Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Anger

In the United States, studies show that one out of five people suffer from anger management issues, or the inability to control their anger, and one in three teenagers struggle with the problem. This can manifest in a number of different ways depending upon the person and the situation. Violent compulsive behavior often defines anger management issues, but psychological abuse and verbal abuse is just as – if not more – common. A cycle that includes bad behavior followed by being on “best behavior” until angry explosions again creep back in is common when anger management is at issue.

Anger management treatment is the only way to break this cycle. Treatment starts with recognizing the signs and symptoms of anger management problems. Call us now at the number listed above to learn more about your anger management treatment options, no matter what your signs and symptoms.

What Is Anger Management

The term ‘anger management’ has been coined because there are some people who greatly struggle to deal with their feelings of frustration and anger. Those with anger management issues often lose control of their emotions when they get upset and often hurt those who get caught in the crossfire. Usually, for most people who suffer from anger issues, these actions are regrettable and a source of guilt and shame – yet they are still unable to stop themselves from repeating those behaviors the next time they are triggered.

Signs of AngerAnger management is a style of psychological and behavioral treatment that addresses the signs and symptoms of anger problems at their core just as you would with other mental health disorders. By figuring out how they feel right before an outburst – physically and mentally – someone struggling with anger issues can learn how to step back and calm down before it’s too late. Anger management is not about tamping down natural feelings but about learning how to express anger, sadness and depression in a positive way, without hurting self or others. Trained counselors are able to provide you with actionable steps to take before you do or say something that you will regret.

Signs of a Problems

So how do you know if someone that you care for is suffering from the inability to control their anger? How do you recognize an anger management issue in yourself? A number of signs and symptoms can tip you off, and help you identify a serious problem that requires anger management treatment.

If your or a person you love exhibits several of these signs and symptoms of anger frequently, professional assistance and psychological or behavioral treatment may be necessary.

  • Quick to anger. The littlest things can seem to set someone off when anger management is at issue. Frustration over little tasks or anything that doesn’t come easily can turn into a big scene. Those who spend a lot of time with someone who is quick to anger learns to sense when something may trigger an angry outburst and, when violence can occur.
  • Violent behavior. Physical violence and aggressively screaming or yelling is another sign of anger management problems. The trigger can be something small, seemingly meaningless, that turns into something dangerous for all involved. If the inciting incident is larger in scope or something more serious – the definition of serious will vary depending upon the situation – the person who exhibits the violent behavior may feel justified in hurting the object or subject of the problem.
  • Cycles of bad behavior. Even when he or she feels justified in being quick to anger or having violent outbursts, there is often a period of remorse following bad behavior associated with angry outbursts, especially when there is physical evidence, like a destroyed house or a bruised family member. For a time, he or she may be on their “best behavior,” overly apologetic and working hard to show how sorry they are for what happened. After the house is cleaned up and the bruises begin to fade, however, they again begin to blow up at little things, slowly building up again to a larger outburst. When physical violence is a symptom of anger management problems, this can put loved ones in serious danger.
  • Substance abuse and addiction. Anger management issues are often wrapped up with drug and alcohol addiction. When anger issues are a problem, drug and alcohol abuse almost always worsens the situation. More violent episodes occur while under the influence and the severity of the explosion increases significantly.

Do You Need Help for Anger Issues

If you can answer yes to any number of these situations, you or the person you observe displaying these behaviors or actions might benefit from attending anger management.

  • Often ponders aggressive acts of violence
  • Frequently finds themselves in a situation where they become confrontational and violent
  • Is a road rage driver that yells and screams when driving and blames other drivers on the road for their feelings
  • Frequently experiences negative thoughts
  • Often feels misunderstood and like no one “gets” them
  • Acts out in violence first, without thinking of the consequences
  • Has been arrested for violent acts before, such as the most common: Domestic violence
  • Breaks or destroys objects when they become angry or frustrated
  • Expresses inappropriate amounts of anger for disproportionately small events
  • Uses violence and screaming to control others and force them to submit
  • Enjoys violent and dramatic situations
  • Becomes easily frustrated with other people and the world around them, and often will go on tangents that are fueled by their inner rage and their inability to control it
  • Drinks alcoholic beverages excessively and frequently, which contributes to the lack of self control and bouts of anger
  • Never feels fully satisfied with anything that they have, and constantly blames others who are around them for their own issues
  • Has been reprimanded at their workplace or day job in the past for acting out of control and above the rules, due to their inability to control their anger
  • Loses relationships or prefers to live in tumultuous relationships that are chaotic and fraught with argument
  • Refuses to accept that they have an anger issue that is out of control which requires anger management treatment

Not Everyone Needs Anger Management

Anger ManagementFor instance, a person who is driving on the freeway and gets cut off by another driver, which almost causes them to crash, might become very angry. They may even yell expletives in their car, or exclaim something like, “That idiot nearly killed me!” But there is a clear cut difference between people who get angry naturally, and have control over it, and those who do not; or persons who are afflicted with anger management issues. For example, in the same above situation, a person who entirely loses control of their composure may be prone to road rage, like cutting off that driver who cut them off, or even trying to hurl objects from their car over to the other car, greatly putting themselves and all others on the road in danger.

The above example serves to demonstrate that anger can be something that is a healthy release, when controlled. But for persons who struggle to control that healthy release – like the difference of the reaction of the two drivers mentioned above – they may be a person who would greatly benefit from anger management treatment sessions . Thankfully, modern day psychiatric medical innovations offer effective anger management treatment programs. If you are suffering from anger issues, or you know someone who is, you have some options to treat this mental health disorder.

Treat Your Problem Signs

If you are concerned that the signs and symptoms of anger management listed above define your experience or the experience of someone you love, help is available. Make sure that you always put your safety and the safety of children in the house first: if you or your children are being hurt by someone you love for any reason, do not stay and try and help. Get yourself to safety and, if possible, help from a distance.

If you need assistance finding anger management programs, contact us at the phone number listed above for more information about your options.

Additional Resources

SAMSHA: Behavioral Therapy Manual
Children and Temper Tantrums
Anger and War Veterans