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Are you emotionally dysregulated – a brief test

Are you emotionally dysregulated?

In our San Francisco DBT therapy practice, we often see clients who wonder if DBT is right for them.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is effective for a range of problems, but works particularly well for people who struggle with emotional dysregulation.

 

What is emotional dysregulation?

Emotional dysregulation doesn’t just mean that you experience your emotions as out of control.

It can also manifest as confusion, judgment or embarrassment about your emotions. Your changing moods may interfere with your ability to follow through on things. Or it may be hard to figure out ways to soothe yourself when something is bothering you.

 

Are you emotionally dysregulated?

Here is a brief test that can help you assess where you fall on the emotional dysregulation scale.

This test is not meant to diagnose, but rather to help point you in the right direction to find the therapy that is most effective for your concerns.

 

Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale

Indicate how often the following 36 statements apply to you by rating each statement on the following scale:

  •   1 – Almost never
  •   2 – Sometimes
  •   3– About half the time
  •   4 – Most of the time
  •   5 – Almost always

 

1. I am clear about my feelings

2. I pay attention to how I feel

3. I experience my emotions as overwhelming and out of control

4. I have no idea how I am feeling

5. I have difficulty making sense out of my feelings

6. I am attentive to my feelings

7. I know exactly how I am feeling

8. I care about what I am feeling

9. I am confused about how I feel

10. When I’m upset, I acknowledge my emotions

11. When I’m upset, I become angry with myself for feeling that way

12. When I’m upset, I become embarrassed for feeling that way

13. When I’m upset, I have difficulty getting work done

14. When I’m upset, I become out of control

15. When I’m upset, I believe that I will remain that way for a long time

16. When I’m upset, I believe that I’ll end up feeling very depressed

17. When I’m upset, I believe that my feelings are valid and important

18. When I’m upset, I have difficulty focusing on other things

19. When I’m upset, I feel out of control

20. When I’m upset, I can still get things done

21. When I’m upset, I feel ashamed with myself for feeling that way

22. When I’m upset, I know that I can find a way to eventually feel better

23. When I’m upset, I feel like I am weak

24. When I’m upset, I feel like I can remain in control of my behaviors

25. When I’m upset, I feel guilty for feeling that way

26. When I’m upset, I have difficulty concentrating

27. When I’m upset, I have difficulty controlling my behaviors

28. When I’m upset, I believe that there is nothing I can do to make myself feel better

29. When I’m upset, I become irritated with myself for feeling that way

30. When I’m upset, I start to feel very bad about myself

31. When I’m upset, I believe that wallowing is all I can do

32. When I’m upset, I lose control over my behaviors

33. When I’m upset, I have difficulty thinking about anything else

34. When I’m upset, I take time to figure out what I’m really feeling

35. When I’m upset, it takes me a long time to feel better

36. When I’m upset, my emotions feel overwhelming

 

Reverse-scored questions

For items numbered 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 17, 20, 22, 24 and 34:
reverse the number you put down, making a 1 score as a 5, a 2 score as a 4 and vice versa.
If you answered a 3 to any of the reverse-scored items, don’t make any changes.

After you account for the reverse-scored questions, add up the numbers for all 36 items to arrive at your final score.

A higher number suggests greater difficulty with emotion regulation.

This test is called the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS)* which is one tool to see if you might benefit from DBT. Click here to read the abstract of the study.

The test was designed by researchers to assess key areas of emotional dysregulation. For more information on the study and its authors: http://www.nctsn.org/content/difficulties-emotion-regulation-scale

Are you emotionally dysregulated?

Call (415) 310-5142 for a free phone consultation to see how our therapists can help you. We offer individual and group Dialectical Behavior Therapy and our offices are located in the Castro district of San Francisco.

 

 

* Gratz, K.L. & Roemer, E. Multidimensional Assessment of Emotion Regulation and Dysregulation: Development, Factor Structure, and Initial Validation of the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 26: 1, pp. 41-54.