How to Cope With Feelings of Anger
- Struggling mentally looks different for everyone; some people may begin to experience intense and uncharacteristic feelings of anger.
- Psychiatrist Dr. William Breitbart explains that some patients become angry when they feel like they will not be able to achieve certain life goals.
- Part of getting over this anger has to deal with acceptance.
- Some people may benefit from traditional talk therapy or medication, while others may find more solace in different outlets — like exercise or mindfulness.
Struggling mentally does not look the same for everyone. Some people may be very high-functioning, while others show clear signs that indicate depression. Sometimes, perhaps after a particularly stressful life event, people may begin feeling anger that seems irrational or uncharacteristic.
Dr. William Breitbart, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, says that when he sees patients dealing with some sort of life-changing or even life-threatening challenge, such as a cancer diagnosis, they may turn to anger as a way to cope. Read More
“One gets angry because one hasn’t quite achieved and fulfilled the tasks that they set out for their lives and the responsibilities that they’ve committed to fulfill,” Dr. Breitbart explains. Treatment may involve speaking with a professional and trying to come up with ways to achieve those goals. However, Dr. Breitbart notes that guiding these patients to accept their own vulnerability is also crucial. “The last resort of relieving existential guilt is this act of being able to forgive yourself for being a human being that is vulnerable and susceptible to not being able to fulfill their full potential. So, it’s forgiveness ultimately,” he explains. For some people, there may even be a sense of shame or guilt involved in seeking mental health treatment in the first place. However, there’s nothing to be ashamed of and it is important to realize you are not alone. In fact, the CDC reports
that according to a 2020 survey, more than 20% of American adults said they sought out mental health treatment over the past year. Among those people, 16.5% said they had taken some sort of medication for their mental health and 10.1% said they had received counseling or therapy.
Reaching out for help is never something to be embarrassed about.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Is there an outlet for me if I am experiencing anger or frustration?
- Should I consider seeing a mental health professional?
- Can you recommend a therapist based on my personal needs?
- What other healthy coping mechanisms might I consider?
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