are you emotionally sensitive?Does the world feel dangerous to you?  Do you feel powerless, vulnerable or unacceptable?  Do you often think in terms of fair, unfair, should, shouldn’t, right and wrong?

People who are highly sensitive to emotions often experience the world as unsafe and feel helpless.  When you’re emotionally sensitive you’re frequently overcome by emotion and have trouble tolerating emotional pain.

People with significant difficulties with impulsive and self-destructive behaviors, problems controlling emotions, depression, aggression, attention, substance abuse, and other impulse behaviors often have problems with their emotion regulation system.  In DBT, these emotional problems are seen as a result of your biological makeup and your past experiences. 

Some people are simply wired differently than others.  We each have different sensitivities to emotional stimuli.  For some, small events trigger an emotional response, emotional reactions are extreme and they last a long time.  Having a sensitive emotional system and never learning to label and regulate that emotional arousal can leave you overwhelmed and unable to trust yourself.

Two primary goals of DBT include teaching you 1) to modulate extreme emotions and reduce negative behaviors that result from those emotions and 2) to trust your own emotions, thoughts, and activities.

If you consider yourself highly emotional, but have learned to understand and manage your emotions, what strategies do you use?  What do you recommend to others, who are struggling with emotions.

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    Last reviewed: 19 Nov 2010

APA Reference
Matta, C. (2010). Are You Highly Emotionally Sensitive?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2015, from



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  • Irish dela Trinidad: Extreme emotions it comes out naturally, but as a human we need to control our emotions, because...
  • Jean: extreme emOtions is dIfFicuLt to handle.why?Because theres a p0ssibility s0me thIngs becAme w0rSt and it can...
  • N P Duncan-Adam: The list of problems and difficulties experienced by an Individual is well covered here however the...
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  • eugene: Well done! Good articulations and suggestions how to observe thoughts. Very encouraging, too.
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