Anger management includes strategies that help you regulate your temper and stay calm in situations that trigger frustration. It’s a way to realize, on a deeper level, that frustration and anger are natural parts of life but things you need to use more constructively and efficiently.
Most healthy people occasionally feel anger. It allows people to process stressful events, and even smaller, daily issues. However, when someone has excessive rage, they may qualify for a diagnosis of anger disorder. Anger disorders are frequently associated with other untreated psychiatric disorders.
Is it Healthy Anger?
Anger is a natural part of life but when it comes to healthy vs. unhealthy rage there are big variations. A person must start by deciding whether or not his or her anger is safe, then decide if he needs anger management.
Anger management can be helpful if anger interferes with quality of life or ruins relationships, employment and friendships. Anger management may also be required for those who have created legal issues for themselves through their anger.
Disordered Anger– A Common Problem
An issue like disordered anger can come with some stigma in our society. Anyone who goes through this should know they’re not alone, or a bad person. Seven per cent of adults in the U.S. are considered, by some figures, to have an Intermittent Explosive Disorder, with some studies putting rates even higher among teenagers.
The Benefits of Anger Management Therapy
Disordered rage will leave you feeling out of control and as though there is nothing but confusion in your life. Anger management counseling performed in collaboration with qualified practitioners will teach you proven strategies to control your anger so it doesn’t affect your life so dramatically anymore. Rage is a symptom of a mental health condition and, like any health issue, needs compassionate treatment and intervention.
The treatment of anger can include individual and group therapy and prescription medication. Anger management treatment protocols vary, and can be adapted to the needs of an individual.
The Symptoms of an Anger Disorder
Disordered anger comes out in many forms, not just– as many believe– in violent outbursts. Although many people with anger disorders behave by shouting and dolling out physical abuse, disorders of anger may also appear passively. Patients with passive rage may engage in self-destructive acts, excessive sarcasm, or apathy towards others.
Symptoms of anger disorder include:
- latent rage
- Excessive fixation on the negative
- Acting out aggressively
- Making threats to others
- Driving dangerously
- Fighting with others continuously
- Increased irritability
- Causing others to tread carefully around you
Due to the aggression inherent in such anger disorders, there are often victims who suffer from the actions of those with this mental health issue. Although disordered rage is a symptom of a disease, victims should seek care and help and not use the disease to justify the acts of the person with the anger disorder.
Anger and Depression
Many people resort to stereotype when they think of depression, imagining a person who never leaves the bed or home and spends the whole day crying. What many do not know is that depressed people, too, will act out in frustration and anger, oftentimes.
Depression sufferers are also haunted by their inner critics. Those voices make them feel indignant. Acting out in frustration and anger can then help people alleviate the anxiety caused by those voices. Talking with a therapist can help patients build greater self-esteem and reduce outbursts of anger associated with depression.
Many who are suffering from disordered rage feel like they will never retake control of their lives. There are strategies that people might use to let out frustration and rage in a more positive way. These strategies can help people calm down the anger before it escalates. Some techniques to consider include:
- Wait, then speak. As rage starts rising, you can identify its existence and let the people around you know you need a moment. Before escalating, take the moment to relax and think about your reaction.
- Narrate your feelings. Learn to simply and honestly describe your feelings. Saying stuff like “I feel angry now” will help ameliorate the rage.
- Exercise. Taking daily exercise helps release some of the stress built up associated with an anger disorder. When you sense frustration rising, it can serve as a healthy release to get some exercise.
While these strategies are successful, those with disordered anger need a mental health professional’s help and support. Such professionals may assist in tailoring interventions so that they work with an individual’s particular needs.
Therapy for Anger Management
There are different forms of treatment that can support those with an anger problem. While some patients may benefit from one, others may benefit from a few different therapies.
Individuals with disordered rage share their experiences in group therapy. The session is led by a therapist, who directs the dialogue and offers coping mechanisms for the community to consider.
Patients with disordered anger can work in individual counseling sessions to discover the causes of their rage. This can also use this time to address any comorbid conditions such as depression and anxiety. If rage is triggered by an emotional disorder, a doctor can prescribe medication as a supplement to therapy.
Residential therapy is often appropriate when people with an anger problem have dangerous symptoms like suicidal thinking. A patient undergoing inpatient care remains in an hospital and is closely supervised by medical staff.
Disordered rage does not need to wreck your life. To see how we can help you learn better ways to deal with anger, contact our office.