Is this “normal” or do I have a dysfunction? Sometimes, over nothing, after working myself up into almost unnoticeable stress — even to me — I lose it. I start screaming at the top of my lungs, tearing things apart, not quite smashing things and destroying everything, but I lose care and caution around things that I love like my drawings or my books and that usually ends up with them getting damaged in some ways. I have OCD and I think quite a high anger level but I rarely ever act on it, unless its once in a blue moon — like now. Otherwise, I am able to be very rational and breathe and calm down or do something else to preoccupy my mind. Usually outbursts of sadness or madness are about getting frustrated with my compulsion, but its never quite on scale to what I would call a mental breakdown (where I throw shit and scream and berate myself). I never do this in front of people, Im otherwise a very controlled person who can rationalize my way through my anger but Im wondering if I have maybe a personality disorder since these blue moon attacks can last for a long time until I break myself down into tears and hating myself and hitting myself (Ive spoken to a psychologist on and off for a few years and he said I might also be on the spectrum, idk)
These attacks might seem “blue moon” to you, but they are probably not. If you track your thoughts and behavior prior to these attacks, you would probably see a pattern. There’s typically a reason for outbursts of “sadness or madness.”
The key to understanding this problem might lie in what you referred to as your compulsion. You mentioned having obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD ) so I am assuming that your compulsion is because of your OCD. If I were your therapist I would want to know more about your compulsion. What is it? How long have you had it? What about it makes you so upset?
You asked the question is this “normal” or do you have a “dysfunction?” Normal is a term that is difficult to define because it means different things to different people, but generally it’s not “normal” to experience extreme anger or sadness unless an event or a set of circumstances arises that invokes or warrants such extreme emotions. For example, if your beloved pet passed away it would be “normal” to feel very sad. Extreme sadness under those circumstances would make sense.
OCD is an anxiety disorder. Compulsions are a symptom of the disorder. Think of them as maladaptive attempts at managing high anxiety. Counseling can teach you strategies for properly managing high anxiety and ways to reduce and ultimately eliminate compulsions. OCD and most other anxiety disorders are highly treatable with therapy and medication. If you haven’t tried them, you should strongly consider it. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Is My Anger Normal?
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.
Randle, K. (2018). Is My Anger Normal?. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/04/03/anger-issues-5/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 3 Apr 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.