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Anger itself is not a bad thing. It is often the force that helps an individual get the courage to make a move forward. It also helps people deal with being mistreated by others.
Anger is something felt by everyone at one time or another. The problem, however, occurs when anger seems to be the only emotion a person can display, or even feel. The way you react when you are angry can also be a problem.
Today, we will explore what anger issues look like. You may be surprised. We will also discuss how these issues affect you and those around you. Finally, we will talk about what you can do if you see yourself in this description.
What Are Anger Issues?
Anger issues occur when a person is not able to handle the display of anger properly. Some people experience explosions of anger for little or often unknown reasons, and this is an issue.
They may not know how to react, may try holding it in, or may not even recognize that it is anger and not some other emotion that is ruling their life.
Anger issues occur when you end up harming yourself or others because of your anger. A 2015 study found that a full 7.8 percent of the population in the United States deal with either intense or poorly controlled anger.
Anger can fall into one of three categories: outward, inward, or passive.
Outward anger is what we all recognize. It may involve cursing, yelling, throwing or breaking things, or striking out physically at people and animals around you.
Inward anger expresses itself as depression, negative self-talk, self-loathing, feelings of unworthiness, and even suicidal thoughts.
Passive anger is often displayed in addictive behavior, making snarky remarks, sarcasm, or saying spiteful things that you play off as a joke.
How Anger Issues Can Effect Your Entire Life
Anger issues can cause a shadow to fall on every area of your life. Imagine how others feel when you tend to always start arguments, never take the blame, or constantly state that those around you are too sensitive.
When you have trouble expressing any emotion other than anger, people can't get comfortable with you and find themselves always walking on eggshells. Those who do so quickly learn that no matter how gently they walk, those eggshells are going to break eventually.
When anger is left uncontrolled, people lose jobs and fall into financial hardship. They destroy relationships, especially between the very people they want to have in their lives. Anger issues cause you to hurt those around you and feel bad about yourself.
When your anger involves trying to hold things in, you will find that the anger eventually comes out in a violent rage that can be set off by the smallest provocation. Anger issues can result in legal trouble. These issues can and harm you physically as well.
Constant anger can show itself in regular pain in the head, chest, and stomach. Heart trouble and ulcers are very common. Anxiety and depression are also often constant companions, as are grinding teeth and tense muscles.
Cravings for alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and other calming substances may add to the issues. Diabetes and high blood pressure may become problems and your overall immune system becomes weakened.
There isn't one area of your life that is not affected by uncontrolled anger. Let's examine some of the most telling warning signs that you or someone you love is dealing with an anger issue.
7 Warning Signs of Anger Issues
Warning signs of anger issues are numerous and can be separated into four categories: physical, behavioral, emotional, or cognitive. Here are the seven most telling signs that a person has issues handling their anger in a productive or positive manner.
Keep in mind that anyone has the potential to lose control of their anger in extreme circumstances. So doing so once doesn't indicate a problem, except in cases of extreme rage; however, if these things happen more than twice, you should seek help to find out the underlying cause of your anger and learn how to manage it appropriately.
1. Obsessing Over Anger
This is the kind of anger that finds you getting angry over and over again about the same incident. You spend time rethinking the event and the anger never seems to go away. In fact, obsessing over it often makes it become worse.
Think about situations such as someone cutting you off in traffic. A person who has control of their anger may feel irritated, but as the day goes on, they put thoughts of the incident aside. If they do happen to remember it later, it has very little effect.
People with anger issues will get just as angry when they retell the story as they did in the moment. They will also relay the story to anyone who will listen and think about what they believe should happen to the person who cut them off.
2. Continual Resentment
This usually shows itself as someone who feels they were mistreated or that they weren't heard. Maybe they were passed up for a coveted promotion and they considered it unfair.
They hold a grudge and keep playing out scenarios in their mind about being proven right or apologized to. Often this anger results in chronic antagonism toward the one who is considered to be at fault.
3. Overwhelmed Anger
Have you ever found yourself being so stressed over events that are taking place that you find yourself crying, shaking, striking out verbally, or all three? This is an example of what happens when hidden anger combines with being overwhelmed or facing a stressful situation.
This kind of anger can often be found when someone is grieving. These anger outbursts often resemble the tantrums of young children who are tired and overwhelmed.
4. Verbal Abuse
When a person resorts to verbal abuse when they are angry, this indicates a major issue. Sometimes this yelling is used as a means to try and control the object of the anger. Name-calling and threats are very common in these outbursts.
The object of your anger may be called names, told they don't amount to anything, they never do anything right, or that you feel like hitting them or leaving the relationship/situation.
5. Aggressive Behavior
This anger can be expressed toward others or yourself. You may start out with thoughts of causing harm. Aggressive anger happens when objects are thrown or slammed down, hitting or punching takes place, and people or pets may be harmed.
On the other hand, the person with this type of anger issue may self-harm by cutting, taking drugs, or drinking excessively. Thoughts of suicide and even actual attempts may occur.
6. Passive-Aggressive Behavior
This can be one of the most difficult forms of anger issue to recognize. It is used as a coping mechanism to avoid direct confrontation and is often the most common anger issue faced by women, who have been taught that showing anger is not appropriate.
Signs of passive-aggressive behavior include giving others the silent treatment, resorting to sarcasm, making intentional mistakes, deliberately procrastinating when asked to do something, or seeming to display to emotion whatsoever.
Rage doesn't occur as often as the other symptoms of anger issues but when it does, it is the most destructive for everyone involved. The person who states they “saw red” or can't remember what occurred during the event has entered this stage where anger takes complete control of their actions and all rational thought has disappeared.
During a rage, everyone's boundaries are violated and the safety of everyone involved is jeopardized. There is a complete loss of contact with what is happening. The person who experiences the rage may experience partial or selective amnesia after the event.
Treatment Options for Anger Issues
People who have anger issues can change. The first thing they need to do is admit they have a problem. The first course of treatment with a counselor is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), in which a person learns what triggers them and then works on what they can do to face these stressors in a better way.
This often includes learning mindfulness techniques so you can recognize what is happening. If there are mental health or addiction issues contributing to the issue, these also need to be treated, sometimes with medication.
As with all treatments, you also need to do things on your own to make sure the treatment is effective. Things you will need to do are:
Final Thoughts on Anger Issues Symptoms and Warning Signs
There are many humorous ways to alleviate symptoms of anger before they become problematic. Anger is a part of everyone's life and it can even be a constructive thing.
Learning how to manage your anger is necessary to avoid destroying so much of what you hold dear in your life. You want to avoid hurting yourself or those you love.
For those dealing with someone who has anger management issues, safety should be your first concern. It is important that you remove yourself from any immediate danger or any situation where the issues seem to be escalating.
This doesn't mean you need to eliminate the person from your life if they are willing to admit they have a problem and get help… it only means you are there for them from a distance that keeps you and other family members safe.
Anger issues can be helped. Don't give up if you have these issues. Life will be so much more peaceful and happiness can consume you once you learn to control the anger.