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Thread: Vicious Cycle

  1. #1

    Vicious Cycle

    I've been suffering from Anger problems my whole life although only recently (2 months) have I learned that my anger is an addiction. At certain times of my life, I've attended various forms of therapy, mostly for depresion and anxiety.

    I've lost a lot of relationships through Anger even though it seems like my side of the argument is always the right side and the other person did me wrong somehow. I've broken many glasses, cell phones, and walls as well. I've never been violent with women although I've shoved and hit men that I was angry with. I've also been known to terrorize telemarkers and utility customer support people for sport.

    My current state is that I just got married in October and am now writing on a house in the San Francisco area. I am generally considered a mellow guy that most people consider as "too nice" except for the fact that I have major anger outbursts about once every 2-3 weeks. I have been seeing a therapist for 3 months now which was triggered by some really bad outbursts that I was having with my wife in the month leading up to our wedding.

    Last night I had another major outburst with my wife and I thought my marriage was done. I went over a new line this time and held her to stop her from trying to get away from me (I feel like she is abandoning me and it drives me even more over the edge). I also broke a wooden chair over our washing machine in the garage and later on my wife told me she was terrified of me and glad that we dont keep guns. Part of the reason for the conflict was we had been out to the bar with some of her friends after an especially stressful day of trying to make an offer on a house. We've both been under a lot of stress during the entire process of buying a house and I started blaming her for making us bid too low like she wanted to sabatoge the bid and not get the house on purpose because she really wanted to live in a different place that we couldnt afford.

    I'm really upset that I screwed up. I feel like if I do this just one more time, my relationship will probably be over and we will have a lot of baggage to take care of (selling the house) when we finally split. I don't trust myself that I can keep my cool. I've been making a lot of progress in therapy and trying to really get at the root causes for my anger. It seems like this is an impossible problem to make progress on. Right after an attack happens, I work on it hard, things seem to be going well, we start gradually getting into small bicker sessions and then, wham, another outburst that is slightly worst than the last. Each time it feels like everything is lost and there is no going back.

    I just don't know what to do other than putting more time into solving this problem. In addition to my 1 hour of therapy a week, I'm considering spending more time on a forum like this for support in between my sessions, going to an Anger Management support group, going to regular Meditation, etc. I'm not sure how I will find time to work.

    I don't know how to control the part of me that is out of control!

  2. #2

    Vicious Cycle

    Quick question for you, hon. You said you and your wife had been out to a bar before this outburst occurred. Do you find that these outbursts occur more when you have been drinking? How about caffeine or nicotine? Does use of those products have any effect on your outbursts of anger?

  3. #3

    Vicious Cycle

    Yea, actually, today I decided to give up drinking until I have a handle on my other issues. I do get angry and have bad outbursts when I havent had a drink at all but it does seem like it's easier to slip into it when I've had a few drinks.

    One of my root problems is anxiety, guilt, and insecurity which also get magnified the next day if I have a hangover. It just seems like a good idea to put that aside.

  4. #4

    Vicious Cycle

    That's definitely a good idea! So many people with anger issues find that the ingestion of alcohol only complicates the problem, and makes their efforts to cope a lot more difficult. If I were you, I'd stick to orange juice. ;)

    Are you on any medications for the anxiety? There are a lot of medications that could help you, and I'm sure your doctor would be happy to help you find something that will enable you to make better use of your therapy.

  5. #5

    Vicious Cycle

    I've thought about medication but haven't tried it yet. My current therapist works with expressive arts therapy and she wanted to try some Homeopathic options first.

    I'm not sure what to expect in the way of progress though. I'm not sure when I should just go for the meds. Every week with this therapist I make progress and have break thoughs. I just don't know if I should be patient and be happy with the progress I've made so far.

    Will Meds stop the Anger attacks?

  6. #6

    Vicious Cycle

    If anxiety is one of your issues, there are certainly medications that will help with that. If very high levels of anxiety are what triggers your anger outbursts, the medications could help you get control.

  7. #7

    Vicious Cycle

    I'm going to talk to my therapist about it next time I see her. I really feel like I'm one bad argument away from losing everything. I think I may need to pull out the big guns now and maybe scale back later on once I make more progress in other areas.

  8. #8

    Vicious Cycle

    That's what I'd do, if I were you. If things are getting so bad that you're afraid you're going to lose everything you've worked for, this is the time to take steps to get control. If medications can help you do that, it would seem to be to be prudent to get them started. Heck, anything is worth trying if it will save your marriage, and allow you to live the life you want to live, and were meant to live, hon. :)

  9. #9

    Vicious Cycle

    I'll just add this to what ThatLady has said: The medications that are most often prescribed for anxiety these days are the same ones prescribed for depression, eating disorders, OCD, and other issues -- the SSRIs. And they are also often helpful with anger. Talk to your therapist about this. Then get a second opinion from your physician.

    Frankly, a lot of times, especially in men, anger is the result of covert/masked depression or a masked anxiety disorder, as ThatLady suggests. And frankly, if it is as big a problem as you say, I have strong doubts that homeopathic remedies will be much help.

  10. #10

    Vicious Cycle

    a lot of times, especially in men, anger is the result of covert/masked depression or a masked anxiety disorder
    Why especially in men? (curious - not testing you) ;)

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