Anger Is Not Inherently Bad

Terri Peng, LCSW/LICSW on Jul 26, 2022 in Treatment Orientation

Anger is a natural human emotion. Just like everyone gets happy and sad, everyone gets angry too. Yes, even the Pope gets angry. (Have you seen the hand slapping video on YouTube? LOL.)

So anger is not inherently bad. In fact, anger has even been used for good — to fight racism and to fight for justice, feminism, voting rights, etc. In these examples, anger was manifested into something positive with outcomes for good. And in all these scenarios, anger was justified. Sometimes, we have every right to be angry. If someone wrongs us, we should be angry, right? It’s natural. After all, we’re only human.

On the other hand, when we have prolonged, unmanaged anger, it can become a problem. Uncontrolled anger can lead to a plethora of negative outcomes such as verbal fights, physical fights, lashing out, and in some cases, even self-harm. This then leads to another plethora of negative outcomes such as guilt, shame, embarrassment, regret… The list goes on.

Have you ever heard someone say that anger can kill you the fastest? Well I don’t know about fastest, but it definitely does kill you. Literally.

We all have heard of cortisol, the stress hormone in your body. This is produced from things like stress and anger. Have you ever felt nauseous, dizzy, or had aggressive heart palpitations due to anger? I know I have. I have even had past clients tell me that they have “blacked out” from anger, leading them to forget what even happened in the moment. (It’s a real thing.)

Believe it or not, there are several short- and long-term effects/health problems associated with unmanaged anger. Some of these include but are not limited to the following: headaches, digestion problems, depression/anxiety, sleep disturbances or insomnia, skin problems (i.e., eczema flaring up or acne), high blood pressure, and even higher chances of heart attacks and/or strokes down the line.

Anger is not inherently bad, but when it is repressed, ignored, and/or unmanaged, it is bad.

Terri Peng is a Clinical Social Worker in Allen, TX.

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