What is anger, hostility and violent behavior?

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Anger, hostility, and violent behavior: Overview

If you are angry or hostile or if you have violent behavior, it's important to find help. Your area may have help lines that can provide resources and support. Or you may be able to get help through counseling or support groups. Check online, or ask your doctor. You can learn ways to manage your feelings and actions.


Anger signals your body to prepare for a fight. This reaction is often called "fight or flight." When you get angry, adrenaline and other hormones are released into the bloodstream. Then your blood pressure goes up, your heart beats faster, and you breathe faster.


Hostility is being ready for a fight all the time. Hostile people are often angry, stubborn, impatient, or hotheaded. They may often get in fights. Or they may say that they feel like hitting something or someone. Hostility isolates you from other people.

Anger and constant hostility keep your blood pressure high. And they increase your chances of having another health problem, such as depression, a heart attack, or a stroke.

Violent behavior

Violent behavior often starts with verbal threats or fairly minor incidents. But over time, it can involve physical harm. This behavior is very damaging, both physically and emotionally. It can include physical, verbal, or sexual abuse of a partner (intimate partner violence), a child (child abuse), or an older adult (elder abuse).

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