Psych Central

Does Having Anger Episodes Mean I am Schizophrenic?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hi, My name is Hunter, for a while now I have thought that I just had a lot of rage bottled inside of me, but I notice that anytime I get angry I do not act like myself ie. I would tell others how to handle a certain situation (mostly when angry)from my point of view when I am happy and calm, but when I get really angry myself I handle it completely differently feeling and knowing that this isn’t me but as hard as I try I cannot control it. I feel like a different person every single time. I do here voices in my head and I do respond out loud if by myself (if I’m with a crowd I have to actually try my best to NOT talk to myself) Most of the time, I joke around and am a very funny and an outgoing person, but when I get angry it’s almost like I don’t even know who I am, most of the time I do not know who I am, and I cannot even recognize myself.

Over the years I have handled situation a certain and calm way and all I used to do was basically bottle it up, But now I know for a fact that the anger has turn into an incredible amount of rage that I just can not let go of. And when I get angry I would know it’s me because I was able to be sensible in my actions and I know what I thought did and knew the way I act because all around I am a very kind and calm person, but I noticed that as things piled up and it continue I started to act differently like wanting to hurt someone or just having these intense and violent thoughts (but never acting on them) and in the back of my mind I’m saying to myself “what are you doing” sometimes I’d respond aloud telling myself to shut up or be quiet as if someone was in the room with me.

I do try to to control it and so far it is working but when I feel angry (depression and other emotions too but mostly anger) it’s like I do not know myself anymore and I am a completely different person.

Please help me and tell me what is wrong with me. Sincerely, Hunter.

A. Dear Hunter, it is always difficult to pinpoint the exact nature of an individual’s issues based on a short letter. You are worried that you might have schizophrenia. Much of what you wrote is not necessarily consistent with schizophrenia but to know for sure I’d need to gather many more details about your current symptoms and psychological history.

You said that you hear voices but you did not describe them in detail. Many people say they hear a voice or voices but often times what they mean is that they hear an “inner voice.” This “inner voice” they are referring to actually means that they are hearing their own voice. It’s as if they are having their own inner dialogue with themselves. Maybe this is what you are experiencing.

It could also be that you are actually hearing voices in the manner that people with schizophrenia and others with psychotic-based disorders do. People with schizophrenia and related disorders describe their experience with voices as very negative and frightening. They describe the voices as saying mean things about them such as “you’re no good” or “you’re worthless.” The voices tend to be critical and demeaning. The voices might also give them commands to hurt themselves or to harm others. Individuals who have auditory hallucinations say that the voices are “external.” In other words, the voices they describe seem to be emanating from outside the individual hearing the voices. This is different than the “inner voice” or inner dialogue that was described in the previous paragraph.

The distinction between the inner and external voice experience is an important one. The main reason is because external auditory hallucinations may be a sign of schizophrenia or another psychotic-based disorder, whereas the inner voice experience is not. Hearing an “inner voice” is something that most people experience. Generally it’s not usual or a sign of a mental illness. It’s actually quite normal.

Rather than a schizophrenic episode, what might actually be happening to you is that you are being overtaken by rage and anger. It might seem like a schizophrenic episode because as you said, you feel like a “different person” during these incidents. People with out-of-control anger issues say when they became very angry for that short period of time during the episode that they don’t feel “like themselves.”

You said that you let the anger “bottle up” inside you until you essentially “explode” into a rage. You said that you used to be able control your anger but you no longer can. It seems as if you have lost the ability to handle your anger and to control your emotions. It might be helpful to analyze why it is that you have lost your ability to contain your anger. What has changed? Has something recently happened? What is it that makes you so angry? Do you know? Is it possible that you were never really in control of your anger? These and other questions regarding your anger and rage need to be analyzed and addressed.

I would encourage you to consider therapy for this issue. This is because you have lost your ability to control your temper and you’re having thoughts of hurting others. What is good is that you can control your anger to the point where you are able to stop yourself from hurting others. But the concern is that at some time in the near future you will lose control and act out and cause harm to others. Now is a very good time to seek help because you recognize that your anger is a problem and you seem open to the possibility of addressing this issue.

Be smart and proactive. Get help before this problem further escalates and you do something that you will later regret. Thanks for writing.

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Jan 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Does Having Anger Episodes Mean I am Schizophrenic?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/01/05/does-having-anger-episodes-mean-i-am-schizophrenic/