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I've always had anger issues since I was a kid and I don't know what to do about it anymore.

February 8, 2023

Hi, I'm 21 and my issue is as the title said. Since I was a kid I've had issues controlling my temper. I can't pinpoint where it all started but I've been bullied and used in school so I guess I developed it on my own as a means to fight back. It didn't work but it was better than doing nothing.

I left it alone and thought it would get better overtime but all I actually did was bottle it up, pretending nothing gets to me, then it bursts out in very ugly ways and I end up throwing stuff, breaking stuff and self-harm (punching the wall or hard objects).

I considered therapy and counseling, but I can't afford one and our family insurance doesn't cover it. I can use my University's counseling service, but then I saw that they put you on a 4 month waiting list because too many people need it, so it can't relied on regularly.

So I'm stuck. It's a huge problem I really want to solve but I barely have any options to do so. I want this fixed because I don't want it to lead me to hurt the few people who give a shit about me, or drive them away. Is there anything I can still do or should I just shut myself away from society (at least I wouldn't be hurting anyone then)

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Post Information
Title I've always had anger issues since I was a kid and I don't know what to do about it anymore.
Author Toxic_Lord
Upvotes 26
Comments 14
Date February 8, 2023 5:50 PM UTC (10 months ago)
Subreddit /r/MenSupportMen
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[–]Input_output_error 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Feelings are a bitch, they're often so strong that they overwhelm us but at the same time they're vague enough for us not to be able to understand why we feel the way we do.

A good place to start is to try and understand what exactly you're feeling. I mean, sure, getting pissed off is the end result, but what triggers that? Why is it that you feel the need to become angry? These aren't fun or easy questions, they're fucked up. It isn't easy to look honestly at yourself and make changes happen out of nothing but sheer will, but it isn't impossible.

Do put yourself on the waiting list, it helps to talk to someone about your thoughts and breakthroughs. But don't be afraid to ask for someone else, you've got to feel at ease with this person or the whole thing will just be a waste of your time.

I hope you will find the help you need mate.

[–]Cyb3rd31ic_Citiz3n 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Sign up for the University counciling services. Just get on the list. That way if you start searching for other solutions you've already got a ticking clock on one solution ready to go. You can always cancel your appointment later.

Not signing yourself up is just holding yourself back needlessly.

[–]LobYonder 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

It's often not appreciated how much mental issues such as anger, anxiety and depression are affected or caused by factors such as diet, sleep quality, sunlight, social interactions and (more obviously) stress.

I would first look at diet and sleep - try to avoid/reduce processed foods, stimulants and alcohol. Get your omega-3 rich foods and ensure you get 7.5 hours of quality sleep time.

If you live in northern altitudes spend at least 1 hour outdoors daily during the winter time, or use light therapy. Get at least 20 minutes of light daily exercise - eg walking. More strenuous weekly exercise such as martial art training is great for improving mood and health. Get a hobby or job where you interact with people daily. We need social interaction to be mentally healthy.

It's easy to get into a spiral of depression and withdrawing from society. Recognize when this starts happening and take action to reverse it.

[–]Crunch-Potato 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Well one critical part for me was having a physical way to express my pent up anger, talking and journaling does it's part but the physical side was key.

It helps me to consider the angry side of me like a rowdy dog that doesn't get play time, so he gets ever more antsy/pissed by that, and in polite society you don't normally get to express that side.
Activities that help in that exercise for me are running, jumping and wood splitting.
But not as a calm jog, we are talking full on angry mode, get all your anger and power into it.

[–]hangfrog 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Same dude.. some private counselling and learning to express my feelings better, plus fairly regular meditation attempts did it for me.. I found someone who was cheap enough for me to have a few sessions and it really helped.. Also a lot of work on myself since has given me a bit more confidence in myself. I still get angry beyond the ability to calm down but at least I'm not taking it out on those around me. I have also found since then that I'm ADHD and mood extremes are probably a symptom. The medication also massively levels me out too and it's not that kind of drug so I'm guessing that might have been something to do with it.

[–]Master-Most-8319 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Someone else mentioned stoicism and I agree that has helped me a lot.

Remember, you can't control what other people say or do or think or what happens to you, but you CAN control your actions and behavior. That's where your focus should be.

When you feel angry, let yourself feel angry, but DO NOT let it affect your behavior. If you try to suppress it or run away from it, it will intensify. But if you just observe and accept the feeling, it will dissipate. Don't feed it by screaming and crying and cursing, just let the emotions come and go like waves.

As you do this your emotional control will get stronger and your anger problems will get weaker and your life will feel a whole lot better. Mistakes from anger can really screw you up in life. Emotional control is probably one of the most important things to learn in life and I am lucky I didn't screw up my own life because I am 33 and until recently I have been at the mercy of my emotions.

I suffer from mental illness and I was so identified with mental illness I practically gave up trying to control myself. With mental illness the emotions are more intense, but you can still work on regulating them and as you keep working on it their intensity will go down!

Idk if you struggle with alcohol, but quitting drinking is one of the best choices I made. Alcohol messes with our impulse control and emotional regulation so I recommend avoiding it until you get yourself sorted out - heck I recommend quitting it altogether!

Also be good to yourself. Positive self talk is an important pillar of mental health.

[–]Name-Is-Ed 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Have you tried looking up anger management classes specifically?

If you are hurting yourself and break objects, you should probably see a professional. I would sign up for the university counseling as a bare minimum. Usually the waitlists are just for getting established and then once you've seen someone the first time, you can be seen more frequently.

Do you have any outlets for physical energy? Sports, gym, hiking, etc?

[–]Toxic_Lord[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I do go to the gym when i can squeeze it in. But it's become really hard lately with school.

[–]McBoom0 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

You're young. You will still have emotion running at high speeds.

It could be your history of being bullied that you are on constant guard. Go to a safe place. Create it. May it be a garden, backyard, or just river. Somewhere calming and say "this is my safe space". Create a place you are allowed to calm down

The anger "you" is simply working to protect you. But now it affected your life. So think of working to control the anger not Hy bottling it. But by slowly acknowledge that you're angry and tell yourself " I am angry because of xxx yyy. Learn to address emotions healthily

Takes time and it will be worth the investment. Anger is the strongest driving factor but also the biggest fire to burn you down .

[–]GreySyrow 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I can related to this. I still have anger issues to this day. I was also bullied at a young age. What I like to call a by product of bullying. I have a tendency to bottle everything up and hope it doesn't explode on anyway I care about. I have this thing when I can just stop all emotions. Like shutting it down to an emotionless state. Later find out that it's a self defense thing I unknowingly did to protect myself. Not a good idea. Can lead to lack/none of empathy, remores, grief, etc. Basically having little to no emotional reaction. Didn't know this till in my mid 20's. 32 now. But. What I found helpful with anger is through fitness. Hitting the gym. Running. Any physical taxing activity really. I would think about what got me angry, hurtful, rage, etc. Any of the those negative feelings that come/form into anger. I use that energy to physically abuse myself in a healthy manner. By the end of session. I'd feel better. More relaxed. Less angry. Thinking more clearly. You can always try that.

[–]ConsiderationSea1347 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I was bullied brutally as a kid, beaten bloody many times, and grew into some very serious anger issues. Without a doubt the single best thing I did for my anger was to train in a martial art. It gave me a chance to process a lot of feelings of physical inadequacy, provided me a framework for understanding violent conflict, and connect with other men. Men experience many negative emotions as physical anger, during a time of violence this is actually a really powerful trait. It just doesn’t serve us in our relatively peaceful world.

[–]Acrobatic_Pandas 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I went to therapy for this. I can tell you what they told me and what my issues were, maybe something can help you.

A switch was flipped in me years ago. My wife was diagnosed with cancer while she was pregnant with our first-born. It was awful. She had the baby and then started chemotherapy within a few weeks, once she had recovered enough.

Something broke in me. Caring for a newborn and my wife. It took most of a year but she's in remission and cancer free, but it can and most likely will come back. It grows slow, chemo deals with it well the back of my mind there's this ticking clock counting down to the checkup where she comes back home and says "It's back. I have to do chemo again."

From that point on I have had problems dealing with my stress. I get overwhelmed and it feels like my blood boils. I yell, my tone isn't nice and I'm angry. I don't see it until it's too late and then I hate myself for it later.

So I went to therapy.

The first therapist and I talked about where my fears came from. Obviously I was terrified of losing my wife, my rock, the woman that ran our finances and most importantly the mother of my child. We talked about how I like to be in control, or to at least plan. If things are out of my control I feel helpless and it stresses me out.

I don't like to be late to anything. So I'm early, even if that means I wait in the car. The moment I'm late, or close to being late my anxiety spikes.

I can't control if the cancer comes back. I can't really plan for it, but we did talk about what my plan would be. It was the same as this time. Care for my wife, she does chemotherapy and we hope it works. The therapist told me this next part might sound silly but I was to do it. I took a cement block and wrote CANCER on it with permanent marker. I put this somewhere safe, in a box I keep other things in.

Even now, writing about this potentially happening has me worked up a bit. Stressing out. She made me do this because the things I worry about are literally a weight I carry around. She wanted me to feel how good it felt when I put it there and locked it up. How good it felt to let go and not have that weight. It's also somewhere safe. So if I ever do need to worry about it again it's there, I know where it is and I can. But for now, I don't need to.

The second therapist, one I saw years later and actually just in 2021 focused much more on my mental health and overall well-being.

We talked about finding a creative outlet. Some hobby I can find where I create something. I tried painting, eventually settled on writing and have been doing that. He asked a lot about my sleep patterns, how often I got exercise and sunlight.

He talked about a child me, that was sometimes in control and behind the wheel. Just like an angry toddler, there's no reasoning with him. He's a part of me, he's a part of all of us but it's how we deal with him, how we can stop letting him take the wheel that matters.

You have to learn your triggers. What sets you off. What you're angry about. For me a lot of it was noise. The kids yelling and fighting, or not being heard by my wife. Feeling just...overwhelmed. That's what I get stressed. The stress leads to frustration and that bubbles over until child-me pushes normal me out of the drivers seat and takes the wheel.

At that point there's no talking to the angry toddler. He's driving. We cannot stop him and instead take a back-seat. He's in control. I yell, my tone isn't nice and I get very angry.

He taught me to try and notice the signs. To see when I begin to get stressed, before I get overwhelmed. To realize that child-me is angry about something and just like a toddler, we need to deal with it. So for me it's being overwhelmed. I found music helps. When things are stressful, especially when I'm tired I need to find a way to stay in control. Music keeps me from going over negative thoughts or playing out negative scenarios in my head.

He told me I need to let child-me be heard. To be able to tell myself "I am angry because the kids are yelling, I'm tired, and the house is dirty."

So I put on some music and clean a bit. Child-me, who was angry about that feels validated and heard. He doesn't need to lose control and grab the wheel because he's no longer stomping his feet and screaming because, he's not heard.

I'm still working on it all. Quite a bit. There's bad days, good days and everything in between.

So maybe get introspective. Talk to yourself and figure out exactly what it is that you need to bottle up. Long before you're punching a wall, long before you break something or self-harm. Figure out the little things that trigger you until you're not you anymore and you're dealing with child-you, who now has the wheel and is in control. It takes time, it takes effort and it takes dicispline to focus and be aware of it but if you want to get better that's a start.

Learn what triggers you . Figure out how to make that part of you feel heard and acknowledged.

Make sure you're eating right. Exercising, even going for walks just to get out and feel better.

Even if you can't rely on it regularly, get an appointment with your University's counselling service. You're going to be you in four months either way. You can be four months older and still wishing you had made an appointment and want to deal with this, or you can make an appointment and talk to someone.

If you can't rely on it regularly you can still rely on it if you make an appointment.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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