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.
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.
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.
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.
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.