Anxiety Shows Through Anger, Not Only Fear

anxiety and anger

Your chances of consistently managing anger, anxiety, resentment, and stress, without becoming a better person, are practically zero, states the Anger, Anxiety, Resentment, Stress, and Basic Humanity page. You might have heard some clergyman or clergywoman say the same thing, and been bored to hear it AGAIN. But the truth is, dull as it might be, is that anger is Anxiety on a wild streak, so to speak. Fear is only part of the picture. Here’s a look at some graphics about anxiety, an at-a-glance FYI.

You might be familiar with Joyce Carol Oates’ novel We Were the Mulvaneys and the movie based on the book. A classic depiction of anxiety on many levels, the story is a sad account of how the members of one fictional family fell apart due to heartbreak. The rape of a high school daughter, facilitated by the rapist who made her drunk when she didn’t realize that he’d spiked her orange juice with liquor, resulted in anxiety for everyone involved. That anxiety was expressed in various ways by specific members of the girl’s beleaguered family. For reasons unknown, nobody in the family sought mental health counseling to deal with their emotions and mindsets. They lost the opportunity to assess the heartache, to learn coping mechanisms for their searing emotional pain, and to pursue a productive life ever after.

A vicarious experience, as literature always is, We Were the Mulvaneys  lets readers recognize their own weaknesses and anxieties in the story. Movies do that too. So do opera, plays and other dramatic presentations. They let the public recognize, then to come to terms with the issues bothering them in a cathartic experience. Educated and interested readers and viewers can release pent-up emotions and then pursue solutions to their anxiety whether it is expressed as anger, fear, obsession or some other manifestation of concern. But there’s no need to experience the arts in order to recognize and to resolve anger or anxiety. Mortals know when they are anxious without having to leave home, school or the office. They can seek out help at will.

Dealing with Anxiety

Psychologist Dr. Melanie Badalie opines that anger is not a symptom of anxiety, that the two are merely overlapping emotional experiences with some common features. Several mental health professionals differ with her assessment in the article When anxiety turns into anger, experts say you shouldn’t ignore it. However, Badalie’s three tips for managing anxiety and anger at the end of the article can help anyone feeling distressed even if the issue is using restrooms in public, fearing darkness, or some other matter. No debates about the benefits of mental health therapy are necessary. They’re rather evident in the people who benefit from therapeutic input.

Anxiety can Make you Sick

Let’s look at anger and anxiety from another perspective. The fact is that “Anger is a powerful emotion with serious health consequences. A new study from Concordia University shows that for millions of individuals around the world who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), anger is more than an emotion; it’s an agent that exacerbates their illness,” proves the reality, according to Concordia University researchers. The Understanding anger, overcoming anxiety article can enlighten readers to some of the psychological intricacies involved.

Anxiety is a Matter of Character

Engaged couples usually experience anxiety and anger. If they don’t they’re a rare minority. An article entitled What Nobody Tells You about Engagements shares insights into the normality of that anxiety and anger, and why the engagement period exists: It is an opportunity to learn more about each other’s character, to share mutual anxiety and then to address it as a couple supporting each other. It is a period of time for discovering if the other person, or you yourself, are not yet ready to deal with some of the stresses in a co-joined life.

Think about some of the couples you know. Are they responding to anxiety with coldness, being unavailable to the other “partner,” or otherwise obstructing progress as they fail to deal with some sort of anxiety? How many times have you or someone else remarked that “X is afraid of,” or “angry about” aspects of the engagement? When has it been said or considered for people in other situations, and why? Those comments and the scenarios which evoked them are life lessons for the rest of us. Learn from them with focused thought, and with discussions among people you respect. If you want to help someone with anxiety, engaged or not, read How to Help Someone With Anxiety.

Controlling Anxiety instead of Letting it Control You

Here’s a look at how not to let anxiety control your life. Think about that before reading the next paragraph. Get into the idea of anxiety, anger and fear, hesitancy and all the other anxiety-related possibilities before thinking about another aspect of the problem. I’ll wait.

Now what if you’re a teen, inexperienced at this adult stuff about self-control, insight and everything? You’ve got zits, body odor and body fluid that you can’t control, peer pressure and classes to pass. Parents, teachers and classmates give you anxiety without even trying. That’s why the New York Times has an article entitled Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety? It includes references to social media as an anxiety-inducing problem (cyberbullying has taken the world by the eyeballs, humiliating defenseless people. Spending anxiety-inducing amounts of time on social media that is better spent in other pursuits is another problem). Reading the What is Social Anxiety? article clues us in to the unpleasant realities of social expectations that might or might not be realistic. Either way, if anxious unhappiness interrupts someone’s life, they have anxiety, and they just might be quite angry about that.

#Me, Too

The recent “#Me, too” hashtag phenomenon that swept across social media resulted from mass media’s coverage of rape charges against several Hollywood figures. An outlet for anxieties associated with the topic of rape, the intimidation of females by powerful and manipulative males, social media’s “#Me, too” hashtag gave a platform to victims and almost-victims of rape, allowing for the lowering, and perhaps the riddance, of their related anxieties. Jackson Katz has been working for years to prevent the problem altogether by educating males and the wider public about Violence against Women is a Men’s Issue. That video and his The Macho Paradox video are easing related anxieties in some viewers who are now able to present their concerns to other people in a coherent, easily presented manner. Validation by experts does a lot of good for people too anxious to address a a problem alone.

Self-Help for Anxiety, Anger, Fear, Name the Emotion

What about the standstill when anxious people don’t try to resolve their anxiety and the ways they express it? The only option left, when someone else isn’t improving, is to improve yourself and thus your response to problems. The Recovery International Mental Health Peer to Peer Self Help groups organization has an excellent and decades-long reputation for helping people to calm down and to separate facts, fears and fictions from each other. Based on the insights and teachings of neuropsychiatrist Dr. Abraham Lowe, Recovery International is a gently paced program for recognizing and discussing your anxieties with sympathetic people struggling just as you are, or enjoying the learned freedom from anxiety by staying up-to-date with peer meetings and book discussions. The organization sells the Mental Health Through Will Training book on which Recovery meetings are based, and other reading plus audio materials. Here’s a short video about The Words & Wisdom of Abraham Low.

Books and videos, even the rest of the arts, are one thing for lowering anxiety. Animals are another. Pet therapy is an enduring part of the mental health world and its wisdom. The Can You Get a Service Dog for Anxiety? article explains why the technique works to some extent. But what if you don’t want to interact with a dog? Click the link for Can an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Help with my Anxiety?  to learn of horses, birds and other creatures that might suit your needs.

Service animals have pleasant temperaments when they’re born. Trainers teach the animals skills for making the most of the animal’s intelligence and patience so they can help people past their problems. No matter how unhappy the client feels, their service animal wants see them through and past the issue at hand. Their physical warmth is soothing, as are their gentle eyes and behavior. Like books, videos and similar materials, they won’t criticize their user but instead remain available as needed. Be careful when seeking a service animals’ help:  phony representations of a pet as a service animal brings a bad reputation to the person trying to con someone with it. You need to verify that a service animal is from a reputable source, properly vaccinated and in good health.

Since animals are not to everyone’s liking, it’s helpful to know that all the calming programs and options mentioned above remain available to anxious, angry and fearful people. Other options exist, too, such as these anger management charts.

A focused discussion with an online or in-office therapist can inform you of the various calming choices before you. And perhaps the time it will take you to resolve your anxiety won’t be as long or as unpleasant as you figured would be necessary. If you’re not sure that your concerns are anxiety, compare them to these 5 Graphs to Help You to Understand what Anxiety Feels Like.

You’re NOT the Only One, Really.

One more thing: Listen in to this The Secret to Living Longer may be Your Social Life video about to live a long, healthy life. Read the transcript, to make that you won’t miss any thoughts in the presentation. There’s evidence that “social integration,” interacting with society, eye contact, and friendships are the secrets to living longer – even healthier – lives. Each of those activities lowers anxiety, fear and anger. Reaching out in kindness, even if you have to fake it to make it, can work in your favor until sociability becomes automatic pilot for your behavior.

Enjoy the poker games, good food, optimal hormone levels, and mutually supportive interaction referenced in the above presentation. If you’re willing to lighten up a bit about yourself, find out what the acronym OCEAN, the name “Charles” and having a puzzling personality says about your ability to cope with life here. It all comes down to one thing: Laughter lets you cope with maddening realities.

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Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts a healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.
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