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Emotional Regulation Difficulties

Emotional self-regulation involves managing emotions and behaviours depending on the situation, including being able to handle difficult emotions, adjust to change, and calm down when upset or frustrated.

Emotional dysregulation in adults may present as:

  • Angry outbursts or short temper

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Impulsive behaviours

  • Substance abuse

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Self-harm or other self-damaging behaviours


Difficulties with self-regulation are also common in children with neurodevelopmental issues such as Autistic Spectrum Conditions, Learning Disabilities, and ADHD. When children do not know how to self-regulate their emotions when they feel overwhelmed, it can lead to aggressive behaviour or tantrums at home or in school, which can put a strain on family, teacher, or peer relationships.

Some children may turn their negative feelings toward themselves, which causes problems that cannot be seen. The inability to regulate emotions can impact overall mental health and wellbeing as well as relationships and academic engagement and performance.

For help with Emotional Regulation Difficulties:

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