Emotional intelligence can be described as a set of interrelated abilities concerning one’s own emotions as well as emotions in others. Four dimensions can be distinguished: a) perceiving emotions, b) using emotions to facilitate thoughts, c) -understanding emotional information and d) regulating emotions.
But in this article, I will focus on emotional abilities in patients with major depressive disorder, substance abuse disorder, and borderline personality disorder. In all of those disorders, emotional problems apparently play a major role in an individual’s emotional ability. At the end of this exposé, I will proffer timely advices that will preserve the reader’s emotional intelligence even while dealing with serious mental health conditions. Don’t forget, that mental health and substance use disorders affect 13% of the world’s population today. So, watch over your health.
Depression is a mood disorder. A patient who has problems experiencing positive feelings and pleasure often shows a low level of emotional intelligence.
They usually score lower on understanding emotions. It seems that depressed patients are characterized by reduced sensitivity to changing emotional contexts.
This matches the fact that their information processing is usually negatively biased or one-sided. Depressed patients also tend to be less skilled with respect to using emotions to facilitate thoughts.
This is in accordance with the prototypical symptom that depressed people attend especially to negative emotions. Although persons with depression are not generally worse at perceiving emotions; they even seem to be overly sensitive to positive ones, and they always suffer from difficulties in managing negative emotions.
Away from depression, emotional abilities in patients with substance abuse disorder can be very terrible. Substances like alcohol, cannabis, or nicotine when abused, can result in neurochemical reactions, which affect memory, learning, and impulse controls. Substance abuse leads to serious problems and instability.
Now, we pass the baton to borderline personality disorder. The core symptom of persons with a borderline personality disorder is frequent mood swings, unstable relationships, and self-destructive tendencies. Patients may also display signs of impulsivity.
Another particular feature is the ability to identify negative and positive emotions very quickly. Because of their high sensitivity to emotional expressions, borderline personality disorder patients can detect even subtle expressions of emotions.
Like the depressed sample, these patients achieve low overall emotional intelligence scores. They are less skilled at understanding emotional information.
Several symptoms of mental illness are related to emotional problems and patients with major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and substance abuse disorder have problems with emotions. Deceits in the ability to regulate emotions and to understand emotional information seem to be the most conspicuous characteristics in patients with mental health disorders.
For a way out, there is an urgent need for a tailored and specialized program to teach the structure and designs of emotional intelligence. You cannot understand how mental health affects your emotional intelligence except you learn exclusively about emotional intelligence.
Therapists, psychologists, relatives, and friends who understand symptoms of mental health conditions may help with coping with mental health issues, but you need the knowledge of emotional intelligence to know how to regulate emotions and to understand emotional information.
Global Youth Mental Health Awareness, GYMHA an International Organisation based in Australia is out with a step-by-step EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE COURSE OUTLINE. The course will help you with a better understanding of the concepts of self-awareness and self-management that leads to greater control of your actions and emotions and an overall positive impact on your personal and professional life.
The course comprises of eight modules that will facilitate the means to identify, understand and manage your emotions as well as others. Click the link below to enroll: