Anger and PTSD

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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental condition that some people develop after a shocking, terrifying, or dangerous event. These events can also stem from an abusive relationship where physical abuse and sexual abuse are presentThese abnormal events are called traumas. There are certain reactions to trauma that are common after psychological trauma, such as emotional abuse and domestic abuseAfter a traumatic experience, it’s common to struggle with fear, anxiety, and sadness. You may have upsetting memories or find it hard to sleep. Most people get better with time. However, if you have Posttraumatic stress disorder, these thoughts and feelings don’t fade away. They last for months and years, and may even get worse. PTSD can cause the person to display many different types of anger.

Types of anger are explosive anger, destructive anger, and even constructive anger. Yes, anger can be constructive, we will talk about that later. The dimensions of anger and PTSD can vary on the person. Anger can range from mild irritation to explosive outbursts.

PTSD and anger cause problems in your daily life, such as in relationships and at work. It can also take a toll on your physical health, leading to chronic pain. If a person cannot manage their levels of frustration and PTSD, then this can lead to anxiety disorders. Long-term PTSD can also lead to different disorders and trauma such as explosive disorder. Therapy sessions help thousands live fulfilling and happy lives. They also tend to experience healthy emotional experiences and interpersonal relationships with their family members. 

How are Anger and PTSD Related?

During a traumatic event, your body responds to a threat by going into “flight or fight” mode. It releases stress hormones, like adrenaline and norepinephrine, to give you a burst of energy. Your heart beats faster. Your brain also puts some of its normal tasks, such as filing short-term memories, on pause.

PTSD causes your brain to get stuck in danger mode. It continuously replays this dangerous event. Even after you’re no longer in danger, it stays on high alert. Your body continues to send out stress signals, which lead to irritation. Studies show that the part of the brain that handles fear and emotion (the amygdala) is more active in people with PTSD. These emotional events can also be triggered by a similar sensation such as sound. For example, Military veterans can experience anger and PTSD when they hear a firework. The sound of the firework resembles the sound of a bomb going off thus triggering your brain to replay the dangerous event.

What happens after the emotional event?

After a traumatic or emotional event, you may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You do not think that you are close to people. You have more feelings of irritation. Your friends and family tell you that you do not seem like yourself.

The expression of anger is a normal response to a traumatic event. The role of rage is to give you the energy to act fast and help yourself or others. Your body goes into a “survival” mode. After the event, when you no longer need to act, your frustration and PTSD symptoms go away.

But if your PTSD and anger get out of control. Your levels of anger may spike to intense anger or destructive anger. This means you lose your temper and may feel like harming others or yourself.

When you have anger and PTSD, you are always ready to act. is always there, just under the surface. This is baseline anger. But once something triggers you, your anger symptoms appear and you do not think about the situation before you act. You go to survival mode and are PTSD-related anger flares up.

If you are stuck in this mode, you may:

  • Always be on alert. You may be quick to get angry and look for situations where you have to be alert or where you could be hurt. This is destructive anger
  • You think that anger is the best way to solve problems. You don’t look for other ways, such as talking things over.
  • Feel threatened and fearful about things that may not be dangerous.Anger and PTSD

What you can do?

Here are some ideas for dealing with your anger:

  • Talk to your doctor about getting counseling. Ask your doctor about trauma-focused therapy. The goal of treatment for this therapy is to help you control your rage and create a new coping strategy.
  • When you start feeling mad around your family, try being alone for a while. It is important not to strain the interpersonal relationships with your family members. Tell your partner you need to cool down for a while, or that it would be better to discuss a problem later. This can keep an argument from building into a fight.
  • If what someone says makes you angry, try to understand his or her point of view. Then tell the person your point of view. Try to understand and be understood.
  • Talk with a therapist. They can use in certain therapies that can help relieve the symptoms of PTSD. These therapies include behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and cognitive therapy.
  • Write down your feelings. It may help to make a list of things that are bothering you. Decide which things you can change, and how you can change them.
  • Exercise, draw, paint, or listen to music to release anger.
  • You may have trouble dealing with heavy traffic, try to adjust your work schedule so that you don’t have to travel in peak traffic hours.
  • Try doing errands when stores are not busy if waiting in line triggers you.

Relax by using techniques such as yoga, meditation, or tai chi. These dangerous events can range from a car accident to military combat experience. Once you better understand the concept of PTSD then you will be in more control of your life.

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