“When the spring tide comes, I stop being the captain in my own boat,” says 16-year-old Jules in the ZDF movie “The Promise.” What does a teen mean: Little things can cause her to lose control, yell, lash, and attack.
Julie suffers from an emotional disorder. Affected people have difficulty dealing with negative emotions, show strong tantrums over a long period of time, constant irritability and sudden mood swings. Luisa * (19) from Hamburg was also affected by this disease. From early childhood, she had fantasies almost every day in which she completely lost control of her emotions.
“While my sister always agreed with everything, I had an above average number of disagreements with my father. Nobody could understand how she felt.” Luisa began telling herself that she was “more difficult” than the others. In a way, you lose your understanding of yourself. “
Even trifles can lead to uncontrollable aggression. “We wanted to travel and I couldn’t find my small in-ear headphones, just the big ones. It pissed me off so much that I threw them and stepped on them.” In situations like these, you can’t reach them: “You couldn’t do anything right.”
Luisa’s emotional dysregulation wasn’t diagnosed until she was 16 years old. The specific clinical picture is still relatively new; It was only included in the World Health Organization’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) in March 2013. Even in specialized circles, mental disorder is still largely unknown.
“With tests you should always rule out in advance whether ADHD is associated with impulse control disorder or social behavior disorder. However, these children are often neglected and neglected children, and you can find out relatively quickly if you look at the parenting environment. And children’s bonding ability, explains Professor Michael Schulte-Markurt, medical director of the Marzipan Factory Clinic and supervisor of the pushing practice in Hamburg.
Freaks often only happen at home in a safe home area for those affected, and it seems normal to the outside world. “This often leads to parental blame, which is also tragic,” says the expert.
“The Promise” on ZDF on April 26 at 8:15 PM
Berlin subway driver Fabian (Andreas Doller) lives as a single father with his 11-year-old son Bendix (Mika Tretu) who suffers from severe depression. They both try to cover up the problems that arise from the disease. At the School Sports Festival, Bendix meets 16-year-old Julie (Ella Morgen), who has dysfunctional emotional regulation with uncontrollable tantrums and is undergoing outpatient treatment in a day clinic. By meeting her, Bendix learns to better understand his father’s mental illness.
Negative emotions are tested most in emotional dysregulation, as well as positive emotions. “It was such a childish joy, almost exaggerating things,” says Louisa. Professor Michael Schulte explains this as follows: “Everything is more intense, you have incredible vulnerability and sensitivity, and when everything is sharper, you feel more joyful.”
Two psychotherapists for Luisa were unsuccessful because the true cause was not discovered and she also felt incomprehensible. “The specific early diagnosis would certainly have helped my parents as well, so that they could show more understanding. Because of course it is not easy for parents to have a child break almost every day.”
Louisa has been undergoing psychotherapy on an outpatient basis since her diagnosis. The main starting point is to rebuild the self-esteem of those affected, to inform them that they can stand on their own so that they also can better control themselves as a result. Louisa’s tantrums gradually diminished, “but there’s still a lot going on inside of me,” she says.
“I was always considered hard on everyone, even though I also struggled with myself. It still bothered me today. No one could understand what was going on inside me,” says Louisa. “The fact that I had no whims are complete is of course a relief. . But I still feel very emotional inside me, and that often makes me sad and unconscious. ”
Children with impaired emotional regulation experience their aggression as the loss of control they experience because it harms others. Often the result is depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Louisa didn’t want to hurt others either, but she couldn’t do anything about it. “Even when I learned my parents love me anyway, I often had a feeling that they would be better off without me because I made life difficult for them.”
So the diagnosis was a relief: “I finally felt understood. She explains for the first time how I feel about it and how I look to the outside world. The goal now is to be completely happy again. Louisa is on her way there.
* Name changed by the editor