It’s as if even thinking or speaking about anger translates into “being angry”
Bring up the topic, and the adrenalin level in people around you goes through the roof. No one wants to talk about anger. Why?
Some titles of anger management articles:
“Anger – How to solve our anger problem”
“Anger Management is a psycho-therapeutic program for anger prevention and control” (which extends to and encompasses) “Alcohol and Drug Abuse” “Co-parenting and Divorce” “Domestic Violence”
“Are you a Powder Keg? ”
These titles, of course, are meant to drag the reader – any reader – into the sphere of THE PROBLEM, which traditionally is the subject of Sunday sermon rants about Original Sin and Disobedience to god. Anger is everyone’s cross to bear: “mankind” is inherently sinful and “disordered”.
We may note without hesitation that none of these angry chastisements about how “bad” humans are, has had any positive effect on the most hopeless of projects; eradication of violence, anger, aggression, brutality, cruelty and all manner of destructive activities over millennia of human history, nor on aggression, revenge, war, crime, domestic battery, psychological cruelty, etc. Nor has the constant harangue against the dreadful state “being human” done anything to increase human happiness, security or health.
From the Mayo Clinic – Intermittent Explosive Disorder Definition
Intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation. Road rage, domestic abuse, throwing or breaking objects, or other temper tantrums may be signs of intermittent explosive disorder.
These intermittent, explosive outbursts cause you significant distress, negatively impact your relationships, work and school, and they can have legal and financial consequences. It’s an unusual use of pronouns in a “definition” – aggressive and accusatory, as opposed to “a person” may experience these behaviors.
Intermittent explosive disorder is a chronic disorder that can continue for years, although the severity of outbursts may decrease with age. Treatment involves medications and psychotherapy to help you control your aggressive impulses
Is there a pattern here? Of course: Anger is declared to be a “tangible thing” – barely distinguishable from the religious notion of being possessed by Demonic forces or the restless and angry spirits of the dead. In contagious magic, mere “contact” with the location of a violent death or murder is sufficient to “contaminate” a living person and make them deranged. Today “bad genes” are often invoked as “causal” to “disorders” along with a “brain chemistry problems” “brain damage” “brain development defects” and being born with an antisocial personality. All of these are supernatural explanations, regardless of the label imposed – superstition, religious dogma, or psychotherapeutic theory. Drugs as a treatment for anger (or any other taboo emotion or behavior) seek to “prove” that there is something “bad” going on inside your brain… PROOF? Look at how medication has become the default response to any behavior judged to be “abnormal-pathological” – dangerous untested (and often addictive) drugs which merely disrupt or mask so-called “symptoms” or worsen the person’s ability to function.
The destination for all of these myths and treatment practices is the same: CONTROL of unwanted human behavior. CONTROL, whether or not is expedited by torture, talk therapy, or the administration of sledgehammer pharmacology. There truly is no current attempt at understanding the brain, understanding the evolution of human behavior, or the obvious comparison with animal behavior, which we share.
There is one hapless nod to reality inserted in most of these articles: Anger is a normal and healthy part of being human, but… you have a problem.
Let’s see what the American Psychological Association has to say:
Controlling anger before it controls you.
We all know what anger is, and we’ve all felt it: whether as a fleeting annoyance or as full-fledged rage. We don’t know what anger is; we know the “experience” of sudden adrenalin production. Adrenalin rushes are “judged” by word labels (emotion labels) in order to isolate a particular reaction as “good or bad” emotion / behavior.
Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. The obligatory lame nod to reality. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. And it can make you feel as though you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion. This brochure is meant to help you understand and control anger. The default position is that YOU do not understand this “mysterious bad thing” that rampages inside of you, but WE DO. By virtue of being human, you are at the mercy of “bad you”, but we can fix you.
The Nature of Anger
Anger is “an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage,” according to Charles Spielberger, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. This “explanation” is as usual, inverted: “Anger” IS the physiological occurrence of an increase in hormones, heart rate and other biological changes. Anger is not some “supernatural entity” that causes physical phenomena – it is a result of physical changes in response to interaction with the environment.
Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. Good start – acknowledgement of cause; but you are an idiot, so we must explain what “event” means. You could be angry at a specific person (such as a coworker or supervisor) or event (a traffic jam, a canceled flight), or your anger could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems. Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings. We’re back to emotions being “things” that hang around in your brain just waiting to go crazy.
The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats. It inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival.
Are these assumptions proven or even provable? NO. Isn’t this statement formulated as an excuse for aggressive male behavior? Do animals “feel anger” when a possible threat appears? No. The fight, flight or freeze response is not absolute – there are options. These are judgements about the function of anger in MALE HUMANS: the insistence that violence is an inevitable outcome in response to threat and defense.
On the other hand, we can’t physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; laws, social norms, and common sense place limits on how far our anger can take us. Again, anger is this “thing” inside us, like a big vat of poison, that MUST find expression – this is a MALE VIEW, as if anger=sexual desire that must be released, which DUH! may contribute to rape behavior.
People use a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with their angry feelings. The three main approaches are expressing, suppressing, and calming. Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive—not aggressive—manner is the healthiest way to express anger. To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others. Being assertive doesn’t mean being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful of yourself and others. What a LOAD OF BS! It’s the typical social solution, and it’s a male solution: HIDE your aggression; call it “assertiveness” and you are off the hook of responsibility for consequences due to psychological aggression.
Anger can be suppressed, and then converted or redirected. This happens when you hold in your anger, stop thinking about it, and focus on something positive. The aim is to inhibit or suppress your anger and convert it into more constructive behavior. The danger in this type of response is that if it isn’t allowed outward expression, your anger can turn inward—on yourself. Anger turned inward may cause hypertension, high blood pressure, or depression. The classic “you can’t win” scenario, building to the goal of “you need our help”.
Unexpressed anger can create other problems. It can lead to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behavior (getting back at people indirectly, without telling them why, rather than confronting them head-on) or a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile. People who are constantly putting others down, criticizing everything, and making cynical comments haven’t learned how to constructively express their anger. Not surprisingly, they aren’t likely to have many successful relationships.
Finally, you can calm down inside. This means not just controlling your outward behavior, but also controlling your internal responses, taking steps to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down, and let the feelings subside.
As Dr. Spielberger notes, “when none of these three techniques work, that’s when someone—or something—is going to get hurt.” You need us to intervene, because psychologists, like priests, are the know-it-all keepers, promulgators and definers of social reality AND your personal status as “approved or not approved” depends on our judgment.
Are You Too Angry?
There are psychological tests that measure the intensity of angry feelings, how prone to anger you are, and how well you handle it. But chances are good that if you do have a problem with anger, you already know it. Let’s go for “self-diagnosis”, which is the effortless means to produce willing clients. If you find yourself acting in ways that seem out of control and frightening, you might need help finding better ways to deal with this emotion. Scare tactics? You are going to Hell, sister!
Why Are Some People More Angry Than Others?
According to Jerry Deffenbacher, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in anger management, some people really are more “hotheaded” than others are; they get angry more easily and more intensely than the average person does. There are also those who don’t show their anger in loud spectacular ways but are chronically irritable and grumpy. Easily angered people don’t always curse and throw things; sometimes they withdraw socially, sulk, or get physically ill. Wow! Anyone and everyone can be a closet threat to society! It’s amazing though, that with all their “expert” knowledge, psychologists can’t PREDICT who will be dangerous, but jump in after the fact to “profile; claim-to-know” just who these “bad” actors are.
People who are easily angered generally have what some psychologists call a low tolerance for frustration, meaning simply that they feel that they should not have to be subjected to frustration, inconvenience, or annoyance. They can’t take things in stride, and they’re particularly infuriated if the situation seems somehow unjust: for example, being corrected for a minor mistake.
Wow! Your problem results from totally inconsequential events; you are a selfish bitch. The tactic of devaluating the validity of a person’s “emotions” is truly standard abuse characteristic of tyrants. Example: how long does the average “client” have to wait for mental health service; for a scheduled appointment to begin 30-40 minutes late; with no consequence for abrupt cancellations on the part of the provider, but default billing and a “disobedient child” lecture should a patient have an unavoidable emergency? The “helping, caring, fixing” people are masters at creating frustration, just to let YOU know who is in charge and that YOU don’t count.
What makes these people this way? A number of things. One cause may be genetic or physiological: There is evidence that some children are born irritable, touchy, and easily angered, and that these signs are present from a very early age.
We all know, as ASD or Asperger children, that this means US. Call it original sin, demon possession, or a slew of concocted disorders, it’s all the same judgmental dismissal due to imperious social rejection.
Another may be sociocultural. Anger is often regarded as negative; we’re taught that it’s all right to express anxiety, depression, or other emotions but not to express anger. As a result, we don’t learn how to handle it or channel it constructively.
Research has also found that family background plays a role. Typically, people who are easily angered come from families that are disruptive, chaotic, and not skilled at emotional communications. That takes care of the liberal category of “poor uneducated people and minorities” !!
WOW! And who is it that has taught generations of American children (especially girls and minorities) that this “psychologically approved” scheme of emotional narcissism and helplessness is not only normal, but supported by “science” ?