Anger is like a drug, and you can develop an anger habit the way some people develop a drug habit. You can become addicted to anger. Strong anger has an excited high effect. It is like using cocaine, then using heroin immediately after when the tension is released. The anger outburst feels like a cocaine rush, making you feel powerful and then when the anger subsides, you feel a sense of relief that is like the relaxed feeling of heroin.
So how do you develop an anger habit or addiction? You use anger over and over, and experience a high each time you use it. The brain enjoys the high and wants to repeat it, and so you continue getting high on anger over and over again. Finally, it becomes a habit because you get addicted to the high produced by the anger.
Drug addicts develop a high tolerance to their drug. They need more and more of the drug to feel high. A high tolerance is a hallmark of addiction.
Alcoholics are addicted to the drug called alcohol. They develop a high tolerance to alcohol and need more and more to get that high feeling. They also suffer from hangovers and feel guilt and shame the next day.
Angry people get drunk on anger. Like alcoholics they develop a high tolerance to their drug anger. They need to use more and more anger to get that high feeling. Like alcoholics, they too have anger hangovers. They feel tired, feel guilt and shame the next day.
Somewhere along the line, anger abusers learned how to use anger inappropriately and their anger became out of line. It became a pattern and a habit. They used anger to deal with the world and the more they used it, the more it became addictive and they forgot how to use other ways to get their needs met. Anger addicts let their anger get out of control, the way an alcoholic’s drinking gets out of control.
If you are feeling out of control, we can help. At angermanagementonline.com there is nothing we haven’t heard before when it comes to addictive anger. We are here to help you in a non judgmental environment with compassion and respect. It isn’t about what brings you to anger management; it is about where you go from here that matters.