What Is A Pathologically Angry Person?

Anger(4) How will you know whether you or a person close to you is a pathologically angry person? A sure sign is when you notice a pervasive behavioural pattern that can range from being negative, irritable, bitter, resentful, or having temper tantrums on one side to being hostile, aggressive, self-destructive, furious, or having regular rage attacks on the other end of the continuum of anger.

Many of the above signs are core symptoms to mental health disorders such as bi-polar, borderline personality, anti social, or narcissistic personality disorders. People with these diagnoses are known to react to perceiving being insulted, rejected, ignored, or not cared for enough with an explosion of anger or even violence either towards the ‘offender’ or towards themselves.

While some experts opt for a pharmaceutical treatment path in the hope to sedate the angry person that inconveniently acts out their inner rage, other experts see these so-called mental illnesses as being rooted in the unprocessed, un-understood, and un-acknowledged anger and resentment that has been suppressed or repressed since the early years of the angry person’s life.

Pathological anger that festers unacknowledged within a person can easily be expressed in very uncontrolled ways either hurting the angry person him/herself, or hurting other people around them.  Left unattended, this anger can accelerate to the point of exploding with tragic consequences.

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20 Comments

  1. Michelle

    I need help. I’m living with a chronically angry husband/father. I’m scared and sad.

    • Hi there, it sounds that you are in a very difficult situation. Living with someone who is always angry, as you indicate, can turn out very dangerous for yourself and, if you have children, and for you.The moment that angry person turns their angry feelings into violent behaviour you are in danger. I would advise that you turn to your local services, either rape crisis services or women’s refuges. Please, if you are scared, go and contact the professionals in your region. They will do all to help you, either with practical help or will put you on to someone who can help. If there is neither a rape crisis agency or a refuge, you need to turn to your local police.

  2. Rangi

    Wow! I really appreciate your ability to be so objective about this, it is something for me to aspire too. Thanks. When I am in a similar situation again, I will remember your strength & step back and think before I react.

  3. Rangi

    Wow! I really appreciate your ability to be so objective about this, it is something for me to aspire too. Thanks. When I am in a similar situation again, I will remember your strength & step back and think before I react.

  4. Here are a couple of good sites where you can get some more self help resources and some support.
    http://www.angelashelton.com
    http://www.armyofangels.net
    http://www.survivormanual.com
    I belong to all of these and have them helpful, empowering and inspiring. If your in the states they are having a conference later in the year so if you so online and meet some now you might be able to build relationships up and go meet them. but if not in the states have a look on the Army of Angels site and find one that is near you. If there isn’t one near you then they do have chats and groups online. They are starting up a group to work through a workbook next week or the week after can’t remember.
    Hope you find something out of those. If ya get stuck let me know.

  5. Hi Donne Lee, when things are getting hard, anything that is a crutch to help through hard times is useful. Medication is probably not curative, but it can help to make it through hard times.
    I don’t know where in the world you live, but getting funding for sexual abuse counselling through insurance is probably rare in most countries. It certainly has become impossible in New Zealand to get funding through insurance or the government.
    I wonder whether you can get in touch with a self-help group or a community group where you can get support and encouragement. If it doesn’t exist, why don’t you put an ad in the classified and start one yourself. If you get 6 people together you could probably even afford to pay a counsellor to facilitate your meetings.
    It would be a pitty if you would give up on having good relationships. We humans are just not built to live in isolation. It makes coping a very hard if not an impossible undertaking. 🙂 Gudrun

  6. Donne Lee

    I’ve battled my demonds of depression and panic attacks also. I finally gave in to medication. I fought with that for years not wanting to be another statistic. I have to admit its helped. It’s good you have family support that makes a big difference. I sometimes want to go back to therapy because of my relationship issues, trust, intimacy etc. But insurance is pretty lacking in that area. I’ve just come to the conclusion that I wasn’t meant to be in a relationship, a good one anyway because I don’t know how.

  7. Thanks Donna Lee, I’ve come a long way too, thank goodness!! I was a late starter, as I began therapy only 4 years ago and I am already 56. Sometime I think, what a waste of a life, yet there have been so many good things happen in my life too. Such as my family, and I live In a house that I love and even though my husband struggled with my condition for a long time, he is so much more supportive now. I think this is because I am much stronger through an increasing understanding of what makes me up, and he has watched me struggle and improve. I am learning not to turn my anger inwards and also not let the anger of my abuser fill up and dwell in any holes in my heart. Well this is good, but still the memories of trauma and the sudden plunges into depression and panic and the way off-beat thoughts still intrude, and I realise there is still a long way to go, a lot more to process. I feel privalleged to have the committed support of my therapist so that I don’t have to burden my family and worry them with all the bad stuff that goes on in my head. and I love how she has made me feel capable and more in controll of my own life.
    I’ve just had a bit of a crisis period and I feel I have come out stronger than ever and I can almost see my way clear for the next surge ahead. Sword drawn and onwards, with hope and not destructive anger. Good luck to all of us, as we nuture and protect those parts who are not as strong and need our love!!

  8. Donne Lee

    I’ve had all those feeling you write of. I’ll turn 50 this year and I feel I’m only now getting my voice. I’ve come along way over the years but I still feel I have much more to go. I don’t know how old you are but keep working on you…that is the most important thing you can do for yourself, believe you are strong because you are.

  9. Donne Lee

    The only way I could let go of the anger and shame which was dragging me into the black whole was to release my own guilt and shame and give it back to my abusers. It took me time but I was able to do it. The release was the best thing I could have done for myself. I’m not saying I forgave. I don’t know if that will ever happen, but I forgave myself, and took the blame and everything else and gave it to them where it belonged….

  10. melissa

    In thinking about this what I have come to relise, when handling conflict in a knew way, to change your response and actions that are healther and in the now, would take an awful lot of energy. Wether having multiple parts or not, we all learn ways of being that worked for us to stay safe, so theres going to be certain aspects of the past that are going to respond when things become fearful (protection mode) to deal with conflict in the way you want to and also try and change the energy that is comming through from past experiences Im sure will be exhausting and scarey which in turn would leave you feeling like your energy is at 0. So I guess the 0 is quite positive 🙂

  11. Yes? I find this hard too and a wee while ago was faced with someone elses anger. She wasn’t angry at me really but she took the anger she felt toward someone else out on me. That person and I are very close and it really made me lose my voice. I knew she didn’t really mean what she did but because of my own stuff and things that had been happening in my own life it felt like just another thump in the face. But the situation that surrounded it was also triggering me. I was unable to speak up. That situation has been cleared up, apology and forgiveness were made. But this taught me that it is better to speak up than to revert back to being a victim and allowing myself to be victimized. I will hopefully react differently should it happen again. I think that because I knew the person and that I know that she loves me made it easy to forgive her. But my reaction was about me and the way I handle pathological anger. It’s one that is from my past and next time will step back from it and record to myself that this has upset me and that it reminds me of something else from my past and then hopefully I will react to it in a better way.

  12. ?

    The thing that is hard for me is, how do you deal with somebody elses pathological anger, I have have stayed with the problem that is now, I have checked out with myself and others that I am dealing with this appropriately. I am aware of past events are blurring how I feel and am working through tese issues as they come up. I have put into place so many things that I can do for myself and they have worked well, but my energy levels are at 0 none of the things I are doing are removing the body feelings of nauser, sleeplessness, lack of concentration, and exhaustion.I am having repetitive anxiety attacks. So really standing up for my boundries has taken an enormous amount of energy actually alot more than being walked on. I feel good about my standing solid but surely it doesnt have to be this hard.I feel you learn alot of how to deal with your own anger but someone elses?

  13. I’m Still working on this ‘forgiveness’ issue. I was always asking for forgiveness, always saying sorry, feeling ashamed, wanting to hide away in my shamefull state of sin and uncleaness. It’s about leaving behind that imprisoning state and feeling empowered. And I’m certain now that one of the steps towards my recovery is not about forgiveness at all. It’s about bravery. It’s about opening a door, about being able to step into the present without the feeling of being a victim, of needing to hide, or of being trodden all over, of being undesirable, or rendered speechless in the face of certain situations. And this is beginning to happen for me. It is happening as my internal family is becomming strong enough to support each other by being given, (learning, gradually developing,)the skills to step forward and outwards. To know where to step, how far to step, how carefully and in what direction to step.
    I’m trying out a new confidence in being a together self – not a oneness – but a togetherness. It’s like new rolls for each of us but it’s scary also because some of us still need reassurance that they are still needed and that there is still a place for their own style of being.
    But I also realise that because so many things have been locked inside for so long, that unless I keep talking , I will not be able to release all the past and finally step out of it. I feel like a snake shedding its skin!! It’s like a birth / death/ birth cycle.

  14. Jessica

    Hi UZINCO,
    Wise words. Thankyou. I would like to find an alternative word to ‘forgive’. I think I am not actually angry or resentfull towards any of the offenders, I am just dissappointed, depressed about how my life has been, what a waste, the burden of sadness, the huge, nebulous sense of loss, the fact that it has been burried so long and is taking so long to recover, you know, those sort of things. Yet in a lot of ways it has also made me into a strong person,(although I don’t always feel that way) It’s just the thought that I have got this far, I still manage in life, I have survived despite what has happened to me. In a strange way, I am the winner because I am getting stronger. And the offenders have had to live within their dark worlds, without reprieve.
    I’m managing, in fact, two worlds at once, external and internal. And now I am beginning to manage my feelings. It sort of feels great. And it feels great to write this because at times I feel so despairing that I will never see an end to the inner conflicts, anxiety and turmoils that overtake me. The support of this site has really helped me to think a little more clearly and sort out how I feel. It is especially useful in between therapy sessions after the past has been stirred up and I am feeling very unsettled. It is calming to write and to read what others are experiencing, not to feel so alone.
    Jessica

  15. Hi Jessica
    Oh yeah I can really understand what you are talking about. I so don’t want to forgive my perp but I am learning what it means to forgive. I think that it can or cannot have to have religious connotations to it depending on how you look at it. I am believing that it is more to do with letting go of your own anger and resentment because it is that that keeps ya trapped. It is keeping me trapped. I no longer want to live my present and my future with any thoughts of that person or what he did to me. I still haven’t done it yet but I am becoming more willing. I know that what I hoped for with my heart and my head and that was that he would admit what he did, tell my family I am not a nut case and that its true he did hurt me in that way. But ya know that is NEVER gonna happen. It would be so much easier if he did that then I could forgive…I thought. But no… it aint gonna happen. So I need to let it go for me so that I can have freedom from him and those involved and get living completely.

  16. Jessica

    Hi again,
    I’m back from the North. Holiday over, back into it.
    Forgivenes? The word has too many religious connotations to it. If you were sexually abused by ministers of the church who said that you would be forgiven your sins through the sexual act and that they were doing it in the name of god who loved you, and this was the way to Him, and you were 12 yrs old and it was a way to get the devil out of you, and bring you to your knees in the face of god,and make you clean… hey, later on down the track, would you say ‘I forgive you.’ I don’t think so. It is not in my vocabulary.
    But I’m back on line and I’m still alive and nobody’s going to keep me down. We are on a mission this year. We feel strong. Hope these feelings last. Hope this will be a good new year.
    Jessica.

  17. jae

    Hey there uznco, It sounds like a hard place to be right now, I think your right when you say that you cant go on blaming yourself for things in the past, you were doing the best that you could at the time and didnt know any different, I think there comes a time when you can say sorry and own the things that were not right and then the other person/s have to start owning there own lifes problems and fo-pas, you can only blame others for so long.
    As forgivness Im not sure I fully know the meaning of that either, it is so different for many.I dont use the word forgivness as for me it was saying its all ok what happened, I feel like im just at peace, I have reached a place where most of the time the past does not effect me, I have a feeling of peace. I still have stirrings, and I still have one thing that I havnt reached that place yet. I think when certain things have such horrendice impact on your life there will always be times that are stirred up, that normal but it no longer is your life. So for me forgiveness is giving me back me and feeling peaceful, I have no interest in what is happening to those that hurt me at all, I have finally shaken the crap stuck to my shoe off. Forgivness is about what is right for you what brings you peace to live again. Thats how I feel it, I hope this helps. Jae

  18. Well, ha!!! I have just been re-reading these anger posts. Mainly because I am having a bad day, feeling rather frustrated with the consequences of my last 17 years. I have come to realise that what has happened in my life over the past 17 years is not my parents fault but my own and I know that I cannot beat myself up with what I know now and apply it to what I should have done in the past. But in all that their are consequences today pertaining to yesterday that I am trying to make better or change the direction of. But its so hard and I am at a loss. Its just leading me to total anguish!!! Reading the post on passive aggressive well that was like reading about my mother. Although she would occasionally have outbursts of anger. And would scream and yell and when he came home would blame us for everything and we would be subjected to his pathological anger and would try and get away somehow. Well obviously for me I would dissociate from both of them. So I guess I can have both types of anger – is that possible although I have never had outbursts of extreme anger. the thing is although I have found a good constructive outlet for my anger I know within me lies sleeping, or hiding???? this rage – a hatred. this is why I think there is so much fear around expressing anger and I know I still suppress it a great deal. In my studies last year there was a lecture on forgiveness…I still find this hard to swallow because I have this deep rage/hatred – but Psychologial forgiveness is the putting away of hatred and resentment. It is not saying that it is ok but it is a refusal to let that root of bitterness come and choke like a weed chokes a beautiful flower. I know I have to reach this to beable to let it all go. For so long I have minimised what he did to me which meant that I chose to blame myself rather than to deal with my feelings. It is necessary to accept what actually happened to me – i have to acknowledge the broken trust, physical, emotional and mental pain, shattered dreams, damaged self image, humiliation, confusion of mind and fear. I think I am finally doing this. But i want to understand the full meaning of forgiveness…I have to relinquish the hatred, the injustice, and believe that theirs will come from a higher power. In the old bible times a person that wasn’t sorry would have to carry a bucket of burning hot coals on their head. The aim here is that their conscious will get the better of them. Oh man wish I could do that to someone!!! i can’t make them be sorry even though that is what I really want more than anything. But I have a choice to hold on to it and let it keep on affecting my life now or let go and put in to a higher powers hands. I really have had enough of carrying this around and want to let it go. Not quite there yet but am willing!!! I have become very passionate about social justice and am actively showing that but am I doing it for the right reasons…. am I still trying to suppress my anger? or am I redirecting my anger into something positive? Am I supposed to have an outburst of rage or will it dissipipate. Would appreciate any feedback from anyone!!!!

  19. So! if a person doesn’t explode in these angry ways then there obviously isn’t any pathological anger!!! True or False??? Being negative, irritable, bitter, resentful, and keeping them to yourself and trying to find out why they are there (and acknowledgeing the reason and dealing with that) or reasoning them away and replacing them with more positive thoughts and not having temper tantrums – therefore there is not pathological anger huh?

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