Do I Need Treatment for My Anger Problem?
Anger is a powerful emotion that has its place in life, but not in everyday life. If angry emotions are the rule, not the exception in your daily life, you may need treatment for an anger problem. Anger is an emotion that ranges from irritation and irritability to fury and aggression. Help is available to help you learn the differences between healthy and harmful anger responses.
Types of Anger
The medical community has identified various types of anger that require treatment including chronic anger, self-inflicted anger, volatile anger, passive anger, and overwhelmed anger. These forms of anger are often caused by some triggers in the person’s environment. Financial problems, work stress, abuse, or poor relationships may contribute to the level of anger a person experiences. When anger becomes chronic or leads to violence, it certainly requires treatment. However, too often, people with anger disorders dismiss their need for help coping with the anger they feel. Without treatment, anger disorders might lead to reduced well-being, problematic relationships, health issues, and even addiction.
What Are Anger Disorders?
Mental health experts define anger disorders as the “pathologically aggressive, violent, or self-destructive behaviors symptomatic of and driven by an underlying and chronically repressed anger or rage,” according to Psychology Today. If you experience an anger disorder, you are not alone.
Anger disorders do not typically happen overnight. Instead, a person experiences chronic anger that he or she does not adequately deal with. The result is like a geyser: steam builds up underneath over time, and a person eventually blows up with anger. The sooner a person recognizes the effects of chronic anger, the sooner he or she can obtain treatment to help.
Signs A Person May Have an Anger Disorder
Identifying an anger disorder or that anger has taken over your life or the life of a loved one is important. Symptoms that a person may have an anger problem and need help include:
- Feeling constantly frustrated and angry more often than not
- Other people have said you have a temper
- You avoid meeting people or going places because you’re afraid you will get angry
- You have difficulty getting along with co-workers or others you interact with
- You have engaged in physical violence due to your anger
- You have experienced legal difficulties due to your anger
If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you may need to seek treatment for an anger disorder. Physically, anger problems can manifest with increased blood pressure, chest tightening, headaches, fatigue, and muscle tension. Anger is associated with behavioral signs too. Violence, of course, may be fueled by anger, but people may also make poor decisions when feeling angry (like turning to drugs or alcohol) in order to find relief from their anger symptoms. When using drugs or alcohol turns to abuse, a full-blown addiction may be right around the corner. An anger problem combined with a substance addiction is a dual diagnosis that definitely needs specialized treatment.
Health Effects of Anger
Anger is more than just a harmful emotion; it’s also associated with causing adverse health effects. Anger has physical changes to the body, including rapid heart rate, rising blood pressure, and flushing of the body. These effects create a stress response in the body, causing the body to release hormones such as adrenaline and norepinephrine. Not only does this result in stress and inflammation in the body, it also can cause a person to engage in acts of violence, harming himself or herself or others.
How Can Anger Management Treatment Help?
If you have an anger problem, the anger will not go away until you learn how to channel it. When an individual enters treatment for an anger problem, a therapist will assess the nature of their anger in order to develop therapy recommendations. Many sufferers will benefit from medication; however, therapists will help sufferers communicate more directly, find coping strategies for dealing with stressful situations or people, uncover resolution for problems, and learn how to control anger response. Learning to cope with anger and change behaviors is a journey best made with therapy.
If you experience intense anger on a regular basis, feel irritable all the time, or have lashed out violently because of anger, you should speak with an anger management therapist about how treatment can help you. Additionally, if you find that you abuse drugs or alcohol when angry, you may be suffering from co-existing disorders. Treatment can help you manage these problems with real-world solutions that will benefit your life and ultimately enhance your well-being.
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- Men and Mental Health: Anger Management
- How Fear and Trauma Contribute to Anger