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Emotional Dysregulation in Betrayal Trauma

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Emotional Dysregulation in Betrayal Trauma



One of the more severe symptoms of betrayal trauma is the emotional dysregulation. This is where you have extreme mood changes quickly. Most of the time you won’t even know its coming. It just jumps up and grabs you. Like walking through the mall and your suddenly overcome by anger or watching tv and suddenly you’re crying. I know a lot of us go through this when we’re going through betrayal trauma and that people have a very hard time dealing with it. Most of the time we don’t even realize where these emotions are coming from. The thing is, they are almost always triggered by something. These triggers are related to some sort of emotional disturbance, which if you work on that you will be able to work on the emotional dysregulation.

Now how do we do that? The first step is to be as mindful as possible and when you have an emotional outbursts, first write what was happening down. This will give us an idea on what is triggering the emotions. I had a very hard time going in to the mall where the almost naked models where on the walls everywhere. Every time I would become enraged. Now I know that those pictures were a trigger for me.

Then when you have the situation figured out, you can look at the emotion that is brought out, For many of us it is anger or sadness. Here is the thing about anger though, it is a secondary emotion. That means, it is really not about being mad but there is something under that. This can be sadness, or hurt, or blaming ourselves, or a million other feelings. When we have pinpointed the real feelings, the anger and what it is covering, we can then look at what is causing it.

Those feelings are because of a thought of some sort. For me it was that I was not good enough. Every time I saw those pictures, I had the overwhelming thought of not being GOOD ENOUGH. I wasn’t good enough for my husband to be honest, I wasn’t good enough for him to just want me, I wasn’t good enough to lose those extra pounds from our last child.

These all made me feel horrible. That in turn made me angry because HE caused this. Now to actually process this I had to work through these feelings and thoughts. I had to understand that those thoughts were NOT reality. NO MATTER what someone else does, it does NOT change who I am and my worth. That includes my husband, no matter how I feel about him. His issues were not caused by me not being enough, they were caused by issues that had NOTHING to do with me.

I had to rewrite my thoughts that were related to the triggers to finally be free of them. And this is exactly what you need to do. If you want to work on the triggers, you must be prepared to look deep inside of the situation to find the feelings which leads to the thought which must be proven or disproven. This takes a lot of practice and understanding of ourselves.


If you’d like help doing this and learning how to do this for yourself on a consistent basis I am available for coaching. Please call me to set up your free consultation, (541)903-5873

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