People with borderline disorder or borderline personality disorder experience very intense emotions. They are people who have trouble regulating and understanding their emotions .

Regulation of emotions

Emotion regulation is a complex combination of ways in which a person relates and acts on their emotional experiences. This has to do with the ability to understand and accept emotional experiences, the ability to engage in healthy strategies to deal with uncomfortable emotions whenever necessary, and the ability to engage in appropriate behaviors when feeling distressed.

People with good emotional regulation skills can control urges to engage in impulsive behaviors , such as self-harm, reckless behavior, or physical assault, in times of emotional stress.

For example, a person who does not have borderline personality disorder, if he has an emotional problem, he may feel sad or a little depressed but he will continue to continue with his routine because he will be able to control his emotions. On the other hand, someone who does have this disorder and goes through the same situation, may become depressed to the point of not functioning, such as engaging in destructive or violent behaviors or impulsive activities such as promiscuity.

Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotions

To diagnose this disorder, the following should be taken into account:

    • Rapidly changing mood swings and irritability. People with this disorder often have trouble controlling mood and expressing their emotions, leading to intense anxiety and irritability. Mood swings can be intense and very fast. Anxiety and irritability can interfere with normal activities, like working or even taking care of yourself. Others may have trouble being around you during these episodes for a number of reasons, harming your relationships.
    • Feelings of emptiness. People with borderline personality disorder may experience feelings of emptiness on an ongoing basis. They will try to fill this void with inappropriate activities like smoking or hanging out with people who are not good for them. Regardless of the friends they have, they may feel lonely and sad. Problems regulating emotions can lead to the loss of friends. The solitude , in turn, can impair the ability to regulate emotions and feelings of isolation can interfere with the motivation to learn to regulate emotions.
    • Difficulty controlling anger . Along with the intense mood swings comes intense anger, seemingly out of nowhere. Small inconveniences or slights can trigger rages in people with this disorder, which can lead to destructive or violent behaviors.
  • Paranoia and fear of abandonment . People with this disorder are often afraid of being alone or being rejected, leading to intense paranoia. This can cause them to act obsessively and constantly seek reassurance. Unfortunately, many of the behaviors that result from a need for reassurance can lead people to push someone away further.

If you have trouble regulating your emotions, if you have borderline personality disorder, you may experience difficulty lowering your anger or relaxing feelings of rejection. You may lack the ability to regulate your emotions appropriately, leading to disruptive behaviors. This can have a negative impact on your relationships, including with your partner, friends, and family.

How to better manage emotions

Although with this disorder, emotional regulation can be complicated, it is not impossible to learn the necessary skill. The first thing you can do if you think you have too much difficulty is go to a therapist specialized in borderline personality disorder so that you can better understand what leads to your emotional problems and thus, be able to have the strategies that best suit you. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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