Posted on September 01, 2020
This blog should cover all the signs of anger issues and include how to tell whether or not it's an anger issue or if it's a bipolar disorder.
No matter your age, race, gender, or economic strata, anger does not discriminate. Anger is a natural human response to outside threats and danger. We all get angry. But, not all of us have anger issues. When it becomes difficult or even impossible to control our anger, or we get angry too often, for little or no reason, then it can become a problem.
Left untreated, all types of anger issues can ruin relationships, damage careers, and even land you in trouble with the law. When trying to take control of our anger the hardest – yet most important – thing is to be able to recognize and admit when we have an anger problem.
So what are the signs that feelings of anger have escalated beyond normal frustration?
Before seeking anger management therapy and learning techniques to manage your emotions, you first need to recognize what causes anger issues for you and what your anger looks like by answering questions such as:
Coming up with thoughtful and accurate answers to these questions may take you a while. In fact, this is a great list to continually check in with yourself as you move through your anger management treatment.
The first step in managing anger effectively is to learn how to recognize when you are angry. Some see their emotions as a black or white state— raging mad or completely calm. In reality, anger is not so simple; it’s rather quite gray. Anger occurs on a continuum where, most of the time, people experience some gradation of an angry feeling between these two extremes.
The same people who are unable to recognize the nuances in angry feelings sometimes have difficulty recognizing when they are experiencing intermediate anger states. Luckily, most people experience a number of physical, emotional and behavioral cues that they can use to let them know when they are becoming upset.
Feeling the need to put others down to make yourself feel better is a clear sign that you are not dealing with your own internal issues in a healthy way. Not only does this behavior make others feel worse, but it ultimately increases your own suffering over time. If you find yourself being overly critical of others, and frequently finding more flaws than providing support and praise, it could be a sign that you are harboring unusually high resentment and excessive anger.
The inability to control your temper is one of the clearest indications of anger management issues. Do you exhibit road rage, yelling and screaming when someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you find yourself raising your voice or making rude remarks in the workplace? Do trivial things such as misplacing your keys make you furious? Not being able to control your temper can lead to serious trouble. It’s important to monitor your behavior every day in order to create a baseline to notice if you lose your temper regularly.
If you find yourself unable to take responsibility for your own actions, or always find a way to blame everyone and everything for your problems or mistakes, these may be signs of anger issues Having the clarity of mind to be able to accept responsibility for your actions and your life situation gives you much more power to deal with the consequences in a healthy way.
Accepting criticism is difficult for anyone’s ego, but if you lose your temper every time a person says something negative about you, there could be a deeper anger issue at hand. If you find yourself constantly being defensive, denying claims, or shutting down, then it means you are not in control of your emotions, especially anger. Being able to listen, take constructive criticism and have meaningful conversations about difficult issues is important for building strong relationships.
If you believe you have uncontrolled anger, or if it’s negatively affecting your life or relationships, consider seeking help from a mental health professional who can determine if you have an underlying mental health condition that’s causing your anger issues and requires treatment.
Remember, anger is a normal emotion, but if your feelings seem volatile or out of control, and are impacting your relationships, you may have anger issues. With anger management therapy and other treatments, you can learn how to deal with anger issues and get your anger under control.
Alison LaSov, LMFT
Alison LaSov is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with experience treating clients struggling with anxiety and depression. She predominantly focuses on mental health intervention for children and adolescents, particularly those who are in crisis. She has worked within the Los Angeles education system treating students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), as well as supervised a non-profit Teen Crisis Hotline out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Alison earned her B.A. from UCLA and M.A. from Pepperdine University. She is a native to Los Angeles and co-founder at Advekit.