Anger Control Problems

People with anger control problems (ACP) often quickly react in aggressive ways when they feel insulted, wronged, or injured, especially when they think they are being treated unfairly. People struggling with this problems often blow up or explode at others. They are also quick to blame other people for their problems, without examining the role they might be playing in the situation.


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Everyone gets angry sometimes. This is normal, and sometimes it’s even necessary and helpful. If a person is being hurt, it might be beneficial to that person’s health and survival to get angry and tell the other person to stop. In other, less threatening situations, some people try to communicate and find compromises, some try to think of nonthreatening responses, and others try to distance themselves from the situation before reacting.

However, people with ACP often react in a way that is more intense and aggressive than what is needed in the situation. Some of them physically hurt others or themselves. Some take their frustrations out on objects by punching walls or kicking garbage cans. Others argue aggressively. They call others insulting names, give dirty looks, make threatening gestures, or even hold all their anger inside and stew in their own hostility, perhaps while plotting how to take revenge.

When someone is struggling with ACP, it’s readily noticed. The person gets angry very easily, frequently, and with great intensity and may remain angry for as long as an entire day. For example, a man with ACP might get angry with other drivers on the road and yell at them for driving in ways that he thinks are stupid or insulting. He might even display acts of road rage by following other drivers and cutting them off in retaliation. A woman with ACP might get into frequent arguments with store clerks and scream at them for not treating her the way she thinks she deserves to be treated. Another person might frequently yell at coworkers or employees for doing things that he or she thinks are dumb.

ACP frequently disrupts relationships and families. A person’s anger might even lead to physical fights with his or her spouse or partner, the person’s children, or maybe even strangers. In these situations, ACP can be exceptionally violent and dangerous to the individual and others.

During these episodes of anger, the person probably notices excessive physical sensations related to stress. The heart begins to race, the face and ears get hot and flushed, muscles become very tense, breathing gets faster and deeper, the palms get sweaty, and the person feels edgy or nervous. The person might also feel a little sick in the stomach, much like heartburn. These are all symptoms of the sympathetic nervous system response, the fight-or-flight response that prepares the body for emergency situations. Then, when the episode of intense anger has ended, the person with ACP might feel guilty when he or she notices that others who witnessed the situation feel very uneasy or upset.


This website is for informational purposes only and does not provide an official diagnosis. Anyone struggling with a physical or mental health problem should seek the services of a medical or psychological professional as soon as possible. Furthermore, if you’re having thoughts about suicide or hurting someone else, please see our crisis resources list, contact your local emergency services, or go to a local hospital immediately.