Regaining Control of Our Anger
Has anger run amuck in America? We have always been a nation of strong opinions and diverse views, but it seems that the added stress of the economy is causing us to crack (read our Sept. 25 post). The problem with the nation’s rising anger is bedded more in emotion than reality.
Economic and government experts tell us that we will survive, that times will get better; and history tells us this is true. But so many of us have been struggling without jobs, without enough to pay our mortgages or support our families for so long, that, internally, emotionally, many of us have lost hope. We simply don’t believe that things will get better for “me.” And we’re angry about that. When events affect us personally, we’re unable to take the wider view. Constant stress turns our psyche brittle causing minor problems and small slights to elicit angry outbursts out of proportion to reality.
Poorly controlled anger fueled by anxiety and stress seems to be at the root of the pervasive rudeness that is sweeping across America. When fear and anxiety about the economy and its impact on our own lives becomes too great to handle, it either explodes outward as physical or verbal anger or is internalized as anxiety and depression. Anger needs an outlet, but unhealthy expressions of anger do not solve problems, they simply create additional problems.
There are always solutions to our problems, but there are many times, like today, when many of us may feel so overwhelmed by our problems that we cannot see those solutions. It is at times like this when many people need professional help and support from a board certified psychiatrist to cope with and find solutions to their problems. Under the direction of an experienced psychotherapist, psychodynamic therapy can help us uncover and understand the true sources of our anger and anxieties, the first step in changing destructive behavior patterns. Psychodynamic therapy is often used in concert with cognitive-behavioral therapy which can help individuals identify non-productive ways of coping with stress and anger and replace them with positive behaviors.