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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My son, age 41 has anger management problems and low self

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My son, age 41 has anger management problems and low self esteem. I think he may have been bullied in grade school but won't talk about it. I have been trying for years to get him to see someone about this but he dosen't think he has a problem. His anger has cost him jobs in the past and is putting a big strain on his marriage. Bipolar disorder is in my family however he does not exhibit the severe swings I have seen in other family members. Because of recent anger issues he has reluctantly agreed to see someone. My question is should he see a psychologist or a physchiatrist and do you have any reccomendations who. Also is there a way I can give the doctor a heads up on what we feel some of the issues are before his visit. If he changes his mind about seeing someone should we have a family meeting with him to force the issue or will he just have to reach rock bottom and decide on his own. Please advise. Thanks
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is a great idea to have your son see a therapist for an evaluation. A psychologist or a Master's Level therapist would both be qualified to provide your son with an evaluation. Psychiatrists can as well, if you feel that medication is a priority. Psychiatrists will see people for therapy, but their focus is usually medication.

To find a therapist, talk with your son's doctor for a referral. Or you can search on line at This link may also help:

Any therapist is going to welcome your input about what is going on with your son. When you make the appointment, let the therapist know about what you have been seeing with your son. Describe the problem, history, and the current symptoms he has. Also, if he is on any medications make a list. The therapist may also want to talk with you during the assessment for additional information.

If your son decides not to follow through, it is a good idea to talk with him as a family. But because of his anger issues, you may want to include someone who is neutral, like a counselor or pastor. Your son may feel he is getting ganged up on and become even more angry, making it too difficult to help him.

Letting him decline himself is ok too. It just will be hard on you and the rest of the family to cope with. If you feel you would rather take this route, be sure to consider therapy for the family so you have support and can learn of ways to cope.

If you need further guidance on finding a therapist, let me know.

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Could bipolar disorder possibly be an issue here. If not are anger management issues and low self esteem problems easily fixed.

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Yes, he could have Bipolar. He could just have less intense symptoms of the disorder. It could also be Intermittent Explosive disorder. Self esteem issues can contribute, but to be angry enough that others are disturbed by your behavior indicates an issue bigger than self esteem.

Here are some links that might help you:

These links may help you pinpoint the symptoms your son has and make it easier to tell the therapist what is going on with him.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
You didn't answer my last question regarding these problems being easy to fix and you never indicated whether being bullied as a child could have anything to do with his problems.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

It depends on your son's issues. Self esteem can take a while to work out if someone has deep seated abuse or trauma adding to their problems. Being bullied can greatly affect self esteem and depending on the type of abuse and length of it, as well as your son's personality and other issues, treatment can either be smooth or take a while. It also depends on how willing he is to seek help and stick with it. If he is resistant, therapy could take longer. That is why an assessment is vital. The therapist will take a lengthy history, information about his current symptoms and any other relevant information to determine the disorder he has and the treatment plan. If your son is willing to be seen, treatment could be effective almost immediately.


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Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I hope you got all the information you needed today. Please let me know how I can help any further!