Anger is an everyday emotion. It’s normal, expressive, and releases real feelings to others. In doing so, it reduces stress due to containment of the anger. Imagine for just a moment if nobody could control their anger. A simple run to the grocery store, or being stuck in traffic, could end up with dozens of people in jail or in the hospital, or dead because someone didn’t like the speed of the checkout cashier, or the old mustang holding up impatient citizens. We know this is not the case, and people do a fairly good job holding in anger most of the time. However, maybe one person in the store is unable to control their anger, and like a ticking timebomb, you don’t know what will set them off, let alone that they know whether or not they are on edge.
There are lots of people who never learned how to express anger properly. Many of them found they could replace proper anger management with drugs and alcohol, and consequently, never really learned how to deal with their anger. Some of them are in an addiction treatment program, and not knowing how to deal with their inner aggression, they resort to the only thing they know to manage it—drugs and alcohol. Without proper training, the anger may cause one to relapse.
Understanding how anger affects you may prevent you from relapsing. You may not have learned to recognize anger that accompanies the onset of anger or how to express anger in a healthy manner that produces desirable results. There are places you can turn to for anger management, but if you are already in an addiction treatment program, that’s even more wonderful. You have an amazing opportunity to work with your therapy staff to discuss the anger and help to peel the layers of the pain, which brings the anger to the surface. One effective means of managing anger is to take a step away from a situation and cool off before addressing the matter. This way, the immediacy of the emotion may subside, and the clarity you afford your thoughts can help to define a better, more rational response.
Humans of every age have an anger mechanism built into their DNA. In humans, anger brings about several physiological changes in their bodies. Their heart rate speeds up, and they begin to sweat. Their vision sharpens; blood flow to the intestines decreases. You can actually see it in their eyes.
When a person has learned to address anger with drugs and alcohol during their life, they’ve missed an important lesson. Failure to learn anger management can result in repetitive relapses, further driving the anger response. An anger management therapist will help you identify your triggers and determine whether you’re responding normally or outside the range of normal. Sometimes, just knowing that it isn’t right will help you deal with the anger. Like addiction, it’s hard to address anger management issues alone. Engaging a therapist in your addiction treatment program is one of the best gifts you’ll ever give to yourself, and you’re worth it.