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Emotional Dysregulation in the Workplace

Emotional dysregulation can be one of the biggest challenges for people in the workplace. Even when a person is an otherwise top performer, just one bad episode can haunt them for years or even destroy a brilliant career and stellar reputation.

It is not the fact that we have emotions that is the problem, but it is how we express them, both in nature and intensity. The workplace, especially in a professional setting is a place where your managers expect you to react within societal norms in all ways. It is rare to find a place where being outside the norm is accepted.

Part of the problem when dealing with this trait in the workplace is the stigma attached to mental illnesses. This leads to so many people hiding their challenges from everyone around them. Then when they have an episode people label them with cruel words or think they are troublemakers or people who cannot get along with others. This can so often lead to them losing their job, not because they cannot do the job, not because they are bad people, but because they have trouble regulating their emotions.

Another major contributing to the above scenario is that so many people do not understand what it means to be bi-polar or to have borderline personality disorder or any of the host of other conditions that have emotional dysregulation. This misunderstanding is one of the things that leads to the existing stigma about people who have mental illnesses.

This can be very hard for those of us who struggle to regulate our emotions on a regular basis. Even those of us, who like me are typically ‘functional’, can struggle with this trait.

The good news is that we can learn to control our responses. We just need to work harder at it than the average person. There are always new advancements in treatment types, both with and without medication. Every day we learn more about the human brain. In the meantime, we can learn to regulate our emotions better through techniques such as mindfulness.

My advice to you is to learn about your condition, understand it, accept it, embrace it, and make it work for you not against you.

Remember do not let your condition define you, but don’t deny that it is there.

There is hope.

Posted: May 20th, 2011 under Thoughts on Mental Health.

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