Everyone experiences anger at times in their life. Most anger is situational and is frequently related to not getting our expectations met. This may occur because of a lack of communication, an unrealistic set of expectations, or an unexpected change in our circumstances. In addition, anger can occur whenever we experience a significant loss in our lives. This anger is often an important step in the grieving process. Fortunately, most people are able to successfully cope with the challenges of their life and are able to express their anger in appropriate ways.
Not all anger is alike
Unfortunately, some people experience extreme episodes of anger and are unable to cope effectively with their circumstances. This can occur because they do not have the tools they need to manage their anger appropriately. Extreme anger reactions can also be an indication that a person may be experiencing significant emotional problems and may need professional help.
Some of the common mental disorders where anger is a common symptom are:
Substance Abuse, Alcoholism, and Addictions
Many people that are abusing drugs and alcohol experience episodes of anger. Some of the common manifestations of anger include:
- Explosive anger
- Quick temper
- Blaming others for their own actions and feelings
- Increase in physical confrontations and impulsiveness
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
This disorder is typically seen in kids between the ages of 6 and 18 and is characterized by chronic and severe irritability. The most prevalent features of this disorder are:
- Severe recurrent temper outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation.
- Temper outbursts are inconsistent with the expected developmental age.
- Mood is persistently angry.
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
This disorder is characterized by recurrent angry outbursts that develop rapidly and then typically subside within about 30 minutes. The most prevalent features of this disorder are:
- Verbal or behavioral outbursts develop quickly and impulsively.
- Aggressiveness is out of proportion to the precipitating stressor.
- The outbursts are not premeditated and aren’t directed toward achieving some desired outcome.
- The outbursts cause significant distress to the individual and/or lead to significant social, legal, occupational, or financial consequences.
This disorder occurs when a person has been exposed to an event that is so traumatic that it overwhelms their normal coping abilities. As a result, they may begin to experience emotional and physiological reactions when exposed to “triggers” that remind them in some way of the trauma. One of those reactions can be extreme anger outbursts.
Irritability, especially in children and adolescents, can be a symptom of depression. An adolescent, for example, might describe feeling like they are in a “bad mood” all the time or an adult might describe feeling “agitated” when they are experiencing depression.
Mood swings are one of the primary symptoms of bipolar disorder. Some of these changing moods can include irritability, restlessness, agitation, or anger.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is characterized by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity. Because people with this disorder tend to struggle with focusing or staying on task, they often feel frustrated and overwhelmed by the demands of their environment. This frustration can be manifested in irritability or anger.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder is characterized by a persistent pattern of instability in relationships, self-image, and mood. People with this disorder tend to vacillate between feeling extreme attachment and extreme abandonment in relationships. They also tend to have episodes of intense anger and may have difficulty controlling their temper.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Oppositional Defiant Disorder is typically seen in children and adolescents and is characterized by a persistent pattern of anger and defiance. Some of the most common symptoms of this disorder are:
- Often loses temper
- Irritable mood
- Anger and resentfulness
- Argues with authority figures
- Defies rules
Conduct Disorder is typically seen in children and adolescents and is characterized by a persistent pattern of behavior where the rights of others are violated. They often appear angry, callous, and show a lack of guilt or remorse for their activities. Some of the most common features of this disorder include:
- Aggression toward people or animals (includes fighting, bullying, and being physically cruel to people or animals)
- Destruction of property
- Lying and stealing
- Serious violation of rules
If you or someone you know is struggling with anger issues, New Dimensions can help.
New Dimensions Can Help!
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.
Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.