I found a way to cope with emotional overreaction in schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. I feel oversized emotions so I emotionally overreact to almost everything. Unfortunately, my big emotions are usually negative—anxious, sad, helpless. Here are some examples of times I experienced big emotions and overreacted. I hope it helps to share how I cope with this trait.
Emotional Overreaction Examples
Snow has been pounding Chicago all winter. My husband Tom had to drive to work on a day when the forecast predicted a huge, blinding snowstorm. The anxiety that accompanies my schizoaffective disorder swung into full-blown terror. I was convinced Tom would die. I didn’t go on Facebook the night before because of people posting about the snow event in the forecast, which is a big deal for me because I’m addicted to Facebook. I begged Tom to text me the minute he got to work the next morning. He did—noting he was perfectly safe and sound. He said the drive to work that day wasn’t that bad.
Chicago is a city that expects snowstorms and is prepared for them. Everyone had told me he’d be fine. I had called my mom six times for reassurance, talked to my dad, and texted one of my good friends. That was in addition to Tom’s continued assurances that he’d be fine. When Tom got home from work that snowy Friday night, I happily gave him permission to say, “I told you so.”
Actually, that incident has helped me with my emotional overreaction. Today, when I was walking to my parents’ house, a chunk of snow fell in my purse. I didn’t know what to do—my checkbook and other things I prefer to stay dry are all in there. My dad told me to take everything out of the purse and lay it on a towel to dry. Even though I still worried about it all through breakfast, I reminded myself it wasn’t as scary as when I thought Tom was going to die in the snowstorm. But if someone hadn’t been there to manage the purse dry-out, I may have had a schizoaffective meltdown. I’ve reeled into meltdowns over lesser things.
Emotional Overreaction Coping Tip
It’s hard to say how I cope with this schizoaffective trait because I’ve worried myself into emotional overreactions all my life—long before I experienced my first psychotic episode. As a child, even some relatives would tell me that I was “too sensitive.”
Lately, I’ve been utilizing an anxiety coping skill I learned online—I ask myself if what I’m upset about will matter in five years. I’m not trying to justify my emotional overreaction to the snowstorm but had Tom died, that would matter in five years. The snow in my purse didn’t matter even an hour later. Everything dried. And besides, I have more checks.