Background on Dysregulated Emotions
Last week, we discussed the Depression Aspect: Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis. If you’d like to refer back to the discussion you can click here. This week we are discussing: The Regulating Emotions Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis. For someone living with and healing from trauma on a daily basis, regulating emotions can be a challenge.
Having difficulty regulating emotions is a sign that your amygdala has had a beating from all the trauma. There are times when I have had a full two weeks straight of dysregulated emotions. What I have managed to figure out recently is that it usually occurs for one of three reasons: 1) when my system is overloaded with grief, and I am having a hard time getting it out, 2) I am in a place where I feel that I need to get up and go to the bathroom to grieve because it needs to be heavy release, 3) the trauma is causing my mind and body to self-protect, and I don’t feel safe enough to let it out.
Getting it Out
Dysregulated emotions isn’t the worst thing. However, it is not the most pleasant either. Once your emotions are dysregulated, then it makes you wonder if you shouldn’t have just gotten it out anyway. For example, when the emotions are dysregulated, your face may be showing something different than how you feel. The worse thing is being around other people when this happens. You almost feel like you have to put on a fake face to show that you are not in agony from being pinned up with emotions. On the flip side, you could also end up being way over the top in expressing the emotion that you are feeling.
Anger is one of those emotions that this can happen with. It’s best to try to be honest with the people that you are around by letting them know you’re having problems regulating, and that you need to excuse yourself to grieve. The best thing that I can advise, as I had to remind myself the other day, after having dealt with a two week flareup: “Better out than in”. Try to let the grief out as soon as possible. It prevents your whole emotional system from going haywire, and you having a long drawn-out episode that could have been avoided.
Until next time!