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So where does the rage come from?

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I have periods of rage, primarily against my husband since he is around the most, but occasionally against sales people, people in offices that I view as incompetent, etc. Fortunately, I control my rage around my children....just can't do it to them.

Both my pdoc and tdoc think that is coming from old issues in my childhood.

Does that matter?  Shouldn't I just learn how to control it instead of worrying about why I have it? 

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For a lot of people, including myself, knowing why they do a thing can be an important part of stopping it. Makes it less intangible and scary, for me. Also gives a route to talk yourself down (okay, I need to stop this now, I'm just doing this because...).

Sometimes it's not necessary. CBT generally doesn't focus on the whys of things, mostly just how to curb the behaviors.

Depends on the person and the problem, as usual.

If it makes you uncomfortable, you should probably bring it up with your docs and get their rational, if you feel you can do that.


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Heya crazyethel,

I've been working really, really hard on rage.

It's a huge component of my depressions (rage at me) and mixed manias (rage at me and everyone else).

And has done more than any other thing to wreck my marriage.

I've been working through this book called "When Anger Hurts."  It works on the premise that anger is *not* natural, healthy, or necessary.

I thought it sounded silly, and probably it looks silly just sitting there.

But it's helping.

And maybe one day exploring "why" I have all this rage will be useful, instead of making it *worse* by dragging up old stuff that's best buried.

But for now, all I care about is NOT DOING IT any more.

And the exercises help me.

It's got some CBT, and some education about anger, and a lot of examples from real life.

Well, I like it anyway, and I think it's helping, but there's a LOT of homework involved.

Blabla.  That's what's working for me.


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rage. anger. sigh.

i could not recognise the anger within myself because it was too big. a climber can't see the enormity of the mountain she is on because she can only see the small part that she is on. does that metaphor work at all? anyway, in my therapy we finally began to discover the anger inside me. anger at putting up with my MI problems untreated for too long? for drinking to self-medicate? for being what the depression has convinced me that i am?

my pdoc thinks i have a self-hate complex. we don't know yet where this comes from. he thinks it's possible that part of my mind has actually fragmented off and that that fragment contains the self-hate complex. what caused it to break off we don't know.

of course he could be completely wrong. i could just be mad because my dreams are failing and i'm not going to stay young forever.

dunno yet.


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i have tremendous rage during the h/mania times. unfortunately, i have eroded to taking it out on the children too, not just husband. not physically, but verbally, emotionally. that's part of what drove me to get serious help.

i do believe that some rage is due to mi - and dealing with that requires meds. however, i think that the rage is exaserbated (sp?) by the "whys" of lifelong behaviors. i had a glimpse of something last night. buried very deep in my mind, it suddenly rose to the surface. i don't want to do this, don't want to go there, but i'm afraid it's going to be necessary, in order to move forward.

easy to say, hard to do.

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Great topic. 

After a childhood of abuse and emotional neglect, stuffing all my emotions, and developing a very serious physical disease (which I believe was related to the "emotion stuffing"), I found ALCOHOL and DRUGS. They became the conduit to express feelings I would never have allowed myself to express previously . I truly believe, in many ways,  that if it weren't for alcohol and drugs, I would have been locked up forever (and back then, before deinstitutionalization, they did throw away the key). But, of course, all good things must end..... it stopped working for me, and as we know will happen, became another problem in and of itself. I have been through many forms of therapy throughout the years, I have learned so much about my behaviors, and most of what I have learned is that fear is always beneath the anger/rage. Nasty, nasty, fear. A lifetime of reliving a very scary childhood. Its easy to say that yesterday is over and gone, but its another thing to believe it. One of my personal mantras, when I enter into my rage, is

"what does this remind me of?"...I feel guilty for my anger, yet on the other hand it can be life affirming, because as a child I was emotionally gagged.

These are the things I know:

1) I won't get out of here alive

2) I will always be a work in progress

3) I will always strive to keep my karma good

4) and a sense of humor is a VERY important asset.

Now, I am going to send this along without my usual self-censoring knowing that it might not make any sense, yet the words are straight from the heart.

Thanks for listening,


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It worries me greatly, however, that I could be so screwed up because of various episodes from childhood. I didn't suffer from abuse, but there were far too many head games going on. I know I'm hyper-sensitive, and that didn't help, but I had some serious mind screws. Anyway, I live in fear that MY symptoms/problems, what are they going to do to my kids? We have gotten one to an adult, and she's actually quite a wonderful, well-balanced kid. But, she is also a bit ocd, has extreme nervous habits, and I imagine she'll have GAD someday.

Is this a vicious circle?? I so want to break it. Oh dear God, let me not fuck them up.

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I have bouts with uncontrollable rage as well...and I sound like you because I don't let it come out with just anyone, I mainly reserve it for my mother...which is BAD considering she's been great to me through college and my "after college" period.  I believe it may be because she's the only one that will take that shit from me.  Sometimes she'll do something as simple as ask me a question or repeat something I said in a conversation and all of a sudden I'm uncontrollably grinding my teeth and trying my best not to call her retarded or stupid.  I know, it's awful.  I've been abusing her verbally since I was a teen.  I guess because I harbored anger towards her for not booting my father about 20 years earlier than she did...  She's still my crutch, but at least now with my bipolar self, I call her 5 minutes later and apologize profusely.  She knows my story, she was there so she doesn't hold it against me.  She hasn't always been the best of mom's but ever since she realized I was hurting and affected in a serious way by my parents volatility, she's been my rock.  She's my hero.

I personally deal...and this may sound dumb...by breathing slowly and counting to ten and closing my eyes.  Sometimes, if it's road rage, it helps to scream my lungs out in the car.  I guess in the end we have to realize that tantrums get you nowhere so there is no point in having one.  I just acknowledge the fact that I'm having one, perhaps call my mom and bitch for a few minutes and then let it go.....

I know, it's tough....

As far as your children, I can say (as a child witnessing rage and a victim of emotional abuse) try for their sake not to reveal your feelings in front of them.  If you think they can't hear you in the kitchen or the basement....trust me...they can...  Take it somewhere else.

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In most respects I'm pretty reserved and controlled emotionally, except for the raging. This goes back all the way to childhood. 

When I'm feeling good physically, not under stress, I don't have that spark, or can keep it from doing more than sputter and fizzle out. But otherwise it can be an uncontrollable urge driven by anger, frustration, sense of injustice.

Over the past several years I have come to recognize that so much of my misery and centered on frustration and anger over things that I feel are beyond my control change. The two main ways of coping seem to be either giving up in helplessness or chewing myself up through internal/external raging.

Neither situation is good from a psychological health standpoint. Just as an explantion, the giving up process  is common to mammals and is referred to as "Learned Helplessness". Rats repeatedly placed in situations where they can't escape from rising water will eventually learn to give up and stop struggling.  Later, they will fail to attempt escape even in situations that are easily escapable, "said A.M. as he stroked his whiskers". ;)

Still all my life I always puzzled how others could be so calm, detached (to my mind unconcerned) over situations that weren't fair!    The last year has given me a bit of a respite from the continuing emotional roller coaster, and gratefully decreased the raging. I'm still not immune, but am better.


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I know that rage has been a big issue for me.

Before, it used to come from old standing beefs I had with others (especially my parents).

But now it tends to come from grievances I have to settle with my old boss, who was an utter goddamn f*cking c*nt who demoralized me to the point I had to watch out before working in my preferred field ever, ever again.

And it's exacerbated by alcohol, which I like to drink all the f*cking time, to get rid of the pain of being unworthy and unemployed.

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I am in the middle of a similar situation, regarding work. Its been truly difficult and I am unemployed for the first time in many, many years. I left a job I LOVED because I could not deal with the powers that be, I had to go. When its either me or them, I learned to let it go, and GO. Nothing is worth it. But now I am fighting for unemployment and money they owe me. So I guess I am back in the middle of the fight. I am getting too tired and old for this - but my stupid sense of self-righteousness won't let me let these money issues go.

This is an excellent thread, a very important one for me. Thanks all for your thoughts. NCC, I really enjoy reading your posts - thanks for being here for us.

Keep the faith



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