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Something’s not right

Casual Contributor


Hey everyone 


My psychiatrist diagnosed with me with Bipolar two years ago and have recently said I show signs of Emotional Dysregulation.

I’m confused, is that Borderline Peronality Disorder? 

I never questioned it which was silly.





Senior Contributor


@Maggie2011  Hi emotional dysregulation is more of a symptom than a diagnosis and it is a symptom that can fall into the diagnosis of BPD so yes emotional disregulation can be bpd but it is just one part of it.  

Community Manager


Thanks heaps @Eden1919 very good insight, remember it's good to cite any info like this with a resource (online journal article, research paper, news article etc) Heart


@Maggie2011  I have linked up some info below further to what @Eden1919  is saying Smiley Happy

Also welcome to our forum!


@nashy  Yeah sorry I am on a tablet so can’t really site from this. 


Thanks for your help


Thanks very much for the information. I really appreciate it.
Community Builder


Hi @Maggie2011, have you been able to have a chance to look at the resource that @nashy provided or speak to your GP about your concerns? 




I have and it was helpful but I’m still left unsure.


I spoke to my GP today who said he knew nothing about Emotional Dysregulation or BPD so he couldn’t help me.


I’m hopefully seeing my Psychiatrist next week so will seek further clarification.


thank you 😀

Senior Contributor


Hi Maggie


Emotional dysregulation was a term my psychodynamic therapist (a psychiatrist) used to use a lot. 

when I asked her what it meant it seemed that she was using the term to mean that she felt that there was an ability that human beings could develop which was the ability to regulate their own emotional responses.


In the model she was following, which was on of emotional, interpersonal development and the way that our relationships with caregivers can affect our emotional development, and our actual neural development "emotional dysregulation" was what she thought was the impact of insufficient bonding & safety. In this model, I couldn't "contain" my emotions according to her perspective.


The thing is - when we got further into the therapy and I started to talk about things that the therapist found emotioally challenging: like realising abuse in care was a huge and primary trauma for me and that being forced into other people's interpretation had been harmful - my therapist started showing signs of what she would have called "emotional dysregulation" in me.


So I concluded that "emotional dysregulation" acutally meant that I was distressed and I was expressing my distress and my therapist had been following a model that didn't allow expression or feeling of severe distress to be healthy.


She was interpreting my expression of strong emotions as an "inability to regulate" the duration or intensity of my emotions - that's why she called me expressing emotions "emotional dysregulation". But I felt they were normal and proportional and only intense, frequent or long lasting because they hadn't had a chance to come up be expressed and heal - they kept getting pushed down, or I kept getting abused when seeking support and sanctuary (to heal from the impacts of past abuse).


Her interpretation was there was something wrong with my development and hence my brain and I needed to learn to 'regulate' - I thought I just needed to understand and resolve and that the contrast between my emotions and hers was more due to me being in a crappy situation I needed to express, get free from and then heal from and her being in a comparatively better situation that wasn't causing her any present distress.


When she started to act out the very things she called "symptoms" in me when she felt it was her identity that was being challenged, I concluded that I'd been right, that was my perspective though no doubt there are others. When things are good and it feels safe, it's easy to be calm. And I don't think I was any more emotional than anyone else would have been. So I dispute "emotional dysregulation" is actually a thing. In my experience it is code for "you are expressing strong emotion and I am not good at understanding or responding to your strong emotions or distress"


It's all in the eye of the beholder I suppose...find two people and you'll find at least three opinions as they say..

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