Why am I so angry? Causes and what to do

Anger is a normal emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. However, if a person feels unable to control their anger, it can cause problems in relationships and at work. It might also affect their quality of life.

Anger is an integral part of the body’s “fight, flight, or freeze” system, which helps protect us from threats or danger.

However, high levels of unresolved anger may have a negative impact on health. According to the American Psychological Association[1], anger has links with inflammation[2] in older adults. This could lead to chronic diseases.

Research from 2015[3] suggests that the overall lifetime prevalence of intense, inappropriate, or poorly controlled anger in the general population in the United States is 7.8%. Anger seems to affect more men than women, and it also seems more prevalent among younger adults.

This article looks at the potential causes of anger, how to self-manage it, possible treatments and therapies, and when to see a doctor.

People can become angry for many reasons, and everyone experiences anger differently.

Events or circumstances that cause an angry outburst in one person may not affect another person at all.

Someone might experience anger if they feel:

  • attacked or threatened
  • deceived
  • frustrated or powerless
  • invalidated or unfairly treated
  • disrespected

Circumstances that may trigger feelings that lead to anger include:

  • problems that a specific person, such as a coworker, partner, friend, or family member, has caused
  • frustrating events, such as being stuck in a traffic jam or having a flight canceled
  • personal problems that cause extreme worry or ruminating
  • memories of traumatic or infuriating events
  • physical or psychological pain
  • environmental conditions, such as uncomfortable temperatures
  • feeling that goals are unachievable
  • personal offense due to unfair treatment, insults, rejections, and criticism

Anger can also play a significant role in grief. Many people feel angry when they are dealing with losing a partner, close friend, or family member.

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