Anger and addiction are two sides of the same coin. Anger can be the cause of addiction. To cope with anger issues, a person may start using drugs to temper its effects and deal with stressful situations.
On the other hand, addiction may cause anger issues. As drug abuse wreaks havoc in a person’s life, they may respond by getting angry. They may also start projecting their frustrations with themselves onto their loved ones.
By understanding how anger issues and addiction are connected, a person learns healthy ways to cope with their anger issues and start to heal.
What Is Anger?
Anger is an emotion, just like happiness and sadness. However, anger issues are not typical behavior patterns. People who experience uncontrollable bursts of anger with almost no triggers most likely have anger issues. Anger issues can significantly impact a person’s mental health, leading to other problems.
When a person gets angry, endorphins are released by the brain. These endorphins can make a person feel good. Sometimes uncontrollable bursts of anger can feel good. Therefore, a person can find pleasure in these outbursts, even if they can’t control them.
Anger issues can lead to violence if not dealt with and eventually cause drug addiction.
Anger Issues and Addiction
Though most people don’t realize it, anger issues and addiction are closely related. People who grew up in violent households are more likely to struggle with anger issues and addiction later in life. This has to do with not learning to cope with anger issues in a healthy manner. A person may turn to drugs to numb the pain and escape reality.
In some cases, anger comes first, which then leads to addiction:
- As life becomes so stressful, a person turns to drugs and alcohol to deal with their anger issues
- Anger becomes so overwhelming that a person turns to drugs to get some relief
- Anger issues lead to strained personal and professional relationships, causing the affected individual to turn to drugs to cope
While anger can put you at a greater risk of addiction, addiction can lead to rage issues and make it worse over time.
This can happen for several reasons:
- Using cocaine often leads to anger issues
- Drug and alcohol dependence can create resentment in oneself
- Problems resulting from an addiction, such as financial stress, loss of employment, strained relationships with loved ones, and legal issues, can lead to a lot of anger. The anger can be intense if these issues occur at the same time.
It is important to note that anger itself is not the issue. It is a normal emotion. Everyone feels angry at some point or another. When this anger lasts for a long time, occurs frequently, or leads to violent outbursts, it becomes dangerous.
Treatment for Anger Issues and Addiction
There are many healthy ways of coping with anger. A person should not try to reject their anger or mask it with drugs. Whether someone chooses one coping mechanism or a combination of a few, don’t be afraid to take that first step. Break free of old patterns so one does not find one’s self back in the same place.
Exercising to Manage Anger Issues and Addiction
Exercise is good for one’s physical and mental health. Professionals consider exercising a vital component of an anger management program. Exercising can be very effective, especially for people prone to violent outbursts. It acts as a healthy outlet for frustrations.
There is no specific anger management exercise routine. Remember to take it slow at first. Individuals can start with weekly yoga classes since it combines meditation and exercise. People can take an extra yoga class whenever they feel anger getting the best of them.
People can also go for a quick run or swim at the community pool to work off any stress they might be feeling. The best part is they will leave feeling relaxed and tired, with much less negative energy.
Meditating to Manage Anger and Addiction
When in recovery, it’s easy to remain sober. However, it can be easy to revert to old patterns when life becomes stressful. Just because people know drugs are not a healthy coping mechanism doesn’t make it any easier.
Meditation teaches people to stop and let go of their troubles, even for a little while. It teaches people not to focus on what they have lost but on what they do have.
The focus of meditation is on the present. The best part is that meditation can be done anywhere, anytime. No special skills are necessary.
Relying on Loved Ones to Manage Anger Issues and Addiction
A good support system is important regarding anger management and recovery. However, a person has to be willing to ask loved ones for help. Talk to friends, parents, a partner or spouse, siblings, and other loved ones and tell them they need their help.
If anger issues and addiction have caused many of these people to distance themselves from the person struggling, remember that time and hard work are key to mending these relationships. In the meantime, talk to a sponsor or counselor about 12-step programs and other support groups.
Therapy for Managing Anger and Addiction
A sponsor can help a person learn to cope with anger issues, but their ability to help is limited because they may not be trained in anger management. It is best to find a therapist in one’s area who can help find healthy ways to deal with anger. It’s even more ideal if the therapist has experience with addiction. It’s best not to be afraid to dig deep and get to the root of one’s anger issues.
Learning to Recognize Triggers to Manage Anger Issues and Addiction
Anger management requires learning to recognize the situations and people that trigger anger and violent responses. Some therapists and counselors recommend writing down things that cause anger.
These may include:
- Feeling misunderstood
- Work stress
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Family problems
- Feeling unloved
Learn to Overcome Anger Issues and Addiction
Anger issues can lead to many problems. Those that grew up in households filled with anger and hate are more likely to become addicts later in life. Unresolved anger issues can build up until they bubble up, wreaking havoc on one’s life or the lives of loved ones. Anger management can help a person maintain sobriety by healing from past trauma.
If you are struggling with anger and addiction, Restore Detox Centers can help you. Our rehab facility is made for people like you. We offer personalized treatment plans with various professionals, including therapists, physicians, counselors, and more. Contact us today to learn more about anger and addiction and how we can help.