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Anger Management Issues: Definition & Symptoms

Instructor: Karin Gonzalez

Karin has taught middle and high school Health and has a master's degree in social work.

Getting angry at the slightest annoyances or inability to let go of angry feelings are just a couple of symptoms of anger management issues. Learn the definition and symptoms of anger management issues in this lesson.

What Are Anger Management Issues?

We've all heard someone say 'You have anger issues!' However, what does that exactly mean? When a person has anger management issues, it usually means that they have trouble managing their anger and often act out their anger in a destructive, rather than constructive, manner. It is normal for humans to sometimes lose control of their tempers by means of yelling or screaming. In fact, anger is a completely normal and valid emotion that all humans feel sometimes.

Yet a person with anger issues usually curses, criticizes, yells, screams, hits, punches walls, etc. on a regular basis. Anger issues can negatively affect many aspects of a person's life, including relational and professional. There are several indicators or symptoms of anger management issues that we will discuss in the rest of this lesson.

Symptoms of Anger Management Issues

Richard, a college student, has become so angry with teachers or classmates during lectures and discussions that he has been asked to leave the room. Richard also has a long history of failed relationships with women because of his tendency to get so angry that it scares them off. After being told by many people that he has anger issues, Richard decides to visit a therapist who can tell him whether or not his anger truly is a problem.

Richard's therapist reviews the following list of symptoms of anger management issues with Richard and asks Richard if he can think of any scenarios of which he has experienced these symptoms.

Hurting oneself

Richard recalls that he did punch a few holes in walls while enraged. He adds that he has hurt his fist in the process.

Hurting others

Richard recalls that he once pinned his ex-girlfriend against a wall; she claimed that he hurt her arms with his grip and broke up with him the very next day.

Getting irritated at the slightest annoyances

Richard admits that he yells at drivers who are driving too slow daily.

Intolerant of other's weaknesses or mistakes

Richard shouted at the grocery store cashier last week who accidentally rang up an item twice. He also threw a tantrum when his college professor accidentally misgraded one of his school assignments.

Inflexibility when plans change

Richard was excited to have a weekend to himself. Then his parents unexpectedly surprised him one Friday afternoon after a long flight from his home state. Richard exploded at his parents for not having the decency to let him know they were coming.

Intolerance to criticism

Richard's ex-girlfriend politely asked him to try to remember not to leave his clothes on the floor so that they could keep a clean apartment. This small request enraged Richard and turned into a full-blown fight.

Lack of sense of humor

Richard accidentally wore two different socks on one day, and a classmate pointed the mistake out while laughing with Richard. Richard became angry at his classmate instead of being able to look at the situation humorously.

Feeling the need to commit revenge

Richard was so furious with a professor for giving him a bad grade that he told himself that he would find a way to embarrass the professor in front of the entire class the next day.

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