Emotional Dysregulation after Abuse

Emotional Dysregulation after Abuse emotional dysregulation after abuse
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

When you leave an abusive relationship, the aftermath is often fraught with a range of symptoms and patterns that deeply impact your well-being. Among these effects, emotional dysregulation stands out as a common and significant challenge you will face. Emotional dysregulation refers to the difficulty in managing the intensity or duration of emotional responses, particularly the vulnerable emotions triggered by the abuse, such as anger, shame, jealousy, or fear. It is a situation where your world is a tumultuous and unpredictable landscape, where even seemingly simple triggers can unleash overwhelming emotional storms.

Why you Experience Emotional Dysregulation After Abuse

As a survivor of abuse, you may find that the experiences you went through have left profound emotional scars. The stress, fear, and humiliation you endured during those abusive situations can deeply affect how your brain functions and disrupt your body’s natural stress response. As a result, you might experience emotional dysregulation, where it becomes challenging to manage and express your emotions in a balanced and healthy manner.

In an attempt to shield yourself from the overwhelming pain and trauma, you might have developed coping mechanisms like dissociation or emotional numbing. These responses provided some relief during the abusive situations, but they can now create barriers that make it harder for you to recognize and process emotions effectively in your daily life.

Moreover, in that abusive relationship, your emotions were likely constantly invalidated by your partner, exacerbating feelings of emotional dysregulation. The repetitive invalidation makes you deeply believe that your emotions are not valid or worthy of acknowledgment, adding to the already challenging experience of emotional dysregulation. When someone consistently dismisses or belittles your feelings, it creates a sense of self-doubt and confusion about your own emotions. Over time, you may find it increasingly difficult to trust and understand your feelings, leading to even greater emotional turmoil.


Signs of Emotional Regulation after Abuse

Emotional dysregulation can manifest differently in each person, but some common signs and patterns can help identify its presence. Some signs include

· Intense and Sudden mood swings, where emotions fluctuate rapidly from one extreme to another. For instance, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmingly angry one moment and then suddenly overwhelmed with sadness or anxiety the next.

· Difficulty in managing emotional reactions, with seemingly small triggers causing intense and prolonged emotional responses. For instance, a minor disagreement with a friend might lead to an overwhelming sense of rejection and despair.

· Impulsivity and Impulsive Behavior where you act on intense emotions without considering potential consequences. This could include engaging in reckless behaviors, overspending, or making hasty decisions.

· Challenge in Labelling Emotions where the overwhelming intensity of emotions in emotional dysregulation can lead to confusion, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly what you are feeling at times. As a result, you may experience moments of uncertainty and may feel ashamed or judgmental towards yourself for not being able to fully comprehend or control your emotional responses. For example, during a particularly stressful situation, you might feel a mix of anxiety, anger, and sadness all at once, making it challenging to identify and address each emotion separately.

Effect of Emotional Dysregulation

Emotional dysregulation can profoundly impact various aspects of your life. Strained relationships may arise due to difficulties in managing emotions during interactions, leading to conflicts and misunderstandings.

Impaired decision-making abilities might result from intense emotional fluctuations, leading to impulsive actions and negative consequences. This chronic emotional imbalance can contribute to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Moreover, your physical health may be affected as the body’s stress response is disrupted, potentially leading to health problems like high blood pressure or weakened immunity. Additionally, emotional dysregulation can erode your self-esteem and self-confidence, causing you to withdraw from social interactions and experience a weakened sense of identity.


Recognizing and understanding the impact of emotional dysregulation is crucial in finding appropriate support and healing resources.

To effectively deal with emotional dysregulation, it is essential to work on releasing and processing the trapped emotions from past experiences. These unresolved emotions act as barriers, preventing you from fully experiencing and understanding your current emotions. By acknowledging and addressing the emotional wounds from your past, you can gradually free yourself from their grip and create space to connect with your present feelings in a healthier way.

Engaging in therapy can be a valuable step in this process, as it provides a safe and supportive environment to explore and process these emotions. Through various healing modalities, you can gain valuable insight into the root causes of emotional dysregulation and effectively process intense emotions. By exploring past traumas and unresolved experiences, you can untangle the emotional knots that have been holding you back and learn to disentangle your current emotions from the past.


As you delve into these inner layers, you can gradually free yourself from the grip of old wounds, allowing you to experience and express your current emotions in a more authentic and unburdened way.

Remember, healing is not about erasing the past, but about empowering yourself to face it with compassion and understanding. By doing the inner work and releasing trapped emotions, you can liberate yourself from the shackles of emotional dysregulation and embrace a more balanced and fulfilling emotional life. Your journey towards emotional well-being may take commitment and effort, but it is a valuable investment in your personal growth and overall happiness. Embrace the process, and with patience and perseverance, you can find healing and emotional harmony within yourself.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these subconscious patterns for good (in less than 2 months) using Mind Shifting, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.


1. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-emotional-dysregulation

2. https://psychcentral.com/ptsd/affect-dysregulation-and-c-ptsd

3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/understanding-ptsd/202208/what-is-emotional-dysregulation-anyway

Share your love
Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

Articles: 838

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *