HI all

Postby XavierFlatbush » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:36 pm

Hi, I am a 43 year old male who has struggled with panic anxiety disorder for 20 years or so. Recently, I have made it a habit of breaking things when I get angry/depressed.

This weekend I had a mild argument with my wife and that caused my anger to get out of control and I busted quite a few items, all of which mean a lot to me. I really never break anything that isn't of value to myself, ex: I won't pick up a worthless coffee mug and throw it, but I'll seek out something I enjoy and bust it-this weekend it was my iPhone, expensive digital camera and other meaningful and/or valuable items.

I understand that this anger probably comes from my inability to fully conquer my panic disorder, at least that is what I surmise. Is there a name for such behavior? Aside from stupidity?

The silly argument that was the catalyst is now meaningless and inconsequential. But I find it depressing and very difficult to move past when I have to see all the self-destruction I caused.
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#1

Postby Leo Volont » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:07 pm

Good Morning M. Flatbush

You have an interesting problem. When thinking about it I will keep your Panic Attack History in mind, but there are plenty of just Angry People who get angry and break things, and so I will only resort to your history of panic disorders if I come up empty everywhere else. What is fascinating about your case is that you seem attracted to breaking things that are not usually on the lists of angry people that break stuff. You pointed out yourself that a lot of angry people take it out on the stupid coffee mug they got as a gift from their employer or some insurance company. A lot of people who get casually mad in their offices, sweep papers off the desk and kick over the trash can, but few actually smash the computer or its display. This discriminating behavior is what we can Inhibition. We can see that Inhibition is a good thing when it comes to anger. Some people have so many Inhibitions when it comes to anger that they are really never angry at all, as far as anybody can tell. However seething on the inside, on the outside they are Saints.

Even the most serious category of Angry People, those who experience Rage – the Ragers – display Inhibitions, mostly against committing acts of violence against people. They might go into blackout Rages and completely destroy the Accounting Department where they work, but will not chase around and try to hurt any of their fellow workers. Oh! This might be a clue. The Ragers WILL go after Significantly Symbolic Properties. They WILL toss around computers, yank out phone lines, and overturn the filing cabinets as they are so instrumental to the Job itself. Also they will also go after the Photo of the Boss that hangs on the wall. In that case, all the stuff they break represents an intrinsic part of what they are angry with – their Job.

But you are busting up your own personal really neat stuff that you like. Yes, many of us have been enslaved by our Smart Phones and I can imagine a good Slave Rebellion once in a while regarding them, but you crunched your camera too, and that would be a hobby that you enjoy. As I said, this case is puzzling.

Oh! I think I know what is happening! Yes, you have Inhibitions like everyone else, but when you get angry it is like you are ‘doubling down’… ‘going all in’, that is, when an Inhibition pops up and says to you “don’t throw your camera… that is what that ugly coffee mug is for”, well, you seem to want to defy the Inhibitions themselves, in effect telling YOURSELF “you can’t tell me what to do!” You know, THAT’S not good. Yes, all demonstrative Anger is Self-Destructive, when you analyze it and trace out all of its effects, but YOUR Anger is bordering on direct Self-Destruction. You are hitting very close to Home.

Well, your Anger is significantly dangerous to yourself and your wellbeing, and I wonder how long you can continue to respect the Inhibitions about striking your wife. I do not have the wherewithal to psychoanalyze your situations, but along with your panic attacks, we can gather that to a large degree your subliminal feelings must be that Life Sucks and probably even a hippy commune would be too stressful for you. BUT you have to deal with this Really Destructive anger somehow.

I would guess that it is fueled up by adrenaline. Just recently I had written to a Ms. Daisyclose who wrote in complaining about Rage Anger, and I presented what was probably my best explanation concerning adrenaline so far. So, here, let me cut and paste it:
*****
Daisy, your problem is with Adrenaline. That is the Fight Flight hormone. You see, back in Caveman Times if a sabretooth tiger were to walk into your camp, the perceived danger and threat would cause a surge release of Adrenaline in not just you but everybody else. Those who could run away would run away like gazelles, much faster than they could ever ordinarily run because the adrenaline maximizes the nerve signals to the muscles and increases the rate of energy Metabolization. Those who are cornered and have to fight would be Wild and Berserk and their strength and agility would seem multiplied. People don’t usually ‘roar’ but people who experience a full blown Adrenaline rush can ‘roar’ and roar quite loud. And so these Primitives could respond effectively to a sabretooth tiger attack. To them Adrenaline was a kind of Magic Elixir in times of danger.

Now, of course, when you experience such full blown Adrenaline Rushes, you realize that it is way too much. Indeed, the way you described the glass candle, that you do not even remember picking it up. Well that is consistent to Adrenaline Rush Black Outs. At least you remember most of what went on. There are Stories about seemingly mild mannered office workers who have flipped out and gone on 3 or 4 minute complete office rampages – throwing office chairs through the plate glass windows, tossing telephones through the plasterboard walls, flipping over desks and pulling down filing cabinets. Coworkers running for their lives. Even Security People holding back out of fear. But then, suddenly they just stop, with a blank look on their face. After about 10 or 20 seconds the expression comes back to their eyes and they look around and say “What the ____ happened here?”. The Adrenaline was SO intense that their Response dropped totally all the way down from the Higher Cognitive Parts of the Brain down to where the Brain is just Pure Animal. And you can see how effective the Adrenaline Rush actually is, in the Purely Animal kind of way. The Big Burly Security Goons afraid to approach a little bespeckled office worker because of the sheer animal intensity being displayed.

Oh, it isn’t always bad. You have heard stories about how mothers, when a car would roll over and trap their baby, how they would roar in alarm and then just reach down and a pick up the car and throw it aside. Yes, it has happened more than once. The Mothers never remember doing it. The Adrenaline pulled them out of the Highly Evolved Human Part of their Brain and brought them down to where they could find the most purely instinctive and primal Animal Strength. Way below the Level of Cognitive Consciousness.

Anyway, you want to KNOW what you can do to STOP an Adrenaline Rush because most the time you aren’t meeting up sabretooth tigers and cars aren’t rolling up and over your babies. The Trick is to catch the Very First Physiological Hint that Adrenaline is being released. Yes, EVERYBODY describes these Anger Attacks as having been Instantaneously Sudden, but not really. The way it works is that for around 3 Seconds Adrenaline is being released on the orders of Subconscious Centers in the Brain. After those 3 Seconds you begin to Consciously understand that you are Enraged, and then people typically take another second or two to before they launch into their attacks – the time it takes to get poised before striking. Now, yes, if you let the First 3 Seconds go by, where you are not even Conscious that you are Angry, then you have little chance of being able to Control what happens. Most of the Adrenaline is already circulating and doing its Animal Energy thing. So you need to learn to Recognize the First FEELING you get from Adrenaline. Its NOT what you are Thinking. It is a Feeling you get in your Body.

THE FIRST SIGN OF AN ADRENALINE RUSH IS THAT YOU WILL CLENCH YOU TEETH… YOUR JAW MUSCLES TIGHTEN… YOU WILL CLOSE YOUR MOUTH TIGHT AND START BREATHING THROUGH YOUR NOSE. You see, the Jaw Muscles are situated between the Brain and the Adrenal Glands right next to the Artery that carries the Blood. So the Jaw Muscle is at an important crossroads and is the first body part to get the Adrenaline.

The Rest is so Easy you won’t believe it until you see it… experience it. As soon as you sense that your Jaw Muscles clench up, SIMPLY RELAX THEM. Open your mouth and take a deep breath. One lady on this Forum says that once she understood about Adrenaline she found that she CANNOT get Angry if she just keeps her mouth open. As long as she keeps breathing through her mouth she can stay calm.

I believe what is happening and that Evolution has given us an Adrenaline On/Off Switch. You know, sometimes the mangy Dog walking outside the Hut at first LOOKS LIKE a sabretooth tiger and so we began to get fired up, but just as quickly we recognize it as a Dog, and so these Primitive People probably knew from experience that all they had to do was open their mouths, breath, relax and shake it off. “It was only that stupid Dog”. But for some unexplainable reason it seems that in this Modern Day and Age that Nobody, except for a few of us here at Anger Management, know about Shutting Down an Adrenaline Rush with the Jaw Relaxation Reflex Response.

But you have to Respond to your jaws tightening Instantaneously. You can’t think about for a second because in that second a great deal of Adrenaline can be released by the Adrenal Glands. So you might have to Practice, so you know what your Jaw Tightening feels like, and so you are practiced at the Relaxation Response. When I first decided to Practice with Adrenaline I got a Pin and was going to stab it into my hand but it turns out that All You Have To Do is INTEND to stab a pin into your hand. As soon as your Body thinks that you are serious about stabbing yourself with a pin, it will release some Adrenaline and you can feel those jaw muscles clench, and THEN you need to relax. You should only take the smallest of a fraction of a second to go from Tighten to Relax. With Practice it is like you only let your jaw muscle twitch for an instant.

Oh, with continual awareness and observation you will find that your Jaw Muscles often tighten up at others times. Sometimes when I bend over to thump and kiss one of my Kitty Cats, my jaw muscles will tighten. I guess that is because my Subconscious Mind still sees Kitty Cats as potentially dangerous little Wild Animals. But that is why Evolution gave us the Turn Off Switch for Adrenaline. The Jaw Tightening is Only a Warning and we can chose to dismiss it. Also, Human Affection may be accompanied by Jaw Tightening. Again, deep down subconsciously we are aware that Affection can be accepted or rejected. In evolutionary terms, expressing your affection in a seriously evolutionary way always carried some risks, both for the male and the female. Again, we can see the Jaw Tightening as a warning and dismiss it.
****
Anyway, M. Flatbush, if you can get a handle on your Adrenaline Rushes then maybe you can continue dealing with Life as you know it here on Planet Earth without making much more worse than it needs to be. Good luck.
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#2

Postby Leo Volont » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:54 am

Oh, M. Flatbush, something else occurred to me, that you may have trouble implementing my advise about Adrenaline Control. You see, I was thinking that Adrenaline Control Only Works if one Immediately Shuts Down the Adrenaline Reflex as soon as it is Noticed, and THAT is an ACT of INHIBITION. Only if you Really Want to Inhibit Self-Destructive Behavior will you actually engage that Shut Down Reflex to turn off the Adrenaline. When I first was working with the Adrenaline Reflexes out in the Real Angry World I noticed a tendency to Dismiss the Warning and Indulge in my Anger -- BIG MISTAKE! And that is what I am now expecting you to do. Like breaking your IPhone (would you have broken it if it were a Samsung?) and your cool digital camera -- it doesn't make any sense, but that is what you are doing. Mme Daisyclose was able to make the Adrenaline advice work for her (see her last entry in her recent post... quite unforgettable) because she WANTED an Inhibitory Mechanism, not just consciously but with the totality of her Being. But with You, I fear you are deeply conflicted -- part of you wants to correct your anger, but the other part is out to destroy your Life, one thing at a time.

Anyway, try your best. KNOW that you may be your own worst enemy, and put everything into the Fight against yourself. There is the Old Story about the young aborigine who came to the Tribal Chief and asked about the serious anger problem he had, and the Chief told him that inside every man are Two Wolves -- one is a good social pack animal that gets along well with all the other wolves, and the other is vicious -- it snarls and snaps at anything and everything, and that he should strive to be only the Good Wolf. The young brave followed so far, but asked the Chief, "Well, how do I get rid of the Bad Wolf?" The answer: "Stop Feeding It". The Way we Feed our Anger is by indulging in a stream of Negative Internal Dialogue. I would guess that many people have an Internal Dialogue and Image Flow that when it isn't pornographic, is almost all about complaining, judging, b____ing and crying. It is this Negative Thought flow that leads them to Anger like a Train running on its Track. They shouldn't be doing that. The most successful Modalities for treating Anger are from the Cognitive Behavior Therapy schools of Psychology. Basically the lessons we derive there are to Review and Revise all habitual ways we have of Thinking about Things, and Review and Revise all of our Behavioral Habits. If we Review and find something not Beneficial to us, then we should Revise it -- either quit it altogether or modify the Thought or Behavior to something that is Good for Us. Feed the Good Wolf. Starve the Bad.

Again, good luck. Let us know how it goes.
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#3

Postby XavierFlatbush » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:10 pm

Thanks Leo, I truly appreciate your detailed and insightful response. I'm at work now, so I just skimmed through it. I will digest it further when I get home.

One thing you wrote that stood out was, "I fear you are deeply conflicted -- part of you wants to correct your anger, but the other part is out to destroy your Life, one thing at a time."

I believe this to be true. I can't say I know for sure why I want to destroy my life, or at least the material things which I value, but I suppose I should examine that a bit further.

Thanks-X

PS: I dont think I would've busted up a Samsung. I'm an Apple guy, and like i said I only destroy meaningful things. The irony is that my sister just gave me an old Samsung Galaxy to use since my iPhone is gone. :)
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#4

Postby Leo Volont » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:31 am

Wow! A Samsung is not good enough to break! I added the 'Samsung' remark because I thought it would sound cute, but it ended up being Meaningful. Sometimes it is just good for me to Talk and see what comes of it. Also, I sometimes think that being an Intellectual is a lot like being a Jazz Musician, that is, a musician who doesn't simply memorize songs and play them the same way every time, but encourages himself to innovate and follow creative impulses. With intellectuals who are 'talking on their feet', so to speak, that implies saying things that sometimes are not 100% entirely thought out. Spontaneity can of course sometimes get you into trouble, but also sometimes some very Deep Thinking may be revealing itself in Impulse Ideas -- momentary Inspirations.

It is funny the way Inspiration happens, especially in Music. You know how Music is linear and happens in Time. Well, when you are actually Playing an Instrument and get an Inspiration, let's say, for a different way of arranging the next 2 bars, the THOUGHT occurs in a Flash -- that you Know how it will sound even before you have had time to think it through -- you know how it will sound without having heard it. Intellectually it happens sort of the same way -- you get a Flash Idea and go with it and later on you find out that it includes rhymes and alliterations and makes double the sense you originally supposed. I guess that is the Creative Process. It sort of seems Out of Control, but when it works, it works great.
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