Common Symptoms of an Anger Disorder
Anger disorders can lead to aggressive, angry or violent behavior. While anger is a normal human emotion that happens to everyone sooner or later, it can sometimes get completely out of control. If the frequency and severity of angry episodes you are having make you feel like you have lost control of your life, you may have an anger disorder.
Physical Signs of Out-of-Control Anger
The term anger refers to an array of emotions that can range from mild irritation to explosive rage. You may not always be able to identify the emotion that you are feeling. There are often physical signs that accompany wrath that may help you to recognize and acknowledge your angry feelings.
- Your heart rate or blood pressure may increase
- You begin to sweat profusely
- You clench your jaw
- Your stomach may feel upset
- You may experience a headache
- Your hands may shake
Underneath the surface, biological changes are going on. Certain hormones are increasing, such as adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Too Much Anger and Anger Disorders
If you feel like you are getting angry too often, you might need help finding better ways of dealing with stormy emotions. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga may help, especially if you commit to practicing them daily. Work on clear communication with your closest family and friends and try to focus on not being so reactive. Pay attention to what triggers angry outbursts and see if you can avoid putting yourself in those situations.
If your anger is severe and self-help techniques don’t help to improve your outbursts, you may have an anger disorder, such as intermittent explosive disorder. Talk to your doctor. He or she will do a physical exam as well as a psychological evaluation. If you are diagnosed with an anger disorder, treatment will probably include both medication and psychotherapy. Medications may include antidepressants and mood stabilizers, and psychotherapy may be done on an individual or group basis.
Angry behavior is learned behavior that can be unlearned. Professional counselors can help you to develop methods of changing your thinking and your behavior. While you won’t be able to completely eliminate anger from your life, with help you will be able to reduce the amount and severity of angry episodes you experience.
American Psychological Association: Controlling Anger Before it Controls You