What Causes Anger Issues

Anger is a familiar feeling for everyone. Angry feelings due to something that made you upset and occasional irritability and frustration are normal. It’s a natural human emotion. However, when it’s felt at a level of intensity that causes behavior disruptive to everyday life, it’s a cause for concern. Anger attacks can often lead to uncontrolled anger that could lead to violent behavior, alcohol abuse, verbal abuse, or even depression.

Extreme and persistent feelings of anger can be related to different underlying difficulties including depression, anxiety, addictions and other mental health problems. Many individuals who struggle with anger issues can also have problems with severe low self-esteem or a propensity towards mistrust of others. Some people who experience anger issues may also have a history of past physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Causes of anger issues are also not necessarily isolated; there may be many interlocking features that have led someone to develop difficulty managing their anger. Anger management therapy through a therapy matching service may be a great step for truly understanding your anger but these tips will help you start thinking about what causes anger issues in your life.

What is the main cause of anger?

There are a lot of different types of anger issues and different causes of anger outbursts. One of the leading causes of anger is a person’s environment. Stress, financial issues, abusive social or familial situations, and overcommitment of a person’s time can all contribute to the build up of anger. As with disorders such as alcoholism, anger issues may be more prevalent in individuals who were exposed to caregivers and parents with the same disorder as children. Genetics contribute to your body’s ability to deal with certain chemicals and hormones, which means they also play a role in how you deal with anger; if your brain doesn’t react normally to serotonin, you might find it more difficult to manage your emotions.

There are many everyday triggers for anger, such as losing your patience, feeling as if your opinion or efforts aren't appreciated, and injustice. Though, anger can also be induced by larger, deeper triggers like past trauma or grief. Many people find themselves dealing with anger issues when they are dealing with losing a partner, close friend, or family member. 

You also have unique anger triggers, based on your past experiences. Your personal history feeds your reactions to anger. For example, if you weren't taught how to express anger appropriately, your frustrations might simmer until they explode in an angry outburst. Just as people can become angry for many reasons, everyone experiences anger differently. Events or circumstances that cause an angry outburst in one person may not affect another person at all.

What are signs of anger issues?

Since anger is a common emotion, it can be difficult to determine when it becomes an issue. However, there are signs that you might have anger issues. If you are concerned that you or someone that you know may have anger management difficulties, look for the following patterns of behavior:

  • Becoming unusually angry or violent when consuming alcohol
  • Struggling to compromise or arrive easily at mutual agreements without escalation
  • Problems with expressing emotions in a calm and healthy way
  • Isolation or negative behavior that affects relationships
  • Inward aggression that can lead to isolation or self-harm
  • Outward aggression including shouting, swearing, or being physically violent and threatening
  • Substance abuse or addiction

Likewise, there are some common physical signs and symptoms of anger that can vary from person to person. Anger is a natural response to perceived threats, which causes a physical reaction. It causes your body to release adrenaline, your muscles to tighten, and your heart rate and blood pressure to increase. Your senses might feel more acute and your face and hands flushed. Other effects that anger may have on the body include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Overheating
  • Chest tightening
  • Pit in stomach
  • Clenched jaws or grinding teeth
  • Tense muscles
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Leg weakness
  • Feeling faint
  • Pacing
  • Shouting
  • Craving substances such as alcohol or tobacco

Effects that anger may have on the mind include feeling:

  • Anxious, nervous, or unable to relax
  • Easily irritated
  • Guilty
  • Sad or depressed
  • Resentful
  • Humiliated
  • Like striking out physically or verbally

Physical, emotional, and behavioral cues can help a person recognize when they are experiencing different stages of anger. It is important to note that anger and aggression are different things. 

Anger is just an emotion. Aggression is related to how a person behaves. Not everyone with anger behaves aggressively, and not everyone who acts aggressively is angry.

Treatment for Anger Issues

How to deal with anger management issues is the next step. Research suggests that an unhealthy expression of anger — such as keeping anger pent up — can be harmful to your health. Suppressing anger appears to make chronic pain worse, and there is also evidence that anger and hostility is linked with heart disease, high blood pressure, peptic ulcers and stroke

Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times,  but there is professional help available if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret, hurts those around you or is taking a toll on your personal relationships.

With anger management plans, each case requires careful evaluation and assessment from a licensed therapist or counselor. Underlying mental health difficulties need to be identified and treated, whilst interpersonal difficulties may need to be addressed and alcohol or substance use will need to be tackled.

Possible treatments for difficulties with anger management include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Counseling
  • Anger management classes

If you’re looking for a therapist for anger management, Advekit can help you get matched today. 


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