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Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1765
Experience:  More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
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My isssue is when I get upset I get into this violent temper?

Customer Question

My isssue is when I get upset I get into this violent temper? I do this almost every time. I have been having this demon for the longest time. It's up to the point whereas its affecting my job, my relationships, and reacting socially with people. I need any assistance.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 3 years ago.

I would be happy to help you with your question.


Please know that you are not alone. Many people have a difficult time controlling their temper. Studies have shown that it is not just men or women, but both sexes and that even culture and temperament have a link. Some people are just more prone to not being able to control strong feelings than others.


This issue, for you however, has grown past what is typical. Right now your temper has you and you do not have it. What should you do?


Realize that anger and temper outbursts are part of what are called secondary reactions. Rarely are outbursts of temper purely about anger. They are usually about something else. For example, although a person may react in anger to a situation, the real feelings behind the anger may be hurt, betrayal, sadness, feelings of isolation, etc. Many of these feelings can fuel outbursts of temper. And, most typically, the reason you are having a difficult time with controlling the anger is that these secondary feeling are present and are not being fully controlled themselves.


A good rule in psychology to follow is that if your reaction (temper) is bigger and more intense than you would think fits the circumstances than it is usually another feeling fueling the anger and temper. Until those are addressed the problem tends to remain.


Best practice for this issue is to rule out any physical causes of this issue. Yes, there are problems like Intermittent Explosive Disorder that are physical in nature and medications are often used to assist in controlling the problem. Most cases of loss of temper are not caused by this; however, it is still a good idea to have this issue ruled out. Then, once it is a face to face with a counselor is most often helpful. Like iron sharpens iron we need others to help us see out blind spots, to hold us accountable and to explore those feelings that fire temper and anger. With short term therapy, especially something called CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) you can feel much better and less likely to have these trigger moments. Your family doctor usually knows the best local therapists and is another reason to start with him/her.


Take heart. Although difficult, this issue with support and help can be resolved. Steven

Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 3 years ago.
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