What is anger problems?

How can you get help for anger problems?

If you are angry or hostile or you have violent behavior, it is important to find help. Actions done in moments of anger can be harmful. You can learn ways to manage your feelings and actions.

If you are having trouble managing angry feelings, the following resources can help.

  • Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. This service from the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can help you find local counselors. Search online at findtreatment.samhsa.gov or call 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or TDD 1-800-487-4889.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). You can call the NAMI HelpLine (1-800-950-6264) or go online (www.nami.org/help) to chat with a trained volunteer.
  • Social service departments. Many social service agencies offer services to those under stress. Search for agencies online, usually under the state's department of social services, protective services, social and rehabilitative services, or children and family services.

What causes anger?

Many things can cause anger. Stress at home or at work can cause anger. Being in stressful social situations can also cause it.

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 your blood. Then your blood pressure goes up, your heart beats faster, and you breathe faster.

When you express anger in a healthy way, it can inspire change and make you productive. But if you don't have the skills to express anger in a healthy way, anger can build up. You may hurt others—and yourself—emotionally and even physically. Violent behavior often starts with verbal threats or fairly minor incidents. But over time, it can involve physical harm. It can include physical, verbal, or sexual abuse of an intimate partner (domestic violence), a child (child abuse), or an older adult (elder abuse).

It can also make you sick. Anger and constant hostility keep your blood pressure high. They raise your chances of having other health problems, such as depression, a heart attack, or a stroke. Some people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) feel angry and on alert all the time.

It may feel like there are no other ways to react when you are angry. But when you learn healthy ways to work with anger, it no longer controls you.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.