Emotional disturbance is a catchall term, frequently used in diagnosing children. The phrase is commonly used to describe anxiety, bipolar, eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsiveness. Emotional disturbance can take shape as inappropriate behavior, excessive immaturity, or learning difficulties.

Symptoms of Emotional Disturbance

• depression
• anxiety
• irritability
• irregular sleep patterns
• aggression
• disregard to consequence
• disregard to others’ boundaries


Emotional disturbance can be hereditary, or it could be due to environmental or social factors such as an unstable household or school. Because all of these play a role in emotional development, the source of emotional disturbance can be tricky to locate.


Treatment for emotional disturbance minimizes stress and cultivate positive or appropriate response to social situations. Treatment could include medication and therapy. A therapist can guide a client’s perceptions away from negativity, establishing self-affirming habits to help the client succeed.

We Can Help

Open Path’s therapists offer beneficial services that encourage insight, self-reflection, and healthy coping mechanisms. Our therapists reinforce positive emotions, placing emphasis on positive behaviors and the connection these behaviors have with feelings.

Interested in seeing one of our therapists for an affordable rate? Start your search here.