WORKING WITH MEN
Pressure, anxiety, expectations, sadness, loneliness, frustration, and shame are difficult enough to handle, but when society does not allow room for men to feel and show their emotions in a healthy way, these pains get suppressed inwards and starts to burn us from the inside out. We cannot function at our optimal, yet we cannot ask for help or show that we are struggling. The result is a sense of helplessness and feeling trapped. Then we continue to push on like a robot, removed from our senses and thoughts.
We see you. Our male and female therapists understand the strain of being everything to everyone all by yourself. We start with learning about how you see yourself and the world around you, about what you need to strive, and about how to be who you are and how you want to live your life. We will find the purpose together, to live the life you want to live.
Our male clients feel more at ease with the stressors of the daily grind. They grow into their skin because they now have their own permission to do so. They are aware of and awake to their experiences, and for the first time ever, feel they can relate with themselves and others in a healthy way that is not laced with masculine toxicity.
Dysregulation, also known as emotional dysregulation, refers to a poor ability to manage emotional responses or to keep them within an acceptable range of typical emotional reactions. This can refer to a wide range of emotions including sadness, anger, irritability, and frustration.
While emotional dysregulation is typically thought of as a childhood problem that usually resolves itself as a child learns proper emotional regulation skills and strategies, emotional dysregulation may continue into adulthood.
For these individuals, emotional dysregulation can lead to a lifetime of struggles including problems with interpersonal relationships, trouble with school performance, and the inability to function effectively in a job or at work.
Now that we know a little bit about what it means to live with emotional dysregulation, you might be wondering what exactly causes this problem in the first place. Why is it that some people have no trouble remaining calm, cool, and collected while others fall apart at the first instance of something going wrong in their life?
The answer is that there are likely multiple causes; however, there is one that has been consistently shown in the research literature. That cause is early psychological trauma resulting from abuse or neglect on the part of the caregiver.
This results in something known as a reactive attachment disorder.
Disorders Related to Emotion Dysregulation
We know that emotional dysregulation in childhood can be a risk factor for later mental disorders and also that some disorders are more likely to involve emotional dysregulation.
Below is a list of the disorders most commonly associated with emotional dysregulation:
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD)
- Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
- Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
When emotional dysregulation appears as part of a diagnosed mental disorder, it typically involves a heightened sensitivity to emotional stimuli and a lessened ability to return to a normal emotional state within a reasonable amount of time.
In general, emotional dysregulation involves having emotions that are overly intense in comparison to the situation that triggered them. This can mean not being able to calm down, avoiding difficult emotions, or focusing your attention on the negative. Most people with emotional dysregulation also behave in an impulsive manner when their emotions (fear, sadness, or anger) are out of control.
Below are some examples of what it looks like when someone is experiencing emotional dysregulation.
- Your romantic partner cancels plans and you decide they must not love you and you end up crying all night and binging on junk food.
- The bank teller says they can’t help you with a particular transaction and you’ll need to come back the next day. You have an angry outburst, yell at the teller, and throw a pen across the counter at them.
- You attend a company dinner and everyone seems to be talking and having fun while you feel like an outsider. After the event, you go home and overeat to numb your emotional pain. This is also an example of poor coping mechanisms and emotional eating.
Emotional dysregulation can also mean that you have trouble recognizing the emotions that you are experiencing when you become upset. It might mean that you feel confused by your emotions, guilty about your emotions, or are overwhelmed by your emotions to the point that you can’t make decisions or manage your behavior.
Being unable to manage your emotions and their effects on your behavior can have a range of negative effects on your adult life. For instance:
- You might have trouble sleeping.
- You might struggle to let experiences go or hold grudges longer than you should.
- You might get into minor arguments that you blow out of proportion to the point that you end up ruining relationships.
- You might experience negative effects on your social, work, or school functioning.
- You might develop a mental disorder later in life because of a poor ability to regulate your emotions (e.g., depression)
- You might develop a substance abuse problem or addiction such as smoking, drinking, or drugs.
- You might engage in self-harm or other disordered behavior such as restrictive eating habits or binge eating.
- You might have trouble resolving conflict.
A child with emotional dysregulation may experience the following outcomes:
- A tendency to be defiant
- Problems complying with requests from teachers or parents
- Problems making and keeping friends
- Reduced ability to focus on tasks
Relationship conflict is a disagreement between people (e.g., partners, friends, siblings, or co-workers). The root of the conflict might be something like a difference of opinion, experience, taste, perspective, personality, or beliefs.
Conflict is generally intense enough to disrupt some aspect of the relationship, such as communication, which is what differentiates it from simply having a different point of view. It’s not just romantic partners who can experience relationship conflict—families can also be in conflict.
Whether it’s open debate over dinner or an underlying feeling of discomfort that remains unspoken, family conflict can cause a significant amount of stress. It might be that there’s no lack of love between members, but rather, a lack of comfort in dealing with conflict.
While it can be difficult and uncomfortable, conflict in a relationship is not always a bad thing. When it is healthy and productive, relationship conflict presents an opportunity for people to learn about how others see and experience the world. It can also generate creative solutions to problems and help people grow.
However, when conflict is not productive or healthy, it can be harmful to everyone involved. Sustained, unresolved conflict can create tension at home or at work, can erode the strength and satisfaction of relationships, and can even make people feel physically sick or in pain.
Conflict and Your Health
Research has shown that relationship conflict can negatively affect your health. For example, researchers at Portland State University’s Institute on Aging studied more than 650 adults over a two-year period.
The researchers found that “stable negative social exchanges” (in other words, repetitive or prolonged conflict) were significantly associated with lower self-rated health, greater functional limitations, and a higher number of health conditions.5 These findings impact several health factors, but one key takeaway seems to be that stress can weaken your immune system.
Exposure to conflict can make you more susceptible to infectious illnesses like colds and the flu. Some people also experience chronic pain related to stress, such as headaches and back or neck pain.
Conditions Associated With Chronic Stress
If your stress levels are not managed, it can put you at an increased risk for developing stress-influenced physical and mental health conditions, such as:
- Anxiety disorders
- Digestive issues (such as diarrhea, constipation, ulcers)
- Hair loss
- Heart disease
- Sexual dysfunction or changes in libido
- Tooth and gum disease
Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain. Stress is your body’s response to anything that requires attention or action.
Everyone experiences stress to some degree. The way you respond to stress, however, makes a big difference to your overall well-being.
Sometimes, the best way to manage your stress involves changing your situation. At other times, the best strategy involves changing the way you respond to the situation.
Signs of Stress
Stress can be short-term or long-term. Both can lead to a variety of symptoms, but chronic stress can take a serious toll on the body over time and have long-lasting health effects.
Some common signs of stress include:
- Changes in mood
- Clammy or sweaty palms
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty sleeping
- Digestive problems
- Feeling anxious
- Frequent sickness
- Grinding teeth
- Low energy
- Muscle tension, especially in the neck and shoulders
- Physical aches and pains
- Racing heartbeat