When an individual is unable to control their emotions, it usually means their responses are disruptive or inappropriate given the setting. Some emotions that a person may have include, anger, sadness, fear and anxiety. Being unable to control your emotions can be temporary or caused by something like low blood sugar.
The difference however is that some people experience the constant inability to control their emotions because of a chronic condition. It can be a feature of a range of psychotic or mood disorders, as well as other mental health conditions.
For example, people suffering from psychosis may have an altered perception of reality that may affect their regulation of emotions. Those suffering from bipolar disorder or depression may also report some form of loss of control over their emotions.
Issues with controlling emotion can also be in relation to brain damage, but these symptoms can be accompanied by other psychiatric or physical symptoms if they are related to a medical condition.
Inability to regulate emotions is fairly common in young children but may indicate an abnormality (such as emotional or behavior disorder) when it is present to an extreme degree. It is important to know when to seek help because not being able to control your emotions can cause significant interference with your daily life.
Causes And Risk Factors
The causes of being unable to control emotions can vary from person to person. For children, they may have trouble when they are feeling overwhelmed or distressed which may lead to a temper tantrum or crying outburst. Even though most children begin to develop greater self-control as they age, there are some exceptions when a child has a medical condition such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD), adjustment disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.
Other conditions that are associated or may put you at risk include:
- Alcohol abuse/alcoholism
- Bipolar disorder
- Asperger’s syndrome
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Head injury
- Drug abuse
- Mental and psychological disorders such as PTSD, psychosis, schizophrenia, etc.
Many of these conditions require long-term treatments to help people better control their emotions.
Symptoms of Uncontrolled Emotions
Most people can control or regulate their emotions on a daily basis and determine which they have, when they have them and how they experience them. However, while emotional control is a habit for some people, for others, emotional responses are automatic. Some symptoms associated with being unable to control emotions are:
- Feeling afraid to express your emotions.
- Feeling out of control.
- Being overwhelmed by your feelings.
- Having difficulty to understand why you feel the way you do.
- Feeling angry but not knowing why.
- Having difficulty understanding why you feel the way you do.
- Using drugs or alcohol to hide/numb your emotions
When To See Your Doctor And Diagnosis
To begin diagnosing our doctor would most likely take a medical history and review your current symptoms. They may also do a review of all the medication you are currently taking including prescription medications, supplements and herbs. Due to the fact that many causes associated with inability to control emotions are related to psychological disorders, your doctor might refer you to a mental health professional. It is important to note that most of these disorders do not have a definitive test to diagnose a mental condition.
It is important to seek medical attention if you experience the following symptoms:
- Feeling like life is no longer worth living.
- Feeling like you want to hurt yourself.
- Losing consciousness or feeling as if you’re going to faint.
- Hearing voices or seeing things others tell you are not there.
- Having difficulty expressing your emotions.
- Experiencing emotions with no known cause or trigger.
- Experiencing frequent emotional outburst.
- Feeling sad, angry or depressed most days of the week.
Management of Uncontrolled Emotions
Treatment for inability to control emotions depends largely on the exact reason you’re experiencing the symptoms. For example, doctors correct low blood sugar with glucose tables, juice, or any other sugary substance. Those with a more chronic issue may need to change their diets or eat more frequent meals.
In terms of psychological disorders, they can include medications and psychotherapy. They usually require long term interventions to help you control your emotions.