ANGER

Anger may take many forms. The most obvious manifestations are shouting at other people, out bursts of rage (such as road rage), and in some cases open aggression and violence. Some patients express the anger by turning it on themselves and this may take the form of self-harming.

Some people are unable to show their anger and it is then converted into other symptoms such as headaches, itching, irritable bowel syndrome, or ulcerative colitis. Un-expressed anger can cause a rise in the blood pressure.

Before treatment can commence it is important to exclude any physical or psychiatric underlying cause for the anger. Often by the time patients request treatment for their anger it is because the situation has already got out of hand. Either because the person has attacked someone or because there has been a complaint at work or from an organisation to which he or she belongs.

The treatment of choice for this problem is individual psychotherapy. This should take the form of regular sessions over an extended period of time. During the treatment the patient explores their feelings of anger and their origin and eventually is able to express this anger within the safe environment of the therapy rather than outside.

Where the anger is converted into physical symptoms such as headache then it is helpful to use hypnotherapy in the first instance. In addition it may be helpful to combine this with individual psychotherapy.

 

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David Kraft


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