Anger Management Is A Destructive Effect Of Anxiety That Should Be Talked About

We all get angry from time to time, that's a given. We all have different ways of controlling and dealing with our anger, and it'll rarely seem like a problem.

However, it's when anger takes over a life, prompting unnecessary reactions, that people need to realise that it's more than just an issue of getting wound up at the football on a Saturday. It's a psychological problem, and one that stems from mental health issues.

As someone who has suffered greatly at the hands of my own anger, I've experienced how rage, stemming from anxiety, can be destructive.

Up until a few years ago, I assumed that being angry could never really be a major problem.

Going into my second year at university, after a summer which could only be described as a shit storm, I was not feeling great. I had to spend the entire summer break away from my girlfriend while some massive, life changing changes were happening at home.

Getting back to uni, I left behind the head fuck of home, but it turns out it'd affected me more than I knew, and was only getting worse.

Sure, we all have a bit of a paddy when things don't go our way, and some days things can get on top of you, but it's important to understand when anger is a problem.

It's easy to notice when it's becoming too much. The normal symptoms of anger anxiety are that your heart rate increases, your breathing becomes heavy, your teeth clench, as do your fists, and there's tension in your shoulders - it's when these things happen naturally, almost without you prompting it - that there's a problem.

For me, because of my nativity and unwillingness to admit I was, above all else, an angry bastard, and my subsequent refusal to talk about it, it almost drove me into the ground.

You see, the people closest to me had tried their best to tell me that it's not normal to go round shouting at people for no reason, and that punching, kicking and breaking walls and objects for next to nothing is an issue. Whenever someone tried to talk to me, though, I'd refuse to engage in the conversation, brushing it aside and then getting angry at the accusation that I was too angry. Looking back, it was ridiculously naive.

It all came to a head after one day, when I'd been screaming at my 'shithouse' housemates, throwing utensils around the kitchen and leaving a fist shaped hole in my bedroom wall all because one of my compadres had quite rightly told me to wash my dishes.

After that, my girlfriend told me straight that I was a fucking pleb and that I needed anger management. I obliged, and after spending a lot of time in counselling, I was told that because of the huge negative changes that had occurred to me the previous summer, I was suffering from anxiety, and anger was a direct response to feeling fear or a perceived threat of another similar situation occurring.

Because of how prominent anxiety is in young men, it's important for us to know how to manage anxiety and anger, starting with talking about it.

Anxiety is an invisible illness. If it is not spoken about, then people will have no idea about it. Similarly, not talking about it can lead people to think that anger that is a consequence of the illness is simply just you being an arse.

Anger isn't easy to control, it takes a lot of work. You have to be committed to wanting to better yourself and your attitude, and that means, first and foremost, having to talk about the issue.

It starts with anger management, which on the contrary to what some believe, is not just smashing up a room and everything in it for an hour. What actually happens is that you discuss your feelings with someone, getting to the root of your anger. Once there, you dissect why you're feeling that way, and after realising that there is minimal reason behind it, you learn how to avoid it.

Without anger management, however, there are some things you can do. If ever you're forced into a situation that you know will get you angry, just leave. Remove yourself from it. Get as far away as possible. Following this, slow and deep breaths always help.

Expressing your thoughts and emotions always helps, too. Something as simple as writing out a list of everything that is on your mind before bed can help immensely with sleep. It also gets things off your chest. Alternatively you can keep a journal: basically just a stream of conscience.

For me, music and songwriting helped me a lot. Yeah, it's sounds a bit cringey and pretentious, but it was a way of expressing emotion without actually having to express emotion, if you get me?

I was writing songs, then belting them out on my guitar, all of my feeling spilling to the surface, but no one was there to witness it. This meant that I could get everything off my chest without feeling like I was exposing my weaknesses to people, which is the reason I didn't bother to talk about it.

However, and it is always going to come back to this, the best way to manage anger and anxiety is to talk. Always, always, talk.

Other's can help too. If you notice that someone is a lot more angry than normal, or they're reacting irrationally to things that wouldn't have had that effect in the past, talk to them. Let them know there might be a problem there, but it can be sorted.

It's normal for young men to get angry, and there's a high rate of young men who suffer from anxiety. However, it's important to know that, in some cases, the two are linked, and it could be really bad.

Be Brave. Talk about it.

More and more young males are diagnosed with depression and anxiety in the UK, but don't talk about it due to the reaction it might get, the fear of peoples' perceptions, or being scared of their masculinity being affected.

Be brave. Talk about it.

'U OK M8?' is an initiative from TheLADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which will feature a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.

Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.

MIND: 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans: 116 123.

CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.

Mental Health Foundation.

Mark McGowan

Mark is a journalist at LADbible, who joined in 2015 after a year as a freelance writer. In the past he blogged for independent football fan channel Redmen TV, after graduating from Staffordshire University with degrees in journalism and English literature. He has worked on campaigns such as UOKM8? and IIOC.

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