysregulation/


References:

Grecucci, A., Theuninck, A., Frederickson, J., & Job, R. (2015). Mechanisms of social emotion regulation: From neuroscience to psychotherapy. Emotion regulation: Processes, cognitive effects and social consequences, 57-84.

Kellermann, N. (2001). transmission of Holocaust trauma. Psychiatry, 64(3), 256-267.

Kirmayer, L.J., Tait, C.L., & Simpson, C. (2009). The mental health of Aboriginal peoples in Canada: Transformation of identity and community. In L.J. Kirmayer & G.G. Valaskakis (Eds.), Healing traditions: The mental health of Aboriginal peoples in Canada (pp. 3-35). Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

van Dijke, A., Ford, J. D., van Son, M., Frank, L., & van der Hart, O. (2013). Association of childhood-trauma-by-primary caregiver and affect dysregulation with borderline personality disorder symptoms in adulthood. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 5(3), 217.






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