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  • Writer's pictureSusan Russo

Take Control: When Anger Has Become a Problem

Updated: Apr 3

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger” -Buddha

Anger is often many things, and is covering up other emotions that we want to express. Anger is a secondary emotion that covers up a primary emotion we are feeling. Anger can interfere with our day-to-day functioning. Anger can affect our relationships with people that we love the most. Anger can tear apart relationships if left unmanaged.

Almost 9% of Americans or 22 million people have a history of impulsive angry behavior. Anger can affect all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities. There are several different types of anger that can present in a person. Some people might yell, argue, or curse while others may become physically aggressive. These feelings can last for a lifetime if not properly managed.

Anger can affect many different aspects of our lives and our health. Anger can cause a person to have high blood pressure, headaches, or stomach issues. Anger releases the hormones cortisol and norepinephrine into our bodies which can activate our stress response and increase our heart rate, breathing, can cause our arteries to constrict taking away blood from other major organs in our body.

The DSM5 does not have an official diagnosis for anger problems. The most common disorder resulting from anger is intermittent explosive disorder which involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which cause a person to react grossly out of proportion to the situation.

Anger can be seen in our everyday lives simply by just turning on the television or looking on social media. So you may find that you are asking yourself how can I learn to better manage my anger in an ever increasing world full of anger. Well the good news is that you can learn to easily manage your anger and have better control over your mood.

By using the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques you will learn how to recognize the root cause of your anger and learn your triggers. You will learn how to replace unhelpful angry actions with clear and effective communication. You will learn a range of anger management techniques that help you express yourself assertively without losing control. Finally you will learn healthy anger responses to use in stressful situations. Cognitive behavioral therapy uses exercises to help you understand your triggers.

Ultimately the goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You can't always get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, but you can learn to control your reactions.

Let’s face it, we all get angry from time to time, we are human. But for some people the anger is ever increasing and they feel that they are not able to handle it. Some people have tried for years to better control their anger on their own. Joining an anger management group will help you to discover that you are more than your anger and that you are able to better manage your feelings of anger and express your feelings in an assertive way with healthy communication skills.

Author: Susan Russo, LMFT

If you feel like you can benefit from group therapy, please email us at and let us know which group you’d be interested in joining, or call (888) 588-8995 and a New Member Expert can help you sign up.


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