Emotional DysregulationEmotional dysregulation is a mood disorder that affects anywhere from 1 percent to 3 percent of people in the United States. Emotional dysregulation is characterized by difficulty in the regulation of emotional responses and behavior.

Those who suffer from emotional dysregulation are often seen as aggressive, baiting, or testing others, and as generally trying to cause conflict. As this is an often misunderstood disorder, this frequently leads to conflict and misunderstanding that can put a strain on your personal and professional relationships.

Our qualified staff at Clearview Women’s Center has been specializing in emotional dysregulation treatment for years. We will help you identify and treat the mood disorder in one of our three treatment programs: residential treatment, outpatient treatment, or day treatment.

Symptoms of Emotional Dysregulation

Some common symptoms experienced by those with emotional dysregulation include the following:

  • Trying to control someone else’s relationships
  • Searching for someone to blame when a problem arises rather than seek a solution
  • Harboring grudges, or hanging onto unresolved anger
  • Creating and reveling in conflict
  • Maintaining an unfounded fear of abandonment
  • A sense of entitlement
  • Living in denial, or believing that a past event or circumstance is fictional
  • Engaging in circular conversations or arguments with seemingly no logic or end
  • Tendency to self-harm through cutting or self-abusive disorders such as substance abuse or an eating disorder

This is in no way a comprehensive list of symptoms, and certainly everyone experiences some of these symptoms at some point in their lives. The bottom line is that those who suffer from emotional dysregulation have a chronically and ongoing difficult time with the level of cooperation and social ability required for a healthy and fulfilling existence.

Causes of Emotional Dysregulation

It is not entirely known how emotional dysregulation is caused, but research and studies have raised some theories. Many studies show that a high percentage of those diagnosed with emotional dysregulation spent their childhoods in abusive environments. Further studies show that many who suffer from the disorder were raised by parents with personality disorders.

However, upbringing does not always, of course, guarantee that an individual will develop emotional dysregulation. Researchers are still trying to determine to what extent genetics plays a part in the development of the disorder. Interestingly, studies show that women are more likely to develop emotional dysregulation. One day, researchers hope to unlock the answers to these questions and observations, thus leading to better treatment and earlier intervention.

Emotional Dysregulation Treatment

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is the most successful therapy used in the treatment of emotional dysregulation. In fact, it was designed to emphasize the regulation of emotions. We utilize DBT in each of our treatment programs.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a blend between Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (in which those with disorders are taught to pinpoint and adjust their core beliefs) and the ancient Buddhist practice of meditation. DBT emphasizes a set of skills that enables you to confront and feel the emotions behind your thoughts or the situation, and control or regulate your response.

DBT skills give the power back to you. A combination of group and individual therapy led by a qualified DBT therapist, in combination with holistic therapies such as yoga, breathing exercises, mindfulness, and other mind/body therapies, make up a successful plan for recovery from emotional dysregulation.


No recovery plan is a magical cure, but with proper treatment at a qualified treatment center, there is hope for recovery from emotional dysregulation. At the heart of any recovery plan is the commitment and willingness of the individual.

As some individuals develop co-occurring disorders, such as substance abuse or an eating disorder, another factor of recovery is working with mental health professionals who can diagnose and address those issues along with your symptoms of emotional dysregulation.

Why Choose Clearview Women’s Center?

The core therapy used at Clearview Women’s Center is Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Through individual sessions and group sessions, you will learn skills that will help you to better regulate your emotions so that you can have a more productive life.

Clearview Women’s Center offers a safe environment in which you can practice your DBT skills and work toward recovery, whether you opt for residential, day, or outpatient treatment. The therapists at Clearview are highly trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and other evidence-based treatments and will create a plan for recovery that is right for you.


Q: Sure my relationships fall apart, but I figure I’ve just been picking the wrong people to spend time with. Is this really a symptom of emotional dysregulation?

A: Of course is it possible that you aren’t the best judge of people you surround yourself with. However, if, relationship after relationship, you experience the same issues, hear the same observations about how you deal with things, and find your relationships short-lived, you might take a moment to ponder a few questions. Why is there a common thread, and why are you choosing the type of partners you are choosing? That is a valid question for every human being, as all relationships — whether they be romantic, familial, or friendships – can be inherently difficult. However, if you feel your lack of success within personal relationships is getting in the way of your life, you might look into whether or not DBT therapy could help you.

Q: It seems like I disagree with everyone. How will group therapy work for me?

A: One of the main tenets of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is tolerance. In group DBT, you will learn to accept and be tolerant of others in the group despite differing opinions. As you can imagine, this is an important and invaluable life skill that will improve your relationships outside of treatment.

Q: Will DBT fix my emotional dysregulation?

A: Dialectical Behavior Therapy is not a magic pill that will instantly cure you of your symptoms, but it is at the core of an effective recovery program. The skills learned in DBT will create a foundation for you to have healthier relationships and a better understanding and control of your emotions. In order for DBT to truly be effective in your recovery from emotional dysregulation, you have to commit to your DBT treatment plan, practice your DBT skills, and be open to change.

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