Humans are prone to getting angry because anger is a natural response connected to our fight and flight reaction as part of our sympathetic nervous system. Some men are prone to getting very angry. Men can have angry reactions to anything which sets them off. Other men are prone to rage. Men who rage don’t just get angry. Raging men are the men who get explosive, violent, belligerently angry, blinded with out of control emotions. These men find themselves in trouble with the law, in trouble with gangs, family members, friends, and often, with drugs and alcohol. Anger management is a part of the recovery process for many men in treatment from drug and alcohol addiction. Men aren’t taught how to handle their anger. Mainstream media narratives exacerbate male testosterone, showing men that the only way to act “manly” is to get “angry”. Moments of great strength on the behalf of primary male characters often happens out of rage or anger.
Anger versus Rage
Rage is the boiling point of anger. Anger can be a series of emotions, feelings, and physical reactions. Rage is when the lid is coming off the pot and there is no mechanisms left to stop the water from boiling over. Anger is an expression, even when it is an unbridled expression. Rage is more like a temper tantrum, quickly escalating from something which can be calmed down to a state which could cause significant harm to a man who is raging or the people he is raging at.
Anger can be healthy or unhealthy. Rage is the most unhealthy form of anger. Unhealthy anger is obsessive and resentful. Being hostile, acting bitter, regarding others with aggression, are all signs of unhealthy anger. Unhealthy anger tends to form when we cannot let something go or move on from a perceived injustice. As a result, unhealthy anger is justified, often fueled by self-righteousness. Until unhealthy anger finds resolution, it will steadily boil into rage.
Healthy anger is anger that is acknowledged, expressed in a healthy way, and processed in a healthy way. Anger is part of our survival response system. There are things in life which should make us angry and feeling angry over those situations is normal. We can feel frustrated about Friday afternoon traffic because Friday afternoon traffic is frustrating. However, if we start honking, getting aggravated, or screaming at other drivers, our anger is no longer healthy. Healthy anger is recognizing that there is a right to be angry and that the anger we feel is a choice that we make. We can feel angry. We do not have to get angry.
Thankfully, there is a way to heal. If you have found yourself trapped by the cycle of addiction, there is hope. Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon, shows men how to find freedom from addiction. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men reclaim their lives mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474