The Need for Anger Management

Anger management helps people learn to control their feelings of rage, anger and frustration. While there is no denying that anger is a completely normal human emotion, it is how you handle your anger that makes all the difference in the world. For some individuals anger is an overwhelming sensation that makes them lose their self-control and overrides their sense of reason and good judgment.

When dealing with anger you are addressing an emotional state that will vary according to the individual and the situation. A small and annoying event may cause certain people to experience relatively minor irritation while others will find themselves driven into a furious rage. Those individuals who lose their temper easily and often are the ones who could benefit from anger management therapy.

Our psychologists at the Centre for Emotion Focused Practice based on Melbourne, South Yarra have extensive  experience in supporting people that are looking for help with anger management.  Click here to see our practitioners or call us for a booking on 9820 5577

 

Causes of Anger

Some individuals are quite simply less tolerant and easy-going than other people. This means that they are far more likely to get angry over minor incidents. It is important to distinguish patients with low frustration thresholds from those who have true anger management issues.

There are a variety of causative factors for anger that range from negative internal thoughts to external events. Genetics, family issues, chaotic environment and personality disorders could all be root causes that lead to anger management problems.

Any of these issues can be the catalyst that triggers unsettling, angry emotions. Anger does not even have to be based on an actual event, because a person with anger management issues can always find a reason to unleash their fury. When a person believes that his own needs and desires are not being met this can set the stage for an angry outburst.

Some people will find that they become angry due to worry over personal and family problems. Other individuals may become angered because of an external event such as being fired from a job, losing a wallet or even from being trapped in a traffic jam.

In many instances people who have trouble controlling their anger will discover that there are traumatic events in their early life that have led them to this point. Childhood traumas can also leave lasting impressions of helplessness that are expressed outwardly as anger.

Therapists are also discovering that a number of their anger management clients have learned their aggressive behavior of acting out because they were reared in a dysfunctional family setting. For these individuals a fiery rage is a normal response to almost any situation that they do not find pleasing.

Lack of social skills, lack of communication skills and lack of responsible role models are common to most patients with anger management problems.

Signs and Symptoms of Anger Issues

Anger causes a release of adrenaline and noradrenaline hormones. You will also discover that your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure will increase quickly. The increase in these physiological responses will also elevate the body temperature. The skin will be flushed in appearance and the pupils of the eyes are also going to dilate.

With uncontrolled anger the person will usually exhibit an aggressive stance and hostile mannerisms. The anger is frequently displayed through yelling, screaming or even physical violence. However there are also people who will display extreme anger through their withdrawal from a situation. These are individuals who will pout, sulk and brood about the perceived slights and injustices that they believe themselves to be experiencing.

It can be very difficult, if not impossible, to rationalize the situation with a person who has allowed anger to engulf them.

Diagnosing Anger

It is not too difficult to tell when someone is angry. If you are continually overreacting with negative and aggressive behaviors you most likely have a problem controlling and managing your anger. People who resort to physical violence and consistently display hostile behaviors over minor incidents are also good candidates for anger management courses.

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There are some psychological tests that can be performed that will help diagnose this problem. However many therapists are able to detect angry behavioral patterns just by reviewing the client’s general background. A personal interview will also help the counselor or psychologist gain some insight into the problems with anger than an individual might have.

Long Term Outlook

If an individual is sincerely motivated to change their behavior then anger management can be very successful. The success rate is based on actual changes in the patient’s approach to dealing with anger issues. Success can only come when the patient is active and involved in securing a real behavioral change. This therapy takes time and effort on the part of both counselor and client if any permanent success is to be achieved.

Statistical Data

In Australia approximately 25%-35% of women (ages 16 and older) have been the target of domestic violence on more than one occasion. Nearly 50% of murder/suicides have involved a past, or present, romantic partner. Approximately 40% of adult women have been exposed to anger and violence during or following a pregnancy.

Final Thoughts

Anger management can be beneficial to both male and female individuals. Anger does not differentiate by sex or age. However some therapists believe men are more prone to anger issues due the fact that male children are encouraged to suppress emotional feelings instead of being allowed to express these feelings in a healthy manner.

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About Carlos Schäfer

I am a registered psychologist with two passions – counselling psychology and executive counselling. To support my passion for counselling, I am trained in experiential psychology, cognitive emotive behavioural therapy, post rationalist therapy, emotional focused therapy, and hypnosis and have a keen interest in alternative healing. I am based at the Emotion Focused Clinic in South Yarra.

Comments

  1. i am a very happy and out-going person. but as soon as i get disrespected or i get into an argument, right away my heart rate increases, my face starts twitching, my eyes get watery and i begin to get tunnel vision. i tune into that one person and i start to think i wouldn’t mind fighting them, and i stand up and start walking towards them, but by that time the people around start to defuse the problem so i snap out of it and take deep breaths. why is this? i do not take any medication, everyone thinks i’m the happiest kid out there (until arguments get heated). i have very responsible parents, great role models. there is nothing wrong other then my incapability to control my anger. do i have anger problems or need anger management?

  2. Avigai Gonzalez says:

    Hello,

    I have been experiencing anger management problems. It use to never happen before, but since I met this person who is my boyfriend today I have been in constant mood swings. I don’t know, nor can I explain my emotions, but it is something I have not experienced before. An incident that happened yesterday, for example, we were in an argument, and his body language around me was sarcastic, careless, and triggering those weak points of mine. I asked him to stop, and he then turns on his ipod recorder to record the conversation. That was another pressure point for me to already levitate my anger. I did, I patiently asked him to turn it off–he insisted to not. I warned him, “If you don’t turn it off, I will loose my temper, and I will grab it and break it.” I also asked him to leave. He insisted, and insisted, and insisted, and didn’t turn it off. While I was warning him, he then said, “Ok, this is my evidence… I got evidence now.” And that did it! I went at him, not to attack him, but to take the ipod away from him, and it seemed like I attacked him. With that rage, and all of that adrenaline in me, I accidentally carved my nails in his arm. I don’t know how to define this, in whether I do or don’t have anger issues. Lately, I have snapped at things, and all with him. He keeps telling me I have anger issues, but honestly, he pushes those pressure points. I don’t know what to do, and yesterday was what did it. I didn’t recognized myself, and I have never experienced such rage. Please help…. thanks!

  3. im 15 years old. tiny things piss me off. like being told no. and being told what to do. and being called stupid. and people joking around with me. if i think someone is wrong and they are saying they are right in any way i get so mad i start screaming and threaten them. people laughing at me makes me want to kill someone. i punch my walls and doors and i pull my hair whenever i get mad. everyone sees me as a scary angry person.

  4. i’m 18 and i have anger problems. i do have a crazy family that fights a lot and i my ex boyfriend would hit me and yell bad words at me all the time and that’s how i am now. i have a boyfriend and i just get really angry about little things and we only have a week of going out and he says the more time we are together the more aggressive i get. that is really becoming a problems because he is really nice and i don’t want to loose him.i yell a lot punch people and just get so evil when i’m mad but i do apologize and i do want to change. especially because i have a 1 yr old daughter that i love.

  5. Hi,
    I’m 14 and I am literally the most hyper and outgoing person you will meet. Whenever I get angry I go crazy, snap things in half, scream, and start breathing very heavily. I hate when people say no to me or when someone messes with me. During soccer when someone pushes me or I lose the ball I go literally crazy to go and get it back or go in their face. My coaches and parents on the sidelines just think that I am aggressive but I also act this way when my mom or dad tell me no or tell me to do something I don’t want to do, I literally turn insane. I am concerned and every time I talk to my parents about it they just laugh and say that I’m fine.

  6. Rebecca says:

    hi, my name is Rebecca, I am 17 , I don’t usually do this but, I have been noticing that I get angry at the smallest things especially when I am stressed and I tend to take it out on my family, for about a year now my brother and my dad have been fighting, I have not seen him for months On end because he is not allowed to visit, my mother and my father are On the verge of getting a divorce and I am put in the middle of it, my dad has a week On week Off job at injune which is 5 hours away from where we live, so when he goes away all the roles of responsibility are passed down to me and I do all the work that. is required (I live On a farm) my mother and youngest brother don’t really do much , and just recently my horse that I have owned since I was 6 has to be out down, sometimes I get so angry the only way I can relieve myself is yelling and abusing people, and punching stuff. sometimes my anger turns in tears, I am so confused with my life right now, sometimes I feel like no one wants anything to do with me, I don’t know if I have anger management but one minute I can be happy and the next I am completely angry and all I can see is red. I don’t really know how to talk to my parents because I am.not that close, and I’m afraid if I do tell them that they will tell me that I am stupid.

  7. Hello Rebecca,
    I hope you are doing well. I think you have make the right connection between stress and anger. It also seems you are taking many responsibilities and that is additional pressure on you. Where do you live, I understand from the email is not in Melbourne? Let me know in case you want me to see if I know anyone that can help you closer to you. All eh best and thanks for your post. Also maybe will be good to talk with your parent, they maybe more receptive and supportive than what you expect.

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