Anger Management and Addiction

There is a relationship between addiction and anger. In particular, anger is the powerful emotion comprised of strong feelings of hostility, displeasure, and annoyance. A natural emotion, it is something that you will from one time to the other. It is also a justifiable response as long as you express it in a healthy and productive way.

Poor anger management, on the other hand, could lead to highly negative consequences and effects both to yourself as to others around you. This is particularly true if substance abuse and addiction is also involved in the equation.

There are many different reasons why you might feel angry. It could be because someone crossed your boundaries or as a result of the unhealed and underlying trauma that you are experiencing.

Irrespective of the cause of the anger, it is essential that you learn healthier ways to cope and manage it. This could potentially reduce the substance abuse related issues that could emerge or get worse from your poor anger management.

Addiction, Anger, and Domestic Violence

Research studies point out that anger is typically associated with substance abuse and addiction. If you grew up in a home with violence and aggression, it is highly likely that you will become violent as well as abuse drugs and alcohol during your adulthood.

According to the AACAP - the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry - children who witness domestic violence during their formative years will end up struggling with the following symptoms and effects of this form of violence:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Fighting
  • Low self-esteem
  • Oppositional behavior
  • Poor academic performance
  • Rebellious behavior
  • Social withdrawal
  • Substance abuse

During your childhood, you would still be developing your social skills and personality traits. As a result of witnessing parental drug abuse and domestic violence, there is a high risk that you could suffer from trauma. This condition, on the other hand, could affect your personality.

In many of the cases of juvenile addiction, research studies show that the younger you experiment with intoxicating and mind altering substances, the bigger the issues and problems you will experience as you grow older.

This cycle could also carry on into your adulthood - in which case it will end up causing more problems in your future. Domestic violence, on the other hand, could cause you to start using harmful drugs and drinking alcohol excessively. For instance, if you are harmed by your partner on your regular basis, you may turn to these substances for relief if you are not yet ready to leave.

You may also struggle with anxiety, anger, depression, trauma, and other forms and types of mental illness and emotional distress due to the domestic violence that you are experiencing at home. As a result, you could turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate the symptoms of these disorders.

The Cycle of Addiction and Anger

As mentioned above, anger is one of the healthier emotions that you can have especially if you know how to manage it. However, if you are also struggling with a substance abuse problem, you might have issues coping with anger in the healthiest way possible.

Abusing alcohol, for instance, might cause you to react excessively when you are angry - although this will largely depend on the circumstances in which you find yourself. On the other hand, you may start abusing alcohol and other drugs to sooth your feelings of anger. However, this will most likely just have the opposite effect.

Irrespective of the order of substance abuse and anger, you need to realize that addictive substances will only disrupt your angry feelings as well as deepen them over the long term.

It is also possible that you may easily develop a cycle of substance abuse and anger. Alternatively, you might use drugs and alcohol to cope with your angry emotions even though you do not realize it.

This combination, on the other hand, will only worsen the condition that you are experiencing with addiction. It could also potentially damage the relationships that are important to you.

While responding to anger, it is also possible that you may develop temporary emotional and mental health conditions - including but not limited to feelings of hopelessness, nervous breakdowns, anxiety, and depression. If you abuse drugs and alcohol to cope with all of these consequences, you may begin a new cycle involving co-occurring disorders comprised of addiction and another mental or behavioral health disorder.

Productive Anger Management

The ways in which you cope with angry emotions can make a difference between a healthy and an unhealthy lifestyle. If you deny anger, it will cause you to feel irritated and frustrated. It could also affect various other aspects of your life.

To this end, it is recommended that you learn healthy anger management mechanisms. Examples of some of the ways in which you can cope with anger with more positive and healthy reactions include:

  • Exercising
  • Feeling the anger and releasing it using assertive communication
  • Improving your self-awareness
  • Journaling
  • Knowing what is likely to make you feel upset
  • Meditation
  • Picking up other creative hobby to dissipate anger
  • Talking with loved ones and/or professionals for help with your anger
  • Using humor as a way to ease and diffuse the tension
  • Using positive distractions

Apart from leading to substance abuse and addiction, anger that is unresolved could lead to poor mental performance, emotional wounds, and broken relationships - all of which could increase the risk that you will abuse drugs and alcohol and end up struggling with an addiction. This is why it is recommended that you go for anger management therapy and counseling in case you are having trouble controlling and managing your angry emotions and feelings.

Getting Help

Issues involving substance abuse and addiction and anger management can be difficult to deal with on your own. If you have been struggling with both of these issues, you might want to consider seeking support from medical and mental health professionals so that they can help you overcome your problems and learn how to live a healthier and happier lifestyle untarnished by addiction and anger in the long term.

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