To help you out understand some of the key factors of mental health problems and the relevant therapies and benefits associated, we have prepared some articles on each individual condition. These articles are based on scientific studies and they are written to facilitate and encourage you to come to face the problems you are seeking…
Despite its bad reputation, anger, when at a normal level, is a healthy human emotion.
It is felt in response to feeling that either you, your loved ones, or your property are under threat.
Everyone experiences anger, and anger is useful when dealt with productively. It gives us warning bells when we need to be alert and practice self-care, encouraging us to stand up for ourselves and make necessary changes in our lives.
Anger can feel quite physical. This is because it is part of the ‘fight or flight’ response that helped us survive in primitive times, causing a rush of adrenaline, a racing heart, and sweating.
It’s rare that we are in physical danger nowadays, and more common that what we perceive as a threat is towards our sense of self or identity, leaving the physical response of anger to sometimes seem overwhelming.
An anger issue is when your anger is mismanaged, negatively affecting or hurting you, your life, or those around you.
This can include disruptions to your relationships, career, mental and physical health, and ability to achieve goals.
Manageable anger is useful if used productively and not destructively.
If you have an uncontrollable temper, it may feel like there’s nothing you can do, and you might think you are just the sort with a ‘bad side’.
But this is not true. You are not your anger, and you can learn to control your anger.
It takes time and commitment and often requires professional help, but the results of learning anger management can be life changing.
Not everyone with anger issues exhibits a constant uncontrollable temper. Repressed anger can be just as damaging and just as much of a problem. It might just seem like ongoing irritation and tension, but if it isn’t dealt with it can lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety disorders.
It can also turn into a sudden violent outburst. If your anger has spiralled into rage and violence, it’s important you immediately seek help.
Not only can such behaviour hurt you and those around you, it can sometimes be the sign of another mental health condition.
Domestic abuse is often linked to anger issues, but it’s important to know the difference.
While an abuser might exhibit rage, abusive behaviour is not the result of just uncontrollable anger. It’s a conscious choice the abuser has made to control someone else.
Anger management does not solve domestic abuse, which requires specialised treatment.
What is anger management and who needs it?
It is rarely anger itself that is the issue, but the way that one chooses to handle their anger that is the problem.
Anger management is learning how to handle your anger in a way that is productive and doesn’t harm you or others.
It involves recognising your triggers for anger, knowing the signs you are getting angry, and then being able to take the right actions that help you not overreact but instead deal with the situation you are facing in a useful way.
Anger management is not about learning to not be angry or hold all your anger inside.
Everyone experiences anger, and again, it is a healthy emotion when managed correctly.
While it’s not useful to have blowouts, repressing anger is also not a productive long-term tactic and leads to its own set of problems.
Anger management is helpful for anyone who has problems expressing that they are upset with a person or situation in way that is not harmful or counterproductive to themselves or others. It is useful for anyone whose anger has caused them problems at work or home. It can benefit both those who struggle with constant feelings of anger and those who repress their anger then have sporadic outbursts.
In some cases, there might be a physiological or genetic reason for why a person is always angry. There has been research done that suggests some people are born with an irritable personality which is present from an early age.
But usually anger issues are learned behaviour. They develop in response to what you were taught about anger and emotions when growing up.
If you were a child who watched adults yell and throw things at each other, you are more likely to grow up an adult with anger issues.
Growing up with no emotions exhibited or allowed in your household can also cause anger issues, as you are taught to bottle everything up inside and were possibly belittled if you tried to express how you felt. The years of repression can lead to rage.
Anger problems can also be triggered by or created as the result of circumstances, such as traumatic experiences including abuse, crime, and natural disasters, other events that leave you feeling powerless, or just too much stress.
When anger gets out of control it can have serious negative repercussions on all areas of your life, including the following:
RELATIONSHIP – anger problems mean that others find it hard to relax around you, feel they don’t trust you, or even feel unsafe with you.
It can therefore destroy marriages and estrange you from your family or make it difficult to keep a partner in the first place. At its worst, it can lead to violence against the very people you love. Anger problems can make people very nervous to be around you and can be very damaging on children.
CAREER – constructive disagreements are normal in a workplace. But if you become known as the one who takes things too far or explodes over little things, you might feel ostracised at work, have staff who don’t respect you or see a high turnover of employees, damage client relations, or even constantly lose jobs and ruin your reputation so that in time find yourself unemployable.
MENTAL HEALTH- anger can take over your thinking, leaving you with an ongoing soundtrack of vengeful thoughts that means you are unfocussed, can’t achieve your goals, and don’t enjoy yourself. Anger also leads to low self-esteem, high levels of stress, and often ongoing depression. Those with anger issues are also prone to develop substance abuse problems, with their attempts to use alcohol or drugs to lower their anger often making them simply more volatile.
PHYSICAL HEALTH – consistently high levels of anger place stress and tension on the body, including increased blood pressure, digestive problems, headaches, insomnia and fatigue, and possible heart palpitations.
Chronic anger has been connected to heart disease and diabetes.
Anger problems are diagnosed through a discussion with your GP over how you feel your anger is negatively affecting you, your life, and those around you. They can then refer you on to places and practitioners who help with anger management.
If you are sure your anger is damaging your home life, relationships, and career, then you can seek help on your own via a support group in your area or a private counsellor or psychotherapist such as those at The Wholefulness Practice. The important thing is to take steps to seek support.
You might be recommended by your GP to an anger management program. Anger management programs aims to support individuals to change the way in which they deal with anger. It can take place over several months and involve working in a group as well as meeting weekly with a counsellor for a private session. Sometimes there are also one-day workshops or weekend courses included as part of your program.
In all cases some counselling is recommended. Anger problems develop over years, usually with roots in childhood, and it’s important to have a safe, supportive environment to learn to understand your anger, spot your triggers, and learn new ways of expressing your emotions.
CBT therapy is often recommended.
This is a type of psychotherapy that helps you learn to recognise the thoughts you have that trigger emotions and physical reactions, then helps you learn to take charge of your thoughts and choices.
Person-centred counselling can also be helpful, creating an environment to explore what bothers you and what changes you’d like to make moving forward.
In some cases, medication will be prescribed, such as anti-depressants or lithium, but medication is not a solution in and of itself.
Psychological health conditions related to anger
Anger problems can come hand in hand with the following mental health issues: high stress levels, anxiety disorder, depression, drug and alcohol addiction, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Intimacy and trust issues, Borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, intermittent explosive disorder (IED), antisocial personality disorder.