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What Is Extreme Anger?

By Angela Farrer
Updated: May 17, 2024

Extreme anger is a type of mental health issue that involves episodes of rage and uncontrolled emotional outbursts. A characteristic of this anger issue is that it can become severe enough to interfere with day-to-day life and with personal relationships. Causes of anger are common throughout various normal daily activities, but people with an extreme anger problem tend to let this emotion overwhelm them. This issue can even lead to additional behavioral problems that have legal consequences, including domestic violence and other kinds of physical assaults. Dealing with extreme anger often entails completing psychological counseling focused on anger management techniques.

The effects and consequences of extreme anger are usually immediate and noticeable. Frequent angry and abusive outbursts can alienate family members, significant others, and friends. This usually creates long-lasting feelings of resentment and intimidation. Violent behavior tied to anger problems often leads to arrests, time spent in jail, and losses of both jobs and professional reputations. While some therapists believe that venting or expressing anger is healthy, this tactic can sometimes backfire in some people with extreme anger, and it usually gets them into deeper habits of becoming angry quickly.

Psychologists often report that the causes of extreme anger can vary from one person to the next. A common misconception is that quick tempers and aggressive behavior are hereditary, but both of these are learned behaviors that children usually mimic from their parents. Some people with anger-related difficulties may be suffering from chemical imbalances in the brain, so these individuals are usually screened by a physician to rule out anger causes that are purely psychological. Overcoming an unhealthy anger problem with a psychological cause is generally not a quick or easy process. It normally takes concentrated efforts to alter specific ways of thinking and of perceiving the world at large.

Therapies for extreme anger often entail group meetings with others who suffer from the same problems with controlling and managing their anger. Ways of treating explosive anger can also include various meditation or self hypnosis techniques. Some individuals with violent tendencies accompanying their anger see improvements from taking prescribed medications normally used to treat depression or anxiety. Psychologists and doctors usually do not view these medications as cure-all's. Many medical professionals stress that combinations of medications and behavioral modification therapies are the most effective at treating cases of extreme anger in many people.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon332916 — On May 01, 2013

Please someone help me. I am only 15 years old and I am always angry. I never feel happy just anger all the time. I can't do anything. Please help me. It hurts to control it.

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