There is nothing wrong with anger as a normal and natural response to the occasional situation that merits it. However, constant anger, or anger as an inappropriate response to a situation, may be an indication that the individual suffers from rage issues, or an anger disorder.
Anger disorders are often difficult to diagnose because anger itself can be evident of a variety of conditions and anger itself can be somewhat complicated. For example, a person suffering from an anger disorder may exhibit aggressive rage and respond violently. Yet, while they are aware of their emotions they may be unaware of the real underlying cause of their anger, using it as a coping mechanism to avoid dealing with their real problem.
To further complicate the matter, the rage issues of an anger disorder may be repressed or expressed passively in ways that allow the individual to not even recognize their own anger. They may express their emotions as sarcasm, apathy, or meanness, or even exhibit dysfunctional, self-defeating behaviors such as alienating friends or performing poorly at work or school.
Treating Anger Disorders
Anger is often linked to depression, and the two together can form a cycle that is difficult to break. Expressions of anger may cause guilt or isolation, which leads to depression. And depression, in turn will make it difficult to control outbursts of anger.
Similarly, drug and alcohol addictions can significantly hamper an individual’s ability to manage their anger. In a dual diagnosis, it is essential that both are treated as one will inevitably lead back to the other. It is often the case that anger disorders and addictions are both failed coping mechanisms adopted to avoid the deep emotional pain of relational or developmental trauma.
The Next Chapter Approach
Next Chapter takes a highly-personalized approach to treatment for all of our clients, beginning with a thorough psychosocial assessment completed by patient’s therapist and a psychiatric evaluation completed by our medical director. Later in the process we often will include a psychological assessment to aid in the diagnosis of the condition or conditions each client is facing. These initial evaluations are followed up by weekly visits with our medical director and patient’s therapist and supported by our clinical team approach in which each client’s unique needs and treatment are addressed by the entire treatment team. The team meets daily to discuss in detail each of our client’s needs.
Together, our clinical team will prescribe a course of action that may evidence-based treatments practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Solution Focused Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, EMDR and other Trauma focused modalities. Individualized treatment plans also include therapeutic groups, individual sessions, family work, and 12-Step education groups.