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Anger

What is anger?

Anger is a healthy and helpful human emotion. It can drive us to fight injustice, set strong boundaries and stay safe from danger. In fact, it is a crucial part of our ‘fight or flight’ threat response.

Anger only becomes harmful when it is buried, bottled up or ignored, or if it leads to ongoing resentment or aggressive behaviour. Anger that has never been properly dealt with can also cause bouts of rage, self-harm, passive aggressiveness or even physical illness.

In fact, anger often masks other painful emotions such as fear, shame, humiliation, grief and sadness. So when anger isn’t fully processed, you can’t access and soothe those other feelings either. This can lead to stress, anxiety and depression.

Although anger issues can develop after a trauma or bereavement, they can also be caused by growing up in an environment where self-expression isn’t supported. And when rage and frustration become unmanageable, it can feel as if your whole life has been hijacked.

Thankfully, the right therapy can help you to develop a healthier relationship with anger. In time, it’s even possible for anger to become a helpful inner compass, giving you a much richer understanding of yourself.

What are signs of anger issues?

  • Experiencing rage or ‘red mist’

  • Frequent sweating, shaking, hotness and racing heart

  • Problems with personal or professional relationships

  • Agitation and irritability

  • Headaches and stomach aches

  • Anxiety, stress and teeth grinding

  • Depression and numbness

  • Scattered thinking

  • Fatigue

Help for anger issues

These therapies are known to be effective in treating anger: CBT, DBT, Schema Therapy, Mindfulness, Psychodynamic Therapy, Body-Focused Therapy

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