Common Causes Of Lack Of Anger Control

Common Causes of Lack of Anger Control

We have all gotten angry at some point in our lives, whether as a result of an argument, when we have been insulted, in a traffic jam… Which is completely natural, since this emotion fulfills an adaptive function that was initially necessary for our survival.

Anger is an unpleasant emotion (especially for those around us) that arises when we feel that we are being attacked or our rights are being violated, or even when this attack is towards our loved ones or people with whom we empathize.

Anger is an emotion very similar to anger, basically being its most intense version. However, sometimes this emotion is excessively intense, losing its adaptive function. It makes us lose control and causes terrible consequences.

And why does this happen? How do we come to not have control of our actions because of anger? In this article We explain what anger attacks are and common causes of lack of anger control.

What are anger attacks?

We know as anger attacks or anger explosions the excessive reactions that people sometimes have when feeling anger. This emotion reaches such high levels of intensity that you cannot control what you do or what you say, you react irrationally and become physically and/or verbally aggressive.

Generally, anger attacks are usually triggered by situations that generate anger or frustration, but their intensity does not match the events. They can even arise from a misinterpretation, anger arising from something that has not happened. Therefore, they can be unpredictable. After an outburst of anger, people often feel briefly relieved and tired since they represent a fairly strong discharge of energy.

Given this lack of control and aggressiveness, anger attacks entail consequences on a social level, specifically with those people to whom we have directed our anger. This can imply the risk of dismissal from work, loss of friendships, breakup of a relationship… And above all, a continuous fear in the social circle of doing anything that bothers the person, and the exhaustion that this tension brings.

You may be interested:  Online Psychotherapy in Times of Coronavirus

At the same time, it is detrimental to psychological well-being. These people often feel guilty when they come to their senses and realize the damage they have caused. In extreme cases, people completely forget what happened during the attack. Furthermore, these people can end up isolated, either because their social environment has ended up rejecting them, or because the person themselves decides to isolate themselves so as not to cause physical or emotional harm to anyone.

The frequency, intensity and duration of anger attacks depend on the person, each case is different. If the three components are high, or even if they are not, the attacks of anger are causing very serious consequences (even at a legal level), it is best to go to a mental health professional to be helped and so that this problem does not resolve. chronicle over time.

Causes of lack of anger control

The causes of anger attacks are difficult to determine, since they depend on the situation and the person in whom it occurs. However, in this article we wanted to describe common causes of lack of anger control, distinguishing them into two approximate classifications: causes at a biological level and causes at a psychological level.

Causes at a biological level

One factor to take into account is age. The maturation of the prefrontal cortex, the last brain area to develop and one of the first to deteriorate, does not end until after the age of 20. The prefrontal cortex has various cognitive and executive functions, including impulse control and dampening emotions. This makes it more understandable that children, adolescents and the elderly can be more impulsive and do not have the ability to adequately manage their emotions.

Likewise, sex is decisive because emotions depend largely on our hormones. Although women are the ones who suffer the most fluctuations in hormonal levels due to menstruation, anger attacks occur more frequently in men. This is due to the male sex hormone: the higher the levels of testosterone, the lower the ability to control impulses and the more reactive the amygdala and hypothalamus, the areas of the brain in charge of emotions, become.

You may be interested:  I'm Not Sleepy, Should I Be Worried? Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The amygdala plays a very important role in anger attacks, regardless of age and gender. When the emotion we feel becomes extremely intense, the amygdala becomes overstimulated and cuts off communication with the hypothalamus, which is responsible for communicating emotions to the prefrontal cortex in order to manage them. This phenomenon is called amygdalar hijacking, since the amygdala is said to take control and inhibit the executive function of the prefrontal cortex.

The consequence is that we become purely emotional and irrational, unable to listen to reason or think clearly. This occurs when the emotion has not been managed in time so that it does not reach such high levels (due to not knowing how to identify the emotion or not having the necessary resources) or because the stimulus that caused the emotion has caused a great impact. in the person.

To these factors we add genetics, and the intensity with which we feel emotions and the predisposition we have to feel one or the other depend in part on genetic load. Finally, Substance use (such as alcohol and other disinhibiting drugs) causes the functioning of the prefrontal cortex to be altered and we are not able to control our impulses, making us more susceptible to overreacting if we feel anger.

Causes at a psychological level

As you may have noticed, impulse control is closely related to anger control, and impulse control really has a close connection with emotional management in general. When we suffer an unpleasant emotion and we are not able to bear it, impulses may appear, that is, quick behaviors that seek to end the emotion or avoid it, without thinking about the risks or consequences they entail.

Impulses, therefore, are a form of emotional management, but quite problematic; while impulse control is usually associated with good emotional management with good results. Well, let’s say that anger attacks are a concatenation of impulses that we cannot stop due to amygdalar hijacking. Therefore, after the attack of anger we feel relieved, because we have freed ourselves from discomfort for a moment.

You may be interested:  Sexual Disorders Due to Alcoholism: Causes and Treatment

Frustration intolerance It is also related to lack of anger control. If we are not able to withstand frustration, it is easy for this emotion to double in order to try to end the situations that make us feel this way. In this way, we can enter a loop of feeling frustrated for having frustration and end up having an attack of anger.

These factors would not be so relevant if it were not for the fact that these people have not learned to manage anger in any other way. This may be due to an absence of limits throughout his life, allowing him to express anger in such an expressive way without having unpleasant consequences (if nothing bad happens after having the anger attack, the anger attacks are not so serious, right?). Or the person may even not care about the serious consequences of an anger attack and that is why they allow themselves to repeat them.

It can also occur through vicarious learning: the person has grown up with another person who does not know how to manage anger and has frequent outbursts. And our forms of emotional management depend largely on what we learn in our environment. At this point, it is important to take gender roles into account, and men typically do not express emotions such as sadness (because they interpret it as a sign of weakness) and they feel frustrated by these emotions, ultimately turning it into anger.