When emotions become difficult to manage, it can be dysregulation, which keeps one stuck in a cycle of anxiety and burnout. As a therapist, I see firsthand how this affects my clients. Most of my clients seek therapy due to work or relational stress. They have tried for years to problem-solve and feel better, but it seems like nothing works. When they see me, they feel defeated, ashamed and think something is wrong with them. But nothing is wrong with them. Instead, they are usually struggling with emotional dysregulation.
What is Emotion Dysregulation
Emotion dysregulation refers to difficulty in recognizing, understanding, and managing emotions. Clients who feel emotional dysregulation find their emotions spike quickly and intensely. It also takes them longer to process feelings and come down from an intense moment. We need to learn more about how it starts or how much of one's genetics is at play. But we do know that an invalidating and stressful environment fuels it. Most of my clients begin to experience emotional dysregulation as children. Due to childhood emotional neglect, they don't experience healthy emotional development and continue to struggle as adults.
Effects of Emotion Dysregulation on Anxiety and Burnout
Emotion dysregulation plays a pivotal role in the maintenance of anxiety and burnout. As I describe in previous blogs, my clients experience symptoms differently. Their anxious and depressive symptoms don't occur out of the blue. Instead, their symptoms are usually cued and take on a pattern.
For example, my clients are often perfectionistic and struggle with people-pleasing as a way to prove their worth. This behavior adds to their stress and leads to burnout. When my clients face burnout and lose motivation, they view this as a character flaw versus a result of their environment. Burnout will then appear as depressive symptoms until my clients recover some energy, usually as a new "plan" to do better. This new plan is even more stressful and perfectionistic, so the cycle continues.
When clients struggle to regulate their emotions, the intensity and duration of their symptoms worsen. When feelings are intense, anxiety increases and leads to rumination and avoidance. Likewise, in depression, emotion dysregulation increases despair, making it hard to feel positive emotions or enjoy activities that bring happiness.
Therapy for Emotion Dysregulation
Fortunately, therapy offers effective strategies to help. Evidence-based treatments like Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) focus on developing emotion regulation skills. DBT is a practical therapy approach that balances validation and change. It teaches mindfulness to help build self-awareness and self-compassion. Mindfulness helps one catch feelings before they brew. DBT also uses distress tolerance skills. These skills help lower intense emotions so one can problem-solve and regulate.
Therapy for emotional regulation also focuses on interpersonal skills. Challenges in managing emotions can strain connections with others. These difficulties can lead to social isolation and keep one stuck in the cycle of anxiety and burnout. In treatment, clients learn what feelings to act on and how to communicate them to others. This practice increases connection and trust in relationships.
Begin Anxiety Treatment in Champaign, IL
With support, clients can learn new skills that relieve anxiety and depressive symptoms. I would be honored to help you better regulate your emotions and achieve a deeper understanding of intense feelings. Schedule a free therapy consultation today if you're ready to start working on emotion regulation. To start working with a therapist in Illinois just follow these simple steps.
- Take the step by calling or texting 217-402-7817
- Schedule your first appointment at our Illinois-based practice
- Start acknowledging your emotions in a more healthy way!
Other Therapy Services Offered in Illinois
Anxiety treatment isn't the only service I offer. I know that you may experience issues related to more than one mental health concern. This is why I offer several additional services to provide you with guidance and support. Other services include counseling for women and grief and loss counseling. I also offer counseling for people-pleasing and therapy for childhood emotional neglect. Whether you are in Peoria, Springfield, Mahomet, or somewhere in between in Illinois I can help with teletherapy. I look forward to hearing how I can help you. Please visit my blog to learn more!