• Are you struggling with addiction?
  • Do your emotions control you or you control them?
  • Do you like or enjoy that power of anger? But regret it later?
  • Are you doing “stupid” things so quickly and mechanically that you feel hopeless about even being able to stop?
  • Are your eating and sleeping habits out of your control?

Emotional regulation is an essential ingredient of addiction recovery. Emotional regulation means learning to manage and put up with emotional distress. In addiction recovery, addicts have to manage their negative feelings without taking drugs. On the other hand in active addiction, they are use to manage their emotional problems with the help of drugs. Poor emotional regulation is often a major contribution in the development of addiction. To cope with difficult feelings they may fall back on substance abuse. Emotional regulation is one of the cornerstones of addiction recovery.


Basically early recovery is challenging for recovery addicts. In fact this is a kind of bumpy ride where people can experience unusual high and low tides of mood. This leads them towards or tough practice of emotional control. It is inevitable to learn the management of emotions because relapse might be followed in case of failure in learning emotional management.

Cause of Emotional Upheavals:
Why do emotions reach their peak or there is instability in emotional control in early stage of the recovery? There are a number of causes which are responsible for that emotional upheaval.
After giving up the drug, withdrawal symptoms may continue, which affects the mental health and the emotions and feelings of the addict. Even body aches and pains may also make the individual emotionally instable and irritable.

It is observed that most of the people fall prey to alcohol or any drug to bury their some unwanted and painful emotions or emotional feelings. When they are under treatment or recovery, and they have to quit those drugs, the same emotions get alive again and over power the person and become the cause of emotional instability of the individual.

Recovery is a process which demands from the addict not only stop the use of substance but also change the social circle. This new set up goes through a number of changes which are quite difficult to digest for a recovery patient. It causes emotional upheavals of that person.
When an addict is successful getting rid from the codependency of a drug after the effort of several years. He gets an ultimate reason to experiences emotional high.

“Sleep” is one of the most wanted elements for sound mental health. If a person experiences lack of sleep or disturbed sleep it may lead towards instable emotional state which is quite common to those who are under recovery.

During recovery an addict is directed to face those past events which are associated with the feeling, an addict wants to escape. Interaction with guilt of past events or previous bad behaviors may also be a cause of the emotional instability.

Literal meaning of emotional -regulation is the skills and abilities which help out to manage emotional demands and wants.
Emotional Regulation is a multi-faceted term which has following Dimensions.

  1. Modulation of Emotional Regulation:
    As far as addicts are concerned they believe either to have all or nothing. Because in their surfing emotions it takes a long time to bring them back to the normal level. They are over whelmed by the hype of emotions and thus face the impair functioning.
  2. Tolerance of frustration:
    Tolerance about unwanted and frustrating situation is an ideal skill which is learned with the passage of time. As we grow older we master this art, and become skillful enough to keep our level of self control at a safe limit while encountering the frustrating situation.
  3. Be able to delay gratification:
    Addicts are religiously following this rule. It is very important to learn to give a delay towards your goal and objectives if a sound planning and efforts are becoming a big trouble. If a person is not following this art he may not be able to spend a successful life.
    Addicts normally become emotionally immature for doing defective planning and inefficient effort towards the achievement of their obligations.
  4. Self reliability and accountability:
    It is very important to master the ability to deal with every day requirements e.g. to be in committed time and place, meet the targets of obligations etc. more over the ability of checking out the effects of our actions on others and on our surroundings also push us towards emotional regulation. On the other hand addicts normally do not practice this ability as they are more self-centered and more at risk of failure at every day’s minute dealings. They also do not think about the effects of their actions on others.
  5. Impulses control:
    A sound and mentally healthy person is emotionally sound and mature enough to mark the difference between urging for something and fulfilling that urge. This is because there are some urges which cannot be fulfilled in a society or its fulfillment might have been stigmatized in a society. A mature self has ability to mark boundaries between doing and not doing according to the circumstances. This skill leads towards logical choices. An addict cannot make such logical choice by being impulsive.


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