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Anger is a ‘normal’ healthy emotion that we all experience from time to time. It’s a feeling that we might experience particularly if we feel e.g. violated, hurt, rejected, belittled, attacked or frustrated by a person/people or situation. Anger can be useful in helping us identify if someone or something doesn’t feel okay, giving us a chance to care for ourselves, create change, keep ourselves safe, or ask for our needs to be met.

There are certain circumstances where it will be a reasonable response, however, for some can be problematic.

If you notice yourself experiencing this feeling often, or if your anger feels overwhelming and outside your control, it can begin to have a detrimental impact on your physical and emotional well-being. Continued anger problems can also have a lasting negative impact or place strain on relationships with others.  At worst, anger can be rageful, with aggressive behaviour towards self and/or other people.

When anger feels overwhelming, there can be a variety of emotional and cognitive symptoms, such as:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression/Low Mood/Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Guilt
  • Resentment
  • Negative Thinking
  • Self-Harm
  • Suicidal ideas
  • ‘Red mist’, feeling rageful

There are also some accompanying physiological signs or symptoms such as:

  • Increased/high blood pressure
  • Tension/clenching
  • Grinding teeth/Clenched jaws
  • Headache/ pounding head
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sweating/sweaty palms
  • Feeling hot
  • Increased rate of breathing
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Stomach aches.

To help you to consider whether you have issues with anger, it may be helpful to reflect on some of the following questions:

  • Do you notice yourself being quick tempered or prone to explosive anger?
  • Have you harmed yourself or others?
  • Do you notice yourself behaving impulsively or rashly?
  • Do you notice yourself ‘seeing red’?
  • Have you damaged property or possessions out of anger?
  • Do you notice yourself experiencing feelings of rage?
  • Have you found yourself in physical/near physical confrontations?
  • Do you experience rage whilst driving?
  • Do you raise your voice in anger?
  • Do you find your feelings difficult to contain?
  • Do others around you behave or express fear and concern about your behaviour?
  • Do you feel guilty, embarrassed or self-hatred after an angry outburst?
  • Have the police or other legal body had to intervene?

How Therapy Can Help

If you can answer yes to a few or more of the questions above, and you feel that you are struggling with managing and expressing anger in a healthy way, then the positive news is, that psychotherapy and counselling could help you to overcome your difficulties.

Psychotherapy and counselling can support you to gain insight into relationships or situations that can cause you to feel anger or rage, as well as helping you to learn healthier ways of managing and expressing anger. Therapy can be successful is teaching you ways of identifying the triggers and stressors that lead to anger, supporting you to identify alternative ways of coping, ultimately bringing relief.

If you’d like to find out more about therapy for anger management, or would like to make an appointment, to book a free 15-minute consultation click here.

Please note that Therapy Unlimited is unable to offer support to perpetrators of domestic or sexual abuse. Should you be seeking help with this, please visit our resources page.