Pressure, Over-Checking and Depletion
“She’s such a thoughtful girl”… this was the comment you often heard other parents, and even friends, say of Sarah. Your daughter was caring that was true; but it was more than kindness. She had an attentiveness, an alertness to her which meant that she was always in the right place at the right time. She didn’t put a foot wrong, not because she was always trying to please others, but because her mind had looked down the road, planned the route, and so didn’t hit the obstacles others did whether in her work or friendship. That was why it was such a surprise when, totally out of the blue last year, she had started to self-harm. Was it possible that she had been putting herself under such pressure it all became too much?
Children who sustain effortful self-regulation, called over-regulating, have increased risks of a sudden depletion: signs of over-checking, increased anxiety levels, inappropriate levels of responsibility, becoming over-burdened can be signs of over-regulating. This can lead to unhealthy deflective outlets and self-soothing, physical indicators of strain and sudden depletion and dysregulation.
The articles on this page will guide parents how to put in place signposts at home so that children developing over-regulating patterns can learn to steer more healthily.