For me personally, the symptom of ‘Emotional Swings’ is one of the most exhausting and hardest parts of having BPD. But you might be thinking that everyone gets days when they feel sad or overjoyed, it’s not a problem for most people! While some of the time it is the case that mood changes don’t interfere with your life, but when they go to the extremes that they do with BPD and the frequency in which they happen it can be downright scary, to say the least. Let’s take a deeper look at what this symptom and find out what it is all about and just how bad it can be…
What is the BPD Symptom of Extreme Emotional Swings?
Normal people will have good days and bad days throughout their lives, but those of us with BPD get things to the extreme ends of those scales. In short, it is going from one emotion to the other in what often feels like the blink of an eye. Being super happy and feeling on top of the world, but then in the next minute, you feel down, depressed and worthless. At least it does work the other way as well, many times I have been feeling down, then all of a sudden I could take the world on, I got all my chores done and felt nothing could touch me. But with BPD these ‘Extreme Emotional Swings’ don’t just happen once, they can happen several times a day!
What Can Trigger the Symptom of Extreme Emotional Swings?
While this may sound weird, one the most triggering thing about extreme emotional swings with BPD is the ‘Extreme Emotional Swings’ themselves! You feel bad for feeling happy, or you overcompensate for feeling down by being impulsive and reckless, there are days when you feel there is no middle ground at all. Sadly the truth is ANYTHING can trigger it and 9 times out of 10 it will.
How Bad Can the Symptom of Extreme Emotional Swings be?
The key part of understanding how bad the symptom of ‘Extreme Emotional Swings’ can be is in the word “Extreme”. Sure, most of them are harmless, but you really can go from being happy to depressed, even to the point of feeling suicidal in a moments notice. No warning, no feeling that it is about to happen, it just happens. But the ‘ups’ can be just as bad with it resulting in self-destructive even dangerous behaviour. It often feels like you can win and all of those feelings mentioned can happen multiple times in a single day.
How Can I Stop the Symptom of Extreme Emotional Swings?
One thing to be aware of is that these sorts of extreme shifts in mood can be the result of a health issue as well as a mental one and your first port of call when you notice you are having them should be your local GP. While therapy can help you maintain them in the long run, using some sort of medication to help stabilise your mood swings is the best way to deal with them initially.
Learning to spot the changes and indeed control them is one of the hardest parts of any therapy treatment you will have. But you can indeed do just that with practice. You often find with therapeutic help you start to notice the signs in your own body change before the mind has had a chance to think about it. Techniques like deep-breathing and quick distraction often help, but self-control is the only way to really keep a lid on this symptom in the long term.
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