Specialising in treatments for anxiety problems, depression,
self-esteem, perfectionism, trauma and anger
by Elliot Rose
Do you, others around you, suffer because of your anger or frustration?
Do you fear that one day you might lose control of the emotion?
Anger is normal. It can be a useful, positive and affirming emotion. Anger can provide us with a sense of righteousness – a feeling of morality, justice, fairness, and respect. Anger can alert us to an injustice, or if someone is taking advantage of us. Without anger, political movements and charities might not have any donors, because this emotion motivates and rallies groups of people to take action together against unpopular social change or other morally significant purposes.
Although we all know what anger means, we don't all experience anger the same way. Some people find that they get angry more easily and more intensely than other people. Frustration, inconvenience and annoyance might be commonplace for things that others around you might consider trivial. Anger may lead us to feel that we are a victim of injustice, other people are intentionally annoying or the "universe" has it in for you.
If you have anger issues, you may be having trouble with personal relationships or having trouble at work. You may be ruminating (which means endlessly dwelling on the same thoughts over and over again) and not able to let things go. It may affect your quality of life.
What does the clinical evidence say?
Anger feels good and can easily get out of control once you allow it to grow. It can quickly turn destructive. Clinical evidence has shown us that, if you allow anger to become intense for long periods of time, it can lead to unhealthy choices and risky behaviour, such as self-neglect, drinking and drug use or violence against others (including domestic and child abuse). Prolonged anger can increase the likelihood of us having accidents, or experiencing road rage. These are what we mean when we talk about risky behaviours, because they might lead to serious physical threats and possibly legal difficulties. This occurs because a different part of our brain is in control of us when we are angry.
Anger also has a big impact on our body. Anger will cause our heart rate to rise rapidly, we may experience palpitations, sweating, shaking and urges to strike someone or something (you may even break possessions that are incredibly valuable to you). Anger also affects your mind, concentration is almost impossible, memories and reality can become distorted, causing us to ruminate (incorrectly) about events, or even engaging in vivid mental fantasies about revenge and violence.
If anger is left to roam free it anger can gradually destroy your body. Anger can be used predict mortality, heart disease, blood pressure and cholesterol problems. Anger has also been linked to binge eating, gastrointestinal problems, strokes, high blood pressure and more.
Elliot Rose is a psychotherapist who uses a number of different therapeutic approaches to help people feel better and become the best that they can be. Elliot has spent many years helping people through the NHS and now teaches psychotherapy full-time at the University of Reading.
Elliot currently trains therapists for the N.H.S., armed forces and students heading towards independent practice. Elliot also provides supervision and welcomes enquiries from existing therapists to help them with their practice.
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