Are you a Veteran struggling to control your anger? Does it affect your relationships, day to day life and wellbeing? Or are you affected by a loved one’s anger issues?
Help for Heroes Psychological Wellbeing Advisor Kathryn Spence has some advice.
Experiencing anger is a natural human reaction to threat and can be a good way of protecting ourselves. However, if anger is used in a destructive way, it can leave you feeling guilty and full of regret for the consequences of your behaviour. Anger can be harmful to anyone who is exposed to it. Learning to manage and express feelings better can improve your life and the lives of the people around you.
If anger regularly controls you, rather than you being able to control your anger, then support is available.
Hidden Wounds is a free and confidential service run by Help for Heroes that offers treatment and support for people wishing to learn how to manage their anger better. You can reach them by calling 0808 2020 144 (free from UK landlines) or by requesting more information from them here.
If it is left unresolved, anger has been found to affect us both physically and mentally. Out of control anger has been linked to high blood pressure, depression, poor sleep, anxiety and heart attacks. Keeping in anger can be just as damaging to your health as expressing it in an aggressive way.
In addition, chronic anger can cause problems between friendships and lead to breakdowns in relationships. Often people can feel uncomfortable and may be wary of how you might react to them. This can potentially damage trust in relationships. People who express explosive anger can be perceived by others to be showing bullying behaviours. Anger can be very emotionally damaging for children to witness.
Being able to handle other people’s opinions and control your emotions will mean people are more likely to listen to and communicate with you more meaningfully. Having a better awareness of how anger affects you can help you to take the first steps in calming yourself down.
“But I can’t stop myself getting angry…”
Learning how to express your opinions and needs without resorting to either a verbal or physical anger reactions is within your control. You may find that the situation you find yourself in may not be in your control, but how you respond is a matter of choice. You can learn new techniques to help you express your feelings constructively.
As well as Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds, support can also be accessed via your GP. They can link you in with courses or counselling services in your area that are right for you.
You can also get help from Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 or Mankind on 01823 334 244 with issues of domestic abuse or violence. If you are worried that your own behaviour has become abusive, you can contact Respect on 0808 802 4040.
Support can also be sought from Refuge, Women's Aid or the Alternatives to Violence Project, if you feel that you are affected by someone else’s anger and it is leading to violence or threatening behaviour within the home. You can also access support from Hidden Wounds if you are affected by someone else’s mental health, including if they have issues with anger.
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