1. What is emotional instability?

Intense and rapidly fluctuating emotions, impulsive behaviour, poor self-esteem, fear of abandonment, intense and tumultuous relationships – emotional instability can be seen and felt extensively in different areas of life.

Even strong emotional fluctuations are normal for all of us, especially in challenging situations. Some people experience exceptionally rapid and intense emotional fluctuations, whereby their mood can change from ecstatic to rotten several times during one day. Their emotions are like a rollercoaster that is difficult to stay on. 

The characteristics of an emotionally unstable personality or borderline personality disorder include:

  • exceptionally rapid and intense emotional fluctuations and a permanent and long-term way of experiencing them,
  • an inconsistent and shifting self-image,
  • a strong fear of abandonment,
  • impulsive behaviour,
  • intense relationships and crises therein, and
  • self-destructiveness.

NOTE! If you have thoughts of self-harm or self-harming behavioural tendencies, please click here to seek help.

Emotional instability is a combination of thinking and operating models that are typical of a person, repeatedly and significantly undermine their ability to function and cause them to have difficulties in different areas of life. Emotional instability involves a wide variety of symptoms and it depends on the individual how it affects their life.