Everlast Recovery Centers

Anger Management

At Everlast Recovery Centers, we recognize that everyone experiences anger, but anger becomes a barrier to recovery for people with substance use disorders. Anger hinders our ability to deal with the world and make good decisions, making it necessary for those beginning their new life in sobriety to find the tools to manage this overwhelming feeling. 

Everlast Recovery Center uses various methods for anger management in recovery to help our clients have the best recovery success. Each person may find a different approach that works best for them, and we encourage people to find the anger management tools they feel confident with using.

What is Anger Management?

Rather than being a specific type of therapy, anger management is a tool that is learned in various aspects of our treatment program. Conflict mediation, family therapy, parenting classes, and behavioral therapies, will teach our clients anger management techniques. 

Anger management does not mean you will come to a place where you never feel angry again. People who have good anger management skills still have moments when they get mad. However, instead of making bad decisions based on anger, they use tools they have learned to keep the anger from derailing them. At Everlast Recovery Centers, a significant part of our anger management program includes Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). While all types of therapy can teach anger management tools, the general concepts from REBT apply to many anger management programs:

Consequences of Anger

Anger can also cause a lot of harm in people’s lives. Some consequences cause more immediate problems than others, while some cause long-term harm to your body, your relationships with others, and your emotional well-being. Anger can also lead to potentially harming others. Sometimes this harm is psychological, but when people have serious problems managing their anger, they may inflict physical injury. People may even get into arguments or physical fights with strangers, friends, domestic partners, or children. 

If anger causes so much harm, why do people get so angry?

Anger can be a response to not getting something we want or need, feeling taken advantage of or cheated, things not going the way we expected, or things going wrong. Sometimes, we respond with anger simply because we feel overwhelmed. 

One of the worst problems with anger is that it feeds itself. We become angry because something did not go the way we wanted, expected, or thought it should go. In our minds, anger creates secondary thoughts that make the situation worse.

Some thoughts that people may experience when angry include:

When we begin to experience secondary thoughts, they can include:

Anger can even feel like a good thing when you feel righteous, empowered, and strong in your convictions. However, when the good feelings wear off, the ugly results of anger have not gone away.

Anger Management and Addiction

Addiction and anger form a vicious circle that feeds both problems. Anyone familiar with anger knows how it can occupy the mind, hijack our rational thinking, and generally make us feel tense, hostile, or isolated. By dealing with anger in an unhealthy way that worsens the feelings, people with substance use disorders keep themselves locked in the cycle. 

For someone who struggles with a substance use disorder, these feelings often drive people to use drugs to mask their feelings and cope with anger and other overwhelming emotions.

Under the influence, some of those negative feelings will disappear for a while and lower inhibitions. When this happens, people are more likely to engage in risky behaviors. Unfortunately, these feelings will most likely return. When the drug or substance wears off, you most likely will find yourself with all the same anger and whatever other strong emotions that you were trying to mask.

Anger Management in Residential Treatment

People in early recovery may struggle with a wide range of emotions. They may have been abusing drugs as a coping mechanism for so long that they do not know how to handle their emotions otherwise, and these raw feelings may push people to think about using drugs or alcohol again as a way to cope. At Everlast Recovery Centers, our goal is to give you the tools to push manage your anger without relapsing. 

Anger management skills play a critical part in the drug and alcohol treatment program at Everlast. 

Whether anger is managed through REBT or other methods, such as CBT, Everlast makes it a priority to equip people with the tools needed to keep anger from derailing their recovery.

Can You Be Addicted to Anger?

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.28″ custom_padding=”0px|||||” fb_built=”1″ _i=”0″ _address=”0″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.28″ min_height=”137px” custom_padding=”0px|||||” _i=”0″ _address=”0.0″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.28″ _i=”0″ _address=”0.0.0″][et_pb_image src=”https://mlzivs9yjwd7.i.optimole.com/o5GDWzs-GmMUFDP6/w:auto/h:auto/q:auto/https://live-everlast-recovery-centers.pantheonsite.io/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/iStock-1125874382.jpg” _builder_version=”3.28″ _i=”0″ _address=”0.0.0.0″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.28″ _i=”1″ _address=”0.0.0.1″]Addictions come in many forms. You may be surprised to find out that anger addiction is one of them.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.28″ _i=”2″ _address=”0.0.0.2″]

What is Anger Addiction?

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a chronic brain disease.1 The disease of addiction relates to the brain’s systems of motivation, reward and memory. Irregularity in these systems leads to physical, mental and social problems.

Anger falls into the “other behaviors” definition of addiction. Anger can be a positive thing, a motivator to do some good in the world. But when anger is misappropriated for negative reasons, and a person does this frequently, it can become an anger addiction.

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Statistics on Anger

Anger can have many different negative consequences on a person. Anger can have negative impacts on both mental and physical health.2

Anger is know to:

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Contribute to unhealthy lifestyles: Examples are overeating, smoking, drinking alcohol, and drug and caffeine consumption

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Contribute to the development of eating disorders, such as bulimia

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Be associated with developing type 2 diabetes

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Be associated with an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents

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Types of Anger Disorders

There are different types of disorders related to anger or that list anger as a symptom. Many people have anger problems along with another emotional problem. More than 32 disorders listed anger, aggression or irritability as a symptom.3

One of the most common disorders associated with anger is intermittent explosive disorder. IED is an anger disorder characterized by recurrent aggressive outbursts, hostility, and impulsiveness. Research suggests that inflammation is tied to IED. 4

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Signs Anger Is an Issue

Anger is a natural response that readies our bodies for a crisis. It can be the first stage that prepares the body for a fight or flight response. Physical changes occur, like rapid heartbeat. For people with anger issues, anger is a response that happens too frequently over things that do not warrant an anger response.

Some people are angry all the time. They are irritable, grouchy, and lose their tempers easily. They snap at everyone, because anger boils beneath the surface. This anger is bound to surface at some point. Many aren’t sure why they feel so on edge.

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Anger and Addiction: The Connection

Drug and alcohol abuse are often seen with anger, aggression, and tendencies towards violence. For some people, anger comes first and it leads to addiction for various reasons, namely:[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text module_class=”white_text” _builder_version=”3.28″ background_color=”#d65f00″ custom_margin=”||10px||false|false” custom_padding=”10px|15px|10px|15px|true|true” _i=”12″ _address=”0.0.0.12″]

Anger problems cause issues on the job or at home, causing substances to be used as coping mechanisms

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The rage they feel is so strong, they want to numb the pain with drugs or alcohol

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Stress in life builds, and individuals act out anger ny indulging in substances

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For other people, drug and alcohol use comes first, then anger issues follow, such as:

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Drug use, like meth and cocaine, cause anger and violent behavior.

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Anger and resentment result from realizing the presence of addiction. 

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Problems develop from drug and alcohol use. Examples include relationship problems, money issues, job loss, DUIs and other legal problems. These outcomes create deep anger and resentment at the people and institutions involved.

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Tips & Treatments for Dealing With Anger

Relaxation: When you get angry, the body tenses up. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, are good anger management methods.

Cognitive therapy: Changing the way you think is another good anger management strategy. If you struggle with feelings of anger, you likely have a set pattern of thinking that reflects that behavior, such as cursing, throwing things or yelling. A cognitive behavioral therapist works with you to resolve angry thoughts by with more rational ones.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.28″ hover_enabled=”0″ _i=”19″ _address=”0.0.0.19″ custom_margin=”|||20px|false|false” border_width_left=”3px” border_color_all=”#006e96″ custom_padding=”|||10px|false|false” border_color_left=”#e1b77e”]For example, you’re tempted to react to a situation with negative thoughts of how bad it is, giving you reason to get angry. Replace those thoughts with ones expressing your frustration as understandable. Your thoughts could be, “Yes this is upsetting, but getting angry won’t fix it.”[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.28″ _i=”20″ _address=”0.0.0.20”]

Anger Addicts Anonymous

Emotions Anonymous (EA) is an organization dedicated to helping people with emotional difficulties. This includes anger management, so people can live better lives through recovery. EA helps people manage anger and other emotions. EA uses the 12-step model made popular by Alcoholics Anonymous.

You can also find anger management help by talking to your doctor or trusted mental health professional. If substance abuse is also happening, a treatment center can help address recovery from substances.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.28″ _i=”21″ _address=”0.0.0.21″]


Resources

  1. https://www.asam.org/quality-practice/definition-of-addiction
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3019061/
  3. https://albertellis.org/anger-and-related-disorders/
  4. https://psychcentral.com/news/2013/12/31/intermittent-explosive-disorder-anger-disorder-linked-to-inflammation/63961.html

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