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What Is the Connection between Asperger's and Anger?

By Rebecca Harkin
Updated Feb 10, 2024
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People who suffer from Asperger’s have a tendency to see only the extreme or worst outcome in a situation and this tendency can feed and motivate their explosive anger response. In addition, rage seems to emerge quicker in a person suffering from Asperger’s than with a person not afflicted with this condition. Asperger’s and anger are also interrelated because people suffering from this condition often do not handle their distemper in a healthy way.

One of the unique characteristics of a person with Asperger’s is that he will often need to control situations around him. As a result, a person burdened with this condition will come to rely on strict routines to prepare himself for situations and to manipulate and control outcomes. When things diverge even minutely from the norm or expected routine, a person with Asperger’s often feels he has lost control, and this feeling can lead to strong anger. Asperger’s and anger are also closely linked because people with this condition are often pessimistic, or seem to expect the worst-case scenario, causing feelings of anger in situations where others, who do not suffer from Asperger’s, are calm.

Asperger’s and anger are also linked because a person stricken with this condition will often become angry much more quickly. Asperger sufferers also often experience more intense anger. This trait makes it essential for a person with Asperger’s to learn to control his anger problems or to avoid situations that may foster anger.

Anger management has become a way for people with Asperger’s and anger control issues to abate this problem. One of the first steps in anger management is to try and avoid situations that may provoke anger. For a person with Asperger’s, this is often done by maintaining a routine and thinking ahead of time about what might disrupt the norm. If a person with Asperger’s is prepared for possible changes, he may be able to handle them and avoid the stress that may provoke exasperation. It may also be helpful for a person troubled by this condition to try and put a disruption, or unforeseen event, in context by thinking about past positive experiences where a disrupted routine worked out in the end.

Many people with Asperger’s also learn to stop and wait before they react to a situation. During their waiting period, the Asperger’s sufferer works to train his thoughts so he will arrive at a positive, rather then a pessimistic, outcome. With practice, Asperger’s sufferers may find they can control or at least lessen their anger.

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Discussion Comments
By anon995349 — On Apr 21, 2016

My best friend and family noticed that my boyfriend was quite angry. Twenty years later, he is more angry than ever. Yep, with a really fun personality. Guess what? The whole family does angry well now. Looking for a solution that is affordable. Good luck and lots of prayers to me.

By Wisedly33 — On May 14, 2014

This really does make sense. I am reminded of the story of Helen Keller, who, before she learned to communicate, would throw awful tantrums which stemmed from the frustration of a very bright child who had no way to tell others what she wanted and/or needed. Once she learned to communicate, the tantrums decreased dramatically.

I have to believe a huge part of the tendency for those with Asperger's and autism to have anger issues is because they become so frustrated.

By Scrbblchick — On May 13, 2014

The anger response often begins in early childhood. Some Asperger's children are easily frustrated when other people are not able to understand what they want or need, so the Asperger's child has a tantrum. It may be the child's only way to express strong emotion.

Then, as the person matures, the same communication deficit may exist, and the person has been accustomed from childhood to the notion that no one will understand him, so he naturally expects the worst to happen.

This is why early diagnosis is so crucial. Parents and therapists can start helping the child learn to express himself early on so that he doesn't become as frustrated and situation outcomes are much more positive.

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