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What it is: Anger is a cognitive, physiological, and emotional experience that occurs in response to an injustice (real or perceived) or to the belief that a goal has been blocked or denied, often with antagonism toward someone or something a person feels has caused this or wronged them. The experience of anger includes thoughts (e.g., “This is unfair”), behaviors (e.g., yelling, breaking things, insulting others, ruminating), and physiological arousal (e.g., increased heart rate, muscle tension, sweating). While anger is a natural emotion that all people experience at times, individuals who have problems regulating anger (i.e., difficulty reducing anger or inhibiting angry urges) may seek treatment to better manage their anger. Individuals with anger dysregulation often report that they feel angry more easily, more often, or more intensely than those around them. They may also struggle with problematic behaviors that stem from dysregulated anger, such as verbal or physical aggression. As a result, they often have difficulty managing interpersonal relationships or tolerating situations that feel unfair. Sometimes they notice that others are afraid of them, or they later regret what they said/did when they were very angry.
Associated Concerns: Individuals struggling to manage anger often notice they have difficulty with other emotions as well, particularly anxiety or shame. Dysregulated anger can co-occur with mood, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, trauma-related, and personality disorders (e.g., Borderline Personality Disorder).
Evidence Based Treatments offered: CBT, DBT, UP
Medication may also be helpful.
To learn more about the experience and treatment of anger, check out relevant blog post(s): Demystifying Anger with Dr. Clair Robbins.
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