Anger is a powerful emotion. In the United States, studies show that one out of five adults and one in every three teens suffers from the inability to control their anger. It’s important to allow yourself to experience all emotions, including anger, in healthy ways. Anger is a natural emotion and it is not the enemy, but how a person chooses to act on it is extremely important.
So, how do you know if you or someone you love is dealing with anger and needs professional help?
Types of Anger
There are many different anger types, some more obvious than others. Knowing these categories may help in identifying an anger problem. Here are the definitions of some widely accepted forms of anger by experts:
● Chronic anger – Prolonged anger that can impact the immune system and cause other mental disorders.
● Passive anger – Very difficult to identify, because it doesn’t look like anger. Emotions may be displayed as sarcasm, apathy or meanness, and behaviors are often self-defeating such as skipping school or work, alienating friends and family or performing poorly in professional or social situations.
● Overwhelmed anger – Caused by life demands that outweigh an individual’s coping skills.
● Self-inflicted anger – Directed toward the self and caused by feelings of guilt.
● Judgmental anger – Directed toward others and comes with feelings of resentment.
● Volatile anger – Involves spontaneous bouts of excessive or violent anger.
Physical and Emotional Symptoms of Anger-Related Problems
Intense and prolonged or frequent anger can lead to physical symptoms and other difficult emotional states. These may include:
● Heart palpitations or tightening of the chest
● Increased blood pressure
● Headaches or pressure in the head or sinus cavities
● Problems with concentration and memory
● Muscle pain and tension
● Rapid breathing
● Depression and anxiety
● Lack of sleep
Behaviors Associated with Anger Problems
Anger becomes dangerous when it causes harm to you or others. If you or someone you love has frequently displayed any of the behaviors below, anger management classes can help.
● Punching objects such as walls to feel a sense of relief
● Reacting quickly and violently to small problems like spilling a drink
● Finding it difficult to calm the feeling of anger
● Breaking objects during an argument
● Consistently having the same arguments with friends and family
● Feeling frustrated with your actions during an argument or regretting them instantly after the event
● Social isolation
● Drinking alcoholic beverages excessively and frequently, which contributes to the lack of self-control and bouts of anger
● Never feeling satisfied with anything and constantly blaming others for problems
● Reprimanded at work for acting out of control due to inability to control anger
● Refusing to accept there is an anger issue that is out of control and requires anger management treatment
The benefits of learning anger management are life-changing. It can help you build better relationships, gain new insight about the causes of your emotions, develop better judgment, experience less stress and become a better communicator.
Many people wouldn’t know where to seek help if they needed to address an anger problem, and most would agree that people should be encouraged to seek help if they have problems with anger. The Exchange Club Family Center offers specific programs aimed at helping families learn how to manage anger in healthy ways. Family Anger Management Program Services include:
Comprehensive Anger Management (CAMP) A family approach to anger management, using evidence-based curriculum. Domestic Violence Assessment Center (DVAC) Clinical psychological assessment and treatment recommendations for adults with a history of intimate partner violence. Outreach and counseling are provided for family members who are victims and children who have witnessed the intimate partner violence.
Male Anger Management
An eight-week course, designed to teach adult males acceptable expressions of anger and to eliminate violent and self-destructive behaviors. With the assistance of a certified facilitator, men
will explore alternative behaviors and learn new coping techniques and skills that will positively impact their lives.