Do you suffer from sudden episodes of impulsive or explosive aggression? Do you sometimes react to situations in a manner which is out of proportion and out of character?
Maybe you get yourself involved in incidents of road rage, domestic abuse or simply screaming at the people you love? If so, this is likely causing significant distress and upset to you and those around you, you might want to think about seeking professional help.
Symptoms of intermittent explosive responses:
You may find that you suddenly erupt in anger, and while the anger usually subsides after half an hour or so, the episode may be very intense and may even occur often. For some, episodes are less frequent but no less severe.
Others may find that they are almost always irritable, impulsive and aggressive. Some episodes of aggression may follow, or be accompanied by rage, racing thoughts, tingling and even tremors or a tightening of the chest.
During an explosive, angry episode, the person may rant and rave, have a tantrum, cause damage to property, or even slap, shove or push another person or persons. For some, there is a feeling of relief or intense tiredness after the outburst, and they may feel embarrassed or regretful afterwards.
What can cause an angry outburst?
While more common in younger than older adults, the exact cause of intermittent explosive responses is not fully understood, but experts believe that several environmental and biological factors come into play. Of course, as with many mental health issues, there can be a variety of different causes for a variety of different people.
Seeking professional help to prevent your disorder from getting out of control:
Angry outbursts may go much further than merely being embarrassing for the perpetrator; the individual may cause harm to themselves, others or property, and there is always the risk of irreversible relational damage during an angry outburst.
So, seeking help to prevent your anger from getting out of control is essential for your sake, and the sake of those around you, and when combined with the following guidelines, there’s every chance you’ll go on to curb your feelings of anger:
- Persevering with treatment
Go to your therapy sessions as regularly as your healthcare professional instructs.
- Try relaxation techniques
Deep breathing and relaxing imagery or yoga may help
- Retrain your brain
Cognitive restructuring can help you to change the way you think about, and react to, certain situations, using rational thought and reasonable explanations. Your therapist can help you here.
- Try to problem-solve
Try to construct a plan in your mind to help you deal with a frustrating problem. Again, feel free to ask your mental health provider for help here.
- Improve the way in which you communicate with others
Try to listen more, and then be patient with your response instead of reacting impulsively (and avoid saying the first thing that comes into your mind when someone is talking to you).
- Leave or avoid situations that may encourage anger
If possible, walk away from a situation that is threatening to make you angry or to which you worry that your response may not be rational.
- Don’t take mood-altering substances
Alcohol or illicit drugs often serves only to exacerbate any mental health condition, so using them is very unlikely to help you overcome angry outbursts.
If your angry outbursts are causing distress to you or those close to you, then it may be time to seek professional help. Doing so will help you alleviate your anger and teach you how better to manage your emotions when times are tough, something that we doubtless all can learn how to do better!