How to Find Help Treating an Anger Management Problem
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If you or someone you love suffers from an anger management problem, there are effective treatment solutions that can help to manage the issue. It’s important to understand the nature of anger management problems in order for treatment to be successful.

Understanding Anger

Anger is a normal emotional state that everybody experiences on occasion. Depending on the circumstances, you might experience the flushed face, gritted teeth and cold sweat that go along with a state of high agitation on something like a regular basis. When you have a legitimate reason to get angry, such as hearing about a perceived injustice, anger is part of a healthy emotional life and can be managed in a fairly straightforward manner. Each person is more or less familiar with this emotion and has to develop some mechanism for dealing with it around others.

How to Diagnose Anger Disorder

For some, however, anger gets out of control and begins to seriously affect quality of life. People in this position find themselves steadily alienating friends and colleagues. Even members of their own family might start avoiding them simply to avoid the routine bouts of extremely angry emotional outbursts. Sometimes, the loved ones of somebody with an anger disorder will even come to fear for their safety in the presence of the affected individual. These can all be the signs that a person’s anger has risen from what was a normal, healthy reaction to negative emotional input to the level of an anger disorder.

Surprisingly, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders doesn’t list any kind of anger-related disorder among its numerous entries. Indeed, the closest the current edition seems willing to come to an actual guide for how to diagnose anger disorders seems to be occasional references to irritability. This is unfortunate, as many practicing therapists have already evolved an independent working definition of what is sometimes called oppositional defiant disorder.

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If you or anyone you know seems to have difficulty managing anger or has threatened to hurt himself or other people, it is imperative that you seek out assistance without delay by calling . A sympathetic professional will be able to put you in touch with the resources necessary to make a real difference in your life or the life of the loved one who struggles with an anger management problem.

How to Recognize a Serious Anger Issue

Obviously, only a trained professional is qualified to make an official diagnosis of an anger disorder, and a layperson won’t know how to recognize a serious anger issue without extensive training. However, such is the nature of this affliction that it will hardly go unremarked among those who are close to the sufferer. The key to identifying an anger disorder, as with any addiction-type illness, hinges on seeing the consequences the suspect behavior has brought down on the sufferer. Strained relationships, lost jobs and troubles with the law, such as outstanding restraining orders against the person, are often signs that something is seriously wrong and that the person might be in need of professional treatment.

Steps You Can Take to Help Someone With Anger Issues

If you have, or someone you know has, started to show signs of having an anger disorder, all is not lost. You can take certain steps to help someone with anger issues, even before any sort of formal treatment has begun or even been agreed to. One step that has proven to be very helpful and can be easily undertaken without any kind of confrontation with the potentially afflicted person is to educate yourself about anger and anger-related disorders.

When you call , you’ll be put in touch with trained professionals who can hear you out and help you understand some of the issues involved in treating those who cannot manage anger successfully.

Talking to Someone With Anger Management Problems

At some point along the way, it will become necessary to confront a person who may have an anger issue. Talking to someone with anger management problems is never a cheery prospect, but, ultimately, the choice is going to be up to the sufferer whether to seek treatment, as well as the specific form that treatment will take. Unlike interventions for some addiction-style issues, confrontations with people who have abnormally high responses to anger-inducing situations are almost by definition going to be tense affairs. Without the initial step of getting the person you care about to agree that a real problem exists, however, no progress toward a solution will even be seriously attempted.

Adolescents and Teens

Adolescents and teens who might have anger issues present a set of challenges unique to themselves. For one thing, children and teens are, by definition, not yet emotionally mature individuals. Children and teens will go through many stages while growing up, and it’s important to keep in mind that the things they think and believe, the way they act right now and the strategies they’ve so far developed to cope with the world around them are all in a state of near-constant flux. It’s possible that the blowups and temper tantrums of today will gradually – or even suddenly – give way to a more rational, calm personality as maturity is acquired.

Anger management problems aren’t confined to childish temper tantrums, however. According to a Harvard study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly 8 percent of teens may be suffering from intermittent explosive disorder. Recognizing the symptoms and seeking help may be critical to your teen’s health.

Learning to Cope With Anger

Learning to cope with anger doesn’t come easily for people with anger disorders. If it did, treatment would be unneeded. Fortunately, help does exist and can be reached at any time of the day or night by calling . If you are concerned about someone in your life who might be suffering through an inability to manage anger effectively, please call as soon as you can to speak with somebody who understands what you are going through.

How to Treat Anger Disorders

Once the decision to seek treatment has been made and the sufferer has agreed to seek out various treatment options, quite a variety of techniques and approaches are available to be tried. Depending on the nature of the disorder and the advice of the treating professional, the treatment course may involve a number of different types of therapies. Cognitive therapies are aimed at developing positive strategies for dealing with the stressors that lead to bouts of anger. Relaxation-based therapies are just what they sound like: therapies involving relaxation techniques. Skills-training therapies are aimed at diverting the overload of negative feelings. Finally, combination treatments will try to integrate what are perceived to be the most promising elements from each other type of treatment. Each of these has been evaluated by Tafrate and Kassinove, and the results are mixed.

Deciding Between Anger Management Solutions

Deciding between anger management solutions will always be a deeply personal affair for the patient. Only the patient will have introspective understanding of how it feels to suffer a bout of uncontrolled anger, and only the patient can really open up to the attending health professional about needs and goals. Ideally, the professional – whether a psychologist, psychiatrist or other individual with relevant qualifications – will guide the patient through the available options and illuminate the process involved with each one. It is then up to the patient to seek out case histories and patient testimonials to get a sense of what sort of treatment seems right.

Where to Find Anger Treatment for a Friend or Family Member

No one is born knowing what to do for loved ones who are suffering, much less where to find anger treatment for a friend or family member who might be in need of it. Once again, if any of the above describes you or anyone in your life you care deeply for, you shouldn’t wait. Please pick up the phone and reach out for the guidance you need by dialing .

Additional Resources

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