Anger Management Treatment
Types of Anger Issues
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Get Help for Anger
Anger is an issue for everyone, and learning to control that anger before it controls you is an essential lesson that all must learn. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task for everyone, and those with anger management issues often perpetrate violence on others at the slightest provocation. For a number of reasons, anger management can be an issue; substance abuse, mental health disorders, grief and trauma are just a few underlying causes. When the inability to control your anger begins to impede your life, hurt those around you, and threaten your freedom due to legal problems, anger management treatment is the best option.
Anger management treatment helps you regain control of your emotions. Different types of anger management programs are available to address the issues related to different types of anger management issues and to help those who struggle with anger due to a range of underlying causes.
Ultimately, learning how to break the cycle of aggression and violence can not only save the life of the person living with anger management issues but increase the safety of those around them. Friends and family can breathe easier knowing that you are getting the treatment you need to live a healthy and balanced life. Contact us today at the phone number listed above to get the anger management treatment you need to turn your life around.
Types of Anger Management Issues
The first type of problem anger is what most people visualize when they think of someone in need of anger management. This type of anger includes any verbal or physical abuse directed towards another person. In this type of anger, there is a behavior directed outward with an obvious victim. Angry behavior that requires treatment and falls into this category can be something simple like spreading lies in an effort to destroy someone’s reputation all the way to more severe actions like life-threatening physical violence.
The other type of behavior that requires anger management help is often not seen as a problem by most people because it is directed inward. The only victim in these circumstances is the person who is angry. Their anger is from internalizing their pain and resentment rather than communicating it. Someone who internalizes their anger does so as a result of an unresolved emotional incident such as abuse, death, abandonment or rejection. Although internalized anger is not as obviously violent as outwardly expressed anger, it still can have deadly consequences from resulting emotional and health consequences for the repressed individual.
Realizing and admitting that you engage in one of these two patterns of anger is the first step in finding anger management help. Problem anger and its treatment have become widely understood in recent years. Fortunately, for individuals struggling with uncontrollable anger, the problem is now highly treatable.
Anger Related to Substance Abuse
Instances of compulsive violence related to anger management issues often co-occur with substance abuse and addiction. Depending upon the drug of choice, these rates can rise – alcohol and stimulant drugs like crystal meth and cocaine are the most likely to incite users to violence due to paranoia and agitation. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicates that about 40 percent of those who abuse cocaine report that violent behavior is an issue for them.
In some cases, anger management can play a causal role in the development of drug and alcohol addiction rather than the other way around. Those who live with anger management issues may end up trying to self-medicate the issue by drinking or getting high, ultimately worsening the problem when the illicit substances end up decreasing their ability to control their emotions or actions.
Anger Related to Trauma
According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can lead to anger management issues when perceived threat of any kind triggers the survival response. This automatic response of irritability and anger in those with PTSD can create serious problems in the workplace and in family life. It can also affect the patient’s feelings about self and their role in society.
Whether or not the objective person would perceive threat in a given situation does not matter to those who respond to the stresses of PTSD with anger and violence. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, certain physiological and emotional responses occur when the two issues coexist and the patient feels threatened in any way.
Many living with both PTSD and anger management issues struggle with the need to control their surroundings. When they feel that they are out of control, they are more likely to respond by acting out against themselves or others.
- Physical response. Those with PTSD may normally feel the increased heat, higher blood pressure and blood circulation, and release of related chemicals in the brain that most only feel when angry. When threatened, they body responds with even more intense physical and emotional responses. In order to feel more comfortable, some seek out situations that require them to remain on guard and ready to attack.
- Behavior. Those who experienced trauma often jump to the most extreme self-protection response when irritated or angered. Acting before thinking is not uncommon and violence is not the only manifestation. Self-blame, self-injury, complaining, and purposely sabotaging relationships and opportunities are also common among anger management patients with PTSD.
- Perceived threat. Those living with PTSD see threat of bodily harm or injury everywhere, even in innocuous situations. Mentally, this can be exhausting – even if the patient is unaware of the severity of the problem.
Anger and Domestic Violence
The Department of Health and Health Services estimates that up to 25 percent of American women have been subject to some form of domestic violence during their lifetime, usually at the hands of an intimate partner or a man close to them. According to Understanding Violence Against Women edited by Ann Burgess and Nancy A. Cromwell, the two million assaults inflicted upon women each year amount to more than 73,000 hospitalizations and 1,500 deaths.
Physical injury is not the only risk associated with compulsive domestic violence; the prevalence of depression among women who are the victims of domestic violence is about twice that of the rest of the population. Children, too, are victims when domestic violence is an issue. Many are victims of domestic assaults while others become victims when they attempt to intervene and protect their victimized parent. The mental and emotional trauma that comes from feeling unsafe at home and being a witness to domestic violence can often mean that that child grows up to become a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence themselves.
Anger management treatment is one of the tools used to help fight domestic violence and help perpetrators of domestic attacks to get the help they need to get their emotions under control. Often court-ordered in cases of domestic assault, structured therapeutic intervention that breaks the cycle of abuse can change lives – and save lives.
The Cycle of Aggression
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, there is a cycle of aggression or violence that informs the process of building up to anger, expressing that anger inappropriately, and then recovering from that episode. The three stages of this cycle include:
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- Escalation. During this phase, the patient and those around them may recognize the signs that anger is building. Certain thoughts (e.g., repetitious or blaming thoughts), physiological responses (e.g., clenching fists, flushed skin, breathing harder) and emotional responses may be evident. Both internal events like thinking about something upsetting and external events like anger-provoking situations can build over days during the escalation phase of an anger episode.
- Explosion. As the name implies, this phase of the anger episode is the compulsive violent response to the issues that occurred during escalation. Physical violence and verbal aggression usually characterize the explosion phase.
- Post-explosion. The consequences of the violent or aggressive explosion (e.g., fight with partner, arrest, legal problems) as well as feelings of guilt and remorse characterize the post-explosion phase. Often, promises of change are a part of this part of the cycle.
Anger Management Treatment: Start Today!
Learning to manage your anger starts with identifying who you are and why you are so easily thrown off course by your emotions. Anger management treatment continues when you notice the mental and physical triggers that precede an emotional outburst, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. Through coping skills you gain at an anger management treatment centers, you will be able to quell anger episodes before they start and surround yourself with like-minded people who will encourage you in your healing process and recovery.
Contact us today to find an anger management treatment program that can help you make great strides toward a new life of balance and peace. All you have to do is email or call to get started on the path to anger management treatment and the life of serenity and control that you deserve. Call now.
Anger Management Treatment Goals
There are three chief goals in an anger management treatment program: to teach the patient to identify anger triggers, to respond to those triggers in order to avert a violent reaction, and to reduce the anger response in general. Though there is no cure for anger management issues, there are a number of different techniques that can help the patient achieve these goals and choose appropriate alternative behaviors. Some of these include:
- Changing Thought Processes. This is usually achieved through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This therapy for anger management attempts to reduce the overly exaggerated thoughts that can lead to irrational behavior. As a result, the patient learns to avoid extreme thoughts and rely on logic in the heat of the moment.
- Teaching Assertiveness. Excessively angry patients are aggressive rather than assertive. There is a small but important distinction here. An aggressive person demands things (e.g., appreciation, respect, etc.) while an assertive person makes their wants known. Demands shut down communication and can easily lead to anger when they are not met whereas making your feelings known opens up communication and the potential for brainstorming solutions if your wishes are not possible.
- Learning Communication Skills. Those in need of anger management tend to make assumptions about another person’s motivations. In treatment, an individual learns not to jump to conclusions before having a discussion with the person with whom they are upset. In this conversation, listening to the other person intently before responding is emphasized.
- Learning How to Relax. Learning to make relaxing activities, such as meditation, prayer, yoga and massage, part of life can help reduce stress so when a problem arises a person is slower to feel extreme tension. These tools can also help in the heat of an angry moment with mechanisms such as deep breathing and imagery that a person can utilize to help remain calm.
Evidence-Based Anger Management Treatment
Evidence-based treatments at an anger management program allow the patient to learn how to recognize physical and verbal queues that let them know that an outburst is about to happen. Coping skills are then learned and implemented so that temper flare-ups are managed without angry outbursts; all of this comes from evidence-based treatments or proven methodologies that are derived from years of research, proving efficacy. Patients learn to identify why they are so angry and learn how to manage and control that emotion so it does not lead them to treat others and themselves poorly.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the top approaches that have been proven to be the most effective are applied during:
- Individual psychotherapy sessions. The privacy provided by personal therapy allows those who are living with shame and guilt associated with their actions or patients who experienced events that embarrass them to open up without fear of judgment. The controlled participation of a trained professional means that the patient is less likely to be provoked to outburst during the session.
- Group therapy sessions. Many who seek anger management treatment start by attending group sessions that focus on the topic and provide dedicated interventions that teach specific skills proven to help get the anger response under control. Relaxation techniques, cognitive interventions, communication skills and conflict resolution skills are all a part of the process of recovery.