ALWAYS ANGRY

Postby MrAngry » Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:37 pm

Hi All - I am a new user, so hello to all.

I find myself on this forum, looking for some help, after a lifetime of anger, irritability, and intolerance of just about everything. My wife has urged me to get help after my latest outburst, which resulted in me physically assaulting 2 male members of her family. Now, unsurprisingly, most of her family is not talking to me.

All of my life i have been angry. My levels of intolerance is well known to all who know me. I say hurtful things to those i love. My road rage when i am driving is awful. Things that REALLY irritate me are almost unlimited, but some examples are: people eating noisily - the noise coming from 'personal' headphones when on public transport - slow drivers - slow service in shops - untidiness by others at home - my poor typing skills (this message is taking forever as i have to keep correctimng typos) - mobile phone calls cutting our or not connecting in the first place - seriously, the list is endless. Sometimes my anger reaches such high levels (ranting , shouting, swearing, breaking things) that my wife gets scared. I am a big bloke at 6' 1" and 17.5 stone, so i understand that i can present a scarey figure when angry. I dont get physical with people - except the latest one involving my wifes family - only with objects - which is probably the only reason i have never been arrested for any of my outbursts.

The problem with all the above is that I CANNOT control it. It is like an instant reaction, without warning, and seemingly no way of stopping it, or even controlling it. I really want to stop this king of behaviour, as it has already cost me 2 marriages and lost me lots of friends over the years (i am 58). My wife is suppportive, and wants to help me, but i just dont knwo where to start. I went to my GP last week, and that was a complete waste of time, for lots of reasons, but i got the impression that anger management is not high on the list of things a GP wants to deal with.

I would like to ask if anybody can point me in the right direction to start with, be oit therapy, counselling, or any legal drugs that may be able to relax me or control my temper. I really am at the end of mt thether and am DESPERATE for some guidance about what to do.

So if anybody on this forum has been where i am and found a way out of it, please, please let me know what you did to help.

Thanks in advance to anyone who thinks they might have some helpful ideas

Best regards

Mark
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#1

Postby Leo Volont » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:31 am

Hi Mark,

I’m sorry I did not get to you sooner. I’ve started doing college courses for a 2nd degree, and my weekend was all scheduled up. But I am glad I checked the page here, because your situation is fascinating. You have a very serious Anger Problem, but I am pretty sure we can pull you back from the edge. Yes, we can help you. There are two things we can start you out on. The First is really the most important thing, and it is NOT in the Anger Management Literature yet (it’s all about Science and Science needs Proof, and Proof needs somebody who will fund Experiments that cost $300,000 and all that money is wasted if some Journal decides not to Publish the results… which is why Psychology is a Science that is 140 years old they still are playing with the basics). But, yes, the First thing is giving you CONTROL.
This Chronic Anger of yours is caused by Cortisol, which is the Fight-Flight Hormone. It is secreted by glands on the Brain. You know, the first thing Cortisol does is it starts shutting down the Higher Mental Functions. You see, the Cortisol Reaction is about Fighting to the Death, or Running at Full Blast until you are utterly spent. That does not require any thinking, and thinking would only divert blood and energy. People call these Cortisol Reactions “Adrenaline Rushes”. They are very wearing. Most Normal People will have a Adrenaline Rush because of some Big Argument, and it will severely trouble them. There is the Episode itself, but then all the Think About It. Appetite is shot to hell, and there is often a sleepless night. Adrenaline is NOT a FUN Drug. So, normal people feel like they have taken a beating and will lay back for a few days and thank their lucky stars when they start to feel normal again.

But what happens to Chronically Angry People ( YOU ) is that perhaps decades ago, you were caught in a High Stress, Aggressive and Insulting Environment. Anger Episodes would follow on Anger Episodes and you never gave your body the chance to metabolize all the Cortisol out of your system. After a while the Hypothalamus and the Amygdala get leaky with Cortisol. Your BODY thinks that you are in a kind of Permanent War and that you must Always be on Edge… always Life or Death… that you live in a Mine Field. It’s really not very healthy.

BUT THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. Now, that Cortisol is turned on by the Primitive Part of the Brain near your Brain Stem, just like in any reptile or jungle animal. You KNOW how you seem to JUST Explode before your Brain is even aware that you are even beginning to be Pissed Off. That is because the Higher Functions are about 2 or 3 seconds behind that Primitve Brain Stem Reaction. Okay, that is where Psychology is Stuck. By the time we KNOW we are Pissed Off, we are Already Throwing Chairs. This seems like an Impossible Impass, right? WRONG! OUR FIRST WARNING THAT WE ARE HAVING A CORTISOL REACTION IS THAT OUR JAW MUSCLES TIGHTEN UP. WE CAN TURN OFF THE CORTISOL REACTION IF AT THE VERY FIRST FEELING OF TIGHTNESS, WE JUST RELAX OUR JAWS AND BREATH THROUGH AN OPEN MOUTH, AND SAY SOMETHING LIKE “WHOOOOA, THAT WAS CLOSE”. You see, I think that Primitive Man must have know about how to Turn Off these False Alarms. Not Everything is a Life or Death Battle. Sometimes, a “Bear” is just a shadow in the woods, a “Snake” is just a stick in the path, a “Wolf” is just the stupid village dog seen out of the corner of one’s eye, and so People learned how to just FEEL the first tightening of their Jaws in the very instant that they realized the Mistake and they learned to Flexibly Relax their jaws. A Lady wrote in and told me that she has learned to just breath through her mouth if she is in a tense situation. YOU CAN’T GET ANGRY WITH AN OPEN MOUTH.

You do have Chronic Anger. Your Hypothalamus and Amygdala are probably leaky as hell. SO, you really have to keep on your toes about NEVER letting your jaws tighten. Your Body might need a month or two or even more for your Brain Glands to get healthy and normal again (and, yes, there is such a thing as Brain Plasticity that is greatly influenced by What You Want. But your Body and your Brain need to know THAT THE WAR IS OVER, and that YOU HAVE DECLARED PEACE.

Now, for the Second Thing. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. No, you don’t necessarily need Therapy. ESPECIALLY don’t go to a Psychiatrist… a Pill Pusher. You do not need MEDS. MEDS are only on the market to make money for the Big Pharmaceutical Houses, and the few percentage points above statistical uncertainty that they are documented to help (according to Studies funded by the Companies that will make all the profits), well, as the body gets used to the Drug, the benefits were off, BUT the Side Effects only Get Worse! So, NO, don’t go to a Psychiatrist (a Pill Pusher) no matter what you do. But you can go to a Psychologist, but when I went to a Psychologist, well, he said. “You look smart. Do you like books?” Well, he gave me a pile of books on Anger Management and said “We have forty more minutes. What you want to talk about?” it turns out that everything you need is in the books.

Its Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. What that means is that WE KNOW we have a Problem if our Behavior gets us into Trouble. We KNOW that we will NOT have a Problem if we can learn to AVOID the kind of Behavior that gets us into trouble. Well, what causes that Behavior? It turns out that our THINKING (Cognition) is sometimes our own Worst Enemy. Have you ever Listened to Yourself. A lot of people are just bitttching and complaining to themselves none-stop. They work themselves up. Oh, you need to STOP cussing and swearing. Cussing and swearing is what people do to prepare themselves for Battle. Cussing and Swearing is a virtual War Dance. Just look at any angry mob and you will see the role of cussing and swearing. You don’t need to do that to yourself.

So, the first part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to identify the troublesome Behaviors. Well, this is why I hold out so much Hope for you. You already presented a LIST in your post. You just need to work it off. And, yes, once you know your troublesome behaviors , then you have to Monitor and Review all your THINKING in regards to that stuff. Your Assumption going in is that you must be Making Something Out of Nothing. You need to Dispute all of your Mental Justifications for doing what gets you into Trouble. You need to STOP acting on Impulse. You need to treat Life like a Big Poker Game and every situation is being dealt with a Hand of Cards. You need to think about what you Really Want out of Life. Pride, thumping your chest, Sarcasm, Teaching people lessons…. None of that crap is What you Really Want. You Want The Good Life. You Want Peace in the House. You want Friends that Smile when they see you coming. So THAT is how you should be playing your cards.

Now, Think of It as Acting. Don’t listen to people who say that you have to JUST BE YOURSELF. Nobody is JUST THEMSELVES. There is just too much Environmental Conditioning that happened to you. All that Crap twisted you up. That is NOT who you want to be anymore. So you start out by ACTING like you want to be. Yes, it will look phoney at first. Nobody learns how to play the Violin overnight… or even after a few months. It takes six months be begin to get the FEEL for it. You might be able to relate better to the concept if you think about really good Video Gamers… or you must know how to do something well… well, what was your Learning Curve on it? It will be the same for the new None-Angry Sunshine and Roses You. Practice, Practice, Practice and after about 5 or 6 months you will begin to FEEL like this New You actually has a Real Tangible Existence… that you have Created a Real Persona. It reminds me of a story I heard from England, where they had this huge problem with Upper Class Snobbery, but all the Real Opportunities were at that Level of Society. So this one young woman, took jobs as Ladies Maids and took elocution lessons, and then finally went to London and set herself up as a Lady and she pulled it off… until about 30 years went by and she was REALLY getting important enough to get enemies and somebody dug around in her past and found out that she was really nobody, and they confronted her with it. Well, she said with a laugh “Oh! You mean HER. I haven’t been her in decades. I’ve been ME for years”. So, people who talk about ‘being phony’ are just holding themselves back. You want to be the Best You that you can manage to pull off. Remember what they say, “there are no small parts… just small actors”.

Oh, if you do manage to make some progress, be careful about becoming complacent. You think you don’t have an Anger Problem anymore until your next Blow Up. To prevent blowup, you must have an Anger Management Activity every day. The best and easiest thing is to become an Expert in the Literature. The Best Author in Anger Management is Ronald Efron-Potter. After you read all his books, read all the other books by Psychologists and Therapists, and then read the New Age Crap just so you can Laugh about what is Wrong about it. But it will Keep Your Head in the Game.

Oh, Show this Reply to your Wife. If she agrees with me, then you two can get started. If she thinks you are serious, and if she does think there is hope (Yes…. Read “The Angry Brain” by Ronald Efron-Potter… if you do the work, then your Brain WILL change and you WILL become a new you), well, then she will put aside her Plan B regarding divorcing you and she will not only be Supportive, but develop some good ideas on how to solidly help (she can help you develop New Ways to Think about all this crap that you were Thinking WRONG about.

Anyway, Report Back and let me know how you are doing. I am busy in school, but this is important too. Oh, I’d Proof Read all this Mess, but being Fussy is for Obsessive Compulsives and that is Another Forum. Here at Anger Management we have Real Problems, and grammar and spelling ain’t them (you see, that is how Thinking is supposed to help us).
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#2

Postby Perturbia » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:37 am

Mark,
I couldn't have come across your post at a better time for a number of reasons. I came home from work just seething at the amount of traffic that I had to endure. I'm in a newer relationship of 9 months with a man that suffers from anxiety. This means that I'm constantly waiting for him. I'm also constantly having to explain things and justify things that I feel are completely unnecessary. I honestly considered myself really progressed in my anger management Journey. But recently I feel like I've just toppled off the top of a tower. I find myself getting angry and worked up over things that never bothered me in recent years. I've looked for help and felt like I've been unable to find any. But I can really relate to what you're going through on almost every level. I can tell you that restructuring the way that I thought about my anger was the most helpful thing that I did. It took a long time for me to understand that it wasn't outside forces making me angry but my interpretation of events that made me angry. That went a long way and obviously wasn't the only thing I was doing. But I realize I can't count on only that to carry me through my current situations. If you're up for it, I'd be willing to be someone you can talk to or check in with on the Reg the kind of hold yourself accountable. If not, I hope it goes well for you and I know just having somebody to talk it through like a counselor or a support group can be really helpful.
Leo,
Your words made such a difference in where I'm at tonight. Thank you so much. That book suggestion is being written down.

Liz
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#3

Postby Leo Volont » Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:03 am

Perturbia wrote:Mark,
I couldn't have come across your post at a better time for a number of reasons. I came home from work just seething at the amount of traffic that I had to endure. I'm in a newer relationship of 9 months with a man that suffers from anxiety. This means that I'm constantly waiting for him. I'm also constantly having to explain things and justify things that I feel are completely unnecessary. I honestly considered myself really progressed in my anger management Journey. But recently I feel like I've just toppled off the top of a tower. I find myself getting angry and worked up over things that never bothered me in recent years. I've looked for help and felt like I've been unable to find any. But I can really relate to what you're going through on almost every level. I can tell you that restructuring the way that I thought about my anger was the most helpful thing that I did. It took a long time for me to understand that it wasn't outside forces making me angry but my interpretation of events that made me angry. That went a long way and obviously wasn't the only thing I was doing. But I realize I can't count on only that to carry me through my current situations. If you're up for it, I'd be willing to be someone you can talk to or check in with on the Reg the kind of hold yourself accountable. If not, I hope it goes well for you and I know just having somebody to talk it through like a counselor or a support group can be really helpful.
Leo,
Your words made such a difference in where I'm at tonight. Thank you so much. That book suggestion is being written down.

Liz


Hi Liz, Oh, thank God! I was reading down what you were saying and I was thinking that you skipped over my reply, which I knew would apply to you as well.

Oh, Liz, check out some of the Historical Posts here. You can see that I have given much the same talk to other Angry People, but I have not been cutting and pasting. You see, I am trying to be able to just, on the spot, give a good coherent speech on Anger Management. So it is good to Practice Practice Practice giving this same TALK without looking at my notes (but, yes, if I get a new idea, I will wonder off and research it). Yes, I hope that my Speech gets better all the time, BUT, there is no way to know whether some of my past stuff might be better in places with better anecdotal stories and comments. and all that you can SKIM.

but, yes, the Cortisol Trick is Revolutionary. You will find that some of the people who have Posted have been helped and have even come back with suggestions. but the Therapists have not picked up on it yet. You see, it is dependent on noticing a Physiological Cue (the tightening of the Jaw Muscles) and for Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, a Physiological Cue is Neither Here nor There -- not a Behavior and not a Cognitive thought. They are really over Specialized. And you think a Psychologist would read this Page to get some insight into Angry People, but it hasn't happened yet. Just like with everything else, being an Anger Management Therapist turns into a job, and looking at some Forum would just be extra work they don't get paid for. They kick back and watch Football like everybody else.

But I'm a Volunteer! I do this because I feel it's my Mission. there must have been a reason why I grew up in an Angry Home and became Angry myself, and I suppose that was so I could Fix the Problem and then help other People to Fix their Problems with Anger. There is TOO MUCH going around that Anger is Natural and that it is Unhealthy to keep it Bottled Up. Well, that is all a lot of Bull Crap, isn't it? Just think How Much Better everything would be if everybody everywhere learned how to just stay calm and strive for social peace. If we could all just be able to relax at Work and in our Relationships, then we could extend from that and even be HAPPY.

Oh, one of my Dreams for Future Technology is that when they get Networked Super Computing Artificial Intelligence Robotics , in just five or six years... its Close! ... that every young child will be issued something like a Little Talking Dog, that can actually walk and run around and keep up. This Little AI Robot would record everything and since it is on Network the Data could go into a MetaData Bank. Well, whenever there would be a Problem, the Little Dog would use its Artificial Intelligence to think up some Advice. Well, just think of that multiplied by Millions, that eventually the Network would have a Pretty Good General Idea for What Works in the way of Advice. These Little Dogs could stir children away from picking up Angry Conditioning. It would not hurt to have these Little Dogs as we grow up. With its full data base on everything we ever said and done, it would be able to advise us on our Self Defeating Patterns. Liz, have you read much about what they have been writing about AI (Artificial Intelligence)? I haven't seen this Idea mentioned... that AI could be there for us to make sure we don't get screwed up. Even with Bad Parental Modelling, the Little AI Dogs could be there to say "you know, your Mom and Dad are under a lot of stress. Already they are realizing they went way over the top on this. I say we lay low for the rest of the night and by tomorrow it will be like it never happened." ... or Whatever the best advice that a Super Computer Network stuffed with Data on Billions of People could come up with. Heck, it would be like each person REALLY had a little Guardian Angel, wouldn't it. Just wait. Apple will be selling them inside of 10 years.
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