Issues Treated in Therapy:
Most people have experienced a state of being emotionally overwhelmed at some point in their lives. Emotional overwhelm overpowers a person's ability to think and act rationally and perform in an efficient and functional manner. Being emotionally overwhelmed may be caused by undue stress at home or work, past or current traumatic life experiences, perceived stresses, and much more. If a state of emotional overwhelm persists for an extended period of time, the services of a mental health clinician may help to move through this difficult emotional state.
Symptoms of emotional overwhelm may include:
As these symptoms and emotions grow more overwhelming, the ability to act rationally and complete even the simplest of tasks may be affected, relationships may falter and/or fail, and emotions can run rampant and become uncontrollable.
As emotions become more overwhelming, psychotherapy may be necessary to help understand, process, and/or reduce difficult emotions. In psychotherapy, clients can get in touch with their emotions, discover the roots of overwhelming emotions, and learn coping skills to effectively understand and work through those emotions which are causing stress. Psychotherapy may also be used to give proper perspective to situations that encourage or create overwhelming emotions, and to address co-occuring issues. Certain types of therapy may also integrate eastern practices such as meditation, and western innovations such as self-hypnosis, focusing, and centering. These techniques may help individuals learn to self-soothe and relax.
Emotional overwhelm may lead to physical health problems. As worry and anxiety increase, the body's ability to fight off infection may decrease, and the body can suffer from fatigue. Medication and/or hospitalization may be required for the body to rejuvenate and rebuild its strength and immunity. Emotional overwhelm may also be an extension of other psychological concerns, such as depression. In some cases psychiatrists may prescribe psychotropic medications to treat the causes of emotional overwhelm.
Rachel, 48, felt stress and worry as her husband recovered from a car accident in the hospital. The simplest tasks required a great deal of effort, and she began making little mistakes at work, rarely aware they were occurring. Her friends found her distant; she barely resembled the person she was before the accident. After seeking out a therapist, Rachel learned that her inability to deal with the stress of the accident was causing her to withdraw from life, and that by managing herself better, she might be able to think clearly about the actual implications of what her family had gone through. It allowed her to find hope in the situation, and be stronger because of it.
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Last updated: 05-14-2013
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