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Anger Management

Anger is a perfectly normal emotion, and everyone has experienced feeling angry at some point in their lives. However, when your anger becomes out of your control, serious problems and real-world consequences may arise - it may cause separation of marriages and families, you may lose your job, or you may even end up in jail. Anger management can help you learn coping strategies and develop skills so you can regulate your emotions better.

Are you looking for therapy for “anger management near me” to help with your anger issues?

Bregman Medical Group has you covered! Whether you are in Coral Gables, Florida, or anywhere in the country, our team of mental health professionals offers Telehealth or online counseling sessions to help you.

Request an online appointment.

What is Anger?

Anger is part of the basic human emotions along with happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, and surprise. These emotions are important and foundational for people’s basic survival. Anger is an intense emotion that makes you feel hostile and frustrated often towards something or someone that you think has wronged you.

The feelings of anger, how long it lasts, or how intense it is differs from person to person. There are people who get angry more easily than others. But, no matter how often we experience it, anger is a common albeit unpleasant emotion that makes you feel uncomfortable.

What Causes Anger?

There are many factors that contribute to feelings of anger. The biggest factor causing anger is a person’s environment. When you are in a particularly frustrating current situation, you may find yourself to be more irritable and easily angered.

Anger may also be caused by our past experiences and childhood upbringing. People who experience trauma or abuse in the past and were not able to express their feelings well may still be dealing with their anger issues at present. Our childhood upbringing influences the way we express our anger. For example, you may have grown up in a home where expressing your anger outwardly is discouraged, so you learn to suppress that anger, which can be bad. Or, you may have grown up in a home where family members often have loud outbursts of anger and model their behavior as you grow up.

Your genetics and how your body responds to stress, as well as your personality traits, may also make you more prone to being easily angered compared to others. A study by researchers from Cambridge University shows that low levels of serotonin in the brain make it more difficult for a person to control his or her emotional response to anger.

Dealing with anger issues may be a symptom of a deeper mental health disorder such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, or other mental illness. Anger can also be a protective emotion and can be part of dealing with grief.

Passive Anger vs. Aggressive Anger

Passive anger is very subtle and difficult to recognize. The person might not even know that he or she is already angry. When someone has passive anger, they may give sarcastic comments, act mean, or even engage in self-defeating behaviors like not attending classes or work.

On the other hand, aggressive anger is displayed as loud outbursts directed towards someone or something upsetting to the person. Because of its retaliatory nature, aggressive anger can be dangerous to the person as they might say or do things that they will regret later on.

Both passive and aggressive anger have real-world consequences. It is important to know your personal anger triggers so you can positively manage their symptoms. Anger management counseling can help you bring to light the things that make you angry, and help you develop the skills to deal with them in a healthy manner.

What is Anger Management?

We know that being angry is a normal experience for any human being, but excessive anger can be detrimental to your health and the relationships around you. Here is where anger management comes in.

Anger management is a form of therapy to help you control or regulate your anger issues better. An anger management class teaches people about the psychology of anger, how it affects you, and what are the right strategies so you can express your anger constructively. The main goal is to lessen your emotional and physiological reaction to things that cause your anger, and for you to be more in control.

Anger management therapy can be done individually or in a group. There are even anger management classes and anger management support groups that are available and meet online, so it is more convenient for you to join. Youth anger management programs are also made to focus on children and teenagers dealing with anger disorders.

Healthy Anger vs. Toxic Anger

Anger can be constructive or destructive. Suppressing anger is just as problematic as loud uncontrolled outbursts because even if you seem calm on the outside, you are still not able to address what caused your anger in the first place. Therefore, the goal is not to suppress our anger but to learn how to express it in a healthy way.

Healthy anger is focused on the problem and not on blaming other people. If you are angry at one person, constructive anger is when you speak to that person directly with the goal of solving the problem and not in retaliation. Healthy anger is not random; rather, it has a reason for it and the person is aware of its effects on the people around them.

Unlike healthy anger, toxic or destructive anger is often inappropriate and unnecessary because it can be harmful to others. It’s important to note that being angry or aggressive is not a problem. It becomes a problem when there is a pattern of angry and aggressive behavior that becomes too intense and inappropriate, and negatively affects one’s life and relationships.

Facing anger issues can be very stressful to you or your family, and it may be a secondary symptom of a mental health disorder. If you are looking for anger management counseling, you are not alone.

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The Cost of Anger

Uncontrolled anger can be a big hindrance for you to live and enjoy a healthy life. Here are some effects of uncontrolled anger:

Social and Emotional Costs of Anger

  • Being angry all the time may cause a person to have fewer friends and social support because they are less likely to develop healthy relationships

  • They are more likely to be depressed

  • They are more likely to verbally and/or physically abuse people around them

  • Uncontrolled anger reduces intimacy within personal relationships

  • Family members, tiptoe around the person so as not to aggravate their hostility

  • People with anger issues tend to have a cynical attitude towards others so they have a hard time recognizing and using support when available

  • Uncontrolled anger has real-world negative consequences and can destroy relationships (you may run into legal issues, lose your job, or result in divorce)

Health Costs of Anger

  • In a study on anger and health risk behaviors, it was shown that anger is positively associated with coronary heart diseases, developing type 2 diabetes, and can be a causal factor to bulimic behavior.

How An Anger Management Specialist Can Help You

Anger Management Counseling

An anger management therapist can help you bring to light your past childhood experiences that may be contributing to your present anger issues. They can also help you identify your personal anger triggers focused on the present. Here are some of the types of therapy for anger management:


  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - CBT is a form of psychotherapy used in a wide range of mental health conditions, and can be used in decreasing anger symptoms. In CBT, your therapist focuses on identifying what your present personal anger triggers are, helping you be more aware of your negative thoughts and emotions that come with them, challenge those thoughts, and then develop more positive thought patterns.

  • Psychodynamic Therapy - In psychodynamic therapy, your counselor will help you get to the root cause of your anger through self-reflection. Your counselor can help shed light if there are any unconscious motivations that contribute to your anger symptoms, so you can find ways to manage them in a way that will not negatively affect the people around you.

  • Family Therapy - Family therapy for anger management may be done especially if your anger is directed at family members.

  • Group Therapy - an anger management coach or a mental health professional leads the discussion in group therapy with multiple participants. Patients take turns speaking about their experiences and concerns, and they learn coping mechanisms from each other.


Inpatient Treatment

When people find themselves with uncontrollable anger that disrupts their daily lives, another option to consider is inpatient treatment that focuses on anger management. Patients in a residential facility have 24/7 access to the supervision of professionals.

Medication

Medication may be prescribed to help in treating and decreasing anger symptoms in addition to therapy or anger management programs. Medication may be especially helpful for people with underlying mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Antidepressants like Prozac can help produce a calming effect to control anger symptoms. Note that one should always consult a doctor before taking medication and educate themselves on any side effects or risks involved with taking the drugs.

Strategies for Stress Management

  • Practice relaxation techniques - practicing meditation can be a great way for you to be more in control of your temper. You can do many activities that can make you feel more relaxed such as deep-breathing exercises, picturing a relaxing environment, doing yoga, or listening to calming music. Even keeping a journal will help you.

  • Focus on solving the problem - getting caught up with what fuels anger will not help make things better. Sometimes, our anger and frustrations are caused by unavoidable circumstances in our lives; however, we still have the power to control how we react to these and be patient with ourselves. For situations when we are triggered by someone or something, it’s helpful to focus on how to solve the problem instead of our anger. For example, if you feel like you’re getting angry and overwhelmed for doing all the chores at home, you can talk to your spouse and have a compromise - perhaps creating a schedule on who will be assigned to do chores for the day.

  • Change your thoughts - we usually jump to conclusions at the height of emotions and thinking that someone has done you wrong makes you feel like your anger is justified. We can have exaggerated thoughts that involve “never” or “always” situations. Thinking thoughts in absolute terms like “I am never going to learn how to drive” or “He’s always late” can make us even more upset. Thus, evaluating our thoughts will help us think more rationally, and when we are aware of our thoughts, we can know how we react to them better.

  • Exercise - studies show that exercising and physical activity helps reduce stress as the body releases endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones. If you find yourself getting angry and frustrated, you can jog outside or do other physical activities. Aside from this, exercising will also help distract you from being angry.

  • Take a break - when you feel your anger heating up because of stressful situations, you can change your environment to help yourself detach from that situation. If you feel anger at work, you can take a quick coffee break or walk outside to breathe fresh air. Walking away from a situation so you can calm yourself is also more beneficial than doing something you might regret later on.

  • Turn to humor - humor can help relieve the tension you feel by putting things into perspective. There are times when we realize that what we are even angry about can be unimportant and small that it won’t even matter on the next day or in the years to come. However, note that sarcastic humor can be another way to express anger and should be avoided. The premise is that it is good for us not to take ourselves too seriously.

  • Communicate effectively - when you are angry, you tend to blurt out words that you might regret. Taking things slow and really thinking about what you want to say before you say them will help make the situation better. Communication also involves listening, so when you are angry at someone, give them the chance to explain their point of view.

  • Consider mental health services - if you are finding it hard to control your anger on your own, you may want to seek professional help from an anger management counselor or licensed psychiatrist. You can meet your counselor in person or do online therapy (Teletherapy) so they can guide you on how to deal with your anger.


Talk with Our Mental Health Professionals

Bregman Medical Group is a team of psychiatrists and other mental health care experts that are based in Coral Gables, Florida. Started by Dr. Arthur Bregman, MD, they specialize in a wide array of mental health disorders for children, adults, and families. At present, they are focusing on expanding their online psychiatry services (Telepsychiatry) across the country, so you can talk to them at the comfort of your home.

Book an online appointment today. 



By BregmanMD | December 02, 2021 | Mental Health

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