What is Emotion Dysregulation?
Do you or your child overreact and end up regretting words or actions later? On the other hand, you may find yourself underreacting because you were unable to access the needed emotion in a given situation. Either way, over and underreacting may lead to disconnect, frustration, and pain.
An inability to regulate emotion can feel like a "rollercoaster" with highs and lows. This is sometimes referred to as emotional dysregulation.
Adults may find themselves engaging in unhealthy behaviors such as:
- Reacting aggressively either physically or verbally to a situation
- Abusing drugs and/or alcohol
- Avoiding difficult situations altogether
Children are not born with the ability to regulate their emotions. This means that caregivers, family members, teachers, and coaches are responsible for preparing children to effectively cope with the spectrum of emotion that is universal to all human beings.
Emotion Regulation is a fancy way of saying that you have an ability to adjust your actions or reactions to situations that occur in everyday life. Effectively regulating may include:
- Talking a situation out
- Exercising regularly to reduce stress
- Reflective writing such as journaling or video diary
- Participating in psychotherapy or counseling
The Child and Family Connection is here to help you and your child better handle these actions and reactions to challenging situations.