Anger and Abuse
Do you feel that you are feeling angry too much of the time?
Uncontrolled anger can have harmful effects:
When you get angry you will feel changes in your body due to the ‘fight and flight mechanism’ which prepares your body to deal with danger. There is increased blood flow to your muscles as high levels of adrenaline and cortisol are released so that you can ‘fight’ or run away ‘flight’. You may feel your heart pounding and be aware of breathing more rapidly.
Feeling high levels of anger and aggression can be very destructive, effecting relationships in all areas of your life. You may be frightening your children and driving an ever widening gap between you and your partner. Angry conflict can get you into a cycle of mental and physical abuse which can lead to the break-up of relationships and divorce. You can ruin your career chances and actions and words displayed in the heat of the moment can lead to a whole host of unpleasant emotions including guilt and shame which can lead to low self esteem, anxiety and depression.
While your most immediate concern may be to find ways of controlling your anger, it is really important to discover the origin of your anger. You may be surprised to discover during therapy that what you thought was the source of your anger was really just the escape route for something more deeply rooted.
A good way to start is to find out where your anger comes from and how it presents itself by keeping a diary recording the following. You may like to try this and bring it to your first appointment.
Therapists used to encourage clients to ‘act out’ their anger by thumping cushions, smashing dishes or punching the punching bag in the belief that this would release all your anger and you would feel better. However research has shown that such expressions of anger made people angrier and they were more likely to experience more episodes of angry behaviour.
Shouting and screaming does not help either, the body becomes more stressed. In one study it was also shown to lower self esteem because the women felt out of control and incompetent.
Anger is a response that can be managed and we can explore what will work for you.
As a quick emergency measure try to breathe your anger away.
If you are feeling your anger rise you will probably feel your heart rate increase as your blood pressure goes up. Try really hard to relax your body and BREATHE.
Your anger may be the result of a great wrong which has been inflicted upon you. Sometimes things are done to us or happen to us that we can never forgive. The best you can hope for in these situations is some form of acceptance. Perhaps your best revenge is to survive and life your life to the full.
A survivor of abuse explained to me that the effect of the abuse on her life was like an atomic bomb being dropped and the resulting 'fallout' was catastrophic spreading toxicity into all areas of her life.
If you are a survivor of abuse you may have extreme difficulty trusting others.
You may have such feelings of anger and rage that they may sometimes erupt like a volcanic force.
You may have tried to blot out the pain by turning to drugs or alcohol.
If you are in a relationship you may have great difficulty in being intimate because to trust anyone is so very difficult.
Your issues may be very complex and painful and you will need to have courage to work through them, but remember you are a SURVIVOR and together we can work through any issue you choose to.
You may have kept the abuse that you suffered a secret for many years and suffered from anxiety and depression while trying to cope with your feelings.
Counselling is a safe place for you where you can explore your feelings and share what you may have felt is too difficult for anyone to hear.