Anger Management – Understanding Anger

.jpg photo of Angry Woman and Husband
Understanding Anger

Tips and Techniques for Getting Anger Under Control

Do you have a short fuse or find yourself getting into frequent arguments and fights? Anger is a normal, healthy emotion, but when chronic, explosive anger spirals out of control, it can have serious consequences for your relationships, your health, and your state of mind.

With insight about the real reasons for your anger and these anger management tools, you can learn to keep your temper from hijacking your life.

Understanding Anger

The emotion of anger is neither good nor bad. It’s perfectly healthy and normal to feel angry when you’ve been mistreated or wronged. The feeling isn’t the problem—it’s what you do with it that makes a difference. Anger becomes a problem when it harms you or others.

If you have a hot temper, you may feel like it’s out of your hands and there’s little you can do to tame the beast. But you have more control over your anger than you think. You can learn to express your emotions without hurting others—and when you do, you’ll not only feel better, you’ll also be more likely to get your needs met.

Mastering the art of anger management takes work, but the more you practice, the easier it will get. And the payoff can be huge. Learning to control your anger and express it appropriately can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a healthier, more satisfying life.

Myths and Facts about Anger

Myth:  I shouldn’t “hold in” my anger.  It’s healthy to vent and let it out.

Fact:  While it’s true that suppressing and ignoring anger is unhealthy, venting is no better.  Anger is not something you have to “let out” in an aggressive way in order to avoid blowing up.  In fact, outbursts and tirades only fuel the fire and reinforce your anger problem.

Myth:  Anger, aggression, and intimidation help me earn respect and get what I want.

Fact:  True power doesn’t come from bullying others.  People may be afraid of you, but they won’t respect you if you can’t control yourself or handle opposing viewpoints.  Others will be more willing to listen to you and accommodate your needs if you communicate in a respectful way.

Myth:  I can’t help myself.  Anger isn’t something you can control.

Fact:  You can’t always control the situation you’re in or how it makes you feel, but you can control how you express your anger. And you can express your anger without being verbally or physically abusive.  Even if someone is pushing your buttons, you always have a choice about how to respond.

Myth:  Anger management is about learning to suppress your anger.

Fact:  Never getting angry is not a good goal.  Anger is normal, and it will come out regardless of how hard you try to suppress it. Anger management is all about becoming aware of your underlying feelings and needs and developing healthier ways to manage upset.  Rather than trying to suppress your anger, the goal is to express it in constructive ways.

Why anger management is important

You might think that venting your anger is healthy, that the people around you are too sensitive, that your anger is justified, or that you need to show your fury to get respect. But the truth is that anger is much more likely to damage your relationships, impair your judgment, get in the way of success, and have a negative impact on the way people see you.

  • Out-of-control anger hurts your physical health. Constantly operating at high levels of stress and tension is bad for your health. Chronic anger makes you more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, a weakened immune system, insomnia, and high blood pressure.
  • Out-of-control anger hurts your mental health. Chronic anger consumes huge amounts of mental energy and clouds your thinking, making it harder to concentrate, see the bigger picture, and enjoy life. It can also lead to stress, depression, and other mental health problems.
  • Out-of-control anger hurts your career. Constructive criticism, creative differences, and heated debate can be healthy. But lashing out only alienates your colleagues, supervisors, or clients and erodes their respect. What’s more, a bad reputation can follow you wherever you go, making it harder and harder to get ahead.
  • Out-of-control anger hurts your relationships with others. It causes lasting scars in the people you love most and gets in the way of your friendships and work relationships. Chronic, intense anger makes it hard for others to trust you, speak honestly, or feel comfortable—they never know what is going to set you off or what you will do. Explosive anger is especially damaging to children.


Alamogordo Couple Accused of Child Abuse

Their infant boy tests positive for methamphetamine

Alamogordo, NM  –  The Alamogordo Police Department has charged the parents of a seven-month-old boy with child abuse after the infant allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine, according to Magistrate Court records.

Tommy Carabajal, 35, and Jonnie Desersa, 20, are charged with one count each of third-degree felony child abuse for allegedly placing their child in a dangerous situation, according to records. The charges stem from an investigation that began with an April 22 traffic stop for a broken tail light.

Carabajal and Desersa were jailed at the Otero County Detention Center on a $15,000 apiece cash or surety bonds pending their appearance in court, records state.

The decision to charge Carabajal and Desersa marks at least the second time in the last month that the APD has filed child abuse charges against a parent who allegedly exposed a child to methamphetamine.

In April, the department charged a 37-year-old Alamogordo man with child abuse after his 6-year-old son allegedly tested positive for the drug. Records show that the state has since dismissed the case against the father without prejudice pending further investigation, which means that criminal charges can still be filed against him at a later time.

APD Detective Lt. Roger Schoolcraft said drug testing the children of habitual drug users is “relatively new” for the department. He said the practice developed within the last couple years as a way to hold parents accountable for what they do around their children.

“We’re talking about airborne things, like smoking meth or smoking marijuana,” Schoolcraft said. “That has a direct effect on people’s children, so we’re obviously drafting search warrants for hair follicle testing to see if those children have been subjected to drugs. And more often than not, they are.”

Carabajal and Desersa were arrested after APD officers conducted a traffic stop on their pickup truck in the 700 block of U.S. Highway 70 West April 22, records state. Officers reported that Desersa was driving the blue Chevrolet pickup truck while Carabajal was a passenger in the back of the vehicle, seated with an unbuckled infant in a carrier.

Records state that Carabajal was sweating profusely and that the front seat passenger appeared to be under the influence due to slurred speech, slow movements and bloodshot eyes.

APD officers ticketed Desersa for three violations, including for not buckling in the infant, according to records. They then received her consent to search the vehicle based on the behavior of her passengers.

Records state that officers found a container and pen shaft with white residue under the front passenger seat as well as a baggie of methamphetamine on the floor board of the driver’s seat.

Carabajal allegedly told officers that he had last used methamphetamine about a week earlier, according to records.

Officers arrested Carabajal the day of the traffic stop on an outstanding Magistrate Court warrant, according to APD logs. Five days later, APD officers arrested Desersa on a Magistrate Court warrant for alleged failure to comply with conditions of probation.

Drug tests on both Carabajal and Desersa indicated that they each had methamphetamine in their system, according to records. Desersa allegedly told officers that she and Carabajal have consumed methamphetamine together.

Records state that the APD executed a search warrant for a hair follicle sample from their seven-month-old son and had the sample tested at a local drug screening facility. The test came back positive for amphetamines and methamphetamines at an amount more than double the designated cutoff point.

Schoolcraft said the APD filed the child abuse charge against Desersa on May 6. Police logs state that the department filed the charge against Carabajal on May 12.

Hundreds of Child Abuse Hotline Calls Ignored in VA

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Elizabeth Middleton, the SVSS director

AUGUSTA COUNTY, VA  —  A scathing investigation is putting Child Protective Services of Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro in the hot seat.

It all surrounds an investigative story published by The News Leader, which revealed hundreds of messages to the department’s child abuse line were, “ignored and erased.”

Shenandoah Valley Social Services covers Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro.

The current director said all of this sparked when the information technology staff was looking at improving the phone answering service.  That’s when more than 200 ignored calls were uncovered.

At the same time, a pediatrician who couldn’t reach a person on the phone to report an abuse case voiced his concerns and an Augusta County investigation got underway.

Elizabeth Middleton, the SVSS director, said there used to be one employee assigned to monitor the voice mails, but that employee left in April 2014.

With only 11 employees working there, miscommunication and understaffing led to that responsibility falling through the cracks.

Linda Royster, a local attorney who has worked with SVSS for nearly ten years, says she was shocked when she heard about how so many calls for help were missed.

“I’m horrified. I have two children who were abused before they were adopted,” said Royster. “The very thought that someone could have helped those children before I adopted them and a call went unanswered is appalling”