Anger can be a symptom of depression, grief, acute stress disorder, bipolar disorder, substance abuse and/or addiction, personality disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia and many, many other disorders. Thus, anger should never be ignored. And, even if you seek treatment and find that you do not have a diagnosable mental health disorder, feelings of anger should never be disregarded.
As I mentioned in the practical blog on this topic, feelings of anger are an indication that more is going on beneath a person’s surface—much like a check engine light on a car indicates that something is wrong under the hood.
I will use myself as an example. Though I do not have a mental health disorder, I do have times in my life when I feel angry. Sometimes, when something bad happens to me or I am not taking care of myself emotionally, physically and spiritually I will have several days in a row where I experience feelings of anger ebbing and flowing in my mind and “heart.”
The younger me was more likely to try and “emotionally muscle” through those days and just hope things would get better. The more mature (older) me realizes feelings of anger are a red flag and I need to take action. So, when I am feeling angry here is what I try to do. Maybe you can try it this week, too.
- Stop: I try to take a moment to really, really think about why I am feeling angry. I think about the current day and the few before it and try to think of any reason I might feel angry.
- Breathe and re-focus: Once I know why I am angry or have at least stopped to acknowledge my anger, I take a deep breath and try to re-focus on the day in front of me and how I can make it more positive.
- Make a plan: I make a plan on how I will address and reduce my feelings of anger. For example, if I am feeling angry because I have too much to do on a particular day, I cancel and reschedule whatever I can. Or, if I feel angry because of something someone said to me I think of how, when and where I will address the issue with that person.
Personally, I find that oftentimes my anger is really frustration stemming from lack of self-care. I am ambitious and have to remind myself to take regular time for me and not overschedule myself. When I regularly engage in self-care, I have fewer moments of anger and frustration.
How about you? Do you think you might have a serious mental health issue involving anger? Do you feel angry more often than you think is normal and are not sure why? No matter what kind of anger issues you are experiencing a licensed mental health counselor can help you. She can provide a calm and safe environment so that you can explore your feelings of anger and learn how to reduce them. More importantly, a seasoned psychotherapist can help you uncover the true source of your anger and how you can begin the path to healing. To schedule an appointment with an Orlando Mental Health Counselor, please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862.