While anger is a normal part of our repertoire of human emotions, wrath or rage, and its close relation, anger, is one of the “seven deadly sins” for good reason. Excessive anger is responsible for untold misery and has been the downfall of may decent people.
Usually rationalized as warranted by the particular circumstances, excessive anger is associated with explosive verbal or behavioral outbursts that are frequently experienced as irresistible. Other times a burning, seething ongoing experience of anger pervades one’s mood and is associated with irritability, biting comments and passive aggressive acts against others.
Angry outbursts are frequently experienced as automatic, thoughtless and out of the person’s control. Physical corollaries to excessive anger include, increased arousal and energy, decreased energy, agitation, heart palpitations, headache and stomach problems. Substance abuse and other forms of self-medication are often used to regulate angry emotions.
The sense of relief commonly felt after an angry eruption, can be quickly followed by anxiety, and sometimes, deep regret and remorse. Excessive anger can be self-reinforcing in that the person may usually feel powerless, but after an angry outburst, will temporarily feel powerful often getting their way in a given situation. Sooner or later, however, anger issues lead to increasing self-destructive behavior seriously diminishing any short-lived mild positive benefits.
Anger issues are driven by unconscious hurts and deep pain and require open-minded, non-judgmental exploration and treatment of long standing feelings associated with loss of control and problems with regulating emotional states.
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