Everyone feels angry. Anger is a natural emotion that lets humans express dissatisfaction, irritation or annoyance at certain people or events. For most, anger is a passing sensation replaced by feelings that spur positive action. However, some people experience anger as an intense feeling that has to be expressed before they implode. People with anger explosion syndrome may lash out and inflict verbal or physical harm on others. When unable to express the extent of their anger, such people may brood silently or become passive-aggressive.
A 2019 survey found that 84% of Americans believe people have become progressively angrier over the years. And while anger itself isn’t always a bad emotion, explosive syndrome is a disruptive reaction you should seek help to manage.
Follow along as experts from Sunlight Recovery delve into the nature of anger and provide some effective anger management strategies.
Introduction to Anger Control Issues: Understanding the Nature and Impact of Anger Management Challenges
Humans need anger just as much as they need fear and happiness. Anger developed as an evolutionary reaction that made people aggressive to scare or eliminate environmental threats. Today, anger can help you protect yourself and loved ones from things threatening your well-being. However, laws and social norms discourage physical displays of anger, which means you need to process it without harming yourself or others.
There are three ways of dealing with anger:
- Calming. This is a healthy way of dealing with anger that involves lowering your irritation or rage. You can calm down by taking deep breaths, relaxing tensed muscles or removing yourself from the source of anger.
- Expressing. Speaking about your anger can be a healthy way of dealing with it. You can vent your emotions to someone who wasn’t involved in the triggering situation or speak with someone who made you angry to explain how they made you feel. However, expressing anger by verbally or physically lashing out isn’t a healthy way to process the feeling.
- Suppressing. Unlike calming, suppressing involves internally squashing rage or fury. While suppressing may prevent unpleasant altercations, it may cause you to redirect your anger to innocent parties. Suppressing anger can also make you bitter, cynical and passive-aggressive.
Recognizing the Signs: Identifying Common Indicators of Anger Explosion Syndrome
Being unable to control your anger is more than an unappealing characteristic. Rage can have serious health consequences, including heart attacks, poor memory and gastrointestinal issues.
Like with other conditions, you may not realize that you experience and deal with anger in unhealthy ways. Depending on your environment, you may feel that staying silent, being passive-aggressive or getting into fights is a perfectly reasonable response to fury.
However, you may have anger control issues if you:
- Frequently feel irritated, frustrated or enraged, even over seemingly minor things
- Blackout or forget events that happen after you get angry
- Often regret the things you do or say when angry
- Physically or verbally hurt people when angry
- Hear comments from loved ones, colleagues and even strangers about your anger
Explosive syndrome is a strong feeling that evokes a range of physical and emotional sensations. When you’re angry, take note of bodily reactions, such as:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- A tingling sensation, especially in your extremities
- Tension around your mouth, eyes, hands, chest and stomach
- An overwhelming feeling of stress and frustration
- Intense irritability and restlessness
If you experience these sensations after an upsetting event and can’t control them, you may have explosion syndrome.
Treatment Approaches: Exploring Different Strategies for Addressing and Managing Anger
Anger management is a process of learning how to reign in your emotions, control your physical reactions to situations and channel your energy toward productive avenues.
Speaking to an anger management coach and taking physical or virtual anger classes can help you find ways to deal with volatile emotions without being disruptive. Some of the anger control methods taught in anger management sessions include:
- Relaxation techniques. Calming the physical and mental sensations aroused by anger is the first step to controlling it. Anger management classes can teach you breathwork, mantras, visualization techniques and exercises to use whenever you’re triggered so you don’t explode in anger.
- Cognitive restructuring. Changing how you feel and view your environment is also an important tool in anger management. Cognitive restructuring teaches you rational thinking patterns that help you remain calm and objective in situations that trigger your anger.
- Conflict resolution. Conflict is unavoidable, so knowing how to resolve it without erupting in anger is crucial. Learning de-escalation techniques, communication skills and problem-solving methods can help reduce the impact of conflict on your relationships.
- Avoiding triggers. Anger management lessons can help you identify factors at home, in social interactions and in the workplace contributing to your anger control issues. You’ll then learn how to reduce or avoid sources of anger, including taking serious steps such as ending certain relationships.
Therapy and Counseling: The Role of Professional Help in Treating Anger Control Issues
Seeking professional assistance is a good step for managing explosion syndrome, especially if your anger has made you abusive, gotten you into legal trouble or impacted your health and livelihood. Trained professionals can help you get to the root of your anger issues and teach you ways to deal with the emotion before it destroys your life.
A therapist can determine if your anger is caused by underlying mental health conditions such as intermittent explosive disorder (IED), bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Undergoing treatment for these conditions can holistically address your anger control issues. While there’s no specific anger medication, prescriptions for these conditions may act as medication for anger.
Various forms of therapy are also beneficial for anger management. Talking with your therapist during cognitive behavioral therapy sessions can uncover traumas and negative thoughts contributing to your volatile syndrome. Dialectical behavior therapy can teach you healthy coping skills to deal with environmental stressors without experiencing strong, destructive emotions.
Undergoing group therapy will help you learn anger management skills from others and find friends who’ll support you whenever you experience overwhelming emotions.
Steps Toward Healing: Navigating the Path to Anger Management and Emotional Well-Being
You can learn how to heal the impact of explosion syndrome on your well-being and relationships at Sunlight Recovery. Our facility in South Florida provides a serene atmosphere where you can calmly explore your anger control issues under the guidance of trained therapists and counselors. These compassionate professionals will determine if your anger problems are caused by underlying mental health conditions and create a treatment plan to address these issues fully. You’ll also benefit from different anger management techniques, including anger medication and holistic approaches through exercise, music and art.
Contact Sunlight Recovery today to learn about our effective anger management and mental health programs.