If someone that you care about seems to be angry all the time – or if their expressions of anger are disproportionate to the events they are reacting to – this could be evidence of a mental or behavioral health concern. Understanding the possible signs of anger issues can help you identify the problem and connect your loved one with the help they need.
Dangers of Anger Issues
Uncontrolled anger can be harmful both to the individual and to those who care about them. The potential dangers of anger issues include:
- Being disciplined, suspended, or expelled from school
- Problems at work, including being passed over for promotions or fired
- Divorce, separation, and other forms of family disruption
- Inability to form and maintain healthy relationships
- Physical injuries due to fights and other aggressive behaviors
- Legal problems, including being arrested or sued
- Social withdrawal and isolation
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Development or worsening of mental health concerns
Signs of Anger Issues
Getting angry from time to time is not a sign of a mental or behavioral health problem. In addition to being a normal, understandable response in certain circumstances, appropriate anger can actually be healthy. However, as we noted at the outset of this post, when anger becomes excessive or virtually omnipresent, that may be an indicator that something is awry.
If you think that someone you care about may have a problem with this type of emotion control, here are some common signs of anger issues to be on the lookout for:
- Reacting to relatively minor difficulties with outsized expressions of anger
- Exhibiting violent tendencies (including punching walls, destroying property, or fighting with other people) when angry
- Often doing or saying things that they regret once they’ve calmed down
- Being unable to accept constructive criticism or justifiable blame without reacting in an overly emotional manner
- Frequently resorting to yelling, insults, sarcasm, or threats when disagreements arise
Words such as often, frequently, and typically are important qualifiers when discussing signs of anger issues. Virtually everyone has moments when they fail to properly manage their emotions. A one-off over-the-top response isn’t necessarily a sign of an anger control problem. But if this behavior is the rule rather than the exception, the individual may need help.
How Can People Learn to Control Anger Issues?
Help for anger control issues can come in many forms. Depending on several individual factors, a person may benefit from medication, education, therapy, or a combination of these interventions.
- Medication: If someone’s struggles with anger management are associated with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or another mental health concern, medication may be an essential element of care. If the mental health symptoms that a person has been experiencing can be eased by prescription medication, this may alleviate the psychological distress that was at the root of their angry outbursts.
- Therapy: Various therapeutic approaches can have a beneficial impact on people who have struggled with poor anger management. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people identify and correct maladaptive thought and behavior patterns. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can promote improvements in areas such as emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. If a person’s anger control issues are related to untreated trauma, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy may also be helpful.
- Education: Insufficient abilities in areas such as anger management, conflict resolution, and problem solving can contribute to a person’s struggles with anger control. But these are all teachable skills. When people learn specific steps to prevent arguments, solve challenges, and manage their emotions, they can begin to interact with others in a much healthier and more mutually beneficial manner.
Is There Treatment for Someone With Anger Issues?
If insufficient anger control is a symptom of a mental health disorder, a person won’t be able to regain control of their emotional outbursts until they have also begun to resolve their underlying mental health concerns.
Depending on the type of disorder a person has developed, the severity of their symptoms, and the degree of harm they have already incurred, their behavioral health treatment may involve care at the inpatient, partial hospitalization, and/or intensive outpatient levels.
In addition to the medication, therapy, and education options that we discussed in the previous section, treatment for someone with a mental illness and related signs of anger issues may include individual, group, and family therapy sessions. Additionally, they can receive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), holistic therapies, and neurofeedback.
If someone’s struggles with mental illness and anger issues also involve a substance use disorder (addiction), dual diagnosis treatment may also be required.
Failing to address any underlying or complicating factors will make it much more difficult for a person to regain and maintain control of their anger and other emotional responses. But when someone receives the comprehensive, personalized care they need, they can make great strides toward greater self-control, improved health, and a more satisfying future.
Contact Our Behavioral Health Treatment Center in Los Angeles, California
If you or someone in your life has been exhibiting signs of anger issues that are related to a mental or behavioral health concern, Montare at the Canyon may have the solutions you need.
Our mental health treatment center in Los Angeles, California, is a safe and welcoming place. Here you or your loved one can receive customized care from a team of highly experienced professionals. These dedicated caregivers understand the many ways that mental illnesses can impact a person’s thoughts, behaviors, relationships, and overall quality of life.
We work closely with each patient to make sure we understand their needs and goals, then we develop the individualized plans that will put them on the path toward a lifetime of brighter tomorrows.
To learn more about how we can help you or your loved one, or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact page or call our center today.