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The Anger Epidemic

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These days, people’s anger is boiling over in locations that traditionally were off limits. Millions
of people are volatile. We are witnessing out-of-control anger displayed on airplanes, while
driving on highways, at retail stores, and yes, even on stage at the annual Academy Awards.

Anger is a natural and strong feeling of annoyance. It is also an instinctive response to
displeasure, threats, or hostility. However, some feelings of anger are necessary for our
protection. Anger becomes a problem when it is out-of-control and a person has trouble
controlling it, resulting in him saying or doing things he regrets.

Uncontrolled anger is bad for a person’s physical and mental health. When anger becomes
aggressive, it can lead to hostile or violent behavior and a negative attitude towards another
person. Left unchecked, aggressive anger can quickly escalate to physical violence, harming the
angry individual and those around him.

What causes anger?

As a secondary emotion, many things can trigger anger, including stress, problems on the job,
money difficulties, family problems, and underlying mental health issues.

For many people, anger is triggered by an underlying problem, such as depression or alcoholism.
Although anger by itself isn’t considered a disorder, anger is a common symptom of mental
health struggles.

The following are some of the possible underlying causes of out-of-control anger:


Anger can be one of the symptoms of depression, which is characterized by persistent feelings of
loss of interest and sadness lasting at least two weeks.

Additional symptoms of depression include:

  • Irritability
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide


Anger is listed as one of the main stages of grief. Grief can come in several forms – the death of a loved one, losing a job, a breakup or divorce, or injustice. The anger may be directed at self, others, inanimate objects, or even God.

Additional symptoms of grief include:

  • Fear
  • Numbness
  • Guilt
  • Sadness
  • Loneliness
  • Fear
  • Shock


Studies show that drinking alcohol can increase aggression. In fact, alcohol is said to be a
contributor in approximately fifty percent of all violent crimes committed in the United States.

What is anger management?

The first step in anger management is to begin learning about what makes a person angry. To
start, identify triggers (the things that set a person off), how a person typically responds to anger,
and how anger has affected their life.

“Be angry, yet do not sin.” Do not let the sun set upon your anger, and do not give the devil a
foothold.… – Ephesians 4:26-27

There are times when we should be angry. For instance, injustice, abuse, wickedness, attacks on
God’s character, etc. should make believers in Jesus Christ angry! This form of anger is called
“righteous indignation.” The Bible doesn’t say not to be angry, it admonishes us not to let our
anger lead to sin, which then provides an opportunity for the enemy to wreak havoc. Feelings of
anger are a normal and healthy part of being human. Learning to avoid all anger would be an
impossible goal. Instead, in anger management, one learns to avoid negative reactions to anger
(such as aggression), while learning new healthy habits.

What are the signs of anger?

Anger causes physical and emotional symptoms. While it’s normal to experience these
symptoms on occasion, a person with anger issues tends to experience them more often and to a
more severe degree.

Physical symptoms

Anger affects different parts of a person’s body, including their brain, heart, and muscles. The
physical signs and symptoms of anger may include:

  • Tingling sensation
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle Tension

Emotional symptoms

There are a number of emotions that manifest as anger. These are some of the most common emotional symptoms that anger usually stems from in people:

  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Anxiety
  • Rage
  • Stress
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Guilt
What should we do if we’re feeling angry?

Don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out for help. A mental health professional can assess if you
have an underlying mental health issue that may be causing you to feel angry, and require

Anger management can also include one or more of the following:

  • Relaxation techniques
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Anger Management exercises at home
  • Anger support groups
  • Anger management classes, which can be taken in person, by phone, or online
  • Depression, anxiety, or ADHD medications, if diagnosed with any of these

Reaching out and asking for help is a good first step toward healing. EMCC has a team of
professional counselors available to guide and support you throughout your journey. You are
never alone.

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