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Mental Health Support - Anger

What is Anger

Anger is a perfectly normal human emotion and can even be considered a healthy emotion at times but un-controlled anger can lead to challenging behaviour patterns.  We all feel angry and upset at times but most people have an inner control to manage these feelings, anger can create anxiety and in some cases will lead to aggressive verbal or physical out bursts. Anger can reduce our inhibitions and make us act completely inappropriately and become a destructive force within a working or social environment.

Types of anger disorders: People who have troubles controlling anger or who experience anger outside a normal emotional scope can have many different types of anger disorders. Here are some forms of anger:

  • Passive anger: People who have passive anger may not know that they are angry. When you have passive anger, then your emotions may be displayed as meanness, apathy or sarcasm. You might perform poorly in social situations or professional situations, alienating family and friends or participate in self – defeating behaviors such as skipping work or school. To outsiders, it will look like you are intentionally sabotaging yourself even you are not able to explain or realize your actions. It can be hard to recognize this type of anger because it can be repressed.

  • Chronic anger: This is a prolonged type of anger. It can impact your immune system and it can lead to mental disorders.

  • Volatile anger: This type of anger is sometimes involving spontaneous bouts of violent or excessive anger.

  • Judgmental anger: This type of anger is directed toward others and it may come with feelings of resentment.

  • Self – inflicted anger: This type of anger is directed toward the self and it can be caused by feelings of guilt.

  • Overwhelmed anger: This type of anger is caused by life demands that are too much for some individual to cope with.

  • Aggressive anger: People who suffer from aggressive anger are usually aware of their emotions. But these people do not always understand the true roots of their lives. There are some cases in which they redirect violent anger outbursts to scapegoats because it is very difficult for them to deal with the problems in their life. This type of anger can often manifest as retaliatory or volatile agent and in many cases it can result in physical damages to people and property. You should manage your anger symptoms and you have to learn to recognize the triggers of it because in this way you can positively deal with the aggressive anger.

Treatment 

Don't 

  • do not try to do everything at once; set small targets you can easily achieve

  • do not focus on things you cannot change. Focus your time and energy on helping yourself feel better

  • try not to tell yourself that you're alone – most people feel angry sometimes and support is available

  • try not to use alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or drugs to relieve anger – these can all contribute to poor mental healt

Signs & Symptoms 
  • Physical symptoms of anger – related problems: Anger is a strong emotion which leads to physical changes in our bodies. Here are some physical symptoms which are related to anger:

  • Fatigue

  • Pressure in the head or sinus cavities

  • Headaches

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Heart palpitations or tightening of the chest

  • Tingling

  • Emotional symptoms of anger – related problems: Many people think that emotional symptoms are just limited to anger but there are many emotional states which can indicate that you cannot deal with the anger in a healthy and positive fashion. Possible emotional symptoms are anxiety, rage and constant irritability. If you fantasize about hurting yourself or others, have trouble managing or organizing your thoughts or you feel overwhelmed, then you may be experiencing an anger disorder or another problem. You should not let your emotions to take control over your life. You need to visit your doctor as soon as possible.

Self - Help 
  • Try a book or online course

  • Exercise regularly

  • Learn to relax

  • Avoid caffeine

  • Avoid smoking and drinking

Support Groups 

Support groups can give you advice on how to manage your anxiety.

They're also a good way to meet other people with similar experiences.

Examples of support groups you may find useful include:

Support groups can often arrange face-to-face meetings, where you can talk about your difficulties and problems with other people.

Many support groups also provide support and guidance over the phone or in writing.

Ask your GP about local support groups for anxiety in your area, or search online for mental health information and support services near you.

Causes of anger

There are many different causes of anger and it's different for everyone.

Some common things that make people feel angry include:

  • being treated unfairly and feeling powerless to do anything about it

  • feeling threatened or attacked

  • other people not respecting your authority, feelings or property

  • being interrupted when you're trying to achieve a goal

How you react to anger can depend on lots of things, including:

  • the situation you're in at the moment – if you're dealing with lots of problems or stress, you may find it harder to control your anger

  • your family history – you may have learned unhelpful ways of dealing with anger from the adults around you when you were a child

  • events in your past – people who experience traumatic, frightening or stressful events sometimes develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which can lead to angry outbursts

  • substances such as drugs and alcohol – which make some people act more aggressively than usual

Some of the things that make you angry may not bother other people at all.

You might find it hard to explain why you feel this way but talking to someone could help you find a solution.

Find out about the 5 steps to mental wellbeing.

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Anger management programmes

A typical anger management programme may involve 1-to-1 counselling and working in a small group.

A programme may be a 1-day or weekend course, or over a couple of months.

The structure of the programme depends on who provides it, but most programmes include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), as well as counselling.

There are also private courses and therapists who can help with anger issues. Make sure any therapist you see is registered with a professional organisation, such as the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy.

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Domestic Violence 

If uncontrolled anger leads to domestic violence and abuse (violence or threatening behaviour within a relationship), there are places that offer help and support.

You can contact organisations such as:

Find out more about getting help for domestic violence and abuse.

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