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Is Your Mental Illness Causing Excessive Anger?


One in four Americans struggles with their mental health, according to NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness). Symptoms of mental health struggles may include depression, anxiety, irritability, mania, psychosis and anger.

Anger is a natural human emotion, however, when it feels uncontrollable, or you’re alienating the people around you with your explosive rage and angry outbursts, it’s time to seek help. Excessive anger is a symptom of particular mental illnesses. Before you treat your rage, you need to figure out why you’re feeling mad.

People living with bipolar disorder can experience anger when they’re in either manic or depressive states. When someone living with bipolar disorder expresses unchecked rage, it can severely damage interpersonal relationships. That’s why it’s important to learn to recognize your anger rising and learn techniques to calm your temper before it becomes out of control. If you work with a therapist who understands mood disorders, they may help you understand why you’re feeling angry suddenly and how to get back to a place of balance.

People who live with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have trouble with emotional regulation. They can become extremely depressed, anxious or angry out of the blue. When a person living with BPD is upset, they might lash out. Working in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) may help people with BPD learn techniques to manage their anger.

Living with PTSD is challenging. If you’ve been through trauma, it can be incredibly difficult to heal from that experience. If you’ve lived through abuse over the years, it may be especially hard to recover. You may find yourself triggered by things people say or do and not even understand why. Sometimes feeling triggered can result in angry outbursts that scare the people around you. That’s why it can be crucial to seek help from a therapist who specializes in PTSD who can help you recognize your triggers and support you in learning coping skills to manage anger.

One of the most effective treatments for learning to control your anger isn’t about controlling it, but rather managing it. Anger management counseling is a form of therapy where a counselor or therapist teaches you ways to recognize when you’re angry, calm down quickly and get yourself back to a grounded place, so you feel like you’re in the emotion driver’s seat. Whether you work with a therapist in your local neighborhood or with an online counselor, there’s hope, and you don’t have to go through this alone. It’s painful to feel out of control, and you can learn to understand why you get so angry and find ways to change. You’re stronger than you may believe you are.

Image by master1305 via Getty Images.

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