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Understanding Mental Disorder

Anger

Overview of Anger

Anger is a healthy emotion when it is communicated properly. However, when anger is not managed appropriately, it can create issues in important domains in your life including work, relationships, physical health and mental wellbeing. Anger can be experienced in different ways, ranging from slight irritation to overwhelming rage. Outward expressions of anger, inward thoughts of anger and aggressive and passive aggressive behaviour can impact your mental and physical health. Directing one’s anger inward by holding powerful thoughts of self-hate can also result in isolation from others and increase one’s risk of self-harm and suicide. Strong feelings of anger can be linked to a variety of underlying problems including anxiety, addictions and depression. Conditions such as anxiety, sleep problems, alcohol and substance misuse can be exacerbated with anger.

Signs of Anger Management Difficulties

Do you struggle to express your emotions in a calm and healthy manner? Do you find it difficult to reach a mutual agreement without getting angry? Do you exhibit outward aggression by becoming physically or verbally aggressive such as swearing, yelling or becoming threatening? Do you have strong reactions to situations that do not merit such intense anger? Do you become particularly angry when drinking alcohol? If you have problems controlling your anger and it is impacting your relationships with other people, then you should consider seeking help from a professional.

Treating Anger Management Issues

Since anger can be associated with a range of underlying difficulties, a comprehensive assessment and evaluation is required. Anger management counselling can help you recognise triggers and acquire coping strategies to manage situations that provoke anger. Anger management involves the recognition of signs that you are becoming angry, bringing to awareness habits that promote the escalation of anger and learning strategies to diminish intense feelings of anger. Anger management can help you learn how to constructively address situations that can ignite anger or aggravation and control strong feelings of anger when they emerge.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) may be used for anger management. Typical CBT sessions involve talking through one’s problems with a certified clinician, with the aim of understanding how one’s own thoughts impact one’s negative emotions and behaviours. Patient and clinician then work together to alter these negative thought patterns and behaviours, in order to improve one’s feelings and experiences. The length of anger management treatment depends on a person’s circumstances and how severe one’s level of anger is.

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