Why Do I Keep Having Emotional Outbursts?

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emotional outbursts

If you find yourself melting down often, having one emotional outburst after another, there is help for you. Read on.

All of us find life to be frustrating from time to time. It can be hard to rein in our frustration when we are triggered by something. Before we know it, a sudden emotional outburst rattles the windows. But if you notice that you have a more difficult time controlling your emotions than most, it could be due to a mental health issue.

What is an Emotional Outburst?

Maybe you came unglued at work due to an annoying coworker. Maybe you went on a rant at a business setting over the way you were treated. Maybe your hair-trigger temper rears up on a regular basis with your spouse.

These are examples of emotional outbursts, those spells of fury that seem to burst forth without warning. These are sudden, strong, even explosive expressions of emotion, usually involving anger.

What Can Cause Emotional Outbursts?

There are many possible causes for having these meltdowns on a regular basis. Consider how these causes might lead to an outburst at some point:

  • Chronic stress. You may find yourself overwhelmed at work, or have too many demands placed on your time.
  • Poor sleep quality. Not getting enough sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, can cause you to feel edgy and grumpy during the day.
  • Substance abuse. Drugs and alcohol abuse can evolve into dependency or addiction. You might be experiencing withdrawal symptoms, which cause you to feel moody, sick, and irritable.
  • Family history. You may come from a family that has a history of mental health disorders or trouble regulating emotions.
  • Mood swings. If you have sudden shifts between depressive and manic mood states, you may have bipolar disorder.
  • Anxiety disorder. Living with an anxiety disorder can be exhausting. Anxiety is characterized by fear and worry, as well as a sense of losing control over some aspect of life.
  • Personality disorder. Certain personality disorders feature angry outbursts or over-the-top emotions.
  • Trauma. Sometimes if you have witnessed or experienced a highly traumatic event you are left with hyperarousal for weeks or months after.
  • Depression. Struggling with depression can cause irritability and anger, especially in males.

5 Situations that Lead to Emotional Outbursts

We all have unique abilities to cope with frustration, fear, anger, and stress. Our emotional maturity is often revealed when we face situations where we have been wronged or hurt. Some of us have better control over our emotions than others.

Awareness is helpful for gaining a foothold on our feelings and reactions. When you are aware of your struggle to remain calm when frustrated, you’re better able to control yourself.

When these situations pop up, take a pause. Use techniques to deescalate your emotional response, or simply walk away and allow a little space:

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  1. You are being provoked. Someone, like a coworker, a boss, a spouse, or a family member, is pushing your buttons. Depending on the situation, either confront them or walk away and diffuse the altercation.
  2. You are overwhelmed. The sheer number of demands on your time may be pushing you to the edge. Notice when this is the case, and take proactive steps to delegate or better manage your time.
  3. You haven’t slept well. When you are worn out from lack of sleep you are more prone to lashing out at others. Lay low and avoid conflicts if you are sleep deprived.
  4. You recognize the family connection. If you see yourself acting like your angry mother or your bipolar sister, it is time for some expert support. You may have an undiagnosed mental health issue.
  5. You are grieving a loss. After losing a close loved one, it is common to feel out of sorts as you wind through the grieving process. Be kind to yourself, and if you lash out at someone, humbly apologize.

Psychiatric Treatment for Mental Health Disorders

If the root cause of the angry or emotional outbursts is a mental health disorder, you will need to seek the help of a psychotherapist. Through therapy, medication, and holistic methods the mental health expert can help you manage these emotions. These are the most common mental health challenges that are associated with outbursts:

Anxiety. Anxiety is the most common mental health condition, with about 40 million people dealing with a form of anxiety each year. There are different types of anxiety disorder. These include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, phobia, panic disorder, PTSD and OCD.

Depression. An estimated 21million Americans suffer from depression each year. The most common form of depression is major depressive disorder, but there are other types of depression as well. These include post-partum depression, seasonal affective disorder, and dysthymia.

Bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health disorder. It features extreme mood swings that shift between mania and depression. There are four types of bipolar disorder, including bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, and unspecified bipolar.

Personality disorders. Someone with a personality disorder has developed lasting patterns of disordered thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. It’s the behaviors that concern us for this discussion. Those with this feature of outbursts include histrionic, borderline, and narcissistic personality disorders.

Dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis is the presence of two disorders, such as a mental health disorder and a co-occurring substance use disorder. Each disorder makes the other more pronounced, which leads to more extreme behaviors.

It is possible to get a handle on your emotions and better control your responses to triggering events. Awareness is the first step, and then comes taking the actions needed to get better.

Mental Health Hope Offers Online Guidance for Mental Health Concerns

Mental Health Hope is a free online resource for those seeking information or guidance for a mental health challenge. Our team is at the ready to offer expert input as well as treatment options. If you are struggling with emotional outbursts, give us a call today at (877) 967-9274.

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