When most people think about anger management, they think about a program to completely eradicate anger from someone’s life. This, though, is not the case, as anger is a natural part of being human. Like all other emotions, it plays an important role in how we function. They are designed to protect us and help us solve problems in our lives.
Anger, in particular, is a response we feel when we feel as though we have been wronged. It is acceptable to feel angry when someone mistreats you or deliberately causes you harm. This motivates someone to remove themselves from a dangerous situation or to defend themselves if need be. Anger can also motivate us to overcome great obstacles, channel passion into our work, and express negative emotions before they fester.
Sometimes anger can become a problem if expressed too much or inappropriately. It’s normal to feel angry when someone takes the last dessert before you can eat it. It is not appropriate or productive to become so angry that you attack the person for taking the desert. Anger can be expressed or let go in a way that doesn’t harm yourself and others. If someone begins to become irrationally angry, overreacts disproportionately, or begins to harm themselves and others, it’s time to seek help.
This is where anger management comes in. Anger management is a treatment course that helps teach someone how to process and express their anger healthily. By using skills learned, a person can improve their relationships with those around them and generally feel better about themselves. Nobody likes to feel angry all the time, and it can cause health problems in your mind and body. By seeking treatment, you help yourself let go of all that negativity.
Who Benefits From Anger Management
Anyone can benefit from anger management. Unfortunately, many people are taught that anger is always bad. We get told as children to not be angry, or at the least, hide it so that people don’t see it. Our society, in general, just doesn’t like to acknowledge that anger exists. Thinking like this just sets people up for failure, and many people today simply don’t know how to regulate and express their anger. This has caused many problems in our society, and most likely, you have been out in public and seen someone reacting with anger at a mild inconvenience.
Some people naturally feel anger more strongly than others, and that is normal too. However, since they are more reactive, they must learn how to regulate how they respond to their anger. As mentioned before, a reaction should be proportional to the action. It’s okay to fight to defend yourself if someone is trying to harm you. It is not okay to harm someone because they made your burger wrong. If you or someone you love finds themselves reacting with violence when angry, they should seek help right away, anger management being one such form of help.
Sometimes a person with certain mental health disorders can benefit from anger management. For those that often feel emotions strongly, like those with bipolar disorder, anger management can help teach them ways to deal with their emotions. People who have gone through trauma will sometimes have trouble managing their anger.
Sometimes a person may feel angry due to dealing with a chronic mental health disorder. Again, anger is natural, but sometimes it can become overwhelming. Learning ways to manage and reduce anger helps people not only cope with their mental health disorder but have a more positive outlook on life.
The Difference Between Helpful and Unhelpful Anger
It’s important, even before going into anger management, to know the difference between helpful and unhelpful anger. Many emotions run alongside anger and are usually the initial cause of said anger. Fear, disappointment, and sadness are common examples. Stop and think about what is making you angry.
Are you angry because you were afraid that a loved one was going to get hurt? Maybe you are angry because someone broke a promise, and you feel betrayed. Perhaps you witnessed someone mistreat someone else. This is known as helpful anger, and type of anger protects us from toxic people and motivates us to right injustices.
When you are angry, get over something harmless, this is known as unhelpful anger. Examples include the sound of children playing outside, dishes being unwashed, or simply someone existing in a space that you don’t want them to. None of these things can hurt you, but they can be annoying.
Usually, most people will grumble a bit about them but then move on with their day. When you react to these situations with over-proportional anger and violence, then you have a problem. It’s not helpful or rational to be angry at these things, especially when severe enough to cause harm. If you find yourself with more unhelpful anger than helpful ones, it’s time to seek anger management.
Where to Find Anger Management Treatment
Most mental healthcare facilities can offer some type of anger management treatment, either through a specialized course or regular therapy. The most common type of therapy used to help with anger management is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy helps people address the underlying cause of their anger and guides people in ways to help control it. By teaching a person how to use healthy coping skills, they can prevent their anger from getting out of control.
You don’t need to have a mental health disorder to get help from a mental healthcare facility. Don’t feel like your problem isn’t “big enough” to matter because your health does matter. Any mental healthcare professional would be happy to help you improve your mental health should you ask for help.
If you or someone you love needs help managing their anger, contact your local mental health facility right away.
Anger is a normal emotion that people feel. It is designed to help you recognize when you have been wronged and motivates someone to find solutions to problems. However, when people don’t know how to process and regulate their anger, it can get out of control and cause harm. Acera Health, located in Costa Mesa, California, offers treatment courses to help anyone learn how to regulate their emotions. Our mental healthcare professionals can teach people the skills needed to deal with their emotions healthily and productively. If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental health disorder, or have trouble controlling their anger, call us at (949) 647-4090 today.
Melody is a highly skilled proactive clinical administrator, with more than 17 years of experience serving the community in the behavioral health field.
Her clinical management career started in 2011 as a compliance manager and program director. In 2018, she became an executive as chief clinical officer (CCO). She is a seasoned licensed marriage & family therapist.