Anger Management

The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You can’t get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions. There are three types of anger which help shape how we react in a situation that makes us angry. These are: Passive Aggression, Open Aggression, and Assertive Anger. If you are angry, the best approach is Assertive Anger. Everybody gets angry from time to time, but when the degree of anger or aggression is greatly out of proportion to the situation, it’s an indicator that something’s wrong.

Serious anger or violence may be a sign of intermittent explosive disorder (IED). The acronym IED is ironic because it is the same as the one used for “improvised explosive device” in war. With IED, angry explosions generally last less than half an hour and can leave you feeling relieved, exhausted, and sometimes embarrassed by your words and actions. Having ADHD or a personality disorder also increases the likelihood for problems with angry or violent behavior. Over 80 percent of people with IED also struggle with anxiety, depression, or substance abuse. Anyone can have anger issues, but it is more common in males. It is estimated that about 2.7% of people have intermittent explosive disorder. In younger people, the onset typically occurs just prior to or during adolescence. In adults, it is more commonly seen in people in the 20s and 30s. People who grew up in an abusive home or who have suffered multiple traumas are at higher risk for IED and other anger issues

Encourage Good Health

For some people, anger issues can be chronic, and they feel irritable and mad most of the time. For others, rage can flare up suddenly without warning and only on an occasional basis. Sudden rages may also be associated with a boost in energy, racing thoughts, heart palpitations, chest tightness, tingling, or increased tension. Anger management refers to a process. It can help people identify stressors. People learn steps to help them stay calm in anger management. They may then handle tense situations in a constructive, positive way. The purpose of anger management is to help a person decrease anger. It reduces the emotional and physical arousal that anger can cause. It is generally impossible to avoid all people and settings that incite anger. But a person may learn to control reactions and respond in a socially appropriate manner. The support of a mental health professional may be helpful in this process. Many different events can make someone angry. These may include internal events such as perceived failures, injustices, frustrations, or external events such as loss of property or privileges, teasing, or humiliation. Anger may result in externalizing behaviors. These can include verbal arguments and tantrums. Anger can also cause internalizing behaviors. Internalizing behaviors can include sulking or increased symptoms of depression.

People may show anger through aggression. Aggression is the biological function of anger. It is an evolutionary response that helps prepare people to fight off threats. Inappropriate displays of anger may mean a more serious mental health or emotional issue exists. People who receive anger management therapy learn skills to slow their reactions to anger. This can help them identify the reason for their feelings. The roots of anger may be buried in emotional trauma, addiction, grief, or other issues. But a natural inclination may be to find temporary relief in lashing out. This can obscure the true cause of the anger. If this is the case for you, working with a therapist might be helpful. Anger management therapy provides a clear set of recovery guidelines. It gives the person in treatment a controlled platform for the release of their emotions. At the same time, it aims to achieve constructive responses, rather than destructive ones.

People in therapy are encouraged to examine what triggers their anger. They try to become aware of their emotions at each level of arousal. People learn how to use those signs as a map to control their anger. In therapy, people gain insight into how their body responds to past and future events. They do this by identifying the emotional reaction to a certain circumstance. Therapists also help people notice anger responses that may be defense mechanisms for other concerns. These concerns might be depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. Anger management therapy often helps people with anger issues. It may also help the people who make up their social network. Uncontrollable anger may lead to harmful psychological and physical conditions. Anger management helps to reduce and control anger. This allows people to reduce stress. It can also lower the risk for serious health problems. These can include heart disease and high blood pressure. The goal of anger management therapy is to teach people how to examine their triggers.

It also helps people adjust how they look at situations. Successful anger management therapy develops healthy ways for people to express anger and frustration. Some techniques used in anger management therapy include impulse control, self-awareness, meditation, frustration management (sometimes by writing in an anger diary), breathing techniques, and relaxation strategies. Anger management therapy may take place in one-on-one or group settings. Classes address specific types of anger issues. These can include relationship issues, parenting, teens, and work-related anger or rage. Sometimes people are court-ordered to attend an anger management class. This can be a result of a domestic or legal issue. Therapy is available on a continuing basis. People interested in anger management may also take a retreat or online course. Most anger management classes include homework assignments and exercises. These strengthen the techniques learned in therapy. They also allow the person in therapy to practice their new skills in real-life situations.

Agape Love and Domestic Violence

At Agape Love, we treat people that have been through or are going through domestic violence.  Over the past few decades, there has been an increased public awareness and consciousness of mental health wellness. When many people think about their health, they often think about their physical health and are drawn to pay more attention to it when they are experiencing various symptoms. Somatic (bodily) symptoms for which no clear physical basis can be found are ubiquitous in traumatized children and adults: chronic back and neck pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, digestive problems, spastic colon/irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, and some forms of asthma.

These physical symptoms can be manifestations of imbalances in the other dimensions of wellness that include physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental, and occupational. Agape Love uses Holistic health which takes into account all of these aspects of one’s life and views them as interconnected. So when someone experiences something traumatic, such as domestic violence, their entire bodily systems and all dimensions of wellness are impacted in some way- particularly one’s emotional wellness.

Everyone has mental health. Whether that’s mental health concerns, mental health wellness, or somewhere in between. “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.” One’s ability to maintain their mental health can be changed by experiencing chronic stress, anxiety, fear, shame, and sadness that come with domestic violence.

Everyone has mental health. Whether that’s mental health concerns, mental health wellness or somewhere in between. “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.” One’s ability to maintain their mental health can be changed by experiencing chronic stress, anxiety, fear, shame, and sadness that comes with domestic violence.

Link Between Mental Health and Domestic Violence: The Statistics

On average, more than half of the women seen in mental health settings are being or have been abused by an intimate partner. There are specific diagnoses that are commonly experienced by these women: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. In addition, traumatic events produce profound and lasting changes in physiological, arousal, emotion, cognition, and memory- changes that wouldn’t necessarily result in psychological diagnosis.

A victim-survivor’s mental health can also be weaponized and used as another form of violence and harm. Mental health coercion is a commonly used tactic that is targeted toward the victim-survivor’s mental health as part of a broader pattern of abuse and control and includes: deliberately attempting to undermine a survivor’s sanity, preventing a survivor from accessing treatment, controlling a survivor’s medication, using a survivor’s mental to discredit them with sources of protection, support, to manipulate the police or influence child custody decisions, or engaging mental health stigma to make a survivor think no one will believe them. Other common tactics that target mental health include other forms of emotional abuse, especially gaslighting.

It’s important to understand that someone’s mental health can be impacted without having PTSD, depression, or anxiety. Whether or not someone develops PTSD as a result of domestic violence depends on numerous factors, not everyone is impacted in the same way. The ways in which a victim-survivor’s mental health can be impacted can include: difficulties with being productive at work, school, with caregiving, establishing and engaging in healthy relationships, and adapting to change and coping with adversity.

Lasting Impacts

A common experience for domestic violence victim-survivors that has ways of impacting their mental health wellness is a loss of agency. “Agency is the technical term for the feeling of being in charge of your life: knowing where you stand, knowing that you have a say in what happens to you, knowing that you have some ability to shape your circumstances. Trauma can shut down victim-survivors inner compass and rob them of the imagination they need to create something better.

Not being able to discern what is going on inside their bodies causes them to be out of touch with their needs and they have trouble taking care of themselves, whether it involves eating the right amount at the right time or getting the sleep they need. This failure to be in touch with their bodies contributes to their well-documented lack of self-protection and high rates of revictimization and also to their remarkable difficulties feeling pleasure, sensuality, and having a sense of meaning.”

A victim-survivor’s mental health can also be weaponized and used as another form of violence and harm. Mental health coercion is a commonly used tactic that is targeted toward the victim-survivor’s mental health as part of a broader pattern of abuse and control and includes: deliberately attempting to undermine a survivor’s sanity, preventing a survivor from accessing treatment, controlling a survivor’s medication, using a survivor’s mental to discredit them with sources of protection, support, to manipulate the police or influence child custody decisions, or engaging mental health stigma to make a survivor think no one will believe them. Other common tactics that target mental health include other forms of emotional abuse, especially gaslighting.

Childhood Experience and Lasting Impacts

The ways in which a victim-survivor of domestic violence responds to trauma, is impacted by trauma, and their ability to lead happy, healthy lives is largely influenced by their childhood experiences. Many of the ways we know how to handle stress and navigate conflict stem from our childhood when we learned different strategies through watching our parents/caregivers and those around us. Children are unfortunately yet often left out of the discussion of domestic violence, with the primary focus being on adults experiencing intimate partner violence. However, we know that experiencing domestic violence in childhood has significant detrimental impacts on children. “Not being seen, not being known, and having nowhere to turn to feel safe is devastating at any age, but it is particularly destructive for young children, who are still trying to find their place in the world.”

Contact us today for a schedule of our domestic violence classes.
(602) 860-2357

Covid 19 Precautions

We conduct daily patient and staff screenings, facilitate ongoing preventative cleaning, encourage social-distancing and handwashing, and strongly recommend mask wearing.

We know that treatment for behavioral health issues are more critical now than ever before. We are here to create a safe space for staff and the patients we serve. Agape Love also offers telehealth services to our patients for group or individual therapy as needed.