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Understanding anger

Anger is a natural human emotion, but for some people, the level of anger that they feel or how they deal with said anger becomes problematic for themselves and their relationships with others.

When it begins to interfere with life on a regular basis, it becomes important to seek treatment to learn how to cope in a more productive way.

Anger is simply an emotional state, and like most emotional states, it is on a spectrum. When someone is experiencing anger, their heart rate increases, you experience a spike in hormones such as adrenaline, and your blood pressure rises.

Free Anger Management Assessment

At Rehab 4 Addiction, we offer high-quality anger management services tailored to your individual needs.

Call us today on 0800 140 4690 to discuss your new future.

We experience anger, because to a certain degree, it allows us to survive when we are attacked – but the problem is when anger surpasses a controllable and safe level.

When people get angry, they generally respond in one of three ways: expressing, suppressing, or calming. Expressing your anger is when you make it clear what you are feeling and why.

This is fine when it is done in a healthy, non-aggressive way, but it becomes problematic when people get aggressive over every irritation they feel.

Suppressing, on the other hand, is when instead of expressing your anger, you hold it in or try to focus on something else.

This can be good if you can redirect the energy to something positive, but it becomes problematic when the anger is redirected towards yourself as that can cause hypertension, high blood pressure, and depression.

Calming down is when you are able to control both your external and internal response. You may take steps like breathing or going on a walk to lower your heart rate and let the stronger feelings go.

What Makes People Angry?

To help you better understand the underlying causes of anger, we outline a list of common events believed to be the cause of anger:

1. Childhood Issues

Sometimes children are only exposed to unhealthy forms and expressions of anger, so that is all they know. They may learn that anger is unacceptable and needs to be suppressed, but they may also feel like it is okay to release anger in a more violent or aggressive way.

Because people learn so much about how they handle situations from their parents, anger problems may be due to the fact that they simply never learned how they were supposed to handle it.

2. PTSD

Anger is a common symptom of PTSD and can result in aggressive outbursts or self-destructive behavior.

When someone has PTSD, they are generally in a state of hyperarousal, which means that they are constantly living with a mindset of fight or flight, so anger can be aroused rather easily.

While anger can be harmful to both the person with PTSD and those around the person, it can also be a healthy way for them to heal and recover when handled in a positive way.

3. Certain Situations or Events

Of course, anger can just be a response to a certain situation or event. It could be things like someone cutting you off in traffic or clicking their pen repeatedly, but it can also be a part of grief or other more severe events.

4. Low Self-Esteem

When someone has low self-esteem, they may try to hide it by getting angry or aggressive at other people, or they may get angry at themselves. When someone has low self-esteem, it is important they learn to be assertive and not just suppress when others do things that make them unhappy.

Often anger is not handled well by those with low self-esteem, whether they are suppressing or getting aggressive.

5. Depression

Anger is a common symptom of depression, and it can be either suppressed or expressed in more aggressive or loud ways.

People with depression may find that they get irritated with others easily, or they may find that they are often angry at themselves.This can result in suicidal ideation or thoughts of self-harm, neither of which is a positive form of anger.

6. Bipolar

The dramatic changes in mood that come with bipolar disorder can cause a person to behave in different ways, one of which is that they may be more irritable or prone to anger.

Anger problems are not a required part of bipolar disorder, but it is a common symptom correlated with it.

7. OCD

When people with OCD are put in situations where they are exposed to their trigger or feel like they can not do their compulsion, they will often respond with high levels of rage that may be dangerous or upsetting to those around them.

Additionally, someone with OCD may be prone to getting angry with themselves because of their inability to control the obsessions or compulsions.

What is Anger Management?

Anger management is the process of learning how to handle and cope with anger in healthy and productive ways. Sometimes people learn this naturally as they grow up, but for other people, they must work more purposefully to learn how to handle their anger.

This can be learning how to calm down rather than immediately get aggressive, or it can be how to communicate anger rather than suppress it down.

At Rehab 4 Addiction, we encourage those on our programs to understand and learn about their feelings and emotions, rather than repress or ignore them. This is why the anger management services we offer helps individuals to realise that anger is a normal, healthy emotion that is not to be felt guilty about.

Our anger management treatments assist you in recognising your triggers and symptoms and equips you with the skills and resources to channel these feelings in a healthy, productive and safe manner.

The anger management classes or counselling sessions we offer can be done either as part of a group or during one-to-one sessions with an expert. We tailor the length, duration, and type of session to individual needs following a pre-session assessment.

7 Ways To Combat Anger Yourself

Learning to control your anger is all about finding alternative methods of expressing agressive, difficult, or any emotionally challenging feelings.

Below is a list of simple tips for you to try at home which have been proven to assist with anger management:

Breathing exercises or purposeful breathing patterns can help calm a person down when they are feeling high levels of anger. There are various types of breathing exercises, but here are some of the most common kinds people use:

  • deep breathing into the belly
  • breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth
  • breathe in a controlled pattern
  • in for a count of five
  • hold for a moment
  • out for a count of five
  • repeat

Sometimes going to an outpatient or residential program can be necessary to learn how to cope with anger issues.

During these programs, a person will go through intensive therapies in various forms so that they can gain the skills needed to handle their anger in a healthy and productive way.

After these programs, people will often continue with less intensive forms of therapy.

Some times people just need to find a healthier outlet to release their anger. Healthy outlets include, but are not limited to: taking a break before responding, going on a walk or doing a different form of exercise.

Hitting a pillow or a punching bag, journaling, doing something creative, talking to a trusted friend or counselor are all examples of channelling anger in a healthy way.

Sometimes anger issues can be due to a mental disorder or a chemical imbalance. If this is the case, sometimes medications are necessary to get help someone cope with their anger issues.

The forms of medication used to treat anger issues are usually antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotic drugs.

Anger journaling is just what it sounds like, journaling thoughts and feelings to get them out in a way that is not dangerous or hurtful to anyone. It can help a person better understand their own emotions and release them in a productive way.

All you need is a journal of some sort (this can be on paper or digital) and a pen if you are journaling on paper. When you get angry, instead of lashing out at the person, journal all your thoughts out, you can be as unfiltered as you want because no one will see it.

When you are done, you may find that the anger has subsided, and you do not need to approach the person, or you may be calm enough to confront the person in a productive way.

Going to counselling can help a person with anger issues in several ways. First, it gives a person a safe and healthy place to vent about whatever is causing them to feel angry.

Second, a counselor can teach a person coping skills for when they feel angry. Additionally, they will help you learn to recognize what makes you angry and when it is rational to be angry and when it is irrational.

If your problem with anger is suppressing rather than expressing, a counselor will teach you how to express your anger and be assertive when necessary.

They will also help you manage any anger you feel towards yourself and deal with the root of your anger issues, not just the symptoms.

Peer support includes things like going to group sessions for people with anger issues. It can be extremely helpful to surround yourself with people that struggle and are trying to overcome their own anger issues.

Knowing that other people are experiencing similar things can help you feel less alone and make the process more bearable. You can also keep each other accountable and give each other advice on what has worked and hasn't worked for each individual.

Who Can Benefit From Anger Management Therapy?

Anger management therapy can benefit almost anyone because there are always ways we can grow whether that is learning not to express anger so aggressively or learning to better communicate our emotions.

People who would benefit most from anger management includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Violent offenders
  • People who show bullying behaviours
  • People with cognitive or psychological disorders that cause them to experience difficulty controlling their emotions
  • People dealing with PTSD
  • People dealing with things like traumatic brain injury
  • People who are recovering from addiction

Ready to get help?

At Rehab 4 Addiction, we offer high-quality anger management services tailored to your individual needs.

To discover your road to recovery, call us today on 0800 140 4690 for a free anger management consultation.

Anger Issues: Signs and Symptoms

Below, we list common signs and symptoms of anger. Being aware of these issues helps you to understand the triggers of anger and whether professional anger management treatment is necessary:

Physical

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Clenching of fists, jaw, teeth, etc.
  • Tightness in chest
  • Feeling hot
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Change in breathing

Mental

  • Feeling tense
  • Feeling nervous
  • Inability to relax
  • Highly irritable
  • Feeling humiliated
  • Feeling resentful of others

Behavioural

  • Shouting
  • Ignoring others (silent treatment)
  • Sulking
  • Starting fights with others
  • Breaking things
  • Self-harm

CONTACT REHAB 4 ADDICTION TODAY

Call now on 0800 140 4690 for confidential and immediate advice on anger management.