Anger: Not always an ailment

Anger is not always an illness
Anger is a primary human emotion

Dr. Muntasir Maruf

A person who has never been angry in his life is hard to find. From an ignorant child to an eighty-year-old, anger can happen to anyone. People can be mad at any unexpected, unbearable event or situation. The level of violence may vary depending on the case, the person, the time, and the environment.

But no one, being honest to themselves, can ever say, ‘I never get angry!’

Anger is a primary human emotion like joy, sorrow, annoyance, fear, wonder. Occasional anger is not uncommon or even harmful. But the problem is when the outburst of rage gets out of control. Uncontrolled anger can cause a person to lose common sense, humility, politeness, and shyness. The person can become violent and aggressive and create any accident – which can be harmful to oneself or others.

What is it behind the uncontrolled expression of anger and rage? Numerous scientists, researchers, and scholars are looking to answer this question since the very ancient age of life. From ideas and research, many people have given different opinions, explanations, theories about it. According to Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neuroscientist and father of psychoanalysis, one of the basic human instincts is a destructive attitude towards oneself. But since the instinct is harmful to the person himself, the person becomes subconsciously aggressive towards others as a defensive behavior or defense mechanism against this instinct.

According to his ‘Social Learning’ doctrine, Canadian-American psychologist Albert Bandura claims that a person learns to express uncontrolled anger from the surrounding environment and society. The expression of rage benefits the person somehow or the other from his surroundings, which motivates him to re-express his fury further. For example, while being aggressive in anger, people around him satisfy his wishes or awe him, thus establishing his control over others.

Sometimes, the person learns this through simple observation. When the person sees that someone else is being benefitted from the outburst of their anger or gets the desired result immediately, he is encouraged to do the same. The most accepted and popular theory about the expression of fury or aggressive behavior is given by the American psychologist John Dollard known as the ‘Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis.

According to this theory, anger is the response to frustration caused by the failure to achieve one’s goals. According to American psychologists, Craig Anderson and Brad Bushman’s ‘General Aggression Model’, anger and its manifestations occur in the interaction of personal, environmental, social, biological, and psychological issues. If a person is under stress for any reason, unable to cope with daily stress, or spends the day in excessive anxiety and worry, they may react negatively or get angry even in a trivial event.

Every human being has some personal traits or characteristics that can set him apart from other human beings. These traits are part of a person’s personality. Personality is determined by the interaction of a person’s physical and mental constitution, heredity, natural social environment, etc. The process of growth of a person through various reactions. Anger and resentment become part of the personality of some people. We identify those who get angry quickly from an early age, which causes unusual manifestations of violence as some angry, grumpy people. They may not have any specific mental illness – this anger and resentment is part of his personality. Therefore, anger is not always an ailment. However, there are some mental illnesses, one of the symptoms of which is uncontrolled anger or unusual and aggressive expressions of anger.

This problem occurs in people with personality disorders such as antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. The idea that the mentally ill are angry or aggressive is not always accurate. As usual, healthy people can get mad at events and cause abnormal manifestations; a mentally ill patient can do the same. However, some psychiatric patients lack skills in controlling anger. Again, the patient’s relatives or other people, intentionally or not, often make the patient angry.

People with schizophrenia and similar illnesses who suffer from delusions or paranoia may become angry and react accordingly to someone as an enemy or adversary due to their misconceptions or suspicions. Bipolar mood disorders or mania can make a patient extremely angry if they are being interrupted while talking or working or do something against their wishes.

The effects of drug addiction can cause a person’s sudden outburst of anger. Patients with depression and anxiety can sometimes erupt in uncontrolled anger. As a strategy to control anger, you first need to find out exactly why, under what circumstances or events, or what kind of behavior provokes you. For this, one thing you can do is you can write down your physical and mental feelings and thoughts in a diary after each episode of your anger. Another thing is, when a situation like anger arises, it is best to move away from that situation or place immediately. If that is not possible, it is better to remain silent during anger. What is said when you are in anger, is more likely to be unpleasant and unreasonable. Instead of talking at this time, you can think of something positive or reminisce about it. The main goal is to divert immediate attention. Even you can also call a close friend. But instead of talking about anger, you both can discuss something else.

The last and most important thing is to change your point of view. When you tend to focus more on the positive sides of an event, your episodes of anger will eventually lessen. And if the violence is due to a particular mental illness, the specific disease should be treated first according to the psychiatrist’s advice.


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