Dealing with anger disorder symptoms can be challenging and life altering. It can often lead to a variety of other problems, such as ruined personal relationships, loss of employment, or trouble with substance abuse or the law. There is a number of symptoms that might be useful in determining whether you or someone you know has an anger disorder. This is a brief guide to understanding and recognizing a few such symptoms, some of which are reason enough to seek the help of a trained medical professional.
Five Major Anger Disorder Symptoms
• Are you angry for no apparent reason? If you become angry suddenly without any provocation, or during a time in which others might have no emotion or positive emotions, then you might want to seek help to determine if you have an anger disorder.
• Is your angry disproportionate to the situation? Some disorders are also characterized by instances of explosive anger which are disproportionate to the particular situation. Often trivial or minor things can trigger rage in those that suffer from an anger related condition, such as chasing someone down for cutting you off on the road or yelling at someone in a store for skipping ahead in line.
• Are you ever surprised by how angry you sometimes become? Have you become angry, and then realized afterward that you scared even yourself by just how enraged you actually were? This is classic symptom of an anger disorder. Most who are affected by it will become so agitated that they do things for which they wouldn’t normally ever dream of doing, like harming someone else or saying things they don’t mean.
Almost everyone knows someone who seems to have a perpetual crisis going on, erupting in anger and causing meaningless drama everywhere they go. It’s as if they have enjoy getting angry. One begs the question: can anger be addictive?
Anger addiction is a rather new notion but not a far-fetched one. Research shows it can start developing early on, when the frontal lobe of the brain (emotional CEO) has not fully matured yet. Actually, this area of the brain is not fully formed till the late 20s. At this age, impulsive thoughts effortlessly dominate rational thinking and can cause one to go on down the path of whimsy and reckless behavior. “Look pa! I can smoke, talk on the phone and drive, all at the same time!” Sometime this behavior is called the “head-in-underwear” syndrome.
How Anger Addiction Starts
Anger addiction forms in the brain’s limbic system, which is the chair of all emotions. This system is responsible for the secretion of dopamine, the pleasure hormone. Dopamine (source of the word “dope”) is the anatomical stepping stone to addiction. It is unleashed by the brain in response to stimulants like a alcohol, sex, certain drugs, even a shopping spree. Since you like the way you feel, you learn to repeat the behavior, which in turn Continue reading “The Amazing Mechanics of Anger Addiction” »
If you are living with bipolar disorder, you know how greatly the symptoms can affect your life. As a result of it, you must have experienced a dramatic change in your personal relationships or have even been unable to hold a job due to sudden and uncontrollable emotions. Possibly the most damaging symptom of bipolar disorder is anger. It usually is the root cause for many of the negative changes that you have encountered since you’ve been diagnosed, or since you began to notice the signs that you may have the dreaded disorder.
A good majority of us experience anger in some form, in varying degrees, but those suffering from bipolar disorder tend to experience these episodes of anger in a more extreme fashion. There may be sudden anger outbursts, or an exaggerated reaction to something that is typically very small in the “grand scheme of things”. This is due to the fact that the disorder is believed to be caused by a chemical imbalance within the brain. This imbalance not only results in an inability to focus, drastic mood shifts, an overabundance of energy, diminished decision making capability, but also moderate to severe anger.
By now you know that a “fight or flight” reaction is hardwired into us to address perceived perils to our survival. Under pressure, our system secretes hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, that accelerate the heart tempo and the respiratory system. At the same time, the process endows us with a burst of super power to increase our chances of survival.
This anxious state was useful in Stone Age eras – and is still valuable in a few modern situations as well. The fight-or-flight reaction gifts us with ability in making split-second judgments to whether we ought to jet off or fight in hazardous situations. One example is, you’re cruising on the motorway with your radio beat on and unexpectedly you see some disco lights right behind you that terribly look like a cop car. You look at the speedometer and are stunned to learn you’re oozing at a pleasant 90 MPH… Your heart rate is up, adrenaline is pumping…, “Damn, now what?” Do you stop the car and face the man in a uniform or maybe… run!? Joking obviously. Of course you stop but your tongue is tied, hands shaking and you understand – fear and anger is a physiological event in your body that is clouding your mind.
Did you know one third of adults say they feel angry almost every day and are worried they are suffering from one of the anger disorders? Three-quarters of us feel irritated (which is, after all, a feeling of mild angry) several times each week. Typically, it is said that anger is a “normal” emotional state which everyone experiences and which, in itself, is not evidence that there’s anything wrong with you. This emotional state is simply an automatic response to the experience of believing that you’ve been mistreated, wronged, offended or unfairly denied. No-one goes through life without actually being on the receiving end of such treatment, and everyone is capable of occasionally feeling they’ve been treated badly even if they really haven’t.
It’s when anger exceeds certain boundaries that people start talking about anger disorders. There are usually signs that the feelings you’re experiencing might have gone beyond “normal” anger and become something that might need some attention.
If you or someone you know is one of the more than 16 million Americans who deals with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (also known as Explosive Anger Disorder), then you know how greatly if effects the day to day lives of those afflicted by it. Here’s a brief guide to understanding Intermittent Explosive Disorder, as well as some ways to determine whether you or someone you love is suffering from it.
1. It can be undiagnosed in many. Intermittent Explosive Disorder can be present in an individual without them ever knowing they have it. Without experiencing an incident of provocation, someone who suffers from it may go about their lives without ever showing a symptom, until such an instance occurs. A mental health exam that thoroughly assesses an individual’s background and current mental state may help to properly diagnose the person once signs of IED have begun to present themselves.
More than often signs of any sort of mental condition can be diificult to decipher. Watch these educational videos related to anger disorders and see whether you recognize the patterns in yourself or others.
When it comes to science of anger disorders, no instruments truly exit that can asses this mental condition as a clinical disorder. To make matters worse, there is currently little agreement among mental health practitioners as to what constitutes an anger problem and there is not even a commonly accepted definition of anger itself. So, is it possible that an anger disorder is just a myth? It depends.
This is simply an area of human condition that psychologist and neuro-scientists have not properly explored yet. According to statement by a cognitive researcher, noted on CSMMH website, “The cognitive theory of anger consists of a constellation of core beliefs, automatic interpretations, and feelings that comprise the manifestation of anger experiences. Although the descriptive element of the cognitive theory of anger is well formulated, the causal element of the theory that relates specific disorder components to specific treatment components is less compelling.”