Life Is Too Short To Be Angry

Josh, a 44 year old married father of two told me immediately that he had an anger problem. “My wife is going to leave me if I don’t get it under control. That’s why I’m here,” he plainly stated. Josh went on to explain that he’d always had a short fuse but that in recent years, his anger had gotten him into more trouble than ever. He tended to deal with his anger in one of three ways; lashing out at someone at work, lashing out at someone he loved, or lashing out at random drivers sharing the road with him. When lashing out didn’t help the anger subside, he’d resort to drinking vodka, which usually ended in yet another heated confrontation with his wife and Josh sleeping on the couch for several nights. Josh admitted anger was the only real emotion he seemed to feel. “I’m either angry or I’m neutral,” he said sadly.

Josh grew up with his mother and rarely saw his dad. When he did spend time with his father, his father often yelled at other drivers and yelled at his son. Josh agreed to start weekly psychotherapy sessions to help him understand some of the reasons and triggers for his anger outbursts. He also revealed that he hadn’t slept more than 6 hours a night in many years so we agreed he would start a medication to help improve his sleep. After two months of treatment, Josh proudly told me that he hadn’t had an anger outburst in almost four weeks. He was sleeping better and said his wife was “amazed at the change in me.”

  1. Anger is not good or bad, it’s just an emotion.
  2. Anger can be our ally, alert us to when something needs our attention and motivate us to make positive changes in the world around us.
  3. According to anger expert Juna Mustad, anger does the following;
    • Anger Reveals Our Boundaries
    • Anger Heals Trauma
    • Anger Inspires Action
  4. Talking with a trusted professional about your anger can help you reframe your thinking and utilize the powerful emotion of anger in healthy ways instead of destructive ones.

What WellPsyche Patients Are Saying

“I’ve always felt like a volcano, ready to blow my top at any moment. Talking to someone about my rage helped me learn to manage it instead of it managing me. I wouldn’t say I’m a super laid back person now but I’m able to keep my cool much better.”

Raul, age 50

“After my children moved out of the house and it was just me and my husband at home, I became more and more angry at him, at the dog, at anyone who called. I can’t explain why and I felt really ashamed of myself. I’m really glad I reached out and asked for help. My therapist helped me understand why I was angry and how to handle it in appropriate ways. The more I understood my anger, the less angry I felt. It’s really important to talk about it with someone who can help.”

Kathy, age 55

“After my dad died, I became a really mean person. I didn’t want to be, I was just angry all the time. I was mad that he died, mad that I had to live without my dad, mad that other people still had their dads. I was just really mad. Seeing someone at Wellpsyche helped me understand what to do with all that anger. It didn’t go away overnight but after a few months, I noticed that I was calmer and happier. I still feel anger sometimes about my dad being gone but I know now that that’s normal and I know what to do with that feeling so it doesn’t consume me."

Erica, age 27

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