How should I control my anger?
Q: I am suffering from temper tantrums. My symptoms are chronic anger making me contentious and argumentative. I get an attack of uncontrolled anger, beast like violent attitude and shouting quite frequently. It is always associated with wild behaviour, irritation and emotional over reaction to others. This anger gets easily triggered if others are showing disrespect towards me and I am not able to ignore these irritants. During this tantrum period, I am breathless and hurriedly jump from one topic to another topic with some sort of panic syndrome. And my verbal communication is always associated with inaccurate and poor communication skill. I have done a few anger management therapies like meditation, breathing exercises, but no appreciable outcome. Medications advised by my GP are Tricyclic Antidepressant (TCA) – Amitriptyline 50 mg which is the only medicine that helps and controls IBS & gas problems. Zydol (Tramadol Hydrochloride) gives me relief for some time in calming down my nerves. Blood pressure lowering medicine Citoprolam-20 mg and Alprazolam gives me relief for a short time. Could you please help me control my anger?
A:You are right anger can be very destructive. What happened recently in the cricketing circle is an ample demonstration that anger needs to be managed well - it is one of the emotions that human beings experience. One of the most difficult things is to control anger and behave appropriately in the situation. Anger can be a product of ones own disposition, depression, emotional dyscontrol, or even when it becomes dysfunctional because a mental illness. Once this can be differentiated things can be worked out as to the best strategy. Is anger spontaneous or provoked? Is it secondary to specific stimuli, does it occur with only specific individuals, does it occur in only specific situations, does it occur all through the day or specific times. Does it lead to violence? Obviously, management strategies would be different for generalised vs. specific anger outbursts. Definitely there are more behavioural strategies to control anger and besides them you may benefit looking at charting the ABC. i.e. Antecedents of the anger outburst, behaviour for how long and what, and the consequences including the specific factors which help you to cool off. If the picture is similar to impulse dyscontrol, some individuals can be helped by mood stabilizers which can be recommended by your psychiatrist.