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Emotional Dysregulation Tip Sheet

Emotional dysregulation means moods and emotional reactions are unstable and difficult to manage.

Look for These Difficulties

  • Saying or doing things without thinking
  • Difficulty knowing when to stop an activity
  • Doing things quickly or without regard for safety
  • Moods shifting rapidly such as a sudden urge to yell or cry
  • Intention and behavior may be disconnected such as laughing at a sad story


  • Use mindfulness techniques
  • Pay attention to what is happening in your body when you feel agitated. For example, are you tapping your foot, clenching your fists?
  • Ask for a short break
  • Write down important information before you go into emotional situations
  • Create a daily schedule to reduce feeling overwhelmed
  • Make a list of people that make you feel safe and heard. Reach out to them when needing support
  • Caregivers: The most important thing you can do is remain calm yourself, do not react to the person's emotions. You can gently guide the person to a quiet area to help them regain control.