Treating PTSD: Learning to Manage Anger

manage angerPost traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a highly misunderstood condition. Many people associate it with soldiers who have been in a war, and while PTSD does affect many war veterans, anyone who has experienced any type of trauma may develop post traumatic stress disorder.

Symptoms of PTSD may be hard to pinpoint directly, as they may often be associated with a variety of other conditions, and can even be mistaken for an emotional imbalance or a difficult personality. One such symptom of PTSD is uncontrollable anger. It is not unusual for people who suffer from PTSD to experience bouts of rage that seem to spring up from out of nowhere. It goes without saying that this can affect a person’s life in a number of negative ways, so it is therefore very important that a sufferer of post traumatic stress disorder find ways to handle anger.

Here are the facts about learning to manage anger and the treatment of PTSD:

The Anger/PTSD Cconnection

Anger is a natural emotion that we all experience. It is generally associated with control – we feel angry when we feel out of control, or victimized by circumstances. People who develop post traumatic stress disorder do so because they have experienced a traumatic life event. They relive this event even long after the event has passed, and the feelings associated with the event spring up on a regular basis. These feelings are hard to deal with and can make the sufferer feel out of control. Anger comes to the surface as a reaction to this stress.

Constructive Versus Destructive Anger

Constructive anger is anger that you can learn from. Through evaluating the source of anger and examining how the anger is affecting you, you can evolve as a person and learn new ways of approaching troubling situations. Destructive anger is anger that causes you to harm either yourself or your surroundings. The goal of anger management in PTSD patients is to help them convert destructive anger into constructive anger.

Effective Anger Management

There are a number of techniques that can be used to manage anger. These are best learned with the help of a qualified therapist, and include things like time outs, deep breathing, mindfulness, stress management coping skills, physical activity, journaling, practicing a hobby, crying, and expressing yourself through a support network.

When it comes to the treatment of PTSD, anger management can be one of the most difficult factors to deal with. Fortunately, there are healthy ways to manage anger and get past the negative consequences of PTSD-related feelings.

About the Author:
Thaddeus Knoth works as a phlebotomist training instructor but has his own experiences with PTSD. When he’s not working, he volunteers at a local VA hospital and counsels individuals suffering from PTSD.

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