Why Am I So Angry?

By: Margaret Wack

Updated September 08, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Kelly L. Burns, MA, LPC, ATR-P

How Do We Show Anger? 

People may feel and express feeling angry in very different ways. Some people might make it known when they feel upset, while others might keep their emotions private.

Rage is a natural reaction. When experienced in excess, however, unresolved rage can result in health problems including depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more. It's important to deal with rage healthily before it can harm you or those you love. This article will cover different reasons for rage and tools you can use to help manage your rage healthily and productively.

Why Do I Feel So Angry?

Anger can be caused by many different things and can be triggered by a wide variety of circumstances depending on the individual. Some reasons for rage may include:

  • Being disrespected or treated unfairly
  • Feeling violated, threatened, or attacked
  • Being frightened or physically harmed
  • Being interrupted when you are trying to achieve a goal
  • Feeling powerless or hopeless
  • High levels of stress or anxiety
  • Lack of sleep

Top Reasons Behind Anger 

Now that you have a better understanding of what rage is and how being angry feels, here are five common reasons that may be causing you to feel angry:

Powerlessness

Another common cause of rage is powerlessness. This feeling is often associated with a loss of control and feelings of helplessness. If you're suffering from issues with your health, struck in a bad relationship, or just feeling trapped, you might feel especially upset.

Whenever you find yourself feeling powerless, remind yourself, "I'm responsible for my own life. I'm worthy of respect. My skills and abilities have brought me here today, and I can use them to deal with this negative situation in a healthy way. I'm going to go on a run to cool down, and then I'll come back to this situation with a clear head."  If you feel like you are losing control of your own life, then you may want to consider seeking professional help or guidance on how to make changes.

Anxiety

According to the ADAA, over 40 million adults in the United States alone suffer from anxiety, about eighteen percent of the total population. Although anxiety and rage might seem like two different mental health issues, they are often deeply intertwined. When faced with challenging circumstances, people with anxiety may try to express their stress and frustration through rage.

The good news is that there are some positive treatment methods for dealing with anxiety. Some ways to deal with anxiety healthily include seeking professional help, engaging in enjoyable activities, reducing stressors in your life, getting a pet, trying medication under the guidance of a professional, or meditation.

Past Events or Trauma

A traumatic or painful experience can have lasting effects, even if you think you've moved on from the event. Memories of past trauma can trigger anxiety, frustration, and even outbursts. To properly resolve past trauma, it's always a good idea to seek the help of a professional. Counseling services can help you navigate negative emotions, control excessive rage, and develop strategies for coping with painful or triggering circumstances.

Traumatic events can have a lasting impact on your mental health, and you may not always realize how they're affecting your current behavior. A therapist can help you recognize how past events affect your mood today and offer guidance in healing from these events.

Grief

Grief is another common cause of rage. Grief can be an overwhelming emotion that is often associated with hardship, pain, and personal loss. Grief can stem from the death of friends, loved ones, partners, parents, siblings, or even a pet. Grief can also be caused by other hardships including professional or personal disappointment, the loss of a job, physical injury, or even current events.

When you're overwhelmed by grief, it can quickly turn towards rage. Grieving people are often frustrated by the cruelty and unfairness of the world, upset that a future they had envisioned is no longer possible, and upset with people who aren't able to understand and sympathize with their suffering.

Although it is normal to experience rage with grief, anger can become out of control if not dealt with properly. Allow yourself to feel the grief, so that you may begin the healing process.

What Are The Different Types Of Anger?

Physical Anger

For many, this is the worst type of rage that needs anger management as soon as possible. Someone who is physically upset may break things around them or attack the person who they feel wronged them.

Your rage outbursts can be seen as terrifying, or turn you into a laughingstock should you attack an object like punching a hole in the wall. Sometimes, physical anger is a sort of fight or flight response to a perceived danger. 

While a mental illness may explain it, it doesn't excuse physical anger. If you have physical anger, you could benefit from learning relaxation techniques. Find a psychiatrist or a therapist who can help you identify certain triggers, and teach you anger management techniques.

Stress Anger

Sometimes, we become angry due to stress, and we may express it through rage. If a computer is giving you a hard time, you may get angry and hit it. In a case like this, you need more than anger management. You need to learn how to manage feeling angry. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Don't deal with it if it's too much to handle. Don't accept overtime when you're overwhelmed.
  • If you have a mental health disorder, you may need to treat it before handling stress. Your mental illness may make handling your stress worse. 
Passive Aggressive Anger

Essentially, this is when you handle anger by being avoidant-you express that you're mad, but not why, or not at the right person. It's an anger problem that may not seem too bad, but it may still cause issues. If you're asked to take out the trash when you're in the middle of watching TV, you may say "I was watching TV, but I'd love to take out the trash." Sometimes, the tone of your voice can tell the other person you feel upset, but that's not always the case. If you're told to do something you don't want to, you control your rage by deliberately doing it badly. Again, this is something that a person may notice, but may not. And even if they do notice, they won't know why you're upset.

Verbal Anger
Many people think that if one can settle their rage through their words and not their fists, it's a good thing. However, verbal anger is misused often and can be dangerous to someone who can't manage rage. Someone angry all the time may take it out on their spouse or loved one. Ridicule, threats, and yelling are signs of toxic verbal rage, and it's a sign of an anger problem that needs to be addressed.

With proper anger management, verbal rage can be turned into something that's a force for good. One of the best anger management techniques you can do is to explain how you feel hurt. Don't use accusatory language, but instead express your emotions. This can help the person who you're angry at realizing they've done something wrong, and it can be easier to find a solution. This is a great force for good.

Volatile Anger
Someone with volatile rage doesn't necessarily have to be upset all the time; sometimes, the feeling seems to happen all at once. People may feel like they have to walk on eggshells to be around you to avoid your rage and aggression, and having volatile anger can end your relationships and friendships. Someone with volatile rage may not be aware they have it and they don't feel bad about it, or they do and they feel bad every time they lose their temper. 

It's important that if you have volatile rage, you learn some anger management techniques to lessen those feelings. While the rage may seem sudden, there are often triggers that may cause your rage. By learning the triggers, you can avoid them, or learn to control your anger should they arise.

Retaliatory Anger

This is being upset at people who have wronged you. Quite often in life, we are wronged. Sometimes, it's something major, such as someone stealing from you, ruining your relationship, or sabotaging you at work.

Retaliatory rage can lead to thoughts and feelings of revenge, and you may wonder if you need anger management for it. Attacking someone who wronged you can lead to repercussions. If you feel upset all the time at the people who wronged you, you'll probably feel better after speaking with a therapist. They can help you control your rage and use it for something good.

Upset At Yourself

This type of anger response can have some serious consequences. Self-anger is when you have done something you regret, and you take it out on yourself. It's another type of rage that can be good when used correctly.

When one feels mad all the time at themselves, they may take it out in some negative ways. They may express their rage by engaging in high-risk behavior, including heavy use or abuse of drugs or alcohol, disordered eating habits, or even putting themselves in danger. These may provide a temporary distraction from your anger, but will not solve the root of the issue. A therapist can help you formulate a plan to improve and be able to help you feel better.

Repressed Anger 

Repressed rage involves you bottling up your rage because you don't want to express it, or don't know how to. With repressed rage, you often keep it bottled up until it's too much, and then you may let it out at the wrong time or at the wrong person. Repressed rage is especially common in households or societies where you may be taught that it's bad to express your emotions. 

When you're overwhelmed by feelings of anger, it can often feel as if there's no appropriate outlet to channel your frustration and negative emotions. If you're not sure where to turn or how to express your anger healthily, BetterHelp can help. Our online therapy services can help you to understand yourself, control your emotions, and improve your mental health. An online therapist can provide medical and therapeutic solutions to any rage issues or mental disorders you may have, and being able to get help online is just one of the many support groups you should implement for rage. Therapists can give advice, diagnosis assistance, and be a stone in your overall mental health foundation.

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