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What Are the Signs of Anger Disorder?

By Tara Barnett
Updated Feb 16, 2024
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The signs of anger disorder vary from person to person because anger is an emotion that is expressed in many different ways. Even so, it is much more likely for a person who is prone to violent outbursts of anger to be diagnosed with this condition than it is for a person who takes out his or her anger in non-violent ways. This disorder is typically identified in the absence of other mental illnesses, so the presence of outbursts of anger among otherwise normal behavior is a common sign. Usually, this type of mental illness is characterized by anger without cause rather than justifiable anger as a response to a trying situation.

Just because a person is angry frequently does not mean that he or she is showing signs of anger disorder. Anger disorder is a very specific type of anger that occurs in the absence of any reasonable cause. A person who is prone to anger and violent outbursts may be unaware that the emotion he or she is feeling is a result of stress, anxiety, or even the unfairness of life. If a person does not understand why he or she is feeling upset, it may be difficult to differentiate justifiable anger from anger without cause.

One of the primary signs of anger disorder is extreme rage and uncontrollable impulses relating to anger. This typically means that the emotion does not take a vindictive or strategic manifestation, but rather is often characterized by temper tantrums and destruction of property. Injury to others is very common as a sign of anger disorder, but it is important to note that anger is different that sadism. Almost always, a person with this disorder does not take pleasure in hurting other people.

Although it is not a symptom, one common sign of this disorder is actually a reaction to the disorder itself. Many people with this disorder begin to notice that other people act cautiously when in their presence to avoid setting them off. People may inform them that they may have an anger disorder, which the person typically denies both verbally and internally. Outward recognition of anger on a frequent basis is a very common sign that someone may have a real problem.

Most of the time, the solution to this type of disorder is to learn how to control the actions associated with the negative feelings. This may be facilitated by drugs, therapy, or other remedies. As such, if someone finds that he can easily control feelings of anger and impulses, then he likely does not have this disorder. Compelling negative feelings may be ameliorated by speaking with a therapist or trusted friend, even if they are not symptoms of a true disorder.

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