What causes emotional instability

Emotionally unstable personality disorder: diagnosis

The difficulty of controlling emotions and coping with inner tension plays a role especially in socially demanding situations, e.g. in conflicts, disappointments or close proximity to another person. There is strong self-devaluation as well as an often sudden or radical change between idealization and devaluation of a person or situation (“black and white thinking”). Uncontrollable emotional outbursts (e.g. anger / aggression), strong impulsiveness, but also emptiness occur. Those affected often react by withdrawing or devaluing themselves.

Self-injuries (e.g. cracks, cuts, burns, hitting yourself), severe anxiety states and inner emptiness also occur. Self-harm can also manifest itself through risky behavior (e.g. unrestrained eating, excessive consumption of alcohol / drugs, uncontrolled spending of money or risky sexual behavior). Thoughts of suicide are also common in people with emotionally unstable personality disorder. This high-profile path of emotions makes it difficult for those affected to develop a stable sense of identity - to know "who you actually are".

In studies using magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, it has repeatedly been found that this personality disorder is associated with overactivity of the amygdala and underactivity of the hippocampus. These brain structures are located in the limbic system, which is primarily responsible for feelings.