Anger is a negative emotion and feeling of outburst of madness and rage directed toward someone else or oneself. It is a feeling that no one is spared of and everyone has experienced it at some point of their lives. Occasional anger can help ease the building stress in the body and may be considered normal; however, frequent anger may point toward some bigger problem. Anger is also a part of several mental disorders, namely, bipolar, intermittent explosive disorder, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, and personality disorders.
Anger can be passive or aggressive. Passive anger is repressed anger and the one about which the person is not aware of it and it may be depicted as sarcasm, meanness, procrastination and apathy. Aggressive anger is seen in people who are aware of their emotions and redirect their anger towards someone else who are not the root of anger.
Anger can present itself in some physical symptoms, which include heart palpitations, chest tightness or pain, headaches, increased blood pressure, tingling and fatigue. Chronic anger can lead to anxiety, lack of focus or concentration, muscle tension or pain, headaches, sleep disturbances or dizziness. Job performances and relationships may also be affected by long term anger issues. Therefore, it is really important to identify the issue and consult a healthcare professional for its management before it becomes hazardous to yourself and your near and dear ones.
Is There A Medication For Anger?
There are several prescription drugs as well as over the counter medications that may help manage anger. Although, these medications do not specifically manage anger, they have a calming effect on the patient and help reduce the rage and aggressiveness associated with anger.
Some OTC medications that can help manage anger and improve mood are Benadryl, valerian root, primal calm, passionflower and chamomile.
The prescription drugs used to manage anger issues are antidepressants, mostly, SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers such as lithium and anticonvulsants.
The commonly used antidepressants are sertraline, fluoxetine and imipramine that are helpful in personality disorders and depression cases. Mood stabilizers such as lithium, carbamazepine and divalproex are effective in managing anger issues in patients who are unresponsive to antidepressants. Antipsychotic drugs such as clozapine, quetiapine and olanzapine are helpful in managing anger in patients who have aggressive impulsivity, such as in schizophrenic disorders.
Medications are used for short term management of anger issues as these have side effects along with risk of addiction. They can be combined with behavioral therapy to get best possible result. It is best to consult a healthcare professional before considering any medication, whether it is over the counter medication.
Anger can be managed, both therapeutically with the help of medications as well as non-pharmacologically with the help of behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one such therapy that focuses on managing behaviors with right thought processes and psychology. It helps deal with anger and stress in a more constructive way. Deep breathing can be very helpful in controlling anger outburst. People can either have face to face therapy sessions with their counselor, online sessions, group therapy or residential anger management.
Choosing which session to start with depends on an individual’s comfort and choice. Some people prefer seeing a therapist personally and sharing their thoughts and problems face to face when they build confidence and trust in them. Other prefer to take online therapy sessions, which can be taken at the comfort of their homes and does not require any appointments and is also economical than face to face sessions. There are others who prefer group therapy where they can share their problems, experiences with other people in the support group. This helps them understand and interact with other people who might be going through the same problem. Residential anger management is for people who have severe anger issues and other options have deemed non-productive.