Why Do I Always Feel So Angry?
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before – You are sitting in a meeting, and the usual person starts asking the same questions he asked last week. You know the one. It’s the same person who always asks questions that do not pertain to anyone but him. He holds up the meeting for a half-hour for no good reason. You leave the office, and you feel a tightness in your chest. You notice that you have clenched your fingers in a fist. You have an overwhelming sense of frustration and irritation that you can’t shake the rest of the morning. In fact, you are so frustrated, you snap at a co-worker. And, she only asked you whether you called a client about rescheduling. It’s not the first time you’ve lashed out at her, or at anyone.
Maybe you have been told you have “anger issues.” What does it mean to be angry all the time? How do you know if your anger is a real problem or a symptom of something else? We have some information on anger for you. We can help you figure out why you get so angry in the first place. We can also tell you how you can get help for your anger issues.
Why Humans Get Angry in the First Place?
You need to understand that anger is a perfectly natural human response. In the past, human beings got angry in order to prepare for a fight. During prehistoric times, early humans got angry as a part of the “fight-or-flight” response. Humans had to get angry in order to fight for things they needed to survive. This fight could have been to protect their lands, their food supplies, or their families. Anger is a physical response to a part of your brain that signals when something isn’t right. Your body kicks in to make sure you are ready to defend yourself. The problems come when you get angry at times when there is nothing to defend against.
Causes for Anger
The American Psychological Association says that many people experience anger because of their environment. A lot of times, anger is a direct result of stress. For example, if you are experiencing financial issues in your family, you may be angry. If your family or social situations are stressful, that could cause anger as well. You might find yourself overwhelmed by the demands of others on your time and your energy. This could also make you angry. You also need to understand that, for some people, research has shown that anger is genetic. You may have grown up in an angry household or had an angry parent. Your body may not be able to handle chemicals and hormones related to anger as well as other people can. For example, researchers have found that some people do not react normally to serotonin. Serotonin helps the body handle stressors.
Physical Signs You Are Angry
The American Psychological Association researched some examples of anger response in the body. You may notice that your whole body tenses up. You may get headaches. Your heart rate may go up, and you may find you are breathing faster. You may find yourself yelling, speaking loudly, or becoming sarcastic. Your face may be red as well. Sometimes, you may express your anger by pounding something with your fist or throwing things. Your mannerisms might also be faster and bigger as well, such as gesturing with your hands.
Anger is a normal reaction to something bothering you. If you find yourself angry a lot, or if you think your anger is becoming aggression, you may need help. You may need assistance on learning to cope with your anger before it becomes aggression.
Anger Disorders or Types
There are different anger disorders or anger types. Researchers have identified several kinds of anger in order to treat them effectively.
Chronic anger is usually a prolonged, slow-burning, and constant presence in a person’s life. Like many anger disorders, chronic anger has its roots in past events. People who are chronically angry may always seem ready to express their anger. These people have a very low tolerance level for stress. Over time, chronic anger can make people sick. It disrupts the immune system and is a constant tax on your lungs and heart.
Passive anger, on the other hand, can be very difficult to see. It comes from the same place as chronic anger. People who live with passive anger often do not even know they are angry at all. Instead of the classic anger response, people who have passive anger can show apathy or sarcasm. They may do mean things to others, rather than directly confronting their anger. Often, this type of anger means that someone is directing the anger inward rather than outward. Feelings of guilt may also cause this type of self-inflicted anger. People who are passively angry miss school or work. They may separate or distance themselves from friends or family. They may withdraw from social situations.
On the opposite end of passive anger is aggressive anger. If you experience aggressive anger, chances are you already know you get angry easily. You may not know why you get angry, or why you direct your anger at other people. Often, people who are aggressively angry direct their anger at others rather than inward. It is this type of anger that causes the most damage to property, as well as relationships. That’s because the person who gets aggressively angry is often violent. He or she may cause property damage, such as breaking car windows. He or she may frequently get into fights as well. Sadly, it is this form of anger that often lands people in trouble with the law. It also causes job and relationship losses, which only serve to further alienate the person.
How Do You Know When You Have An Anger Problem?
Researchers look for signs that you may have an anger management problem. Did you blow up at your mother-in-law because she criticized your cooking at Thanksgiving for the five-thousandth time? That is not an anger issue. That means you just got angry. In order to determine whether you have an anger problem, therapists look for trends in your behavior. They look at the emotional and physical symptoms of your anger as well.
There are many signs therapists look for to determine if you are experiencing issues with your anger. You may be constantly irritable. You may also experience feelings of overwhelming anxiety or overwhelming rage, even at times when nothing has made you angry. You may have trouble organizing your thoughts for the work you must do. Or, you cannot figure out how to begin to manage a project. You may also be forgetting things you would not normally forget.
Anger and Anxiety
If you do get angry a lot, you may find that you are experiencing a lot of anxiety. Anxiety and anger often go hand in hand. You might experience additional symptoms related to anxiety, such as dizziness, nausea, and muscle tension or muscle pain. You could have trouble concentrating and remembering tasks. You may also have overwhelming feelings of irritability.
If you’re experiencing anger or anxiety over a long period of time, it can begin to affect your mental health. It can also affect your physical health. For example, people who are angry or anxious are at a greater risk of suffering from stroke or heart disease. They may have high blood pressure. You might also have problems sleeping. If you are often angry, this may affect your relationships with a spouse, partner, or family members.
Ways to Treat Anger Issues
If you are worried about your anger problems, there are a lot of ways that you can get help. Experts in psychology say that people who are angry can get better with counseling and medication. Sometimes, people who are angry take classes in learning how to manage their anger. Medication is sometimes used to help people who are angry control their emotions more effectively. This also helps the body process anger better. For example, researchers have found that anti-anxiety medications, such as Klonopin, may reduce the symptoms of anger. Other researchers have found that antidepressants are helpful. Mood stabilizers may also work for some patients with anger management problems.
How to Get Help
If you or a loved one needs help with your anger, why not get in touch with us? At SOBA Behavioral Health, we know when you discover you need help with an anger problem, you want to get help immediately. We have specialized treatment programs for people experiencing mental health issues that are affecting their quality of life. Outpatient treatment programs are available, and we can develop a plan for you to address your anger issues. You and your family might benefit from individual, group, and family therapy. We tailor all our treatment options to fit you and your needs. Why not give us a call today? Let us help you forge a new path to a healthier and less angry lifestyle.