Irrational Agresssion & Short Temper Issues

Postby LUFCMan » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:34 pm

Hi there this is the first time i have done anything like this because i have not really had the courage to do so.
I have a huge problem with irrational bursts of anger and agression, also i have a very very short temper and i will lose my rag with anything that rubs me slightly the wrong way. I usually vent my anger by punching walls, fences etc.. i have tried the old age method of counting to ten and analysing the situation before i react but it is just not possible, my temper is far too short, i just see red and become violent, fortunately i can control my violence to the point i only hit walls and fences etc.. rather than people.

I am only 18 years old and i need a way to get on top of this, because i dont want it to be something that plagues me for the rest of my life.

Please help, prompt reply would be greatly appreciated
LUFCMan
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#1

Postby JAKJRF » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:17 am

Hi LUFCMan

Thanks for opening a new thread.

Strong binding words... You wrote, "i dont want it to be something that plagues me for the rest of my life". "Plague" is a strong word, and the phrase, "for the rest of my life", indeed conjures up images of the bind this anger has in your life. Let me say early on, that the words we use, helps shape us, even helps trap us, and often, just changing the words we use to think about a thing, lessens its grip on us.

Questions and questions... Good questions can be helpful; let me ask a few. Please answer as much as you feel comfortable with.

The title... You titled your post, "Irrational Aggression & Short Temper Issues". Consider that aggression is a multi-faceted phenomenon and though not the same as anger it sometimes feels like anger. And most times, when we get around to asking for help, we have developed some fairly strong habits. With these ideas in mind, that your aggression, which now seems automatic, may have many roots, what is "irrational", about your aggression?

Define anything... This may sound silly but you used the word "anything" as in "with anything that rubs me slightly the wrong way". Can you give an example of an animal or object that "rubbed" you the "wrong way"? What I'm after is to find out if that "anything", is mostly people, and if people, is it relationships or do you feel people try to control you? Do you ever have "irrational bursts of anger and aggression" when there are no people around?

I can control... You wrote that you have some control over your emotional expressions, limiting the "irrational bursts of anger and aggression" to "punching walls, fences". Go with me here, I find it interesting that you used "fences" in that sentence. Punching "fences" gives the sense of avoiding something, perhaps avoiding people.

Meds... Have to ask; are you on any medication or street drugs? And wondering if you have seen a professional about this issue? My thinking is that at 18 you have had time to make an impression on your parents; what would they say about your "Irrational Aggression & Short Temper Issues"?

Abstract thinking... And lastly, imagine yourself in the future looking back to now, what advice would you give me, to pass along to you? What caused this anger?

What say you?
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#2

Postby Jon.P1990 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:02 am

Whats up LUFC, sorry for the delayed response and welcome to the forums. I think you're anger is related to stress. Best advice I can offer is to maybe exercise on a scheduled basis to relieve some of the stress and get some good chems flowing through your brain, nothing better than a good ol' natural high.

Its good that you have some control over your anger. Even the least bit can go a long way. Anger isn't irrational, it's your body communicating to you. It probably seems irrational because it clouds your ability to think clearly, therefore leading to more anger, but it is a response from your body to something you have been doing.

Look, listen, and learn from what you yourself do everyday. Lol, if you could carry a camera around and record every action of your day then replay it at the end you would probably be surprised about what all you see, even if the idea is ridiculous, and somewhat embarrassing. The idea is that when you go through what all you did for a few days, you will recognize some patterns of stuff you do. Think about these patterns and pick out the activities that you feel angry shortly after engaging in.

Jurples and many others strike gold with the diet advice. What you eat really does have a lot of affects on your mood, so try and go for a healthier diet in the near future.

Now as for the whole seeing red thing... wow. I am more amazed than sympathetic with that fact. I don't encourage it of course, but that is pretty interesting. I would say when you start getting that angry just you look up at the sky or something and then start asking yourself questions like "what am I mad about?" "why do I even care about it?" "What would it take for me to just forget about it and move on?" and then answer your own questions and put the answers into practice.

Anger gets dealt with in time. You don't sound like the patient type, but patience is the best strategy for any situation. In time, answers will come to you if YOU LET THEM. Just don't get so angry that you start letting your angry thoughts control every moment of your life. Vent it out by exercising or screaming in private, even having a little chat with yourself can be good sometimes.

I know this isn't as awesome as you would probably expect, but I'm trying bro. Hope it helps!

-Jon P
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#3

Postby LUFCMan » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:06 pm

hi there thanks for the, offered suggestions.

I cannot honestly put my finger on the cause of the anger, i just have been struggling with this for the last few years, i take no form of medication and have a normal social, life.

hiwever as the years progress my temper shortens, and i become more aggressive, violence seems to be the only way for me to vent the anger, and by punching inanimate objest i can get it out of my system, without hurting people.

and anything can trigger my anger, down to things as petty as bad traffic, a funny look or badly worded comment from somebody, or even losing on a video game.

I have only 2 ways where i expend my anger, and that is when i go to watch football matches, and when i blow my top and punch walls or anything i can.
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#4

Postby JAKJRF » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:14 am

Hi LUFCMan

Thanks again for sharing... that was helpful. Here's my understanding. You are 18, have a history, a history of a steadily growing, triggered "anger", that you redirect by acting-out in violence towards objects or by vicariously joining football matches. You clearly feel the cost of this "anger" as indicated by your post in this forum and your earlier attempts to apply some management techniques such as counting. Yet, as the years pass, you become more, a master of getting "angry", advancing, becoming "more aggressive", with a shortening temper and moving into the "irrational". "Irrational" in this context, signals us that you perceive an increasing loss of cognitive control.

Normal social life... In a kind way, you wrote, "I take no form of medication and have a normal social, life" and this hints, really confirms, that you indeed found this post difficult to write. Just as you wrote earlier, "this is the first time i have done anything like this because i have not really had the courage to do so". It is the statement of a "normal social life" which hints that your post is focusing on the triggered "anger" and its exaggerated expression, when the greater truth is that you are still socially connected. This is good, telling us that there is time as you move into larger roles beyond 18, to help, to save these connections, to find more, and to move the triggered "anger" from present to past.

Quick Triggers and Rage... For now, you have revealed some patterns with triggers like "bad traffic", "a funny look", "a badly worded comment", "losing on a video game" and more interesting to this forum, an emotional reaction to these triggers that announces rage. More interesting to forum; because RAGE tells us your end point and provides us a door; a place to start, where we can walk back, through your triggered "anger" process, eventually back to where this RAGE is coming from. Know this, that rage is a tricky place; it is a place where we feel 'all powerful' and without limits and from this place we reach out with the seeming power of a deity to take the life and freedoms away from those that dare to respond; short term gains with near permanent self-defeating consequences. Oh yes, I understand that at 18, you are acting-out in violence towards objects and by vicariously joining football matches, but it is the advancing, the becoming "more aggressive" with a shortening temper and the moving into the "irrational" that prompts this post. For sure, this is the anger management forum and you and I both know that anger comes with cost, and we must manage that cost.

Getting to now... You wrote, "as the years progress my temper shortens, and i become more aggressive, violence seems to be the only way for me to vent the anger" and in the next post I will suggest why. Review the above; add comment at any time...

More on this soon...
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#5

Postby Jon.P1990 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:09 am

LUFCMan wrote:hi there thanks for the, offered suggestions.

I cannot honestly put my finger on the cause of the anger, i just have been struggling with this for the last few years, i take no form of medication and have a normal social, life.

hiwever as the years progress my temper shortens, and i become more aggressive, violence seems to be the only way for me to vent the anger, and by punching inanimate objest i can get it out of my system, without hurting people.

and anything can trigger my anger, down to things as petty as bad traffic, a funny look or badly worded comment from somebody, or even losing on a video game.

I have only 2 ways where i expend my anger, and that is when i go to watch football matches, and when i blow my top and punch walls or anything i can.


Well, you can't really expect the cause of 10 years of build-up to be revealed in a week or two. Solving this kind of problem takes time and really starts once you notice you have the problem, like you recently have. The progression from here on out is natural, the fact that your seeking help means you will probably boost the rate of progression with handling your anger.

Honestly, I think it's great that you can't take medication, because medication (while good to some extent) can be extremely counter-productive. It stimulates the creation of artificially high amounts of chemicals in your brain, causing the parts of your brain that produces those chemicals to be over-worked, thus lessening the efficiency of their performance. Medication causes dependence on medication. That's why I said the whole diet thing is golden. Certain foods can stimulate the same chemical reactions in the brain as medication does - healthy foods = good chemicals/ bad foods = bad chemicals. So this is why, in my opinion, you should be paying more attention to your diet.

To the "violence being the only way to vent my anger", you know its not true! Don't lie to us!! We know all... ;) just kidding. But seriously there is always something you can do. I recommend going for walks when you get angry. Counting to 10 is often BS, and you could lose valuable time in some situations by just counting, breathing, and not reacting. Carrying a "plush ball" is cool too, because when you get angry you have something you can squeeze to vent a little. I get really angry sometimes too, when I do I usually stop doing the activity that makes me angry... then come back to it later (I'm a glutton for punishment :P). Sometimes you just have to take a step back, take *1* big deep breath, then dive right back right in. I really hope the way you interpret that last sentence doesn't lead to trouble, but hey, I'm here to give my advice and try to help, right?

We all lose our temper in certain situations relating to traffic, people giving dirty looks, and hearing people be themselves (unfortunately this one is turning into a big problem). What you have to understand is that, while many may disagree with me, society is becoming more self-centered as we continue. Technology isolates people so they usually only consider things from their view because they do it so often anyways. It takes time to be able to deal with everyone, but you'll get it. Just remember that these people probably don't care about you, so the fact you even give them the attention of your anger is just dumb. Disregard them and move on, "blocking out" really mean comments or actions can be hard, but with practice you'll get it. Keep calm and stay loose as often as possible.

-Jon P
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#6

Postby Ravi » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:20 am

Dear LUFCMan
I congratulate you for having the presence of mind to recognize that you are getting angry and for making sincere attempts to control it

Let me assure you that it is perfectly normal to get angry.
Anger is the expression that manifests when we turn on our own internal mechanism to defend ourselves.

What you probably are referring to is the behavioral manifestation of your anger - which you speak of as Aggression, Physical Manifestation (Punching Walls) - Which has been bothering you.

Your frustration stems from your repeated failure to experience peace of mind, which you are desperately looking for. You have tried, rationalizing, and redirecting your focus from the cause of anger.. Somehow, these techniques have not provided the relief you seek

One of the most probable reasons why rationalizing your emotions or redirecting your focus from cause of anger has not generated desirable consequences of being at peace with yourself, is because, you are operating from a limiting belief that you and others ought be right and perfect all the time -

Thus when something does not go the way you had planned or expected it to ... the situation manifests itself as a conflict to what you think should be the correct way.... as such, you tend to create conditions for being happy and at peace

It will give you peace if you recognize that none of us is perfect and right all the time... It is perfectly alright to be imperfect... and keep learning and get better with each passing day

The other limiting belief that stems from your own ego is that you tend to see criticism as reflections of your deficiencies this somehow is not a pleasurable situation... as such it leads you to believe that you are imperfect; and leads to intense discomfort.. thus stimulating the defense mechanism within you with anger and pushing you to prove that you are right

It will help, if you appreciate that everyone has a right to opine. What makes the difference is how one takes the opinion

What keeps you from getting physical with people comes more from your own values, your understanding of the situation you are in

It would help if you could stop judging yourself and others harshly and learn to accept yourself and others unconditionally

Having appreciated this perspective, you may require some more time to internalize it before you experience its benefits
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#7

Postby JAKJRF » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:55 pm

Hi LUFCMan

Let's pick up on Getting to now... You wrote, "as the years progress my temper shortens, and i become more aggressive, violence seems to be the only way for me to vent the anger", and in truth this expected by the research on anger. The core idea behind this self-venting is called the Catharsis theory originating with Freud. And the theory has surely endured in popular media even as study after study proves the results you are seeing; that your now habit of venting, increases aggression, increases violence and has an ever decreasing return of value. A seminal research on the Catharsis theory is can be found at Does Venting Anger Feed or Extinguish the Flame? Catharsis, Rumination, Distraction, Anger, and Aggressive Responding and Catharsis, Aggression, and Persuasive Influence: Self-Fulfilling or Self-Defeating Prophecies? The conclusion: "Our findings suggest that media messages advocating catharsis may be worse than useless. They encourage people to vent their anger through aggressive action, and perhaps they even foster the displacement of aggression toward new, innocent third parties. In our research, people who received procatharsis messages first chose to vent their anger by hitting a punching bag, but then they went on to show elevated aggression toward the person at whom they were angry. They even showed increased aggression toward an innocent third person. Pop writers may think they are offering helpful, sage advice on affect regulation, but the effect of advocating catharsis may be to cause a general increase in aggressive behavior. Perhaps media endorsement of cathartic release should come to be regarded as a potential danger to public health, peace, and social harmony".

Starting places... My word to you is that the many practical helps found in posts across this anger forum, can be, if we fail to address the psychology, merely add-ons to our existing anger expressions. Fact is, we change surprisingly slowly, habits do die hard, and when we lack sleep or are tired from the day's work or stressed, we fall back to our "defaults", fall back to our "normal" behaviors and thinking. Follow me here... when we have to do something extra to not do our "normal" behavior, we sometimes, simply don't have time to think, don't have enough cognitive self-control left, to do the "something extra" that we were told will help.

Awareness is a window... Much of what we do is automatic, driven by emotion, motivation, learning, even our very nature shapes us. So much so that later in life we can rediscover our father as one much the same as us, the way we solve problems, the way we think, even if father and son went different directions. It is our awareness of our behaviors, and the reactions that others have to these behaviors, yes, even increasing self-awareness as we see others behaviors that begins to hint to us, then scream at us, and finally leads to change. It is a good view that emotions are organizing processes that enable individuals to think and behave adaptively and it is awareness, that is the window to let us know what needs changed. This post shows your self-awareness is growing.

Practice makes perfect... You wrote, "as the years progress my temper shortens, and i become more aggressive, violence seems to be the only way for me to vent the anger". And I tell you that the psychology of this practice shows that such venting, in an odd way, over time, gives this temporary high, this temporary feeling state, this perfect feeling of control, gives us a place of comfort, gives us a known place to go, even a self-expected place to go. Indeed this special place of rage, for those moments, gives real self-reward, gives a self-soothing, gives us emotional power. Our task here is not to deny this special place; rather, it is to, with awareness, acknowledge the significance of this place. In accepting the value of the "aggressive, violence" anger, we begin to allow ourselves to separate that place from us. Said another way, that is not us, it is a place where we emotionally sooth ourselves, we can feel it, and we know it, when we feel it. I say again, that your increasing self-awareness is a window to show that your practice of anger management is spiraling you into an ever deeper requirement to enter your self-expected place.

So first steps... In a safe way, for this moment, let's not judge your exaggerated emotional expression. Let's look to and think of, the odd comfort this exaggerated emotional expression gives; don't deny it, read again your words, "seems to be the only way for me to vent the anger". This is a real place with value and yes, that value comes with a cost. One cost, like an addiction and in an odd way, this place becomes more and more a comfortable place. I tell you that Awareness lets us know that this comfort; is a trap waiting for us.

What say you?

Note the bold underlines above are links that when clicked, opens supporting information.
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#8

Postby jurplesman » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:32 am

Have a look at an alternative approach:

Anger Management: Nutrition and Psychotherapy

And then study

Summary of Self-help Psychotherapy

in its entirety from beginning to end. It includes a program showing you how to overcome a negative self-image, and assertiveness training program,
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