If you or someone you know suffers from uncontrollable anger, an anger management groups may provide the support and understanding needed.
If you struggle with out of control anger, have harmed loved ones, or worry that rage is taking over your life, one of our anger management groups may be the perfect solution to your difficulties with anger.
Anger: What’s Normal, What’s Not?
Everyone feels angry from time to time, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with this emotion. Indeed, anger helps you react appropriately to injustice, defend yourself against an attacker, and know when something’s not right in your relationship. For some people, though, anger becomes a way of life. People with anger management issues feel anger above and beyond other emotions, steadily allowing anger to dominate their lives.
So what counts as abnormal or unhealthy anger? Some signs that you may have an anger problem include:
- Regularly getting into fights or confrontations with strangers
- Physically or psychologically assaulting your spouse or children
- Being unable to calm down after getting angry
- Experiencing physical symptoms of anger, such as shaking, a red face, or sweating
- Sudden, unexplained anger that doesn’t seem related to anything in your life
- Anger related to a drug or alcohol problem
- Being arrested because of anger
- Losing an important relationship because of anger
- Breaking things when you are angry
- Hurting yourself when you are angry
- Behaving abusively or aggressively toward animals or pets when angry
- Stalking someone
- Feeling anger more frequently than other emotions
- Feeling anger as a proxy for sadness, frustration, or other unpleasant emotions.
What Causes Anger Management Problems?
Anger is a normal human emotion, not a diagnosis or a mental illness. For some people, though, anger quickly spirals out of control. The more risk factors you have for anger management, the more likely you are to experience anger issues. Men are particularly vulnerable to anger issues. Our society encourages men to behave aggressively, and teaches boys that other emotions – such as jealousy or sadness – are signs of weakness. For some men, then, anger becomes the only “safe” way to express strong emotions.
Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety can also lead to anger, as can a recent loss or trauma. A history of experiencing injustice in the form of sexism or homophobia can also predispose some people to anger. Though anger may be a fair reaction to these challenges, it can also impede your ability to function in healthy, happy ways.
Prolonged anger has a markedly deleterious effect on your health and well-being. Anger causes your body to release cortisol, a stress hormone that can cause you to gain weight, increase your vulnerability to a host of diseases, and leave you feeling chronically anxious. In this way, anger tends to perpetuate itself. When you feel angry, you may react in ways that make others angry. This, in conjunction with cortisol, can expose you to even more ire-inducing events, steadily leading to an out-of-control cascade of anxiety and anger.
The Perils of Untreated Anger
Anger tends to justify itself. You might recognise your anger is a problem while simultaneously feeling like it’s totally justified. And maybe it is. Anger is, after all, often a reaction to a very real slight. But when anger escalates out of control, it can destroy lives – even kill.
Some of the perils of anger left untreated include:
- Losing your most cherished relationships
- Isolation and loneliness
- Chronic, long-term health problems
- Arrest and incarceration
- Loss of reputation
- Problems at work
- Loss of your job
- Inability to be productive
- Getting into dangerous and potentially lethal fights with strangers
- Road rage-induced auto accidents
- Serious injuries
What is Anger Management?
Many people seeking help for their anger problem for the first time mistakenly believe that doing so means getting rid of anger altogether. Perhaps that goal feels impossible to you. But anger management doesn’t mean abandoning anger altogether. Instead, anger management allows you to feel anger while keeping your emotions under control. Rather than trying to dissuade you not to feel anger, anger management helps you learn how to deal with feelings of anger when they rear their ugly head.
Why Group Treatment?
Group treatment might seem like a strange option, particularly if you think of therapy as an individual undertaking, not a group exercise. But group treatment can be highly effective at helping you manage your anger. Group treatment offers you a ready-made community of people who face issues similar to your own. This allows you to draw from the experience of people who have been there and who get it. And when you explore your group mates’ experiences, you may understand why anger is such a serious problem. Hearing stories of acquaintances who have been arrested or divorced as a result of anger may be the incentive you need to abandon anger for good.
Group treatment offers something more, though. It offers you a real-time chance to practice the skills you learn in group. It’s almost inevitable that a group member will eventually make you angry. When this happens, you have a safe space to put your new skills to work, and to address any lingering challenges. Rather than practicing on people who love you, you practice on people who, like you, are committed to moving past anger.
Three Seas can help you move beyond the pain of anger. We’ve seen the pain anger can cause, but we also know that there’s hope for a way out. Let us help you find it.
In an anger management groups setting, individuals can talk freely about their experiences and work through with the psychologist how the techniques learned in an individual session can be implemented.
Topics that are often discussed in a group anger management setting include:
- Why people get angry
- The difference between healthy and harmful anger
- The triggers for anger
- The symptoms of an uncontrolled outburst
- Tips for coping with anger
- The effects of the anger on friends and family
- How to change angry behaviours
People who have attended anger management groups often find that they work well in unison with the individual sessions. They are a good opportunity to hear from others what has worked for them and to realize that anger isn’t unique. Anger can be controlled and huge improvements can be made people’s lives.