Why Am I so Angry All the Time?

Reviewed by Dr Sheri Jacobson

Do you often wonder what people would really think if they knew the thoughts inside your head? Or do you secret have fantasies of taking revenge on people who upset you?

What are anger issues?

Anger issues don’t always look like someone who shouts or has tantrums. If we suffer from repressed anger, our rage can be very well hidden.

We have anger issues if our negative thoughts towards others cause us guilt, shame, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. We walk around always feeling like a victim of the world and others, unable to see that we have any personal power beyond rage.

Surprising signs of anger

Anger can cause symptoms like the following:

  • irritability and snapping at others
  • feeling numb and emotionless
  • scattered and unable to think
  • making a big deal out of small things
  • secret fantasies of hurting other people
  • substance misuse to numb out
  • or using distractions to feel numb (TV, books, food)
  • muscle tension in jaw, upper back
  • constant fatigue or ongoing colds/flu
  • sarcastic or critical sense of humour
  • workaholism/ never slowing down.

Why am I so angry?

If you feel angry all the time and are often overreacting to little things? Or if people say you are dramatic or mean?

It is often because you went through experiences in the past where you were powerless to protect yourself or react.

A common cause of anger in adulthood, for example, is childhood trauma and neglect. This can look like physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Or it might be you grew up with a parent who was unwell, or an addict. Perhaps your household was violent or unstable.

Sometimes it’s just that a parent was unable to offer a child the love, security, and attention that you needed. Perhaps they were unreliable, or only loved you if you were a ‘good’ child, meaning you learned to hide your emotions. Or maybe they were critical and demanding.

As grownups, we can react when upset. We can tell someone what to think, we can walk away. As children we were trapped, afraid to admit we were upset or scared in case we were punished or suffered further. So we internalised our emotions, hiding them away and carrying them into our adult life.

What can I do about my anger problems?

There are self help tools that can really help with anger.

Free-form journalling is a good start. The idea is to write all your angry thoughts out, uncensored, letting yourself be as outrageous as you feel like, then rip up the paper into pieces afterwards. It’s important to commit to destroying what you write after, or your unconscious mind will not feel safe to unload.

Mindfulness meditation is another good tool. It helps us come into the present moment and see what we are really thinking and feeling, while also realising that we are something much bigger and more powerful than thoughts and emotions.

Or take a tip from Gestalt therapy and its 'chair technique'. Imagine the person you are furious with is sitting across from you where an empty chair is, and tell the chair all the things you never got a chance to. It can be interesting to then sit in that chair and respond back as that other person, continuing the converstion until you feel a sense of resolution.

Does therapy help anger?

Absolutely. Therapy is great for anger issues. It creates a safe, non judgmental space for us to unload all the hidden thoughts we’ve been scared to face.

Often behind anger is an immense amount of grief and sadness. We are sad we never got the love and attention we needed, and are grieving a life we never felt accepted in. Therapy gives you tools for moving through these big emotions, helping you learn to allow yourself to feel good.

Ready to get your anger out and start to feel lighter and like life can finally be good to you? Book a session with your perfect therapist now using our easy booking tool.

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