Learn to control anger


Learn to control anger


your avatar   "Madwomen," 28 years old

I'm a 28-year-old mother of two boys and a soon-to-be wife. I have been dealing with anger for years. In the past two years, I had to give my oldest son to my mother because I couldn't take care of him - I had money problems. It's been very stressful and upsetting that I don't have my son and I can't take care of him.

I have so much anger built up in me. Most of the time, I let my anger out on my two-year-old son. I don't hit him; I just scream and yell at him all the time. I feel like a bad mother because of that. My relationship with his father is rocky because of me. My soon-to-be-husband is sweet and caring but his cold-heartedness comes out to me more than his love.

I'm so mad all the time. I need to know what I can do to keep my anger from coming out more. I want to be happy and to know how to control myself before I take myself out of this world or lose my family. I'm an emotional rollercoaster. Help me please.


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

My dear,

First we need to find out if something physical is responsible for your anger problems. One of your glands like adrenals or thyroid could be overactive, for example. This needs a suitable medical test.

Second, you may have formed the habit of dealing with your life by using some substance. Examples of possible problem substances are alcohol, marijuana, caffeine in excess (coffee, cola, chocolate etc.), or stimulants like "speed." If you are using anything like that, you can do an experiment. Go 100% without it for 3 weeks, and keep monitoring your anger. Then, return to your current level of use. If the substance was responsible, you will have a gradual reduction in anger, and when you start with it again the problem should become even worse. Of course, if that's the case it's easy to fix. Just stop using that, whatever-it-is.

More likely, your problem is a habit of thought and emotion. Even if there is a physical or chemical cause, you will have built up such habits, so what I am going to recommend will help. I describe in detail what you can do about this in an inexpensive little e-book, available from Twilight Times Books I think the price is about $5. In addition to what you'll read in that book, the following should help:

When you are feeling angry, that's an invitation, not a command. It says, "Throw a tantrum now!" If you can just take one breath, and in that time say to yourself, "Yes I am angry. Now, how do I handle this situation?" then you will be able to choose from among 5 different ways of reacting:

1. Yes, this situation deserves a tantrum. I can throw one, but it's by choice, not an automatic, unthinking reaction I'll later be sorry for.

2. No, this is a minor issue. I'll let it go.

3. I'll calmly and assertively defend myself without attacking or being aggressive.

4. I'll walk away from the situation for a few moments, calm myself down until my pulse rate becomes slower, then return and deal with it reasonably.

5. I'll turn the situation aside with some humor.

All you need is that little bit of breathing space. In my book, I describe how to develop a switch for turning anger off, and how to develop an early warning signal for coming anger. It takes 2 weeks of regular practice of doing something that feels pleasant.

Good luck,


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com


Emotional eating is a hunger that cannot be satiated by food.
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The root of almost all troubles is a lack of self-love.