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Anger Management

What is Anger Management?

Anger is a normal human emotion. However, when the intensity of a person’s anger or aggression is significantly disproportionate to situations or happens with considerable frequency, it’s an indicator that something’s wrong. Recurrent, sudden serious verbal or physical aggression may be a sign of intermittent explosive disorder (IED). With this condition, episodes of explosive anger generally last less than half an hour and can leave you feeling relieved, exhausted, and sometimes embarrassed by your words and actions. Having oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, conduct disorder, or certain personality disorders also increases the likelihood for problems with angry or violent behavior. More than 80% of people with IED also struggle with anxiety, depression, or substance abuse.

When left untreated, IED and other anger problems can have lasting consequences:

  • Relationship troubles

  • Work problems

  • School problems

  • Legal issues

  • Financial troubles

  • Substance abuse

  • Mental health issues

  • Self-harm

  • Suicidal behavior


What Causes Anger?

Intermittent Explosive Disorder or other anger issues are commonly seen in people with:

  • Childhood abuse

  • Emotional trauma

  • ADHD

  • Anti-social, narcissistic, and borderline personality disorders

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Substance abuse

Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorders — the repeated misuse of alcohol and/or drugs — often occur simultaneously in individuals with mental illness, usually to cope with overwhelming symptoms. The combination of these two illnesses has its own term: dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders. Either disorder (substance use or mental illness) can develop first.