Getting angry over nothing recently

Postby ececec » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:59 pm

I used to throw tantrums as a very young child but as I grew up, I became more mellow and very nonchalant about any situation. I usually laughed off most dilemmas and never really stressed too much about anything. The last time I've actually physically fought someone was when I was in the 8th grade but I feel that is typical behavior for adolescent boys. I have now finished my first year of college.

In the past few months, however, I've been getting angry at minor problems or even nothing. About once a week I get this way. When this happens, i stop talking entirely because I know I will say or do something I regret to people that I care about. I cannot bring myself to even reason with anyone because I just want to say things that will just hurt them. Because of this, I get extremely aggressive and have a strong urge to misdirect my anger by engaging in physical altercations with random people. So far I haven't done that yet.

I do however release this aggression by breaking things or engaging in self-destructive tendencies. I've broken my closet door and punched two holes through my wall. The second hole was from yesterday and it injured my wrist pretty badly. My wrist hurts so bad and eventually I will end up hurting other people instead of myself. I was fine for the longest time and I would even say that my life is at its best right now compared to the last couple years so I'm not sure what the cause of these random bursts of anger are.
ececec
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:47 pm
Likes Received: 0


#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:25 pm

ececec wrote: When this happens, i stop talking entirely


You have made a good comparison, that of a child like tantrum. That is a learned response. A second learned response is to feign lack of caring. The child pretends, "I didn't want that anyway."

Cry or withdraw. Both are common learned behaviors in responding to a perceived lack of control.

Now you're a young adult male, but your coping strategies have not advanced. You lack problem solving skills, so when faced with a perceived lack of control you revert to these same strategies. Of course, as an adult they don't work and can have some pretty negative consequences, i.e. not getting a promotion, getting fired, losing a relationship, etc.

"When it happens" you feel emotion. You begin to feel some sort of discomfort, frustration or anger. When that happens you need to use the metacognitive strategy of IF/THEN and explore other ways to engage with the problem. Work on cultivating your problem solving skills.

IF "it happens" (emotion of lack of control) THEN explore new ways to navigate the issue.
User avatar
Richard@DecisionSkills
MVP
MVP
 
Posts: 9611
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:25 am
Likes Received: 967

#2

Postby ececec » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:42 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
ececec wrote: When this happens, i stop talking entirely


You have made a good comparison, that of a child like tantrum. That is a learned response. A second learned response is to feign lack of caring. The child pretends, "I didn't want that anyway."

Cry or withdraw. Both are common learned behaviors in responding to a perceived lack of control.

Now you're a young adult male, but your coping strategies have not advanced. You lack problem solving skills, so when faced with a perceived lack of control you revert to these same strategies. Of course, as an adult they don't work and can have some pretty negative consequences, i.e. not getting a promotion, getting fired, losing a relationship, etc.

"When it happens" you feel emotion. You begin to feel some sort of discomfort, frustration or anger. When that happens you need to use the metacognitive strategy of IF/THEN and explore other ways to engage with the problem. Work on cultivating your problem solving skills.

IF "it happens" (emotion of lack of control) THEN explore new ways to navigate the issue.


Thank you for the response. I realize now that I really am acting like a child for no reason. Next time this happens I will try to confront the situation rather than letting my anger take over.
ececec
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:47 pm
Likes Received: 0

#3

Postby Leo Volont » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:32 pm

Hi ececec

Wow! Mostly we deal with moderate anger and irritability, but with your punching holes through the walls, well, you are doing Rage. I am almost out the door with an appointment, but I have time to tell you a bit about the efforts we have been making in regards to controlling Cortisol release, which has helped a lot of people here. You see, Cortisol is body’s ‘panic button’ hormone or secretion that energizes the ‘fight or flight’ reaction. The gland that secretes Cortisol is close to the brainstem, and the closest muscle group to it is the jaw muscles. It seems that the very first sign that a person gets, even before becoming mentally aware that he or she is upset, is that their jaw muscles will tighten. IF you instantly relax your jaw muscles then that gives a signal to the Cortisol gland to stop pumping. Without Cortisol you will not be punching holes in walls or be so much on edge that you think you will flip out against your whole social world. I really must go, but, please, ececec, take a look at some of these other threads. In most cases I get around to explaining what I call the “Cortisol Trick”. Thank you. Have a nice day.
User avatar
Leo Volont
Preferred Member
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:26 am
Likes Received: 86

#4

Postby ececec » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:49 am

Leo Volont wrote:Hi ececec

Wow! Mostly we deal with moderate anger and irritability, but with your punching holes through the walls, well, you are doing Rage. I am almost out the door with an appointment, but I have time to tell you a bit about the efforts we have been making in regards to controlling Cortisol release, which has helped a lot of people here. You see, Cortisol is body’s ‘panic button’ hormone or secretion that energizes the ‘fight or flight’ reaction. The gland that secretes Cortisol is close to the brainstem, and the closest muscle group to it is the jaw muscles. It seems that the very first sign that a person gets, even before becoming mentally aware that he or she is upset, is that their jaw muscles will tighten. IF you instantly relax your jaw muscles then that gives a signal to the Cortisol gland to stop pumping. Without Cortisol you will not be punching holes in walls or be so much on edge that you think you will flip out against your whole social world. I really must go, but, please, ececec, take a look at some of these other threads. In most cases I get around to explaining what I call the “Cortisol Trick”. Thank you. Have a nice day.

Wow, I did not know I could get this far in so quickly HAHA. I do not remember having feelings of anger even close to this bad before two months ago. I skipped the moderate anger phase for sure.

You are correct that whenever I have been getting angry or confrontational I do clench my jaw very hard. But the problem is that I now realize that I subconsciously clench my jaw pretty often? It takes a few seconds to unclench entirely when I'm mellow so I can't imagine how hard it'd be when I'm angry. Thank you for the help.
ececec
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:47 pm
Likes Received: 0

#5

Postby Leo Volont » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:05 am

Hi ececec,

I’m back from my appointment. Now, more about that Cortisol Gland. The more it pumps, the more it wants to pump. There are other glands that would tend to inhibit that Cortisol Gland, but the more the Cortisol Gland fires up, the weaker the inhibiting glands become. So it happens that stress reinforces stress. It gets harder to control the Cortisol the more you allow it to flow. SO, you really need to practice INSTANTLY relaxing your jaw muscles. Your goal is to relax your jaw within the fastest reaction time possible. Think about accidently bumping over a drink glass, but catching it before it spills – that is how fast you should become with it. You must realize from experience that you can ramp up from calm to blow up in a very short time. Many people think that it is instantaneously, but it is not that fast. But it only takes about 3 to 5 seconds for enough Cortisol to be released to be a real problem for you.

I am lucky. I have 4 cats that I love very much, but they are constantly getting in my way, and so I feel my jaw muscles tighten up all the time, and I have learned to relax just that quickly, like catching a spilled drink before losing the first drop. Oh, if you don’t have cats, there is a way you can practice shutting down a Cortisol Rush. You take a pin or a needle and you go to stab your other hand with it. You don’t actually have to stab your hand because as soon as you get ready to, THEN you will notice your jaw muscles tighten. Then quickly relax. Practice, Practice, Practice. However, do not practice this more than once every few hours. Even a little bit of cortisol will make you a little edgy, and so you wouldn’t want to multiply it up. Oh… have you ever seen a person slap their own face in order to keep awake? They are doing that to get just a little bit of cortisol – it’s a stimulant.

So, yes, if you can keep the Cortisol shut down for a while, then it will give your brain a chance to return to normal again. If you want to read about all of that (and get all the right terminology) then read Ronald Potter-Efron’s “The Angry Brain”. Ronald Potter-Efron is my favorite Anger Management author (he had even written college text books on the subject). Oh, one of his best books, which I hardly ever recommend here, is a book called “Rage”. It is a bit more than most people here need. Reading that book will give you an idea that you have a social and moral responsibility to take care of your rage before you hurt somebody or end up in jail. You can get his books on line.

But, yes, ececec, remember you are now a member here, so feel at home, and keep writing in. Let us all know what works for you and what doesn’t. We are all rooting for you.
User avatar
Leo Volont
Preferred Member
 
Posts: 919
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:26 am
Likes Received: 86



  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to Anger Management