Do you struggle with regulating your emotions? Do you find yourself excessively emotional or do you get emotional easily? There are a various span of reasons for emotional issues, some are: depression, anxiety, withdrawing from social situations, loneliness, nervousness and even frustration.
For us with cerebral palsy these are connected with our motor skills and depending on where the brain was damaged from the cp this specific area can cause problems with us regulating our emotions and feelings associated with and without cerebral palsy.
One may ask where do these emotions generate or begin from? Communication can be difficult, frustration, anger, feelings of being misunderstood, feeling that no cares, not feeling heard. Learning problems can trigger these emotions, trouble with comprehension, as you can see the list is endless. https://www.flintrehab.com/emotional-effects-of-cerebral-palsy/
The true question here is How can one learn to put their emotions in check or be able to effectively and successfully regulate their emotions? These skills are obviously different for children than adults.
Pinpointing over stimuli in children can help in the process to teach children self-regulation. Starting with baby steps. For instance, if you know morning routine with children is going to be a battle, you can create a schedule and give them one task to accomplish at a time. Depending on their age, comprehension level, you as the parent may have to get creative such as using a timer. Example: you have to get dressed by the time the bell or timer goes off. Doing stuff like having clothes out on the bed when they wake up, helping to lessen the stimuli that seems to create issue that point or trigger emotional meltdowns sometimes outbursts . Another example, is practicing before the event occurs, so the child has time to see what to do and to comprehend what is expected of them.
When I was raising my boys I found that a star chart worked as a big motivator. They knew if they helped clean up their toys they got a star and 7 stars in a row meant fun time. The ultimate goal is to avoid outburst, breakdowns, etc. However, teaching them skills to cope and help them regulate their emotions.
What if we as an adult did not have this type of experience as a child and have to learn ways to cope as an adult? What are we to do? Where are we to start? First, I think its important to acknowledge that there is a problem. That in my opinion is a good start. Then figuring out the best treatment or therapy whether you do it yourself or with a professional. There are a number of things one can do, from taking frequent breaks, to learning meditation and practicing deep breathing, professional therapy such as behavioral therapy, even just talking to a counselor or therapist. Every person is different so not all therapy or technique is going to work for everyone. https://www.cerebralpalsyguide.com/blog/cerebral-palsy-anger-issues-in-adults/
I know personally, it helps me to meditate, journal and talk to my therapist. They key is to experiment with different techniques and tools to see what works best for you. Just as it is different for children, some tools could be occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, teaching them to breath and take breaks, counting was a big one around my house. Also we used tap therapy that one was and still is very helpful.
Do not be afraid to ask for help. By acknowledging the issue of having over regulated emotions or over stimuli. Do not blame yourself. Its nothing you have done it was damaged caused by the cerebral palsy. No one is to blame and it is no one fault. Its an issue we who have cp have to learn to cope with and deal with on a daily basis. Now its time to experience for yourself what works for you as a unique individual person. Happy reading everyone!