What Is Anger & It’s Effects on Mental Health

Individuals who have trouble controlling anger or who experience anger outside of a normal emotional scope can present with different types of anger disorders. Different experts have published contradicting lists of anger types, but some widely accepted forms of anger include:

  • Chronic anger, which is prolonged, can impact the immune system and be the cause of other mental disorders
  • Passive anger, which doesn’t always come across as anger and can be difficult to identify
  • Overwhelmed anger, which is caused by life demands that are too much for an individual to cope with
  • Self-inflicted anger, which is directed toward the self and may be caused by feelings of guilt
  • Judgmental anger, which is directed toward others and may come with feelings of resentment
  • Volatile anger, which involves sometimes-spontaneous bouts of excessive or violent anger.

Anger is a very powerful emotion that can stem from feelings of frustration, hurt, annoyance, or disappointment. It is a normal human emotion that can range from slight irritation to strong rage. Suppressed anger can be an underlying cause of anxiety and depression. Anger that is not appropriately expressed can disrupt relationships, affect thinking and behavior patterns, and create a variety of physical problems. Chronic (long-term) anger has been linked to health issues such as high blood pressure, heart problems, headaches, skin disorders, and digestive problems. In addition, anger can be linked to problems such as crime, emotional and physical abuse, and other violent behavior.

When does anger become a problem?

Anger becomes a problem when it begins to affect a person’s daily life and causes them to react in ways that might hurt themselves and/or others around them.

Signs that anger might be a problem include:

  • feeling angry a lot of the time at an intense and overwhelming level
  • behaving aggressively (verbally, physically, passive aggression)
  • having trouble expressing anger
  • feeling sad and distressed as a result of getting angry
  • using alcohol and other drugs to manage anger
  • feeling the need to use aggression to get people to do something
  • withdrawing from people or situations
  • bottling things up rather than coping with them
  • regretting the things you did or said when you were angry
  • expressing anger by saying or doing something aggressive or violent (e.g., shouting, swearing, throwing or hitting things).

Understanding the underlying things that may be contributing to your anger can help you to get back in control of your response to anger. This can make it much easier to work out solutions or alternatives to aggression.

  • Did someone do or say something that upset me?
  • Do I have other feelings right now that might affect the way I’m reacting, like being sad or embarrassed, or feeling a loss of connection to my friends or my mob?
  • Does the situation bring up bad memories?

Some people find it easier to write down or draw their answers to these questions.

Therapy for Anger and Hate

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