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Anger Issues


I have had anger issues for a very long time now and I am trying to sort them out. Basically, I can't effectively process anger. I can't judge between what things I should become angry or concerned about, and what things I should just let slide... I take every insult, irritation or provocation as something that I need to take seriously as "anger worthy."

Sometimes I will spend days or even months thinking about how angry I was made by a certain person at a certain time... I really can't let go, it's obsessive, distractive and irritating.

Furthermore I have only two 'modes' for dealing with anger, I either internalize or I explode: If it is something I consider not important enough to explode over, I will internalize whatever is provoking me... by either becomming quiet and pretending to shrug it off or pretending to ignore. That only carries me so far; if the provocation is something I consider too great or I have internalized for so long I switch to my other mode, explosion. I yell, swear, attack (physically) and generally just go crazy.

My reasons for doing these things are kind of all over the map. Mostly I think it stems from not wanting to respond socially inappropriately... but I do not know what the appropriate responses to certain kinds of provocation are. Even rudimentary things like simply telling somebody they are irritating me and to go away do not occur to me... and I really do not know how to respond should they choose to not go away or persist (usually that is when I explode).

Is it fairly common for people to have to learn how to appropriately get angry? It would be nice if I had a chart or something (seriously) that listed various insulting or irritating actions and the appropriate level or response to come back with.

And getting back to the first problem, is there a way for me to better discipline my mind and attune my judgment so that I can get angry when it's actually right and healthy and just let things slide when they truly aren't worth my attention?

1 Responses
213375 tn?1202407400
The problem with people with anxiety is that we all have a problem with being able to put ANYTHING out of our minds, whether it is something that made us angry, a health worry, or nervousness about any given situation.  Retraining your mind to deal with such issues cannot be taught in a forum such as this, although the best advice I could give you is whenever you find yourself about to explode either walk away, or stop and count to ten in your head.  Do not be afraid to appear foolish, or slow.  It is allowing you the appropriate time you need to collect your thoughts and then address the situation in a calm and assertive manner.  I am by no means saying avoid confrontations, just that you should recenter your mind whenever you have been angered by something/someone, and this allows you to discuss the problem with a level head.  This advice is based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that I have undergone and it has made a world of difference in my life.  There are 2 at home self-help programs that I am aware of that are focused on CBT.  The one I did was "Attacking Anxiety and Depression" by Lucinda Bassett and the other one that I have heard works just as well is "The Linden Method" by Charles Linden.  If money is a problem I am sure you would be able to purchase both programs on ebay.  It IS fairly common for people under massive amounts of stress (having anxiety disorders ALONE is stressful enough!!) to be able to control the level of anger they exhibit towards others.  I have found that the more I internalize my anger over so called "little" things, the more explosive I am when I finally open up and tell someone just what I'm thinking.  I have found that when I internalize anger, no matter how small the matter may be, that I can always come back to the person at a later time, in a calm manner, and explain to them how what they said either insulted or angered/irritated me.  They are usually very responsive and tend to feel worse about insulting me than they would have if I'd of stood right there and come right back at them with an attitude.  It is so hard to teach yourself how to do this, and I really can't stress enough how helpful CBT really is.  I thought I needed anger management classes but CBT helped me overcome this issue... with EVERYONE except my mother ;-) !!!  I hope this helps you and that you felt well today!
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