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How do you handle anger?

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I've always had a horrible time with anger. I don't really know how its meant to be expressed in a "normal"or "typical" way. For me it does ( and currently is) turning into tremendous anxiety. So my questions are:

1)How does one embrace their anger, and fully express it??

2)How does one then let it go??

any insight advice comment would be so welcome!!

thanks, mrsl

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there's a line from the Dead Kennedys "anger is an energy". i think of it as an energy, that can be used to help or hurt, but it is very powerful & i had to learn how to master it to use it safely.  like using fire or chemical energy...it has the potential to hurt people, but is not evil or bad in and of itself. 

i think too many people are taught that it's wrong to be angry, that it's not nice, that if they were 'better people' they wouldn't be angry, so our society doesn't teach us how to be angry properly.  it doesn't teach how to be angry w/o hurting someone. so we bottle it up till it explodes, then someone gets hurt, and of course that reinforces the notice that anger is dangerous.

it took me a long time to learn how to express anger without just erupting all over someone.  not bottling it in is part; you kind of parcel it out as it shows up...don't have a fit over everything at once.

hmm, i'll have to try to think about what i did when i was learning how to that...more later.

but i don't think anger is bad....we just have to learn how to use it.

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Hey M.L

As a full-blooded Italian, I can rant with the best of them... small stuff, not really explosive important stuff. We just happen to "talk" pretty loud at times.

The other day I went to lunch with a friend and she was telling me "what I needed to do." Well, I do appreciate feedback, but unfortunately, in this case, it was like a pot calling the kettle black. And, for the first time I was able to point that out to her, in a strong, but nice way, and it felt so good. I was standing up for myself without stuffing it, and somehow turning it onto  myself, or passively/agressively snipe at her, at a later time. I amazed myself.

I so agree with Reddog- anger is an energy (and for me, its knowing the time and place, and the manner in which to use it.)  I have to admit I have had alot of anger which came out in inappropriate ways, after stuffing it for too long, or just reactionary! Even have the medical history to prove it! Always a good topic.


Edit to add: reactionary

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lol reddog- haven't heard that song in a million years!! I believe you are right- it is an energy- i just can't seem to find a happy medium between implosion and explosion.

like if you have a fight with a friend-how do you get mad enough so it can then be over. its like i either can't get mad or i can't stop being mad.

or i get mad at someone and their reaction is to get so mad at me- and then i get all confused- guilty, hurt and yet still angry.

I know there's no easy answer but i still need help in my search...

thanks everyone- mrsl

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what you said ^ reminds me of something we were told on my therapy training course (the one that I left...) about Gestalt theory and implosion....something about implosion being unhealthy.....I can look it up if you want....basically the Gestalt cycle is about completing unfinished business....and not imploding.....or exploding, come to that....hm....that place in between....where one can hold one's anger safely and it be creative...as I said above, working it through in therapy and having it recieved and accepted and contained is what is ...slowly... working for me.

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thanks nestling- i appreciate your words. i feel a little less anxious today, but it still bubbles back up when i really think about the anger. i'm trying so hard to let it go and tdoc thinks i haven't embraced it yet to be able to let go. i'm still not sure i really understand what that means- there's always next week.

I did manage to get off the computer long enough to make a few phonecalls that had to be made. (phome doesn't usually make me anxious- and this is crazy- maybe because the fight was over the phone.

supposed to call pdoc to work out how to better handle anxiety with meds- nervous to make that call- so far just been increasing prn's of ativan or serequel.

i always seem to wait too long- tdoc wants me to try to prevent it by taking prns first. maybe now would be a good time.

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a big problem with anger is that it is a very energising emotion. if you are feeling sad you aren't inclined to go rip someone's head off, while when you are angry you just might want to.

i have a lot of anger. and that is a very understated understatement. i do not yet know where all my anger has come from. my pdoc thinks it might be a full on self-hate complex that exists in a kind of fragment of my mind that split off from the rest somehow.


i have learned a lot about anger in my group and private therapy sessions. i have really explored it and listened when people have talked to me about it. one of the first things i have learned is that as with ALL feelings, anger has to be felt. it can't just be avoided forever or it will work its way out by riding on other emotions you have. and in doing so it will warp them and make you feel bad about them. (there is a post or two i did that are buried in the depths of my thread which i could have a dig for if you are interested).

feeling angry is absolutely valid. if you feel angry you must LET yourself feel angry. let it in, let it all in so that you are fully embracing it.

now is the hard part. what the hell do you do with all this energising anger? i go and exercise really, really hard, letting angry thoughts course through my brain. i have conversations in my head where i say to people what the anger is prompting me to say. anger at how they hurt me. that is a big one for me as i have some trauma in my past.

i hike up a steep mountain in the forest. having my silent conversations and feeling my anger. hopefully it has started to wane a bit by the time i have reached the top. but sometimes it hasn't. i usually find that my mind will have had enough after a while and something will distract me and pull me quickly out of the anger environment in my head. and then it can dissipate.

hope that helps,


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The only way I can handle anger is to let it out.. I held so much in for so long, it became explosive and it turned into a horrible anxiety filled 10 year trauma,

Meds, therapy and excercise... EXCERCISE... THAT IS THE ANSWER. truly.

I kickbox. punching bag, karate. Anything that you can do to vent outward where it is acceptable or course is GREAT..I  Feel such relief after. Some say yoga.. I have done it but I am sometimes too wound up to relax.. Makes sense to me. Yoga is great depending on the kind, to put me into a serene mood.

If you knew my temper before.. (throwing a spiked healed shoe at someone, throwing a plate of food , a knife,)

I am lucky I changed my ways...


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thanks frosty- actually you gave me an idea- as i was reading, then humming then singing walk on walk on at the bottom of you r post, i remember that sometimes putting on the showtune music channel on my tv and then turning up the volume and singing loud can really help. Actually yesterday it was in the car to rent!

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I have anger issues, too.  I finally went to a pdoc about it.  I talked to my GP, first, and she recommended zoloft.  But I'm not depressed.  I'm ANGRY!!!  The pdoc diagnosed anxiety and rx'ed a low dose of klonopin.  It does help.

My anger has been a part of my personality for so long, a crutch that I accepted as just one of my quirks.  But I started taking it out on my kids, verbally.  That's why I sought help.  The klonopin helps by mellowing me out, so when I get triggered into rage mode, I don't have the energy to fully vent and scream and yell.  Instead I'm able to say, "I'm so angry right now, I need to be alone!" 

Klonopin helps.  Excercise helps.  Really loud music helps.  Setting boundaries helps.  My kids know some of my triggers and they have chores that help alleviate them.  My husband is supportive when I come to him and say, "Such-and-such is REALLY pissing me off and I need you to do something about it."  My parents are not supportive and often say things that push my buttons.  Sometimes they still get me riled up.  Usually I am able to tell them that I'm not going there, change the subject.

I'm still learning what other things trigger me into rage mode.  Learning what sets me off and figuring out why is my current focus. 

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Held off on this b/c it's hard for me.

Still finding my way through/around the rage.

Even A.L. (after Lamictal) there is still a whole bunchamore rage.

Most of which I would say comes from pain and frustration and fear and disappointment.

B/c, as Grouse said, anger is energizing.

And sadness, pain, fear, disappointment really suck.

Causing those things for others is a very bad idea.

I have no tips or tricks.

But it's workable, I think.

Edited to add the part about fear


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