In A Better You

What Is an Outburst?


An outburst is an intense release of emotions. The dictionary tries to define outburst by describing it as a volcanic eruption, an outbreak or a strong release. An outburst can occur in various forms, and it can have a multitude of causes. What qualifies an emotional release as an outburst is society’s definition of appropriate behavior in a specific environment. For example, society may deem angry or sad emotional outbursts as inappropriate in a public establishment. No legislation states that people cannot express their emotions within reason, but modern society is one that views emotional expression as a weakness or peculiarity.

Examples of Emotional Outbursts

As previously stated, emotional outbursts can take on a variety of forms. The following are some of the most common types of emotional outbursts and the reasons that some of them may occur:

A Sad/Happy and Teary Emotional Outburst

A sad emotional outburst is an emotional release that shows extreme pain and tears. A person who is having a sad emotional outburst may cry spontaneously in the middle of a work shift or at a department store. A depressed person may cry in front of a convenience store clerk or in the middle of a movie theater. A wide variety of reasons may exist for such an emotional outburst. The person may have experienced a relationship breakup, a death in the family, a job loss or another unbearable event.

A teary emotional outburst can occur because of a positive life event, as well. Such an emotional outburst can occur in a church after a baptism or in the hospital after the birth of a child, as well. Some people have outbursts when they graduate from college or when they end an addictive or abusive cycle. The feeling of accomplishment may be so overwhelming for those people that they cry in front of other people.

Anger Outbursts

Anger outbursts are otherwise known as rants and raves. Such outbursts may not involve physical violence, but they may involve yelling, screaming and using profanity. Anger outbursts can occur in people who do not have well-developed coping skills for stress. Such people may become enraged when something does not go their way or when they face difficult challenges. Anger outbursts are common in people with certain mental illnesses, but they can occur in any person when stress gets the best of him or her.

Anger outbursts usually stem from a sense of lost control. The angry person cannot control the uncomfortable environmental situation or circumstance. Therefore, he or she tries to establish control and self-comfort by lashing out at another person. Some people perform anger outbursts by themselves in their private homes or vehicles. They may scream inside of their pillows or rave inside of their cars. Such individuals need to obtain appropriate anger management skills. Some techniques that people can use to avoid an angry outburst are deep breathing and meditation. Positive thinking has a high level of effectiveness, as well. Additionally, taking the time to pause before reacting is beneficial to such people.

Violent Emotional Outbursts

A violent emotional outburst is the most severe type of outburst. A violent outburst may occur if an angry wife or angry husband has a bad day. The difference between an anger outburst and a violent outburst is a physical connection. A violent outburst usually involves one person hitting another person. The violent individual may also strangle, kick, pinch, trip or mush the other person.

Violent outbursts can involve indirect physical contact, as well. Indirect physical contact occurs when a person throws an object at another person. The object could be something small like a shoe or something large like a table or television. A third type of violent outburst is the kind in which the person smashes furniture or other household items, but he or she does not aim them at another person. The person could argue that he or she has the right to smash or destroy personal items. However, such actions could bother people who are in the vicinity.

The impact that a violent outburst has on other people is the same no matter what type it is. A violent outburst causes emotional upset and physical pain in some cases. Violent outbursts are not tolerated under any umbrella of society. They are not supposed to occur inside or outside of people’s homes. Violent outbursts that occur inside of people’s homes are considered acts of domestic violence. A person who falls victim to domestic violence has the right to contact the authorities in his or her area. The authorities can charge the offender with assault or battery. Furthermore, the violent party may receive a restraining order, and he or she will have to stay away from the victim. People who have frequent violent outbursts should seek help from a therapist or counselor. Cognitive behavioral therapy could help a violent person to change his or her ways.

Hysterical Emotional Outbursts

Hysterical emotional outbursts are generally innocent, and they sometimes make people laugh. A hysterical emotional outburst is one in which the person engages in uncontrollable bouts of laughter. Many situations and circumstances can cause a bout of uncontrollable laughter. A mental disorder that changes the person’s brain chemicals could cause the outburst. Amazingly good news can cause an emotional outburst, as well. A person could have a hysterical outburst after hearing an amusing joke. The act of laughter could release hormones that could make the person laugh harder.

While there is little harm in hysterical emotional outbursts, they still embarrass some people. Hysterical laughter can be part of a neurological disorder, which would immediately stop it from being funny. Some specialists refer to this type of laughter as the Psedubulbar Affect.

Society’s Views on Emotional Outbursts

Society has poor views on emotional outbursts, especially when men display them. Many people view women as emotional creatures who are highly likely to engage in crying outbursts and anger outbursts. They accept these emotional outbursts only during the five-day hormonal excuse window. Society often views men who cry in public as weak and pathetic. Society suspects men to have more violent and anger outbursts than women do, as well. The truth is that every person in the world has had an emotional outburst at one time in his or her life. Emotional releases can help people to stay healthy inside. Bottling up emotions can cause a wealth of problems such as stomach ulcers, misplaced anger, depression, anxiety and more.

Disorders That Include Poor Emotional Regulation

Some people who have frequent outbursts have legitimate mental illnesses that cause such outbursts. An example of some illnesses that involve poor mood regulation are bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizoaffective disorder. A person with a personality disorder such as borderline personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder may have difficulty regulating emotions, as well. Some of the people with these disorders never learned how to handle challenges because their parents raised them in a dysfunctional environment. Some of the people have chemical imbalances that cause shifts in their moods. Such people may not have the skills to cope with the abrupt changes that occur.

Help for Emotional Regulation and Management

Various types of help are available for emotional regulation. Medications such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and antidepressants can help individuals who have biological mood disorders. Various therapies can help people to “deal” with their discomfort in a constructive fashion. Talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, art therapy and music therapy are some examples of helpful therapies. A person may want take an anger management class, as well. Anger management classes can give people the tools they need to avoid anger outbursts and violent outbursts.

Self-help books are available online through various mediums. Interested parties can purchase self-help books that talented authors provide. Self-help books are an amazing alternative to spending $100 an hour on therapy. Licensed therapy is a valid treatment selection, but not everyone has the financial means or the insurance to cover it.

Meditation is a process that a person can learn from online sources, as well. A person can find MP3s and hypnosis files online for immediate download. The files can calm a person who is stressed, angry, sad or otherwise imbalanced. Emotional outbursts are manageable, but they are not always bad when they occur. A good and long emotional release is sometimes necessary for overall mental health.

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