Anger problems?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. Hello! I think I got anger problem as many people have told me! I dont belive that i have! i use to have bulimia as it has stops for a litlle while now… i then start doing self harming! i then tried to kill myself couple of times by taking overdose! The doctors then transferred me to psychiatrics.. i then stopped for a while! but u i then start smoking since then! and now i do self harming sometimes when i am really angery! i have been throw alot of stuff in line that depresses me all the time and that makes me to kill myself until now! i get angery with litlle things with everyone that am close to like familyy and frinds.. for example if my dad doesnt pick me up on time i get into really bad argument.. and i start all shouting and saying hurablle things! i have never being like this to the people that i love! but now i just feel am in a dark world and believe that i am just by self all the time! i really want you to help me with this situation! as i dont know what is happening to me anymore!

A. You say people tell you that you have an anger problem but you disagree with their assessment. Then you go on to describe a series of instances where you act out in anger (yelling, shouting and saying horrible things). This tells me that you at some level may be aware of your anger issues.

It could also be that you are not aware that your outbursts could be considered “angry” because you mistakenly attribute your feelings or behavior to some other issue such as sadness or depression. You mentioned that you suffered from depression as well as bulimia. You also mentioned that you have tried to commit suicide. What feels like an expression of sadness or depression to you may come across to others as anger. This might be where the discrepancy occurs; you feel that you are expressing sadness or depression but others interpret your behavior as “angry.”

Sadness, shame, guilt and fear, as well as other emotions, are often at the root of anger. For some, anger is a “substitute” emotion for what they are really feeling. Your angry outbursts may be your way of avoiding other negative or unpleasant emotions.

Anger can destroy relationships. You seem to be at the point where other people are noticing and are concerned about your behavior. This is when you know that it is time to seek help.

I would suggest that you consider therapy as a way to deal with your anger. There are strategies that you can try on your own to control your anger but what concerns me is that you seem to have trouble recognizing that you’re displaying anger. If that is the case, a therapist can help you correctly identify your feelings and your behavior as well as help you find ways to have healthy interactions with others. I would especially recommend therapy if you have never sought treatment for the other issues you mentioned including depression, bulimia and past suicide attempts.

Thanks for writing.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Nov 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). Anger problems?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/11/17/anger-problems/