Is it Anger or Abuse?

People are often confused – wondering what the difference is between anger and abuse?  Anger can result in rage, put-downs and violent acts. Isn’t this kind of behavior the same as abuse? *You can listen to this Quick Tips for Managing Anger podcast here: Is it Anger or Abuse?

Let’s consider some definitions of anger:
We’ve described anger as an aversive state ranging from annoyance to rage. Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure & antagonism or indignation. It’s an automatic reaction to any real or imagined insult, frustration, or injustice.
When someone puts you down – your initial  feelings of humiliation are turned into anger –an emotional reaction needing to be expressed. So, anger is ultimately a combination of physiological, emotional and cognitive responses to certain triggers.

When you’re angry – you can be angry at anything – yourself, God, others, situations, events, unmet goals and needs.

In contrast, Domestic abuse generally occurs within intimate relationships. Here’s an example…

Hello I am a teen-ager, I have a boyfriend I have been with for 3 years and a 10 months old little boy by my boyfriend. I Love my boyfriend with all of my heart and I know people think that teens aren’t really in love when they think they are, but trust me this is love. but anyways he smokes dope and when we get into really bad arguments he hits on me, not like punching me he like – slaps me across the face burns me with his cigarette, bites me. I have tried to break up with him but it doesn’t do me any good because my parents let him come around. I am always wearing bruises, and am always depressed,…please help me ..I have nobody to talk to.

So, What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic abuse or violence is a pattern of physical and psychological abuse, threats, intimidation, isolation or economic coercion used by one person to exert power and control over another person in the context of a dating, family, or household relationship.
Domestic Abuse involves – battering:
Battering is a pattern of behavior which often uses the threat of or the use of violence. One person believes they are entitled to control another. Assault, battering and domestic violence are crimes.

In Why Men Batter Women – John Gottman and Neil Jacobson write:
“Battering is physical aggression with a purpose: that purpose is to control, intimidate, and subjugate another human being. Battering is always accompanied by emotional abuse, is often accompanied by injury, and is virtually always associated with fear and even terror on the part of the battered woman.”

Domestic Abuse and domestic  violence are never healthy and never helpful.

Conversely, anger is an emotion that can be expressed in healthy behaviors such as: assertiveness, problem-solving, negotiation, conflict management, empathy, etc.  So, you see that not all anger is wrong.
Anger is a problem: When it is too frequent, too intense, lasts too long, leads to aggression, disturbs work or relationships

Abuse is Always a problem. In fact, there is no excuse for abuse! Why? Because abuse seeks to denigrate, control or destroy another person.

Here’s another real-life story of abuse: “my friend needs help to get away from her husband he already been put away in jail but as soon as he got out it starts all over again. She has an order of protection and the police told her because she has been seen with him they will get the department of family services involved because there are children involved. This man has threatened to kill her and has done many violent things and will go after the children. She really does not know what to do he is extremely dangerous everyone knows what going on but we don’t know how to help.

Here are the 3 types of Domestic abuse:

Physical Battering – The abuser’s physical attacks or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts which escalate into more frequent and serious attacks.

Sexual Abuse – Physical attack by the abuser is often accompanied by, or  culminates in, sexual violence wherein the woman is forced to have sexual   intercourse with her abuser or take part in unwanted sexual activity.

Psychological Battering -The abuser’s psychological or mental violence can include constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, isolating the woman from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic  resources, and destruction of personal property.

Statistics demonstrate that Battering escalates. It often begins with behaviors like threats, name calling, violence in her presence (such as punching a fist through a wall), and/or damage to objects or pets. It  may escalate to restraining, pushing, slapping, and/or pinching. The battering may include punching, kicking, biting, sexual assault, tripping, throwing. Finally, it may become  life-threatening with serious behaviors such as choking, breaking bones, or the use of  weapons.” Resource: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

In describing the reasons that Men Batter Women – Gottman and Jacobson write:

Studies have demonstrated that the batterer begins and continues his behavior because violence is an effective method for gaining and keeping control over the victim bringing no adverse effects as the result of the behavior.

What are some characteristics of batterers? Typically, since batterers are men – they objectify and don’t  see women as people. They don’t respect women as a group. Overall, they see women as property or sexual objects.
A batterer has low self-esteem and feels powerless and ineffective in the world. He may appear successful, but inside he feels inadequate.
A batterer externalizes the causes of his behavior. He blames his violence on circumstances such as stress, his partner’s behavior, a “bad day,” alcohol or other factors. A batterer may be pleasant and charming between periods of violence, and is often seen as a “nice guy” to outsiders.
Some behavioral warning signs of a potential batterer include extreme jealousy, possessiveness, a bad temper, unpredictability, cruelty to animals and verbal abusiveness.
Because of these characteristics authorities believe that true batterer will benefit more from a Batterers Intervention Program than an. anger management program.
Though some of the goals of domestic abuse and AM programs are similar such as: accepting responsibility for consequences and applying behavioral changes—  BIP focus on changing the batterer’s power/control mindset – networking with law enforcement to help provide for the safety of victims.
Visit http://www.saferelationships.net/ and http://www.compassionpower.com/ for more information on abuse and anger management issues.
If you are in an abusive relationship contact the National Domestic Violence Agency at : 1-800-799-7233 or ndvh.org for resources.

Visit the Anger Management Institute for books, resources, podcasts, blogs, DVDs, certificate and trainer courses.
© copyright 2019 by Lynette Hoy, Licensed Clinical Professional  Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Certified Anger Management Specialist-V with NAMA and President of the Anger Management Institute.

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Chronic Anger Syndrome…

Question:

I’ve been reading the Chronic anger symptoms and found a lot of identical things that often happens to me. Lately I’ve been in a real storm with my parents and some other people where slight problems often caused me to just go out of control and just hurl whatever words came out from my mind. Lately it’s all about my trip overseas where I got 2 weeks to go and things just doesn’t go smoothly. Just tonight, I found out that the people who promised me free accommodation didn’t deliver so that started another chain of arguments and worse. By the way I took aim at my mum a lot again and those people who I haven’t even met. So my venting’s just out of the world again. My dad told me I’m just egoistical & self centered. My mum told me I might got the attitude from my biological father since she kept saying that my blood are tied to him stronger as I am his first son. I didn’t really buy it though especially after I read about “Chronic anger” syndrome can you confirm that I actually got that or is it just my attitude needs fixing? I keep thinking it’s sort of unnatural but I can’t confirm it since I never seen a psychologist or whatnot. I can use some positive reassurance. Thanks

Other signs and symptoms frequently associated with the principal symptom of chronic anger are:
* impatience
* constant hurrying
* speaking in a harsh, abrupt manner
* egotistical and self-centered behavior
* inability to relax readily
* high blood pressure
* inability to play or enjoy vacations
* verbal aggressiveness
* free-floating hostility

——————————————————————————–
Answer:
Dear Friend, so far “chronic anger” is not a psychiatric diagnosis. And the symptoms you list above could be associated with various mental health disorders. Anger – unhealthy/harmful anger – symptoms can be associated with disorders such as intermittent explosive disorder, ADHD or depression or bipolar disorder or a personality disorder.

You may be dealing with a mental health problem and this should be assessed by a professional. In any case, I believe attitude and behavior patterns play an important role in escalating anger and these factors can be changed!

Take this anger survey to see how serious your anger is. It sounds like you are motivated to manage your anger because anger is affecting your relationships and life detrimentally. You can learn skills and strategies which will help you cope with anger in healthy ways such as:
1. managing your stress,
2. identifying triggers and provoking situations, changing self-talk and any cognitive distortions,
3. communicating assertively and empathically,
4. applying forgiveness

Listen to these free podcasts: 4 Q’s to Disarming Anger and Anger Management Made Easy! These will help you discover tools to cope with stress and anger in healthy and effective ways.

Visit the Anger Management  Institute for books, resources, podcasts, blogs, DVDs, certificate and trainer courses.
© copyright 2019 by Lynette Hoy, Marriage and Family Counselor, National Certified Counselor, President of the Anger Management Institute and author of all books and resources.

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The Results of Hidden Anger… July 7, 2019

Question:
When we talk about anger, I always remember a few situations, and wonder – did I do wrong or good? In every situation, I am trying to stay calm and after that what happens with the anger? I think it is somewhere deep in side of me, and there must be some valve for all my anger. How will that impact my life?

Answer:
Dear Friend, Maybe you are really asking: Has my anger and response to provoking situations been helpful? What happens to the anger when I don’t express it? How does it affect my life?

Pent-up Anger: It sounds like you try to remain calm which is helpful in containing conflict and angry outbursts – but, your anger remains hidden. Hidden anger can grow and result in bitterness and depression or eventually there may be an outburst of anger over something small because you have been holding it in.
Is it good to keep your anger unexpressed? I don’t believe so.

Anger Expressed: I think anger is meant to be expressed in healthy ways through assertive communication and problem-solving. If you can’t talk with the person directly who you are angry with – then, it is helpful to express your anger to a confidante or counselor. You can explore ways to express it directly or decide to let it go.

Ultimately, when you don’t express anger – you will be affected by it. Anger is an emotion which results from feelings of fear, frustration, hurt and loss of control. The emotional valve within will explode when these feelings are not dealt with. You need to make changes so you can deal with your emotions and the issues. Working through anger using healthy coping skills will bring a sense of peace and confidence to your life.

Order the book: What’s Good About Anger? to learn more about these skills and how faith can help defuse your anger.

© copyright 2019 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC. Lynette is a Marriage and Family Counselor with CounselCare Connection and National Certified Counselor. She is the co-author of What’s Good About Anger? and a speaker for community, women’s and church organizations. She is a Certified Anger Management Specialist-V, Diplomate, Consultant, Trainer with the National Anger Management Association.

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Why Do People Get Angry?

Clients tell me that when they feel disrespected or treated rudely – they get angry. Often, they experience anger when they feel helpless or when goals are blocked.
An important fact about anger is that the amygdala (emotional center) in the brain becomes triggered within 1/20 of a second when people first feel threatened, angry or frustrated. In the book, Anger Disorders, authors Raymond DiGiussepe and Raymond Tafrate write:
“Researchers have demonstrated 10 key areas of anger provoking stimuli:
1. Interruption of goal-directed behavior when time is important;
2. Experiencing personal degradation or unfair treatment (and being powerless to stop it)
3. Being treated unfairly, unkindly, or in a prejudicial way whether or not one is present;
4. Being the object of dishonesty or broken promises or being disappointed by others or even oneself
5. Having one’s authority, feelings, or property being disregarded by others
6. Being ignored or treated badly by a significant other
7. Experiencing harm because of one’s negligence toward oneself
8. Being shown by others’ behavior that they do not care
9. Being the object of verbal or physical assault
10. Being a “helpless victim.” (Things one cannot control despite a desire to do so.”)”

A home-study student writes: While we were married, my wife an often exchanged angry and hurtful words. Very often, I would pound things (desk, kick a chair) because I so desperately wanted to avoid hitting her. All of that changed when she hit me. At first I was stunned, but then, very predictably, I became angry and I shoved her back against the wall. From that point on there were many instances when I acted violently or aggressively toward her. I never hit her with my hand, just pushed her around. I was so ashamed of my behavior (after sanity returned) but it was so hard to avoid it. I tried timeouts, but she would not respect them and it became progressively worse.

Though there are many reasons for getting angry – you don’t have to stay angry and you don’t have to experience ill-effects from anger. The goal of What’s Good About Anger is to show that anger is a complex emotion and a force that can be used for good.  Healthy anger transformed into assertiveness, problem-solving and conflict resolution strategies can help you reach your goals effectively and live a more satisfying life.  

Anger’s Ugly Consequences
The consequences of anger can be very costly. Broken relationships. Legal problems. Job loss. You can prevent negative consequences by learning to manage your anger. Here are some insights to help you commit to change anger for good! Listen to this podcast here.

Listen to all podcasts here!

Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V
CounselCare Connection, P.C. – Anger Management Institute
1200 Harger Spring Road, Suite 602 – Oak Brook, IL 60523
630-368-1880

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Steps for Obtaining Anger Management Specialist Certification

Here are the steps to obtain certification from the National Anger Management Association as a Certified Anger Management Specialist (CAMS-I or II):

1. Take an approved course offered at the Anger Management Institute— live training, online or home-study programs: Live Anger Management Specialist Training Workshops will be offered September 5-6, 2019 in Oak Brook, IL! Register online here!

Distance-learning: obtain certification as an Anger Management Specialist-1 or II (CAMS-I or CAMS-II) by taking the Online Trainer-Specialist Certification Course with video (fastest way) OR order the DVD home-study program!  Our courses are approved by NAMA to qualify for their certification.

2. When you finish the distance-learning course (11 quizzes) NAMA requires that students take 2 hours of phone supervision/consultation (with our Institute) in order to qualify for the credential. Phone supervision is not required for participants attending workshops.

3. Once you finish with the required steps 1 and 2 above you can apply for the CAMS-I or II credential with NAMA. There is a membership fee of $125/150 paid directly to them. NAMA, at that time, will provide you with a profile on their national/international directory and the official CAMS-I certificate/credential! We walk you through this process.

Visit the Anger Management Institute web site for live workshops, certification information and all of our anger management resources!

Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V

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Anger and Guilt

Question:
Does anyone one else feel guilty about expressing their anger no matter how justified ? I`m very laid back and some people take advantage. However, if I reach my limit and express my anger, I end up apologizing for it. I guess I have more respect for other peoples` feelings than they do for mine so I just keep smiling and suppress it. I`ve had some pretty bad anger locked in my head for the last 3 years with no where for it to go because I just bottled it all up. Thanks for any response.

Answer: Often we feel guilt after getting angry. Sometimes, it’s false guilt. Other times, the guilt is a good measure of anger mismanagement and over-reaction to anger. How can you determine whether your guilt is true or false? 

Here is a questionnaire you could complete after any incidents in which you felt angry:1. Describe the situation which occurred.

What was the issue?

2. How did I respond?
Did I talk harshly___, loudly___, disrespectfully___, critically___, in a threatening___ or judgmental way___?

Did I make character assassinations?___

3. Was my response measured,___ respectful___, tactful___?

Did I keep to the issue described in question one? ___
I listened___
I paraphrased what was said to me___
I demonstrated empathy (put myself in the other person’s shoes)___
I stated my feelings in a calm manner along with the facts___

4. What could I have done differently?

How could I have responded in a healthier manner?
Used more tact___
Been more respectful___
Kept the tone of my voice down___
Listened more___
Summarized what was said to me___
Showed more empathy___
Stated my feelings firmly but calmly___

Measuring whether your guilt is true or false:
In order to determine whether you did something right or wrong – score your questionnaire this way:
1. If you checked anything in question 2 or 4 – your guilt is probably right-on. You most likely should apologize.

2. If you didn’t check anything in question 2 or 4 but, checked many of the items in question 3 – your guilt is most likely false.

Don’t apologize. Take responsibility for your actions and let the other person take responsibility for theirs. If the other person says you were harsh or loud – you can apologize that your behavior offended them and that you didn’t mean to.

Learn some anger management skills to help you cope with these situations.
Listen to the current podcast: Talk-Out Your Anger!
“Most people tend to hold anger in or explode. Some use manipulation. Learn some no-guilt techniques to assertively express your anger and get your needs met without squashing others.”

See www.whatsgoodaboutanger.com for FAQs, Quick Tips for Managing Anger Podcasts and all resources.

Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V

What’s Good About Anger podcasts, blog, resources

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The Anger – Trust Connection

The Anger-Trust Connection podcast by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC

How can you rebuild trust when you are angry with someone? Is there any hope? What needs to happen to break the cycle of anger and distrust? Here are some insights and tips for restoring broken relationships when your spouse or significant other lets you down.
“Did you ever wonder if there is a connection between “trust and anger”? 
Often, the reason we feel angry is because someone has let us down, disappointed or blocked our goals, betrayed us or used and manipulated us. When you feel let down, abused, humiliated by someone close to you – you realize that you can’t trust them to be responsible or be considerate of your needs and goals.  That realization causes you feel hurt and angry. Though it’s normal to feel hurt and angry – the question comes to mind: is there anyway to rebuild the trust and alleviate the anger?  

Trust is a necessary but, frail factor in relationships. Have you ever noticed that when people are angry with someone – they no longer trust them – they become cynical – believing the worst of that person and harbor anger towards them.

One of my clients once asked me what it means to trust another human being. She wanted to know how she should react when a spouse or significant other is dishonest, inconsiderate or having an affair. She wondered if it is possible to rebuild trust in someone who disappoints us greatly.

What does trusting someone signify?
Trust, in a practical sense, means that you place confidence in someone to be honest with you, faithful to you, keep promises, vows and confidences and not abandon you. When that person fails you in these areas – the result is hurt and anger. Here are some factors to consider about trust and it’s connection to anger….”  Click to listen

© copyright 2018 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V.
CounselCare Connection, P.C. – Anger Management Institute
1200 Harger Road, Suite 602 – Oak Brook, IL 60523
630-368-1880

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Blind Rage…

Question:
Hi, I haven’t been mad in a long time. I got my anger in control, until last night.
My spouse withheld information, I being a survivor, felt completely manipulated.
Is there such a thing as blind rage. Because I remember very little after 5pm lastnight. I dont remember going to bed, nothing.
I was mad when I woke up this morning, but I am scared I might of did something I should not have. I fight fair. My spouse does not. He says I am crazy, insane, my best friend lives out of state, so he tells me I have no friends, I am a loser.
I have never went out of control, from anger and this scares me.
Can you really black out with anger?? I guess you can? I dont do drugs or drink alcohol, so that is not in the equation.
Help me please understand what happened and how I can never do that again. I am scared and alone.
Blind Rage, that is all I can think. Please help me figure this out. I really need help. Anonymous

Answer:
“Blind Rage”… hummm… good way to describe the gut, physiological response produced by the emotional center of the brain (amygdala) when it is not kept in check by the frontal cortex of the brain. Hate to be so clinical – but, I think that’s the result when you respond to anger triggers without any intervention by the thinking/judgment part of the brain.

Yes. The response could also have to do with a “throw-back” to the past when you were abused and mistreated. All those memories and feelings return with full-force. But, since he is verbal abuser – your feelings of helplessness and shame from the put-downs came to the surface.
These are just some random thoughts. More importantly, blind rage can be controlled. And you need to talk and work more with your psychologist about this so it doesn’t happen again. Listen to the Road Rage Tirade! and Road Rage Remedy podcasts to gain more insight into how to retrain your brain for better control over anger! Read the blog post on Controlling Anger and Rage for more help.

By the way – you need to protect yourself from your husband’s verbal abuse. Verbal abuse on this scale will generally escalate into physical or sexual abuse. Verbal abuse will cause you much psychological and emotional trauma.

There is no excuse for abuse! Visit http://www.saferelationships.net/ for resources!
_________________
© copyright 2018 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V
Certified Anger Management Specialist-V with the National Anger Management Association; President, CounselCare Connection, P.C.
Anger Management Institute site, podcasts and resources

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