As with any other extreme negative emotion, anger can have a physical component that is responsive to medication. Usually an antidepressant is used if medication is recommended. Certain physical conditions, such as epilepsy, can be correlated with anger outbursts. But by and large, poor anger control is typically a learned behavior that has become so automatic that the person struggling with it can't imagine being any other way.
John Eckenwiler has had extensive experience and success working with anger management issues, ranging from adolescent anger management groups for the court system to court-ordered cases of road rage to anger issues related to medical problems. The unique development of anger problems with each of us is key to developing the right strategy for eliminating this destructive problem.
Myth: My anger happens too quick for me to do anything about it.
This belief is common and couldn't be farther from the truth. You will be shown simple techniques to put your anger into "slow motion" so you can make changes at every stage of your particular anger cycle. Some types of anger take longer than others to eliminate, but all types can be eliminated.
Myth: There is a person or situation in my life that causes my anger and I can't do anything about it.
Granted, some situations are outrageous! But there is not a situation on this earth that can absolutely make you angry if you choose not to be. You will be shown simple ways to make this true in your life.
Myth: I've tried controlling myself, but the person I get angry with just won't cooperate.
The problem with most anger - and this type - is the need to control an outcome. As unacceptable as an outcome might be to you, ultimately you cannot control another person. If this is going on in your life, the alternative sounds impossible to cope with. As impossible as it sounds, it CAN be done and you will be assisted to see how.
Myth: All anger is a problem and I should never be angry.
Whether you are a Christian or not, even Jesus became angry. The important thing is to examine WHAT can make you angery and how you express it. It's human to become angry, so trying to live life without any anger is unrealistic. Some people are not able to get angry when they should! Some victims of domestic violence never feel any anger at all. This is also a problem. A proper understanding of anger is part of the growth process.
Myth: The only way to have conflict is with extreme anger.
This is a belief rooted in experiencing nothing else in your life. The truth is, it is possible to express frustration calmly and respectfully. If you don't know how, or don't even think it is possible, you need to talk to someone who can share some new ideas about this with you.
Myth: Good anger control means biting your tongue.
There is certainly a time and place for this. But this rarely resolves anything, which means the cause of your anger will just circle back on you. True anger management means learning how to get your anger out constructively so that it leads to resolution.
Myth: I just need to vent my anger to get it out - then I'm fine.
Venting your anger gives you temporary relief but it is hurtful to those around you. Venting just keeps the flame of your anger going. When you're done venting, there are still embers burning that are waiting for another gust of wind to kindle a big flame. Learn to get your anger out without venting it.
Anger Symptoms that Require Attention
- Anger is often destructive
- You become verbally abusive
- Anger comes upon you suddenly or unexpectedly
- The level of your anger does not match the situation
- Inability to subdue your emotions in certain situations
- You get angry often
- Inability to stop interrupting others
- Constant blaming
- Use of threats
- Insisting on your way
- Unwillingness to apologize or look at yourself honestly
- Often impatient or irritable
- Intense need to control the outcome of a particular situation
- Urges to lash out
- Others tell you that your anger is unpleasant or scary
- Relationship problems where anger seems to get in the way