Anger is one of the many emotions we feel throughout life. While the emotion itself is not inherently bad or harmful, chronic and uncontrollable anger can often interfere with work, relationships, and personal goals. Anger is simply another emotion that is part of being human. It is okay to feel angry, what is not okay, it’s when we react to this emotion and make a behavioral choice or a verbal choice that causes damage and hurt to others or even ourselves. There are many tricks and techniques to utilize when anger rises; however, it is recommended to seek the right professional help such as psychotherapy, as it may be the best option to identify the source and the root of your anger, identify the triggers that cause anger, and effectively manage anger responses.
Anger is a sign of something deeper, usually another negative emotion that may be going on inside of you. It’s often seen that the following four emotions in people are masked by anger! These four feelings are when one feels hurt, sad, fearful, or shame. Many people are uncomfortable with these four emotions and don’t know how to properly express these natural real feelings, instead, they have somehow learned to react and express these emotions through the expression of anger. This is something that is worthwhile to work out internally for yourself and resolve and heal from, with a good therapist who knows how to coach you through it. Usually, anger management groups or counting until 3 or 4, is not the real solution. That keeps you stuck and it does not deal with the real roots of your anger.
What is Uncontrollable Anger?
Uncontrollable anger may look different depending on the individual. Some people may scream and yell, while others sit quietly seething which is actually toxic and dangerous because it will show up at some other place and time in your life. Some people dwell on previous events, while others often react to current events. This may look like a short-tempered or violent outburst or continuously plotting revenge for everyone that has previously wronged them. Defining uncontrollable anger is challenging, and it does not have clear symptoms or an official diagnosis.
Short and Long-Term Effects of Uncontrollable Anger
Unfortunately, this is still a very severe mental state that can negatively affect not only the afflicted individual but those around them as well. In fact, oftentimes, the afflicted individual may not even be aware of how serious and out of control their anger has become.
In the short term, angry outbursts may result in seemingly productive outcomes; however, it comes at the expense of alienating the recipients of the outbursts. These recipients may include your family, friends, coworkers, and other service providers in your life. Long-term effects include high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease.
What are Signs to Look for in Uncontrollable Anger?
- Those closest to you, such as your family and friends, have suggested that perhaps you have an anger problem.
- You may also notice that those closest to you have started distancing themselves from you as a result of certain behaviors.
- You have alienated or fought with coworkers.
- You have been removed from or suspended from establishments such as bars, grocery stores, convenient stores, etc.
- You often feel angry without any obvious triggers. You hang on to anger longer than normally acceptable.
- You are holding onto a grudge or planning revenge.
- You have or often think of using aggressive or violent behavior when angry.
- Showing and expressing anger does not mean you are a bad person, it means there is an unresolved pain inside of you that must be addressed. It is simply a sign.
- What Strategies do Therapists Use to Treat Uncontrollable Anger?
Many therapists use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to address uncontrollable anger. This strategy is effective because the patients learn to identify the negative thoughts and change their beliefs surrounding those thoughts. The patients learn to self-regulate so that they can take back control of their own lives. There are several practices and methods that fall under the CBT umbrella to incorporate when treating uncontrollable anger.
The first method is called Stress Inoculation. This method involves exposing the patient to imaginary scenarios that may provoke an angry response. That provides the patient and therapist with an opportunity to explore the anger response and then practice coping mechanisms and self-regulating skills.
Another method to incorporate when treating uncontrollable problems is Family Therapy. This is especially effective when family bonds have been challenged through conflict or poor communication. By addressing potential issues within the family unit, improving communication skills, and re-connecting damaged bonds, the family unit will be more prepared to show understanding, provide encouragement and support the patient during the tough times.
The third method used to treat uncontrollable anger is Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can help treat challenges and symptoms relating to mental health and emotions. This treatment is similar to counseling, and the two overlap. However, psychotherapy tends to look more deeply, addressing the underlying causes of a person’s problems as well as how to solve them.
Understanding your relationship problems is essential to learning the right tools for the types of healthy changes you want to make in your life and your relationships.
What to Expect When Seeking Treatment for Uncontrollable Anger
If you or someone you love is seeking treatment for anger management, it can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Keep in mind that each therapist has their own way of approaching their clients and the treatment strategies. Here are a few things to expect when seeking treatment which is usually universal.
The patient will be asked to share their story, their background, their home life, their work life, and other factors that may contribute to triggers of anger. Once the triggers are identified, your therapist will work with you to explore the triggers and how the anger responses correlate to the triggers. Potential anger management strategies will be discussed and practiced. The patient will learn to identify their own triggers, how to avoid them or minimize the response to them, and replace the harmful behavior with more positive ones.
Together, the patient and therapist will explore the emotions before, during, and after an anger response. More importantly, this process must take you to the roots that were caused by the previous history. It is sitting deep within you. They will address the origins of these emotions and seek to heal the trauma that may have caused the issues. They will work on correcting harmful behaviors and rebuilding relationships that have been damaged by the anger responses.
It is important to remember that seeking treatment is not a one-size-fits-all program. It takes time to work through deep emotional issues. Not all the problems will be solved in one session. Working through uncontrollable anger is a journey and, in some cases, a lifestyle change. Have patience on the tough days and know that every session is one step closer to closure. Stick with the treatment plan, and over time, you will see improvements in the anger responses and in close relationships which were previously affected by anger.
Seeking treatment for uncontrollable anger is a scary process. Instead of being fearful of this, please embrace it and move toward it and face your pain or that history that shows up in anger. This overview should provide some insight on what to expect in treatment and how therapists treat and help patients who struggle with their anger responses. Therapy is a great tool to utilize when someone is struggling with mental health issues. Often uncontrollable anger is just a response to deeper trauma. By healing the deeper issues, people struggling with anger may find themselves living much happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.
As a licensed psychotherapist who is an expert in rebuilding relationships, Jousline Savra practices attachment theory, as she helps adult individuals and couples with very difficult emotional and communication issues. She will help you learn how your love style causes you problems in your relationship and your communication. Call Jousline today and start your journey to freedom.