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The Overwhelm that Overwhelms: Understanding Its Power and Spread

The Overwhelm that Overwhelms:  Understanding Its Power and Spread


The Overwhelm that Overwhelms: Understanding Its

Power and Spread


Emotional overwhelm can happen to anyone.  If you are a people pleaser, you may allow others to interfere with your life.  If you’re introverted and sensitive, you may have the tendency to absorb the pain of the people you care for or love.  If you are the ambitious, go-getter type, you could be living your life as if in “the fast lane.”  And even if you consider yourself to be “easy going,” changes can pile up faster than you can attend to them.  For these reasons, your life may become hurried, tense, and nerve-wracking; which can lead to overwhelm.

Emotional overwhelm is difficult to resolve.”  This is because emotions are powerful and difficult to predict.   According to Good Therapy, overwhelm is “a state of being beset by intense emotions that can often affect a person’s ability to think and act rationally or perform in an efficient and functional manner.”  Thus, in order to address overwhelm, understanding is important.  Dealing with the dominance of your emotions on your own, however, can seem impossible. The next best thing is to develop a keen awareness of your responses to successfully curb the power of overwhelm.  This is how a licensed health professional can help.


Why Do You Get Overwhelmed?

There are many reasons why you can be overwhelmed.  There are also many causes for it.  Understandably, negative events like conflicts with people you care for, financial troubles, sickness or accidents in the family, troubling parenting issues, and other challenges, can weaken you.  The impact of life events and transitions, even the positive ones – marriage, having a baby, a job promotion, etc. – can also cause added pressure.  It can also be an extension of anxiety, depression, or another emotional condition.

What may overwhelm you and the degree to which you are overwhelmed may not necessarily be the same as other people you know.  This is because everyone has different threshold levels when it comes to pain, tolerance, and innate adjustment abilities.  Regardless of how resilient you are, though, when challenges come in multiples and in quick succession (“when it rains, it pours”), it is difficult not to be overwhelmed and fully understand why.

Emotional ups and downs and emotional overload lead to overwhelm; especially when you are faced with multiple challenges.  This is because you are human.  While you can’t always dictate how you may feel, you can choose how to respond to an event.  Psychology Today says, “You can’t control how you feel; the only thing you can control is how you respond to your feelings.”  Have you heard of the wisdom “go with the flow?”   It can be a sensible, “mind-over-matter” kind of defense to protect yourself from being overpowered by your feelings. 


Are You Overwhelmed?

Overwhelm has the effect of “shutting down” people.   You may become less talkative in order to focus more on the multiple challenges at hand, in an attempt to increase your productivity.  While restraining your emotions, you may be inclined not to verbalize your difficulties and feelings. The signs that you are overwhelmed can, therefore, be indicated by your behavior.

Multiple challenges, whether positive or negative, may weaken your natural abilities to adjust.  If these have been going on as normal occurrences in your life, you may have not noticed that you have become overwhelmed.  Also, you may be slipping into overwhelm if you have been too engrossed resolving issues, satisfying people’s expectations, or doing whatever you feel necessary to stay on top of things.

If you are beset with excessive feelings to the extent that your everyday functioning is affected, it could be emotional overwhelm.  You will most likely be engulfed by too many undesirable emotions, so you feel unhappy, anxious, panicky, stressed, or helpless.  You can also feel physically unwell, irritable, withdrawn, tired, and not quite yourself.  When behavioral changes become too glaring to ignore, pay attention – act on them without delay.


Dealing with the Power and Spread of Overwhelm

Overwhelm can impact your life in ways you may not visualize.  It can intrude upon or damage your education efforts, job, career, and daily responsibilities; wasting precious time and even years of hard work.  It can ruin your most cherished relationships that give you the momentum to function normally. It can even complicate your physical health, lowering your immunity and allowing other medical conditions to arise.  Before you let any of these impact your life and health, address and resolve your feelings of overwhelm.

Facing your emotions “head on” can be daunting.  With a professional therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC, though, you can find the peace you need and deserve.  Counseling can show you where the overwhelm is coming from, and stop it from overpowering you or disabling your ability to adjust.  Counseling can be a logical approach to assess overwhelm – your life events, transitions or challenges; enabling you to gain an improved perspective on the circumstances that led to your current emotional state.  You can do something about your concerns, prioritize them according to their importance in your life, and above all, prevent the recurrence of overwhelm.

Resolving the power your emotions have over you can sometimes seem too difficult and arresting the power of overwhelm in your life may sound unlikely, but it is possible.  It’s time to find the resolution to the overwhelm in your life with an independent therapist contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC.  Explore and address your emotional overwhelm and enjoy life once more.  Call text, or email CCS today to make an appointment!


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Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, Hoke County, Chatham County

Areas: Pinehurst NC, West End NC, Taylortown NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Jackson Springs NC, Foxfire NC, Candor NC, Norman NC, Ellerbe NC, Rockingham NC

Zip Codes: 27281, 27376, 28315, 28347, 28350, 28373, 28374, 28387, 28388, 28394

Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
Insurance: BCBSTricare Prime/Select, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Robin Caswell, MSW, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 5+), Individuals, Adults, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Loss, ADHD, ODD, Trauma/PTSD, LGBTQ, Self-Harm, Military Family Life, Mood Disorders, OCD, Phobias
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

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Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

45 Dowd Circle Suite 5
PinehurstNC 28374

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PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311