Innovating the Treatment of Emotional Imbalance
Have you ever felt like your heart and mind were playing tug-of-war with one another? Perhaps you longed for a romantic partner who was no good for you or wanted to eat dessert when you knew it would set back your weight loss goals. If this sounds familiar, you know how important emotional balance can be.
People often struggle when their logical sides and emotions seem at odds with one another. While many people in these situations refer to their emotions as what takes place in the heart, we know that both the logical and emotional sides of these struggles take place in the mind.
Emotional imbalance can be more serious than a temporary tug-of-war between the “heart” and mind. In some people, it indicates mental illness, like anxiety, depression, or PTSD.
Symptoms of emotional imbalance can include both physical and emotional problems, such as tense muscles, stomach aches, irritability, and trouble sleeping.
What Emotional Balance Feels Like
When someone reaches emotional balance, they no longer feel this internal struggle. They experience peace with their emotions, even the negative ones.
People in emotional balance do not avoid emotions like pain, anger, and sadness. Instead, they feel these emotions for long enough to work through them.
Balanced people also do not feel stuck in any particular emotion. Once they process their feelings about something that happened, they move forward.
What Causes Emotional Imbalances?
The causes of emotional imbalance are as varied as the causes of intense feelings in people. If any emotion is given too much or not enough weight, it can tip the scales and cause various problems.
That being said, an emotional imbalance can have two general causes: Allowing emotions to consume you or not allowing yourself to experience negative feelings at all. Mental illness, trauma, and stress can all cause this imbalance to take hold.
Mental Illness and Emotional Imbalance
PTSD and depression are two mental illness associated with emotional imbalance. With PTSD, the logical mind knows that the person is not in physical danger, but the patient still feels like the trauma is happening all over again. This can be the result of not fully processing the intense emotions that trauma brings.
With depression, negative emotions consume the person and feel impossible to most past. Even when the patient logically believes that everything is OK, the depressed feelings take control.
How Trauma Causes Emotional Imbalance
Trauma itself can cause emotional imbalance, even without the presence of PTSD. Some things in life are too difficult to process right away. Patients in these situations may experience imbalance for a while before finding their ways back to peace. Types of trauma that can cause this include car accidents, loved ones passing, abuse, witnessing abuse, being the victim of a crime, and natural disasters.
Stress and Imbalance
Everyday stressors like bills piling up, lack of sleep, breakups, family troubles, and job stress can cause emotions to become imbalanced as well, especially when several problems stack up in a person’s life.
Whether people experience emotional imbalance due to mental illness, trauma, or everyday stressors, they sometimes need professional help. While many such patients turn to therapy and medications, a new treatment called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) can help as well.
How Does EMDR Help Emotional Imbalance?
EMDR is a relatively new type of psychotherapy that helps patients access and process painful memories. Studies continue to show that EMDR allows patients to see the benefits of traditional psychotherapy much faster. Some people feel better after just one session.
By giving the mind better tools for processing difficult emotions, patients can find emotional balance once again. While they may always feel upset by what happened, they can find ways to move forward with life without the effects of imbalance.
As published in Georgia Behavioral Health Professionals May 20, 2019