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Tag Archives: anger

Break the Cycle and Learn Anger Management

Anger 2The family of origin is a powerful place of influence. If the family unit is a positive and healthy example, then members will work hard to emulate the dynamics modeled for them. If, on the other hand, anger is a common part of family interactions, members may need to consciously work to learn more positive ways of relating. Anger management is a skill and it can be learned.

It may be helpful to note that while anger is a serious problem, it is not an unusual relationship problem. Many marriages and families struggle with one or more individuals who don’t know how to modulate their angry feelings. The hopeful news is that it’s possible to learn coping skills when you struggle with anger management. The real danger is not experiencing trouble with anger, but in assuming that it is an unchangeable character trait.

Everyone experiences anger, but not everyone allows it to flow unchecked or damage key relationships. Since everyone experiences anger at some point, how can you know if your anger is out-of-bounds?

  • Do you or others around you feel your anger is disproportionate to circumstances?
  • Do you often say or do things in anger that you later regret?
  • Do you frequently find yourself in the midst of angry confrontations?
  • Do you have stomach pains, anxiety or high blood pressure?
  • Do others mention your need to better control your anger?

If these describe you, you may feel embarrassed or ashamed and therefore hesitate to reach out and ask for help. But reaching out for help to learn coping skills is important. Even if you come from an angry family it isn’t too late to break the cycle and learn healthy anger management skills.

At Family Guidance we can help you to develop new ways of responding and relating that keep anger in check and family relationships intact. Call us today and find out how we can help.

Anger and Alcohol: What is the Connection?

Anger 1For a certain number of drinkers, anger problems are just a few sips away. Why is it that alcohol makes some people aggressive rather than passive?

There are several explanations offered by experts.

1. Narrowed Judgment
When a person drinks, their ability to sort through input from several directions becomes impaired. Without alcohol most people can take several factors into account when evaluating someone else’s words or actions. However, alcohol narrows a person’s field of view so that they are less able to process
several pieces of information at once. If someone makes a mistake, the person drinking is less apt to conceptualize several explanations for that person’s error and may instead jump to the conclusion that the other person’s behavior was intentionally malicious.

2. Unrestrained Impulses
Not only can a drinker not collate multiple pieces of information, neither can they check impulsive behaviors as they normally might. Sober, the individual might feel tempted to yell at or strike another person who has offended them, but the certainty of negative consequences to follow checks
their anger. After a few drinks, that ability to pause and weigh the outcome of actions is less active.

3. Social Expectations
Studies show that not only are people who drink more aggressive, but even people who mistakenly believe they’ve been drinking behave that way. People given placebo beverages they thought were
alcoholic demonstrated a similar increase in expressed anger to those actually consuming alcohol. Part of the reason for this could be that drinkers expect to be excused for their bad behavior since they would not normally behave poorly without alcohol. In other words, there is an assumption that drinkers get a
pass for aggressive behavior.

If you or someone you know has anger problems when they drink, encourage them to seek
help
. And if the person has trouble with anger before they drink, it’s likely alcohol only compounds the problem. The staff at Family Guidance understand the connection between alcohol and anger and they can help. Contact them today.

Tantrums More Likely in Children With OCD and Depression

Children Mental Illness 1Any parent of a small child is probably familiar with temper tantrums. Most all children throw a tantrum at some point in their lives, but for children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), these outbursts are likely more frequent. A new study originating out of the United Kingdom also says that tantrums in children with OCD may be tied to depression.

According to a News Medical report online, British researchers reviewed data for over 380 patients receiving treatment from a pediatric clinic specializing in OCD between the years 2005 and 2011. They also examined information collected in the British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Surveys from 1999 and 2004, which included health information for over 18,000 children, 40 of whom had OCD.

Both the clinical and community data supported the fact that children with OCD were more likely to have temper outbursts than children without the disorder. Considering reports of tantrums logged by both children and their parents, 28.6 percent of kids with OCD admitted to outbursts as opposed to only 11.7 percent of their non-OCD peers.

Meanwhile, numbers were also higher from the parental viewpoint with 38.5 percent of parents reporting outbursts for their kids with OCD as compared to only 11.3 percent of parents whose children did not have OCD.

Interestingly, severity of disorder was not a factor in determining outbursts. However, depression symptoms were found to be a predictor of tantrums. Children diagnosed with clinical depression did experience more outbursts than children without the diagnosis. This was true for both reports made by parents and children.

Perhaps the most significant finding was that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was able to reduce the likelihood of outbursts in children with OCD. Treatment also minimized the symptoms of OCD and depression in affected children.

Family Guidance Center is an excellent community resource for addressing concerns with childhood mental health. If you are a parent concerned about outbursts or think your child might have OCD or depression, it’s never too early to look into a professional assessment. The team of mental health professionals at Family Guidance Center can assist in identifying symptoms and developing a plan that addresses both emotional and social aspects of mental health. For more information, contact Family Guidance Center.