When does anger become a problem? Anger becomes a problem when it negatively affects your health, well-being, and others around you. Now, don’t get me wrong, anger is a valid emotion. Anger is a very strong emotion, which often is the forefront emotion that presents itself in situations to express how we feel. But did you know anger is a secondary emotion? It was during the start of my education and reaffirmed through my experiences, that anger almost always comes second. Which means there is something under that emotion. Enter the anger iceberg.
Close your eyes and imagine an iceberg. What do you see? Only the tip of the iceberg is visible; you never see what is under the water and how big that iceberg truly is. While 10% is what you see, the other 90% is hidden beneath the surface and can directly impact our behavior and how we choose to cope with situations. These feelings are commonly fear, pain, sadness, grief, rejection, humiliation, or hurt.
Anger and Mental Health
“Anger is a common symptom among adults seeking outpatient mental health treatment. Because it is often associated with substantial hostility and aggression, anger may be clinically significant. In one study including 1,300 adults presenting for outpatient psychiatric treatment, approximately half reported experiencing a moderate to severe level of anger and about one-quarter reported extreme anger leading to aggressive behavior. In extreme or dysfunctional forms, anger may also lead to adverse health consequences, and even trigger maladaptive behaviors including workplace hostility, domestic violence, and criminal behavior.” (Okuda et al.) Anger affects both physical and emotional health, leading to high blood pressure, heart attacks, anxiety, depression, and substance use. It can hinder one’s performance in work, school, and relationships. With that said, if you’re struggling with an anger iceberg, it’s time to strengthen and learn new coping mechanisms.
Coping with Anger
We have all heard the saying “healthy mind, healthy body.” Exercising releases feel-good endorphins which can help ease anxiety and depression symptoms. Taking a walk or doing some yoga can help alleviate feelings of anger. As cliché and silly as this may sound, deep breathing is also a way to control anger. Getting oxygen to your brain helps it gain a clearer perspective.
So, next time you feel yourself getting angry, ask yourself “am I reacting because I am grieving? Am I hurt?” If you find yourself struggling to sort through these emotions on your own, Bright Harbor Health Care is here for you.
Have you heard of our CREST/Crisis Stabilization programs? Group therapy is a great technique for many people who are looking for additional support on their journey to becoming the best possible version of themselves. By talking with other people to learn coping skills and how to control your feelings, you might be able to get to a place where you’re no longer feeling out of control when it comes to your anger. With a trained therapist, you will navigate conflict resolution, stress management, communication, social skills, and life skills within a small group.
Are you interested in learning more? Our Anger Management Group will be held at our Manahawkin location on Tuesdays at 3 pm for active consumers. We also offer the following outpatient services at this location:
● Individual therapy
● Family therapy
● Group therapy
● Target case management
● Crisis assessment & treatment planning
● Wellness & recovery action planning
● Relapse & crisis prevention planning
For any questions about Bright Harbor Healthcare or our many helpful programs, contact our team today!
-Kyrstin Cirulli MSW, LSW