Almost everyone gets angry from time to time. We all have a breaking point that makes us react angrily.
However, there’s a difference between having a bad temper when pushed and having a real anger management issue. If you find yourself losing your temper easily, or not being able to control your anger, you may have a problem.
If so, you need to do something to address the reason why you’re getting so angry. Having an anger issue is bad for your emotional and physical health, and creates risks for those around you.
There are usually signs someone has an anger problem that’s more than just a bad temper, as well as some common causes and ways to deal with the problem.
What Causes Anger Management Issues?
There are many reasons why some people have issues controlling their anger. They can range from medical or mental health issues to day-to-day stresses mounting up and causing them to snap.
Here are some of the more common reasons and causes behind anger issues:
There is plenty of research to back up what most of us already know – drug and alcohol abuse can increase a person’s anger. Drugs and alcohol make it difficult to think clearly, make rational decisions, and control your emotions.
Difficulty controlling temper and getting far too angry about small things is a symptom of depression. Depression can cause people to become withdrawn and defensive, and they will often lash out when confronted or behave in a passive aggressive manner.
Anger is one of the stages of grief. When someone releases emotions related to a loss, it’s normal for them to also release anger. The same applies to someone bottling up their grief, and it’s unlikely to subside without dealing with the grief first.
People with bipolar disorder experience episodes of extreme highs and lows. Their range of emotions can go from a euphoric happiness to a dark and angry place. Although not a typical symptom of bipolar disorder, it’s not unusual for the person to also have uncontrollable anger issues.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive compulsive disorder is a condition characterized by obsessive behaviors and thoughts. Someone with OCD will have an overwhelming urge to have things done a certain way. If things aren’t done the way they want them, the condition can cause them to react angrily.
Ways to Manage Anger Management Issues
If you or someone you know has anger issues – either related to the above conditions or not – there are some things you can do to manage that anger. These are:
Relaxation techniques can help relieve the stresses and struggles we face every day, as well as deal with ongoing mental health issues. Explore meditation, mindfulness, guided imagery, breathing techniques, and prayer. Everyone reacts differently to treatments, so try to find out what works best for you.
There are a number of different types of behavioral therapy. For the most part, they involve working with a therapist to find out what causes certain behaviors. The therapist will then help you change those behaviors or the triggers causing the anger.
There isn’t a medication to treat anger, but if a health issue causing the anger is treatable, you should go ahead and seek the necessary medical attention for that. For example, depression and bipolar are two disorders that can cause anger issues, both of which you can manage with medications.
Anger Management Classes
Anger management classes use a number of techniques to help address anger issues. They mostly focus on cognitive behavioral therapies. It gives you the opportunity to participate in a group setting, which a lot of people find beneficial.
Interested in more advice on health and wellness? Read our other wellness articles.