We find ourselves having to deal with a wide range of emotions as we go about our daily lives; some of which are extremely difficult. Among the emotions that create the most internal conflict are those relating to shame and anger; emotions that are often linked.

Becoming angry is an emotional reaction to events around us, either caused by external actors, or by our own actions. These feelings can be compounded by the stress that is an unfortunate component of our lives.

When we lack complete self awareness, events can increase stress causing us to react; often by lashing out verbally or physically at the source or initiator of the event. Many people, when they become upset, then feel shame at having done so.When It Becomes Rage

Negative anger is expressed through such actions as screaming, violence, threats, sulking, or efforts to manipulate the target. These forms of expression can be triggered by other strong emotions such as fear, sadness, or loss. Rage causes chemical reactions in the brain that become addictive. People who typically react to situations by raging do so to offset feelings of inadequacy or shame, and are often the victims of abuse in the family – having been either criticized or punished by their parents for expressing emotion. Studies have shown that children who are abused often grow up to be abusers themselves, and people who have been subject to punishment for showing emotion often become adults who are unable to control their emotions effectively. Their expressions of rage become a way of striking back and inflicting punishment themselves in retaliation for the abuse they suffered in their family while growing up.

Quiet Rage

Not all angry feelings are expressed. People who have been victims of abuse, verbal or physical, in the family setting, often repress feelings of rage. This can increase feelings of shame and inadequacy, and lead to alcohol or drug abuse as a means of coping. Habitual drug and alcohol abusers who do not respond well to recovery programs are often survivors of abuse as children. The addiction, as with similar self-destructive behavior, is a way of striking back at the source of irritation; ‘I’m mad at my wife, so I’ll have a drink to calm down.”

Turning A Negative Emotion Into Productive Activity

Learning to manage emotions productively is essential to full recovery from addiction or the trauma of childhood abuse. Addictions; alcohol, drugs, or sex, for instance; are coping mechanisms to deal with feelings of shame or inadequacy by masking them. Such self-destructive behavior, however, does not make the source of the emotion go away, and can actually exacerbate the problem. Learning healthy expressions of emotion involves confronting the thing that upsets you and making an effort to setting boundaries on your reactions.

Healthy anger does not involve either repression or lashing out. It is directly expressed, analyzed, and moved beyond. When someone does something that upsets you, for instance, the productive way to deal with it is to face it directly; “Your constant lateness upsets me, we need to discuss how to improve the situation.” This is a far better response than yelling, sulking, or engaging in other self-destructive responses to the event; especially in personal relationships.

Author's Bio: 

Marty Brenner CCDC
I specialize in Anger Management classes, Domestic violence counseling, Alcohol Addiction, Drug Addiction, Life Skill development, Problem Solving skills, Coordinator Support, Relapse Prevention, Risk Management, Interpersonal communication skills.

I work with Individuals challenged with various addictions including but not limited to – substance abuse, alcohol, and anger.

I am a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor and Anger Management Specialist II.

If you or a family member or someone who you know is in trouble with substance abuse or anger, we can work together to determine what the best course of action to take on behalf of you and that individual who is seeking help.

I can help, call me when you need to talk: 213-500-8865 and for more information about me and my practice visit my web site at www.talktomartyb.com.

Marty Brenner CCDC
9171 Wilshire Blvd. #660
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: 213.500.8865
Fax: 310.273.1010
Email: marty@talktomartyb.com