Daily Archives: November 26, 2012

Anger is Danger = Side Effects



Anger is a human emotion characterized by a strong feeling of displeasure and hostility, precipitated by real or supposed grievances or insults. Like any other emotion, anger is also accompanied by physiological and biological changes. The heart rate and the blood pressure goes up and there is increased discharge of energy hormones such as adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. Changing lifestyle, increasing workload, uncertainty about fate of jobs and organizations; all these are causing stress, worry and anger in today’s work force.

According to Kassinove and his colleague, a study in 1997 revealed, 58% of anger episode included yelling and screaming while less than 10% involved physical aggression. Sometimes anger can be normal and helpful, but this is a very small percentage.

The most common sensations of anger are a tight feeling in the upper chest, flush of warmth in the face and the upper body and the tightening of the jaw. Take a few minutes and try to find out what sensations you feel when you are angry. It is important that you admit to yourself, even if you feel slightest of anger, if you want to improve your life.

Cost of Anger: Often one has to pay a heavy cost for anger. It could result in irrational thinking, could disrupt team performance or could result in decreased motivation levels. Repressed anger is even worse as it could erupt any time and cause irreversible damage. Angry individuals have 3 times higher risk of heart attack if below the age of 55 years and 6 times if above the age of 55 years.

Cause of Anger: Following situation can be responsible for ” triggering ” anger in a person where he/she may find it difficult to exercise patience.

  •    When a person is extremely stressed out, facing difficulties or when things are not moving as expected.
  •  Disappointment at not being able to fulfill expectations, either self-expectations or that of others. (Self directed anger).
  •  When a person is harmed or criticized by others.
  •  Memories of traumatic or enraging events.

Even if anger does not result in violence, if expressed in other un-constructive ways, it can lead to broken family relationship, school suspension, lost jobs and other diminished opportunities for success that can put young people at greater risk for criminal activities.

Medical Causes Of Anger:

Personality Disorders

  •  Paranoid personality disorder: Individuals with this disorder have a pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others and interpret their motives as malevolent.
  •  Antisocial Personality Disorder – Individuals who fail to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behavior.
  •  Deceitfulness, repeated lying, cornering others for personal profits or pleasure.
  •  Borderline Personality Disorder – pattern of instability in interpersonal relationship, self – image, intense anger or lack of control of anger with frequent display of temper.
  •  Narcissistic Personality Disorder – patient has pervasive pattern of grandiose sense of self-importance.
  •  Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder – person has pervasive pattern or person has pre-occupation with orderliness and perfectionism interfering with task completion.

Substance abuse disorder

  • Alcohol and alcohol related disorder
  • Drug abuse e.g. Cannabis, opium, cocaine, caffeine, other hallucinogens

Paranoid psychosis

Manic episode / Hypomanic episode

There are 3 basic style of anger in people

1. The suppressor style

2. The ventor style

3. The manager or director style

The suppressor style sits on or suppresses anger. The person feels that anger is all bad and therefore must be suppressed at all cost. However anger is a natural emotion that cannot be eliminated or suppressed for long.

In the ventor style, the person freely and uncontrollably expresses their anger. These people have no mercy at the heat of moment.

The manager or director style of anger management is usually aware of his anger and uses it in constructive manner. This is probably the best way to manage anger.

  • ·To deal with anger and anger provoking situations effectively and at a comfortable pace.
  • ·To deal with anger that helps to resolve the situation and G To see that intervention does not increase or worsen the existing situation.

There is a difference between being assertive and aggressive. Assertive behavior is a sign of maturity and of a positive thinking person. Assertion means expressing ones rights without encroaching on other’s rights and making them realize, in a peaceful manner, that you are right and the opposite person is wrong.

Anger Management

1. Rational Emotive Therapy

2. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

3. Psychotherapy

4. Relaxation Therapy/Progressive Relaxation Therapy.

5. Yogic Exercise

Can we make anger work for us? The answer is Yes.

Feeling angry can be beneficial if it motivates us to make necessary changes in our lives and personality. Anger should remind us that we have the power to overcome the obstacle. If we can follow the following equation then we can turn our anger to our advantage:

Anger = Energy = Power

Your anger is like a laser beam. Aim it precisely where it will do you good.

Children and adults can learn the positive values of treating each other with respect and taking responsibility for their own behavior.

Anger Management should include following steps

1. Accept that you get angry and there is a need for change in yourself.

2. Make conscious effort to change your attitude and behavior, each time you realize that a situation has provoked anger, which may require

a. Change of thoughts

b. Change of expressing words

c. Change in emotions

d. Change in external expression – behavior

3. If possible ask yourself the question “will the objective of my anger matter 10 years from now?” After getting the answer we will see things from a calmer perspective about our reactions of anger.

4. Counting from 1 to 10, either forward or backward, before reacting to any provoking situations will be helpful.

5. Consider alternative interpretation in the upsetting situation.

6. Questioning and changing our negative assumptions.

7. Changing the self-take, and the inflammatory vocabulary that triggers the use within.

8. Identifying the triggering stimuli, learning and adapting to alternative behavior, constructive avoidance and disengagement.

9. Relaxation training-especially Progressive Relaxation training, learning to monitor and reduce ones physical state of tension so that anger doesn’t wear you down or lead to further aggression.

10. Associate yourself with people who have positive orientation and thinking.

11. Regular exercise to relax one self.

12.Be honest to self and to others.

13. Accept shortcomings of your life.


  • Eliminate sarcasm and sarcastic humor from your mind and your daily attitude/behavior.
  • Make humor a priority, read jokes, watch funny movies, try to incorporate laughing into your daily routine. This diffuses situation that used to make you tense and defensive.
  • Develop empathy. When someone criticizes you, focus on them and their feelings, and try to imagine how they are feeling. The ability to empathize with others quickly is the hallmark of emotional maturity.
  • Postpone responses in conversations that provoke anger in you. Physically stop your tongue and breathe especially during heated discussions. You can buy time by saying “I will need time to think about it”.

Bitter truth: Anger is dangerous to you

We’ve all seen these people: the boss who blows her top when a meeting runs five minutes late, the man in the coffee shop who screams and rants when his latte isn’t made with soy milk, the maniac driver who honks at every car in stop-and-go traffic.

Maybe some of us actually are those people.

Aside from being annoying, and sometimes even threatening, angry people aren’t doing themselves any favors. A growing body of research suggests they may be setting themselves up for everything from heart disease and irritable bowel syndrome to headaches and maybe just the common cold.

The latest research – a study of 5,600 Italians, published this month in the journal of the American Heart Association – found that individuals who are cynical, manipulative, arrogant or short-tempered have thicker carotid arteries, which means they’re more vulnerable to heart attacks and strokes.

What’s doing the damage is stress and how angry people react to it – or overreact to it, mental health experts said.

“It’s sort of like idling the car too high on the traffic light – you’re going to be racing your engine when you don’t need to,” said Dr. David Spiegel, associate chairman of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. “There are times when it’s right to get angry. But if your characteristic response is anger, it’s really a failure to deal with stress.”

‘Fight’ hormone

When people face a stressful situation, their bodies produce the hormone cortisol. Under normal circumstances, cortisol helps maintain blood pressure and the body’s fluid balance; in a stressful situation it is what causes the heart to beat faster and sweat to break out.

The rush of cortisol is great when people face a legitimate, immediate danger. It stimulates the “fight or flight” mode that was life saving for our human ancestors. It primes the body to run fast and make quick decisions. But it is potentially damaging for people who tend to get angry and aggressive under stress, or who are chronically stressed out.

Over time, chronic stress can weaken the immune system or, alternatively, send it into overdrive, which can lead to autoimmune disorders. Chronic stress may be a cause of inflammation, which can negatively affect almost every part of the body, from the cellular level on up. Inflammation may be a cause of thickened arteries.

The Italian study focused on antagonistic traits – such as cynicism, arrogance and manipulative behavior – and how they might be related to thick carotid artery walls. It found that the people who were most antagonistic increased their risk of arterial thickening by 40 percent.

Mental health experts who read the study said that people who view the world from an antagonistic perspective – who think everyone’s out to get them, and who don’t trust others – are almost definitely quick to anger, and also more stressed and vulnerable to heart disease, than people who are evenly tempered.

“Basically, every dimension of the body is affected by stress. It’s very clear in terms of hypertension and renal disease that stress is bad,” said Dr. Laura Davies, a child and adolescent psychiatrist with California Pacific Medical Center. “There’s really nothing that isn’t affected by this negative outlook on life, and if you can change that, that’d be great.”

Anger control

The next obvious question, doctors said, is whether people can improve their health by controlling their anger. People with extreme anger problems – those who have personality disorders or who are physically abusive – would probably benefit from one-on-one therapy. People with less immediate problems might consider anger management classes or support groups for people with hot tempers.

But many people may not know whether their anger is affecting their health, some doctors said. It may feel like their anger is a natural response to a situation, especially in the moment.

People who worry that they have an anger problem should look at recent instances when they lost their temper, and, with the benefit of hindsight, ask themselves whether they overreacted, mental health experts say. For example, did that barista really deserve to be yelled at for flubbing a latte?

People also should pay attention to what their friends, co-workers and family members are telling them – if peers are saying that you have an anger management problem, chances are there’s some truth to it, Spiegel said.

“It’s like with drinking – if you’ve gotten drunk a couple of times in the last year, you’re a human being. If you’ve done it every night for the past two weeks, you’ve got a problem,” Spiegel said. “Every once in a while, many of us lose it. If it’s a pattern, it’s a problem.”

Calming down

For most people who think they have an anger problem, the key is to get themselves calmed down in the situation. They might take a few deep breaths and give themselves time to think about what’s going on, and whether it’s worth getting angry about. They might need to go off by themselves for a while.

Exercise is almost always a good outlet for stress of all kinds, said Dr. Don Mordecai, director of mental health and chemical dependency services for Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

“For some people it’s best to stop and take deep breaths, for some it’s best to walk away, for other people it’s go for a run. But in all cases, it’s really that very conscious, ‘Here it is, I’m angry, I recognize it, and I’m going to shift my response,’ ” Mordecai said. “We can spend all day thinking the world is out to screw us, and we’re going to screw it back, or we can try to be good to ourselves.”

Signs of a problem

— People often tell you you’re overreacting.

— In past situations when you’ve gotten angry, the events don’t seem to have justified your response.

— You get into fights – verbal or physical – regularly.

— You often feel angry when faced with stress.


What to do when stress is making you angry:

Talk to someone: People who talk calmly about what is wrong tend to feel better.

Take deep breaths: And stop to think before reacting.

Walk away: Leave a stressful situation before you get any angrier.

Get exercise: Go for a walk or a run.

Get help: Anger-management classes may help, but make sure someone with professional training runs them. Find a support group. Get one-on-one therapy.

Anger management

Here are signs that you may have an anger problem:

— People point it out to you. They often tell you to calm down or that you’re overreacting.

— Looking at past situations when you’ve gotten angry, the events don’t seem to have justified your response.

— You get into fights – verbal or physical – on a regular basis.

— You often feel angry when faced with all kinds of stress.

Here are tips on what to do when stress is making you angry:

— Talk to someone. People who talk calmly about what’s wrong tend to feel better and be healthier.

— Take deep breaths and stop to think before reacting.

— Walk away. Leave the scene of a stressful situation before you get any angrier.

— Get exercise. Go for a walk or a run.

— Get help. Anger management classes may help – but make sure someone runs them with professional training and experience. Find a support group. Get one-on-one therapy.

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