Tag Archives: Anger Management Hypnosis App

Intermittent Explosive Disorder (I.E.M.) and Childhood Trauma.

childhood trauma and anger

This disorder, which is listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a manual which is used by psychologists and psychiatrists to diagnose mental illness and provides the diagnostic criteria (ie relevant symptoms) by which diagnosis of the specific psychiatric condition is made, is, as the name implies, related to problems a person has with controlling his/her anger.

anger

According to the DSM, the symptoms of IED are as follows :

1) Several episodes of being unable to suppress impulses of intense anger which leads to serious aggressive acts such as assault and destruction of property

2) The high intensity of the aggression displayed during these episodes is clearly out of proportion to the precipitating event (ie the event that triggered the aggression)

3) The episodes of aggression are not better explained by other mental conditions such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) or anti-social personality disorder.

HOW COMMON IS IED IN THE GENERAL POPULATION?

Research into this area so far suggests that around 5% of the population may suffer from IED during some period of their life-span. Not infrequently, the disorder first appears during adolescence.

Often, too, the disorder will exist co-morbidly (ie together with/alongside) other mental health conditions.

anger red face

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF IED?

IED can very adversely affect many crucial areas of the sufferer’s life, which include : relationships with family, relationships with friends, reputation, career prospects and even freedom (if the uncontrolled aggression results in an incident which leads to being sent to jail). Clearly, then, a person who suffers from IED urgently requires treatment in order to prevent him/her from potentially ruining his/her own life. But in order to treat it, of course, it is first necessary to understand what causes it. In relation to this quest, research has focused on childhood trauma.

WHAT HAS THIS RESEARCH SHOWN?

Research indicates that the experience of childhood trauma, particularly childhood trauma connected to problematic (ie dysfunctional) relationships with parents/carers is the strongest predictor of the development of IED in adulthood. It is thought that the reason for this is that, as a result of such trauma, the affected individual does not learn how to manage his/her emotions nor how to manage the intricacies of interpersonal relationships.

Neurological issues may also be related to IED ; however, I should point out that such issues may themselves have been caused by the childhood trauma – further research into this is necessary.

POSSIBLE THERAPIES FOR IED :

These include :

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). Click here for my article on this.

Trauma Focused CBT. Click here for my article on this.

RESOURCES:

ANGER MANAGEMENT MP3 – CLICK HERE

anger_management_ebook

Above eBook now available for instant download from Amazon. Other titles available. Click here.

David Hosier BSc Hons ; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

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Copyright 2013 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Anger Resulting from Childhood Trauma. Part 2.

anger management

It is better to express anger in a healthy and helpful way rather than to REPRESS or DENY it (in the case of the latter, it can profoundly, negatively affect our peace of mind or lead us to TURN THE ANGER IN ON OURSELVES or DISPLACE it (i.e. take it out in an inappropriate way on those who do not deserve it).

AMBIVALENCE.

It is natural to feel anger towards the person/s who caused our childhood trauma but the anger we feel is often COMPLICATED BY FEELINGS OF AMBIVALENCE if the person/s who caused our trauma also did good things for us. Such ambivalence can feel very painful and confusing, leaving us feeling CONFLICTED. In simple terms, we develop mixed, and very often contradictory, feelings towards the person/s.

Alternatively, we may excuse the person/s who caused the trauma by telling ourselves they behaved as they did due, for example, to the extreme stress they themselves were under.

This may make it more difficult to feel the anger, and, as a result, we may feel EMOTIONALLY NUMB ( a kind of dissociative state).

Whilst anger should not be forced, if we find it difficult to connect to our anger the following exercise may be useful:

1) to imagine ourselves at the age we suffered the trauma, remembering how young and vulnerable we were (if you have a photograph of yourself at the relevant age to look at this could be helpful).

2) think about what occurred and how it made us feel

3) think of the ways in which our lives have been damaged as a result, and how many years have been lost (it is important to do this in a safe way and reading my post on COPING MECHANISMS could be helpful in order to help ensure this).

When we can start to feel the anger without it overwhelming us, we can try to focus on our anger for longer periods of time.

Now we turn to how to deal with these angry feelings:

HOW TO DEAL WITH FEELINGS OF ANGER.

We often respond to anger in ways that only damage us. This may include turning the anger in on ourselves (eg self-harm, self-hatred), turning it on others who do not deserve it (DISPLACEMENT) or perhaps turning to drink and/or drugs to temporarily dissipate the pain and anguish our feelings entail.

However, clearly it is important to deal with our anger in a CONSTRUCTIVE way.

One way to do this is to express it ASSERTIVELY (i.e. in a CONTROLLED, APPROPRIATE and RESPECTFUL manner).

To express anger towards a particular person, in a SAFE and appropriate way, can be achieved in the two ways outlined below:

1) INDIRECTLY:

here, the person is not confronted face-to- face. Examples would be to write a letter (it is not even necessary to send it; merely writing down our feelings towards the person with whom we are angry can be a step forward, alleviating the painful feelings associated with repressing anger) or to role play (perhaps getting a friend to play the part of the person we are angry with).

2) DIRECTLY:

In order to make sure this is done appropriately and safely, planning and preparation are definitely helpful.

If you have found this post of interest you may wish to read my article on ‘Intermittent Explosive Disorder’ which can be accessed by clicking here.

RESOURCES :

ANGER MANAGEMENT MP3 – CLICK HERE

 

anger_management_ebook

Above eBook now available on Amazon for instant download. Other titles available. Click here.

David Hosier. BSc; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Anger Resulting from Childhood Trauma. Part 1.

child trauma and managing anger

Anger is not a bad thing, if it is APPROPRIATELY EXPRESSED. Expressing it inappropriately will usually get us nowhere and can badly back-fire. However, its appropriate expression is often most effective.

As we begin to realize that what was done to us as children was wrong, anger often emerges (especially when we start to understand all the ramifications of how we have subsequently been affected by it).

anger

Repressing anger (‘bottling it up’) is often painful and stressful. We can also get to the point when we can contain it no longer and this might result in it being MISDIRECTED (expressed against the wrong person) or in it being expressed in a DESTRUCTIVE and DAMAGING way (to both ourselves and those we interact with).

It is much better if anger is MANAGED and only expressed in a manner which is beneficial.

For some, expressing anger gives rise to a feeling of power, the power that was denied us in childhood, and can therefore feel that by expressing this anger we are in some way protecting ourselves or taking back ‘control’ (though, almost always, uncontrolled outbursts of anger backfire very unpleasantly). The adrenaline associated with such anger can sometimes lead to it being expressed in a very intense way. Whilst this may be understandable, then, such expressions of anger ULTIMATELY HARM THE PERSON EXPRESSING IT.

anger red face

THREE CATEGORIES OF ANGER:

1) PRIMARY ANGER.

This is anger which is REASONABLE given what has occurred – it is directly related to what has happened and is not influenced by extraneous factors.

2) SECONDARY ANGER.

The psychologist Aaron Beck, during the 1980s, defined this type of anger as RESULTING FROM FEAR or HURT. WE USE IT TO TRY TO PROTECT OURSELVES AGAINST FURTHER TRAUMA. This type of anger can be EXPLOSIVE and feel as if IT IS ‘TAKING US OVER’. It may occur in response to:

– perceived rejection

– a perceived slight

– a perceived threat

All of the above may trigger memories, consciously or unconsciously, of the original trauma; this can explain the (seemingly) disproportionate intensity of the reaction.

3) PAST ANGER.

This refers to anger we are currently feeling but which STEMS FROM THE PAST. When it is TRIGGERED BY CURRENT EVENTS, the anger we express, similar to the anger illustrated in 2 above, can be disproportionate (to the current event). For example, we may see a mother in the street screaming aggressively at her child which in turn triggers memories of how we ourselves were treated in childhood.

If you have found this post of interest, you may also wish to read my article on ‘Intermittent Explosive Disorder’ by clicking here.

 

RESOURCES :

Traumatic childhoodANGER MANAGEMENT MP3. Click here for details.

 

EBOOKS :

   

 

Above eBook now available for immediate download on Amazon. $4.99 each. CLICK HERE.

David Hosier BSc; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery