It seems as if anger is getting worse in our society. Road rage is on the increase, and violent behaviour and workplace harassment are becoming more common. Some people complain of chronic anger, where they just feel irritated and miserable most of the time.
If anger control is a problem for you then it may also be affecting your health and wellbeing. These are common problems for the chronically angry.
1. Anger is associated with increased blood pressure, heart disease and stokes. Anger puts a stress on the body systems. Over time this stress takes its toll on the cardiovascular system causing ill health. This only adds to the feeling of stress experience by the person with problem anger outbursts.
2. Chronic anger is also a common cause of workplace dissatisfaction and poor workplace performance. Many workplaces will be reluctant to promote an angry employee and in severe cases it can lead to dismissal. Employers sometimes recommend anger management classes for employees whose anger outbursts have caused problems in the workplace.
3. Chronic anger is associated with depression, insomnia, anxiety disorders and substance abuse. These problems usually need treatment along with anger management to get the best results. The anger management techniques that are taught in anger management classes are very helpful for improving these other problems.
4. Relationship and family breakdown is common where one partner has a chronic anger problem. A family living with constant criticism, anger, and tension is not a happy one. Partners and children living in this environment also suffer health problems. Their work and school performance can be negatively affected and they may have symptoms of anxiety and insomnia if anger outburst are frequent at home. Partners cannot feel true intimacy with someone they are afraid.
5. Chronic anger makes it difficult to feel relaxed and enjoy lifes pleasures. People with this type of anger problem tend to focus on the negative aspects of every situation and take other peoples comments and behaviour personally. They tend to be critical of others and have low self esteem. If they are depressed (as most people with chronic anger are) the feel hopeless about the future and see little possibility that things can change and improve. This is the typical thinking distortion of an anger management problem.
Anger problems have serious effects that reach well beyond the anger sufferer. Those who live and work with a chronically angry person also suffer ill effects. Family, workplace and community relationships are all affected. Other people may avoid the angry person. Over time they can become isolated and lonely as thier angry behaviour drives others away. Family members may also avoid having friends over because of the tension in the home, and the risk of conflict in front of visitors.
The good news is that chronic anger management problems are very treatable. There are proven effective techniques that can reduce anger and help the angry person to live a happy and harmonious life again.Often seeing a therapist who specializes in anger treatment is helpful as well. The basics of treating anger are taught at anger management classes. These are now available online.