Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. It is often associated with frustration – things don’t always happen the way we want and people don’t always behave the way we think they should. Anger is usually linked with other negative emotions or is a response to them. You may be feeling hurt, frightened, disappointed, worried, embarrassed or frustrated, but may express these sorts of feelings as anger. Anger can also result from misunderstandings or poor communication between people.

Anger becomes a problem when it creates trouble for you with other people, your work, your health, day-to-day living or the law. Anger is also a problem when other people around you are frightened, hurt or feel they cannot talk to you or disagree with you in case you become angry. Some signs that anger is a problem are outlined here.

  • Anger involves verbal, emotional, physical or psychological abuse.
  • You feel angry a lot of the time.
  • People close to you are worried about your anger.
  • Anger is leading to problems with personal relationships and work.
  • You think you have to get angry to get what you want.
  • Anger seems to get bigger than the event that set it off.
  • Anger lasts for a long time, and well after the triggering event has passed.
  • Anger affects other situations not related to the original event.
  • You are becoming anxious or depressed about your anger.
  • You are using alcohol or other drugs to try to manage your anger.
  • You are getting angry with the people who are closest to you, or with people who are less powerful than you, rather than dealing with the situation that sparked off your anger in the first place.