See all publications

Emotional regulation and Impulsivity

Emotions control our behaviors. Difficulty regulating emotions and impulses, therefore, affects our behaviors. Difficulty regulating emotions and impulses is common in various mental disorders. Strong negative emotions can lead to behaviors that are intended to deal with the feeling. However, it may be self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse, self-starvation, binge-eating, self-harm or suicidal acts.

Difficulty with emotion regulation concerns the ability to handle strong emotions such as being sad or angry, and it is common in patients with psychiatric diagnoses such as borderline personality disorder. The difficulty also concerns the ability to regulate mood states that characterize individual experiences of the world over longer time periods. This difficulty is seen, for example, in bipolar disorder and depression where the patient suffers from longer periods of depression or mania.

The ability to regulate emotions also requires cognitive abilities. Self-control functions such as impulse control are located in the brain's frontal lobes. Patient with neuropsychiatric disabilities such as ADHD and autism spectrum disorders have altered function in their frontal lobes. These patientsoften have difficulties regulating emotions.

Our research work is based on the stress-vulnerability model. This is an interactive model in which genes and environment interact in the development of mental illness. We study difficulties with emotional and impulse control in psychiatric patients. Is there a common vulnerability in patients with similar symptoms? How do life events affect which symptoms develop? We also work with developing methods in psychiatry, both methods for treatment and assessment. How are problems identified, diagnosed, treated, and how are the treatments evaluated?

Group members:

Mia Ramklint
Adriana Ramirez
Lisa Ekselius
Janet Cunningham
Martina Wolf
Ioannis Kouros
Maria Holstad Högberg
Niklas Hörberg
Dan Edvinsson
Charlotta Odelius
Martina Hedman
Cathrine Axfors
Stefan Nasir
Hanna Spangenberg