Self Harm

The use of destructive or unhelpful strategies to cope with painful and intense emotions often comes from difficulties coping with painful emotions. Problems commonly associated with painful emotions include suicidal thinking and attempts, self-harm, binge eating, purging, substance abuse, other impulsive behaviours (over spending, unsafe sex, risk taking etc), lack of a clear sense of self-identity, and dissociation. Self-harm has been linked with many different psychiatric diagnoses, but is most commonly associated with Borderline Personality Disorder, Eating Disorders, Substance Use Disorders and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Emotional dysregulation in adulthood can sometimes be traced back to a childhood where needs for safety, security, and protection were not met, such in cases of childhood sexual, physical or emotional abuse, and/or cases of physical, emotional or medical neglect. In other cases, people are biologically predisposed to emotional dysregulation.