Help for seriously destructive anger.
December 6, 2011 8:03 AM   Subscribe

Acute anger treatment. Have you sought it or helped a loved one seek it? What are some treatment options and/or some family help organizations?

This is a seeking-resources question rather than an "interpret my situation" question (because, while I can give a little background, I'm too concerned about preserving anonymity to give all the relevant details).

Someone very close to me recently admitted that (as I had clearly felt, but she'd denied until this point) her anger levels are severely elevated. They have been elevated all her life, and they are essentially constant and include frequent instinct toward physical violence (she explicitly clarified this is a literal instinct, not a metaphor/exaggeration). Instead of ever actually being violent, she has always "controlled" this instinct into short verbal outbursts of anger, which happen frequently and affect those around her. She radiates barely-controlled anger, which has seriously damaged my relationship with her and which strongly affects all of us in her family (including a child much too young to understand what's happening).

She has a medical condition that negatively affects mood; she is finally seeking appropriate treatment for it again (after two years of avoidance and denial), but that treatment is only a partial solution. She has no other medical issues and no substance abuse issues. She had a childhood filled with angry outbursts and denial/silence, no physical abuse but emotional abuse.

I want to help her and I want to preserve our family unit as it is. We've reached a number of crisis points without any external help, and I've been severely worn down (particularly by her denial in the past that anything of concern was really going on). Now this current point is a potential breakthrough, because she's admitted the severity of the situation and its impact on the rest of us, but it won't be useful if we can't figure out possibilities re. what to do from here.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have no idea if my anger issues were as bad as this person's have been, and obviously I am but a sample size of one, but I found the methods given in How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You to be extremely helpful.
posted by noahpoah at 8:26 AM on December 6, 2011

Contact your local women's resource center. Many offer supportive anger-education classes for women. At the least, they should be knowledgeable about these resources in your area.
posted by oceanmorning at 4:43 PM on December 6, 2011

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