ANGER ISSUES

WHAT ARE ANGER ISSUES?

Anger is a normal human emotion that you feel under many different circumstances. Yet, in some cases, this perfectly healthy emotion can become excessive and may be a symptom of more complex issues. If the anger or aggressive behaviour interferes with our lives or causes harm to others, then these are considered anger issues.

We all know what it is like to feel angry, but when this evolves into an anger disorder, it is typically by its cause and symptoms. The different types of anger issues:

  • Chronic anger – prolonged and can impact the immune system and can cause other mental health disorders
  • Passive-aggressive anger – comes across in indirect ways, can be difficult to identify
  • Overwhelmed anger – caused by life demands that are too much for the individual to cope with
  • Self-inflicted anger – directed towards the self and may be caused by feelings of guilt
  • Judgemental anger – directed towards others and may come with feelings of resentment
  • Volatile anger – sometimes involves spontaneous bouts of excessive or violent anger
  • Obsessive anger – can include paranoid fears, jealousy, envy as well as fears of betrayal, rejection or humiliation. Angry obsessions can destroy self-worth and emotional security.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

The symptoms of anger can include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Feeling irritable 
  • Physical aggression 
  • Muscle tension 
  • Being unable to relax

You may have these symptoms when you are suffering from anger issues: 

  • The anger is too intense or powerful. 
  • It lasts too long or occurs too often.
  • You feel out of control when you are angry.
  • The response is disproportionate to the circumstances.
  • Your anger arises in inappropriate situations.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF ANGER ISSUES?

Anger issues can by learnt behaviours from our childhood. Watching the adults as we grow up being excessively angry may increase our chances of developing anger problems. On the flip side, if we were expressing no emotions growing up, this would make it harder for us to respond to anger in a healthy way.

There may also be situations that trigger anger issues. These events usually create feelings of stress and powerlessness. These events can include abuse, crime, grief or bereavement but can also be a symptom of a mental health problem.

HOW COMMON ARE ANGER ISSUES?

  • 12% of people say they have trouble controlling their anger
  • 32% of people said they also have a friend or family member who has difficulty controlling their anger.
  • 20% of people say they have ended a relationship or friendship because how the other person behaved when they were angry

HOW CAN I MANAGE MY ANGER?

  • Think about the bodily sensations you experience before you get angry, for example, sweaty palms or heat in your face. This helps you to recognise the physical cues of your anger and notice when they start in future scenarios and help you consider how you want to respond.
  • Learn techniques to calm yourself down when you feel yourself getting angry, this could include deep breathing, counting or relaxing the muscles in your body one at a time. 
  • Regularly partake in activities that relax you such as exercise, meditation, yoga or listening to music. Providing that the activity is not harming yourself or others focus on doing it regularly to release your stress and boost energy

Sometimes these strategies are not enough to help get control of your anger. In this case, you may wish to seek professional support.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TREATING ANGER ISSUES?

  • Recognise the situations or triggers that make you angry.
  • Learn methods to calm yourself down before you get angry.
  • Discuss and identify the underlying causes of your anger issues.
  • Develop skills on how to deal with your emotions healthily and resolve conflicts.

METHODS OF TREATING ANGER ISSUES

WHERE TO GO FOR HELP?

Arrange a GP appointment, they can signpost you to different mental health services within the NHS. Some charities can support you, such as Local Mind anger management courses or The British Association of Anger Management. 

HOW CAN SELECT PSYCHOLOGY HELP?

Select Psychology offers a wide of therapies to help manage anger and gives you the tools to cope and understand your emotions. We are a private mental health service with highly trained therapists and no waiting lists. 

To address anger issues this is how the therapy would work:

Step 1 – Get in touch:  The first step is recognising you have an issue and seeking help – book a Free 15 minute telephone consultation and start the process by providing a space and time to share your needs with us.

Step 2 – Telephone Consultation: You will be heard and understood through a confidential phone conversation. Often called the ‘triage’ this is where you can share more about your needs ane we can advise on therapy pathways and provide initial guidance where possible. 

Step 3 – Appointment Offer: We will match your needs with the best fit practitioner for your therapy pathway and offer you an appointment within two weeks. 

Step 4 – Initial Assessment: Before you begin a course of therapy, your therapist will need to conduct an assessment in order agree a course of therapy with you that will best help you and address your goals. This is still part of the therapeutic process and will provide you with a better understanding of your difficulties and how you may start to approach them.

Step 5 – Your Therapy: Following on from your assessment, you will move onto therapy. Appointments are 50 minutes. These can be anything from weekly to monthly, depending on your individual circumstances. 

Step 6 – Feeling Better: As you start to improve, you can agree on changes to the frequency of sessions as required. Ultimately, there will be a time when both you and your therapist agree that you no longer need to continue in active therapy.

FAQ

1. What is the cause of anger?

Anger is usually an emotion in reaction to another feeling such as fear, pain or sadness. Anger is linked to our instinctive fight or flight response and a very normal emotion to experience, but if it is experienced or managed in an extreme way, it can become a problem.

2. Are we born with anger?

We all possess the ability to get angry, but anger issues are developed through life, linking to upbringing or life events.

3. How do I stop getting angry?

One exercise that may help is to write down all the things that are making you angry and why. Every time you feel anger bubbling read what you wrote and make a note of any patterns emerging. Having a better understanding of your anger may help you to control it better.

4. Is anger a sign of stress?

You may have anger issues which are driven by anxiety or stress, and especially when stress builds up, it can burst out as anger. Consider the things that make you stressed, do they also make you angry? Reflect on this and keep questioning your emotions and how they link together.

5. Can anger be controlled?

You cannot always control the circumstances you are in or how it makes you feel, but you can control how you respond. It can be very challenging to learn how to manage your response, which is why professional intervention could be the best way to learn and regain control. 

USEFUL LINKS

How To Control Your Anger – NHS

British Association of anger management

Local Mind 

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