Emotions are totally normal, and it can be healthy to try and find some sort of release for them. We all need to let go sometimes and show the world…

4 Warning Signs That Someone Is Emotionally Unstable

4 Warning Signs That Someone Is Emotionally Unstable

Emotions are totally normal, and it can be healthy to try and find some sort of release for them. We all need to let go sometimes and show the world how we’re feeling. However, when someone is emotionally unstable, they allow their emotions to constantly take over their life. They struggle to mediate their feelings to take control of a given situation, and when this happens, chaos ensues. When someone is emotionally unstable, they can’t find their way to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sometimes it is really hard to control what we feel and we might start to think we’re emotionally unstable. However, there’s more to it than that. When someone is emotionally unstable, their imbalance effects their life constantly, not just on occasion. That’s why if someone is emotionally unstable, they need all the help they can get. But what happens when we are emotionally unstable and don’t have anyone to rely on? What are the challenges and symptoms we might face?  Being emotionally unstable is a big challenge at the best of times, so it is best we are aware of how it might affect a person in order to help them or ourselves. Here are some warning signs that someone is emotionally unstable, or even a friend or family member.

Unusual behaviour

Being overly suspicious or nervous is one sign that a person is emotionally unstable. Someone who doesn’t have a strong grip on reality will then act out because they don’t know how else to cope. If someone is emotionally unstable, they take everything they know and twist it until they’re left with suspicion and fear of something completely illogical and pointless.

Illogical thinking or exaggerated beliefs in things are unusual behaviour and signs of an emotionally unstable person. If a person is having illogical thoughts, they might be inclined to do rash things or say something they don’t mean. They will have their reasons behind everything they do, but their reasoning often doesn’t make sense to anyone, but themselves. This is a classic sign that someone is emotionally unstable.

Withdrawing and isolation

Both are signs, actually warning signs, of mental illness. Depression and anxiety often cause people to withdraw from their friends and family, finding solace in the times when they’re alone. While it might seem positive to give them some space with their thoughts, when an emotionally unstable person is alone, they’re much more likely to turn to unusual behaviours such as suspicion and illogical thinking. Left to their own devices, they will destroy themselves from the inside out.

Withdrawing from various activities is definitely a sign of an emotionally unstable person too. With emotional instability often comes depression, and those who suffer from the disorder often report an intense lack of interest in the things they once loved. If someone is emotionally unstable, this is all too common.

Mood changes are also common. A person who is emotionally unstable may suffer from bipolar like symptoms, experiencing extreme highs and then dipping to extreme lows. While these ‘highs’ might sound positive, they may also lead to violent tendencies and other extreme and unhelpful behaviours.


A person who is emotionally unstable may have impulsive behaviour. They’re more likely to follow their heart over their head and so they do things that seem to be in their interests at the time, but can do long term damage. Impulsivity is dangerous when someone is emotionally unstable because it gives them even less control when their emotions are already in turmoil. It means that they need someone to keep them reigned in at all times, making sure they don’t do themselves or anyone else harm.

This behaviour also leads to the unsafe use of drugs, alcohol, or could even include self-harm. While drugs and alcohol can be weaned off, self-harm is self-destructive enough to end a person’s life if it goes wrong, and a person with suicidal or harmful thoughts shouldn’t be left alone. A person with this problem should also get help from a medical or psychiatric professional immediately.

Unstable relationships

A person who is emotionally unstable is not able to have a healthy relationship. They will be either very insecure or completely detached, going from one extreme to the next. Constant texting or calling is very common for someone who feels insecure in the relationship as they’re trying to keep their partner under tight surveillance while they’re apart. Someone who is emotionally detached will constantly pull away from their partner, especially if the person they love is trying to get closer. This behaviour can get very destructive, so an emotionally unstable person may become more impulsive in order to salvage a relationship broken by their unreliable behaviours.

There are also less dangerous signs that the person is emotionally unstable. While some of these symptoms may be completely unrelated, it is just as important to look out for these as it is for others. These behaviours are often a catalyst to something worse whether it is emotional instability or a serious mental disorder. If you think these symptoms apply to you, it is important to try and get help as soon as possible. Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:

Sleepless nights

If sleepless nights are standard for you or your friend, it could be a sign that someone is emotionally unstable. While sleeplessness can be caused by a multitude of things, when your emotions are on a rollercoaster, it’s very hard to control your sleep pattern. Your stress level is so high and you can’t turn off your mind. Your mind is so overactive that you stay up all night thinking of all the reasons you can’t sleep and that can cause sleepless nights. If this symptom is particularly bad, you might have insomnia, and it’s best to seek the help of a doctor so that you can be given the best treatment possible to get you back on track.


Most of us lie sometimes, either to save face or to get ourselves out of a sticky situation Some people lie without noticing. But if you are lying frequently about bigger things, it is possible that you are emotionally unstable. Lying to loved ones in particular is a betrayal of their trust, and if you feel the need to do it constantly, it could be that your unstable emotions aren’t allowing you to see the harm you might cause. While lying is a part of everyday life, it is not advisable to follow the path as far as it goes – once you are in deep enough, it is almost impossible to get out again. It is best to come clean as soon as possible to save your reputation and get your friendships back on track.

Having trouble making decisions

Having trouble making decisions can actually be a sign that you are an emotionally unstable person. Decisions can be rough, but if you are constantly having trouble making them, it could be due to your emotional instability. When you have no control of how you’re feeling, it’s hard to judge how you want to react to a situation, and that can make decision making very difficult, especially if the choice is very significant. People can advise you how to act, but you might want to speak to some sort of counsellor to figure out some solutions if the going gets really tough.

A good mood all the time

There is nothing wrong with being in a good mood. But if your good moods are making you so hyped, that can be sign of emotional instability. These highs aren’t always positive and often the come down is worse than you expect. Also, these good moods can make you little nervous because you are asking why your mood is so good.

Eating habits are out of control

Eating a balanced and healthy diet is important, but it’s nice to have a treat every now and then. However, no one wants to feel like food has all the control. If eating habits are slightly out of control, it can be a good sign that something is off emotionally. If you feel like you want to constantly eat all the time, it can be your body’s attempt at a coping mechanism, and it’s often a way to fill a void you didn’t know you had. Alternatively, you may be inclined to stop eating entirely. These can both be signs of instability, but also of eating disorders, and it’s important to speak to a professional who can help you stabilise your eating habits.

You prefer to not be sober

Preferring the escape of alcohol or drugs to reality actually can be a sign that you are an emotionally unstable person. You are not ready to take on some responsibility, so you choose to get drunk instead. While this can be a coping mechanism for a short period of time, indulging in it for too long leads to addiction, and then you may suffer from alcoholism. If this is the case, seek help and rehab immediately.

Stress level is super high

A sign that someone is emotionally unstable is constant high stress levels. You just can’t relax. Your stress level is super high so it is really hard to relax or process important emotions. If you are stressed all the time, you can’t turn off your mind and your emotions will spiral out of control as well.

You’re tired

If someone is emotionally unstable, they may report a constant sense of lethargy. This isn’t laziness – it can actually be a depressive symptom if left unchecked. You can sleep all night, but the next day, you are tired like you didn’t sleep at all. It is more of a mental state than a physical one, but since it takes over your day to day life, it is vital that you speak to someone about it if it gets too much.

Bad relationships

All of your relationships are full of drama when you’re emotionally unstable. You seek out people who are as mentally chaotic as you are, and then you wonder why your emotions suffer for it. You won’t necessarily know that you’re dating someone toxic until later on, but it’s vital that you keep a close eye on the person you’re dating. While suspicion isn’t good in a relationship, it is always helpful to keep yourself guarded in order to protect your heart.

You can’t handle anything on your own

You have a feeling like you cannot be alone, so it might be a sign that you are an emotionally unstable person. It is natural to want to spend time with friends, but it is not natural if you are not capable of being alone. You feel like you need other people as a crutch, but the truth is, you’re strong enough alone. Even with all of these symptoms combined, you’re capable of much more than you realise.

by Think Aloud

Dylan Harper

Dylan is a 32-year-old surfer from California. He traveled the world, rode the waves and learned the universal concept of oneness. He is a vegan for over a decade and, literally, wouldn't hurt a fly. He was reunited with his twin soul in Greece, where they got married and settled... for now. Dylan is a staff writer for DreamcatcherReality.com and teaches surfing to children.

1 Comment
  1. 14 vs 4
    Not to be overly critical, but I’ve been all those things at one time or another.
    Scaring people into seeking professional help, when none is truly needed is like pointing and gasping at cars driving past you, trying to spook the occupants into thinking their car is broken.
    This author usually has insightfullness beyond his years, but this looks like something he rewrote so as to meet a deadline.

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