I have anger issues lately, how to deal with it?

I am angry with everyone around me, sometimes without any reason. I have headaches often, insomnia, sleep to pass the day faster, some days I'm very hungry, some days not at all. I'm lazy, feeling depressed. I'm so sad cause i lost a relative recently

Asked by Una


I'm sorry about your loss. I don't know whether that has been the primary reason that you've been feeling so "angry," but anger is often called a "secondary emotion" because there are generally other feelings below the anger. For example, maybe you're feeling intense grief and that's causing you to be more irritable than usual? Maybe there are other emotions connected to your relative's passing, like regret, guilt, abandonment, resentment, etc. When looking at how to deal with the "anger," it's important to first identify what the underlying feelings are. 

You are describing what could be a depressive episode--headaches, changes in sleep and eating patterns, sadness, loss of motivation. I encourage you to try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is a great tool to combat mood disorders. If your depression is particularly severe or is lasting for weeks or more at a time, you may want to talk with a doctor about whether you would benefit from medication. There are other things you can do yourself, too. Even though you are experiencing low energy, try to get yourself to exercise. Try to set short-term goals, goals that are easily attainable. Reach out for support. While many people who feel depressed tend to isolate and reject help from others, this is the time that you especially need support. You may also need accountability from others in following through with self-care activities and taking care of general responsibilities. Try to pay attention to what you're telling yourself that is contributing to the feelings that you're having. Once you do this, you can evaluate the thoughts and determine whether they're adaptive, and if they're not, you can utilize counter statements and positive self-talk statements. 

There are also a number of coping skills that can help with general anger, like deep breathing, pleasant imagery, and mindfulness techniques including meditation. You may want to also look at your life and see if you are taking on too much right now and if that has contributed to a sense of burnout. As you lost a loved one recently, take a look at what you're doing to allow yourself to grieve. Are you giving yourself the opportunity, or are you trying to suppress or ignore the emotions you're encountering?

Try to remember that no matter what is going on, how you feel right now is temporary, and you will feel better. Reaching out for help may allow you to feel better more quickly. If I can help at all, just let me know, and take care of yourself, and allow others to be there for you too.

Nicholas DeFazio, MRC, LPCC-S, LICDC