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Explosive Anger


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Hiya, I have a sort of odd question here.

I have an impulsive aggression issue. I turn into the devil basically, to be honest, lol. When something sets me off I will go for 6-7 days of being in this explosive anger type of state. I'm talking blind rage here, and most things I look at (or if anyone interacts with me at all) escalate the rage. I do a lot of destructive things in this time and then a week later when I finally run out of steam, im very embarrassed about what I did and remorseful, etc. During that week of rage I do not let myself leave the house because in the past I have come perilously close to punching random people on the street (whom, by just looking at them, it escalates my rage etc). I do not allow myself to have pets because in the past I have done harmful things to them in this state.

We have been talking about it in therapy and my therapist believes that if we just talk about it many times it will go away all by itself. However, we have been talking about it non stop for 1.5 years and it is no better than it was before. I am fully aware of why I get angry and we have talked about it to death, but this has not helped get rid of the rage at all.

I have tried every anger management trick in the book. A lot I just simply cannot do because while I'm in the rage, I am not able to stop, think, and act like many of those strategies suggest to do. A lot of the tips I've read end up escalating the rage (eg. empathising with the person that made me angry, or trying to change my viewpoint in the moment, or exercising). And the breathing exercises escalate the rage to an alarming degree and i end up having a panic attack on top of it all.

So I just wondered if you guys had any other ideas about controlling explosive rage in the moment. Something that doesn't require too much thinking, because I definitely cannot do that when enraged... I just have this overwhelming huge desire to destroy everything that is in my path! no room for thinking, lol. To be brutally honest, I'm quite surprised my boyfriend has not left me after all the things I have put him through.

So yeah. Any ideas? :)

Edited by Sardonyx
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I have found that intense physical exercise helps work out some of the steam for the moment. I mean something that makes you really sweat and get tired. Get a punching bag and go punch it and just think about all those people that you want to punch and just keep punching until you run out of steam. Intense cardio or kickboxing can do the trick, too, but I find kickboxing better than cardio. Oh yes, and get some good gloves, too, you don't want to hurt your knuckles. That should slow you down some.

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Hi Sardonyx. I can relate, unfortunately...when my anger gets triggered, I completely fly off the handle and act like a monster. Like you, I've talked it out in therapy, tried anger management techniques, etc. Didn't work. The only thing that does work for me is to get away from eveything and everyone the minute I start feeling myself starting to get angry -- lock myself away, rage, scream, throw things, and just generally act like a psycho until I have worn myself out. Of course, that doesn't work once I am actually angry, since I won't be thinking clearly at that point. So, I'm (slowly) learning to focus on my physical state when I get into situations that might set me off. If I notice my jaw tightening up, my breathing getting quicker, my shoulders getting stiffer, that's when I know I am about to snap and I have to get away.

It is not easy at all. I still fail at it the majority of the time. But I think I'm learning, and when I have done it, it works beautifully. Don't know if it might work for you, but I wanted to share anyway. Good luck...

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Sardonyx,

When you verbalize your feelings, do you feel like you are heard? Does it make any difference? Or do you feel like you say the same things over and over again without any change? (I'm thinking in the context of something somebody constantly does to annoy you, or when you are hurting and need comforting).

I'm thinking this: If 'talking it out' does nothing, perhaps the rage has some impact. Do others react? Do you at least feel heard?

Anyway, these were just some thoughts that came to mind. I happened to be writing about being a ghost my whole life - unheard and unseen by others, including parents, friends, family - so that may offer some context. I don't know if that resonates with you or not.

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Athena,

I'm not sure what you mean by "do you feel heard?". I talk out my feelings and my therapist is good with it, she does the empathetic listening thing and we explore the issues... I think she's pretty good at it. I know she hears what i say because she says it back to me in different words, etc. If you mean "heard" as in she understands, then yeah. She definitely does.

But what I mean is after doing that many a time, the anger problem is still the same. I was thinking if I felt "heard" then the anger would sort of go away in time. But I also feel that I don't really care if she hears it or not.... I'm not sure why, lol. I thought that the act of me verbally discussing it was the healing part. Or maybe its the interchange between me and the therapist whilst I am talking about it? Not sure.

But whichever part it is, it doesn't seem to be working. I'm more aware of myself in the moment and all that jazz but the anger is still exactly the same.

And solstice thank you, I will give that a try!

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Sardonyx,

Of course I cannot diagnose you and I don't know what drives your explosivenss but, I do know that for some people, this type of explosion is a symptom of Bipolar Disorder. Remember, there is no way I can know, here on the internet, and I'm only speaking from my experience as a therapist, therefore, this may have nothing to do with you.

If I understand correctly, you are seeing a psychotherapist? That is excellent. However, I am curious as to whether you have seen a psychiatrist(MD). You might just find it helpful especially if there is some type of chemica imbalance that is fueling your rage.

Just a thought

Allan

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Athena,

I'm not sure what you mean by "do you feel heard?". I talk out my feelings and my therapist is good with it, she does the empathetic listening thing and we explore the issues... I think she's pretty good at it. I know she hears what i say because she says it back to me in different words, etc. If you mean "heard" as in she understands, then yeah. She definitely does.

But what I mean is after doing that many a time, the anger problem is still the same. I was thinking if I felt "heard" then the anger would sort of go away in time. But I also feel that I don't really care if she hears it or not.... I'm not sure why, lol. I thought that the act of me verbally discussing it was the healing part. Or maybe its the interchange between me and the therapist whilst I am talking about it? Not sure.

But whichever part it is, it doesn't seem to be working. I'm more aware of myself in the moment and all that jazz but the anger is still exactly the same.

So you feel heard by your therapist - good. But I'm wondering if you have an emotional reaction to that or is it just a statement of fact, just a realization at the 'thinking' level. I had a profound emotional reaction to feeling heard, understood, accepted by my therapist, which did not involve me thinking about what was going on at all. It was a feeling of 'connectedness', maybe it is also called 'attunement'. For a while it started impacting other relationships in my life to the degree where most of my anger left. These feelings eventually died down but some of the impact remains. So, from my experience I would say the healing part is the interchange between you and your therapist - how she responds to what you say. Not just her 'repeating' it back to you but sharing her thoughts on how she thinks that must make you feel, which shows a deeper level of understanding. I think a strong feeling of connection with your therapist on an emotional level is extremely healing. I think answering the simple question, "How do I feel about my therapist" while in their presence might be helpful.
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Heya Aschwartz,

Yes I have been seeing a psychiatrist for the last 14 years hehe.. and yeah she did bring that up in the past. Well that was about 5 years ago she spoke about that. We factored that into my medication and tried a few combos with that in mind but it didn't really do anything. In the end she just kinda dropped the subject because she could not make a decision there.

Something came up in therapy this week though. Apparently mentally healthy people can identify the whole process from trigger --> thoughts --> feelings --> behaviour. My therapist said they can observe the whole process. This is something I've never been able to do. I can identify the trigger, but thats about it. Like i described to her "I don't have any insight there... Im a bit like a black box, I know what goes in and what comes out, but what happens in between is a mystery". In terms of anger, I will see something that makes me angry (and i get to know over time what things make me angry) but I have absolutely no insight into what happens in my head/thoughts/etc to make me arrive at the "anger" verdict. And to fix anger, you have to have this insight.

My therapist didn't really give me any info when I asked her how people get this insight in the first place. So guys, how do you get it? And if its one of those things you get while growing up in childhood, how would I get it nowadays when I'm 30?

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My therapist didn't really give me any info when I asked her how people get this insight in the first place. So guys, how do you get it? And if its one of those things you get while growing up in childhood, how would I get it nowadays when I'm 30?

I'm surprised your therapist was not more helpful. I would ask her again. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) walks you through the steps and would tell you EXACTLY how to do it. You might check that out as it works quite quickly for a lot of people.
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So you feel heard by your therapist - good. But I'm wondering if you have an emotional reaction to that or is it just a statement of fact, just a realization at the 'thinking' level. I had a profound emotional reaction to feeling heard, understood, accepted by my therapist, which did not involve me thinking about what was going on at all. It was a feeling of 'connectedness', maybe it is also called 'attunement'. For a while it started impacting other relationships in my life to the degree where most of my anger left. These feelings eventually died down but some of the impact remains. So, from my experience I would say the healing part is the interchange between you and your therapist - how she responds to what you say. Not just her 'repeating' it back to you but sharing her thoughts on how she thinks that must make you feel, which shows a deeper level of understanding. I think a strong feeling of connection with your therapist on an emotional level is extremely healing. I think answering the simple question, "How do I feel about my therapist" while in their presence might be helpful.

Oops sorry I responded to the two replies in the wrong order :)

When she hears me I realise she understands what I'm saying - its just a statement of a fact. There is nothing emotional about it whatsoever. I'm not sure what to make of your profound emotional experience.. it sounds interesting but no that has never happened to me with anyone before. I didn't think that sort of thing happened in real life, the only time I've heard of that is in stories I have read (such as in womens magazines where they dramatize it a bit to keep the readers' interest). I hope that didn't sound rude or offensive, but what I'm saying is that I didn't think that sort of thing happened in real life.

My therapist has asked me many times how I feel about her. I told her each time, I look at her as a neutral third party whom I am paying for her services as a psychotherapist. Other than that I don't have any opinion of her really, she has been very professional. She keeps her appointments, rarely cancels, is on time, etc so I really have no cause to have any other opinions about her. If she had been rude or done something I didn't like, then I would definitely have an opinion about her :) haha But she hasn't, so I don't really.

Should i have a different relationship with her? I think I have the typical client/practitioner relationship going on.

edit: i forgot to add in there but my therapist does share how she thinks i must feel, and all that empathy stuff, but there are no emotions involved. Well, she acts shocked occasionally when I say something but that's about it, lol.

Edited by Sardonyx
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I'm surprised your therapist was not more helpful. I would ask her again. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) walks you through the steps and would tell you EXACTLY how to do it. You might check that out as it works quite quickly for a lot of people.

I have done CBT in the past, no luck. I think its because of my bad attitude (had severe depression since I was 11 so I have acquired a very negative attitude) - if I go in there believing its all hogwash then I sort of curse myself and it doesn't help me. I forget the term you use for that. You know when you go in there believing it won't help and you act as such, and then it doesn't help (because of your belief).

Could you please tell me a bit about how I would gain this insight? Or if not, could you give me some keywords, I am good with google :)

I was thinking if I had a bit of insight into my own head, I could sort of manipulate that to gain a positive attitude towards CBT (or psychotherapy even), and then maybe it would work for me. Cuz with my negative attitude now, nothing is really going to work. I'm a very logical, rational, factual type person so this feelingsy/emotional stuff is all very confusing to me.

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I have done CBT in the past, no luck. I think its because of my bad attitude (had severe depression since I was 11 so I have acquired a very negative attitude) - if I go in there believing its all hogwash then I sort of curse myself and it doesn't help me. I forget the term you use for that. You know when you go in there believing it won't help and you act as such, and then it doesn't help (because of your belief).

I was thinking if I had a bit of insight into my own head, I could sort of manipulate that to gain a positive attitude towards CBT (or psychotherapy even), and then maybe it would work for me. Cuz with my negative attitude now, nothing is really going to work. I'm a very logical, rational, factual type person so this feelingsy/emotional stuff is all very confusing to me.

I'm going to answer this one then your other one as that is the order in which I proceeded with my own therapy. I also have had depression for a long time. Mine goes back to age 6 as far as I can remember. I am 49 so you can imagine how much fun that's been for me :eek:. And yes, I developed a very negative attitude over time, likely due to that. I did CBT a year and a half ago. It was all very good information and explained what I was doing. Catastrophising, Fortune Telling, Globalizing, Mind Reading, etc - I trust you got to all these descriptions and identifying them in specific situations? If not, I recommend you read "Feeling Good" by David Burns. He demonstrates very well what CBT can be like at its best and also has some helpful worksheets. Having said that, although I had very good information on what I was doing and a very good understanding, I then proceeded to 'watch' myself simply continue with the behaviour - ie: I still couldn't change it. So I left and ended up with a once/week 'talk' psychotherapist which I guess is the usual arrangement. That unfortunately was a short term 'fill in' through my work so I don't know if it ever would have worked for me as I didn't get much past the complaining stage. Then I stumbled across a therapist who does Psychoanalysis, pretty much exclusively now as his preferred form of therapy. He finds it works much better as it is more frequent (4x/week) and the discussion goes MUCH deeper. There are also versions of this that are 2-3 times/week. I will carry on with how this has gone in response to your other post.

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When she hears me I realise she understands what I'm saying - its just a statement of a fact. There is nothing emotional about it whatsoever. I'm not sure what to make of your profound emotional experience.. it sounds interesting but no that has never happened to me with anyone before. I didn't think that sort of thing happened in real life, the only time I've heard of that is in stories I have read (such as in womens magazines where they dramatize it a bit to keep the readers' interest). I hope that didn't sound rude or offensive, but what I'm saying is that I didn't think that sort of thing happened in real life.

Yes - it does happen. Not all therapists are comfortable with it, especially if it becomes an 'erotic transference' - which is a shame.

My therapist has asked me many times how I feel about her. I told her each time, I look at her as a neutral third party whom I am paying for her services as a psychotherapist. Other than that I don't have any opinion of her really, she has been very professional. She keeps her appointments, rarely cancels, is on time, etc so I really have no cause to have any other opinions about her. If she had been rude or done something I didn't like, then I would definitely have an opinion about her :) haha But she hasn't, so I don't really.

Should i have a different relationship with her? I think I have the typical client/practitioner relationship going on.

I don't know what is 'typical'. But the very term 'therapeutic relationship' I believe refers to something besides simply payment for services rendered. I believe it is more like a connection to them which can vary over time and reminds you of relationships you have had in the past (or would like to have) such as relationships with a close friend, family member, significant other etc. When she asks you how you feel about her, she may be attempting to draw these out. If you then verbalize your feelings with someone like this, it feels more like you are reliving them. Reliving them allows you to pull up those buried, gut emotional reactions and give a voice to them. The very term you have used ie: 'explosive anger' reminds me of my name for my own personality when I'm in a rage "Viper". Kind of a 'strike first' think later (or not at all) kind of reaction. Imagine trying to stop a snake from striking. Not easy! So my point here is that unlike CBT which engages your 'thinking' brain to try to change your behaviour, Psychoanalysis (and maybe other types of psychotherapy where the therapist not only allows, but encourages 'transference' to happen) gets your 'emotional' brain engaged. Kind of like 'talking to the snake' who has never been communicated with before.

In my case, transference happened rather quickly. Initially, I had huge skepticism about the frequency (4x/week), extra billing and long term nature (2 - 6 years) of the therapy, and I figured I'd give him a couple of weeks, maybe a month tops to show me some results (completely unrealistic, but that's how jaded I was about it all as he is the 8th mental health practitioner I have seen in the past 2 years). At that point, I viewed him rather coldly, as just another therapist, perhaps one that is doing a nice job of lining his pockets given my skepticism above. But about 2 weeks into the therapy, I really warmed up to him. It was after checking out what the heck Psychoanalysis was (which led me to this site), and discovering that what he described seemed fairly normal for that type of therapy. Also, I delved into his professional background, training and experience. I can see now that I needed to do all these things to get rid of my skepticism, to allow myself to trust him and to allow myself to have some faith in him. I'm by no means a trusting individual, in fact quite the opposite, but once I feel I can trust someone, I'm very open with them. So once I started to trust him, I started telling him more and more difficult things. As he handled each scenario so well, with so much acceptance and lack of judgement and attempts to get rid of my own harsh 'inner judgement' I started developing a deep appreciation for him and somewhere around that point, he asked how I felt about him. I really hadn't given it any thought until he asked me. But I had developed 'more than a little' fondness for him which just grew larger once I verbalized that. I started having physical responses to him and couldn't get him out of my head when I was out of therapy. I'm not going to go into details here - you can look up 'erotic transference' and that would pretty much give you the gist of it. At any rate - it showed me the power of the process. It showed me that I cannot 'think' my way out of this. It showed me that learning about my past dysfunctional relationships, coping mechanisms, neglectful parenting and repeated damaging patterns in relationships with others was really going to be the solution to my depression, rage, hopelessness, loneliness etc.

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Athena,

That was some good stuff that you wrote right there. That is exactly the information I was after. Your situation sounds very similar to mine, especially when you spoke about having to research the therapist. I did that too, lol. I had to know if she was all talk and no substance.. it appears she has 30 years of substance so that is not too shabby at all! I like how you described yourself as a rage viper - strike first - that is exactly me to a T. Strike first, ask questions later.

It is interesting how you described how you tell the therapist your opinion about her and it brings up memories of past relationships. That might be my problem. My relationship with my family is very similar to my opinion about her: she is there to provide a service to me and I pay her. Cold, clinical, matter-of-fact. Ofcourse I didn't pay my family but we never, ever spoke about emotions (that was not acceptable), and it was very factual, cold and clinical. I have not had any friends for about 10 years now (and before that, never had any in school because I was not interested and I don't like people, and wasn't allowed to socialise anyway) so I don't really have any relationships to draw from there. So maybe the problem is that I do not have any experiences to draw from, other than the cold clinical stuff and that is why there is nothing going on when she asks me those sorts of questions.

So I'm guessing that means I have to learn how to do it from scratch. I would ask the therapist about this but her answer is always something along the lines of "how do YOU think you could do it?" and I say "i dont know" and she goes silent and I change to subject to halt the akward silence (silence is unacceptable to me when I am paying the big bucks for therapy, hehe, I'm a bit strict like that). So do you have any ideas how I could learn this sort of thing? Or if anyone reading has some sort of ideas, that would be great ;)

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I'm a little bit behind on responding. Sorry about that. I wanted to offer my thoughts on this.

My therapist didn't really give me any info when I asked her how people get this insight in the first place.

You can certainly learn how to gain insight into your behaviors at 30 years of age, Sardonyx. What it often involves is deep thinking and observing your own behaviors, coming to understand a deeper significance than what is currently happening. It also means allowing different thoughts in your mind and considering what purpose the behavior is serving.

Often there is another emotion behind anger...such as pain, sadness, or fear. Anger can sometimes keep you from confronting those other difficult feelings. I have found that anger often protects something. Identifying triggers is a good place to start. You can try asking yourself some questions. Often times, strong (over)reactions carry much deeper meaning. A lot of gaining insight is about self-awareness.

Good luck, Sardonyx. I hope you are feeling better.

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I'm a little bit behind on responding. Sorry about that. I wanted to offer my thoughts on this.

You can certainly learn how to gain insight into your behaviors at 30 years of age, Sardonyx. What it often involves is deep thinking and observing your own behaviors, coming to understand a deeper significance than what is currently happening. It also means allowing different thoughts in your mind and considering what purpose the behavior is serving.

Often there is another emotion behind anger...such as pain, sadness, or fear. Anger can sometimes keep you from confronting those other difficult feelings. I have found that anger often protects something. Identifying triggers is a good place to start. You can try asking yourself some questions. Often times, strong (over)reactions carry much deeper meaning. A lot of gaining insight is about self-awareness.

Good luck, Sardonyx. I hope you are feeling better.

Hiya Irmajean, thanks for your reply! ;)

Ive been trying to do that for a while now, both in therapy and out. But where I get stuck at is this bit: how do you know if its true or not? Like for instance, and this is just an example, say you get angry in a certain situation. And you want to know why it makes you angry. There are millions of different possible answers as to why.. how do you know which one is correct for you? Cuz I think to myself (and talk out loud to the therapist) about all the possible reasons why I get angry in this situation and I have no idea which one is true. There are no aha moments of any sort, no emotions come up or anything like that.. so I never know if I am even close to the mark. I could have gotten the right answer already but there is no sign that lets me know that it is true. And because I don't know if any of these theories are true or not, then I never really deal with the problem.

Thats what I mean by "insight". You have to know yourself why something makes you angry, in order for you to change and deal with it. I sit here sometimes for hours trying to think of all the possible reasons why I get angry (or sad or whatever the particular situation is) and its just exhausting and depressing because I never know which one is true for me. It's like I would have a better chance finding out the answer if I asked some random guy walking down the street, lol.

I guess what I'm meaning is how do you gain insight into your own head at a deeper level? Mine is stuck on the surface level. I don't know if medications do that to you over a long period of time (since they make your mind really foggy) or if its just me in particular. But I have no insight whatsoever below the surface. I can see what makes me angry but why it makes me angry, I have no idea. I just have to avoid things I know make me angry, or otherwise go into damage control and seclude myself after the anger has gone off.

It would be nice to be able to do this because then I could see what emotion is behind the anger. I'm curious as to what it is, because it has never shown itself. And if I could sort it out then the anger would probably go away. But I have to be able to observe it first! Which is where I am stuck.

Edited by Sardonyx
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It is interesting how you described how you tell the therapist your opinion about her and it brings up memories of past relationships. That might be my problem. My relationship with my family is very similar to my opinion about her: she is there to provide a service to me and I pay her. Cold, clinical, matter-of-fact. Ofcourse I didn't pay my family but we never, ever spoke about emotions (that was not acceptable), and it was very factual, cold and clinical.

This makes a lot of sense. You have probably hit on something here.

I have not had any friends for about 10 years now (and before that, never had any in school because I was not interested and I don't like people, and wasn't allowed to socialise anyway)

You "don't like people"? Well I think there are two types of people who tend to be alone. Those who genuinely like their solitude and are happy being on their own most of the time. And those who want to be with others but just don't have the social skills. This second group feels isolated and rejected and it is agonizing for them. I put myself in the second camp. Funny - the two guys I've spent the most time around lately have both said something to the effect that "you must at least appear to play well with others". They were saying it jokingly but there is some truth to it. So would you put yourself in either camp? Which one? As to "wasn't allowed to socialize" - what do you mean by this? Did your parents prevent you from socializing? Somebody else?

So I'm guessing that means I have to learn how to do it from scratch. I would ask the therapist about this but her answer is always something along the lines of "how do YOU think you could do it?" and I say "i dont know" and she goes silent and I change to subject to halt the akward silence (silence is unacceptable to me when I am paying the big bucks for therapy, hehe, I'm a bit strict like that). So do you have any ideas how I could learn this sort of thing? Or if anyone reading has some sort of ideas, that would be great ;)

First of all, you could tell your therapist more about your interactions with her. I think she would be interested to know what you've been writing in this thread. You may consider printing it all off for her and having her read it. I've talked about the fear of awkward silence in therapy with my therapist. Sometimes after a minute, I'll just say "there's nothing in my head" and sometimes he'll say something and something will pop into my head. IDK, maybe I just like him knowing that I'm not comfortable in that moment. Then it doesn't feel so awkward. I have heard a few people describe their experiences in therapy. For some, their answers are very short. They just can't seem to expand on them. Sometimes I'm like that. But I do try to expand on a topic as much as I can - any little detail that comes to mind. How you feel about what you're talking about, what it makes you think about, what's related to it, how your body feels at that moment (nervous, clenched up, relaxed, excited, aroused) I've asked my therapist to try to give a little more feedback at times if he can't get me talking - just to help things along.

Learning how to "get along with others" - just being in therapy is a big part of that. You think you don't have much to say in regards to your therapist but you've actually said a whole lot here. That is a good start. That gives her something to work with.

In terms of other ideas on how to learn how to socialize: I happen to be reading a book called "Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman. It is incredible - very eye opening. It describes how the cognitive brain and the emotional brain interact and what happens if that interaction is non-existent or not functioning very well. Also - Managing emotions, Empathy, "the Social Arts" - all topics that would help you. I'm looking forward to the chapter "Temperament is not Destiny". The title sounds hopeful. I know change is possible. I've read about how neuroscientists and psychoanalysts are getting together in research projects and actually mapping out the changes in the brain when somebody undergoes psychoanalysis. Changes are not merely subjective, they are measurable. "The Brain that Changes Itself" is a great read too - on the topic of Neuroplasticity. Your brain can change quite a bit with the right re-training. I recall it being quite an encouraging book. Google 'attachment theory' and look at the wikipedia article that comes up. I found that helped explain a lot of my problems. Sometimes just having a reason makes you feel a little better.

One last suggestion - if you tend to be negative, stop reading negative stuff (newspapers, other sensationalist media). I only get the weekend paper now (and sometimes don't even read that). It is amazing how most stuff in there really doesn't matter. Unless you're in foreign affairs, politics, the military or financial services where you absolutely must know what is going on, why waste your time on it? It's mostly bad news and usually about immoral people. And THAT just makes me angry - especially because I can't do a damn thing about it. Fill your head up with positive stuff, or stuff you need to know to get better. Try to think of your therapist and yourself as a "team" that is charged with helping you get better. You BOTH need to put in as much effort as you can.

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Hi Sardonyx,

Sorry I wasn't able to help you more. And thank you for sparing me. You've been very polite throughout the thread here. Sorry for setting you off. I'm not the best at talking anger down and have a tendency to talk from my own personal perspective which won't always mesh with everybody. I wish you the best.

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Hi Sardonyx,

Sorry I wasn't able to help you more. And thank you for sparing me. You've been very polite throughout the thread here. Sorry for setting you off. I'm not the best at talking anger down and have a tendency to talk from my own personal perspective which won't always mesh with everybody. I wish you the best.

Its ok, you didn't do anything wrong. :) I have calmed down now so its all good!

You gave some good info there (personal experience and perspective is especially good info). There is no telling when the dreaded rage monster will show up! I apologise for this thread, it was really embarrassing.

So as they say.. "Lets never speak of this again" (lol)

Edited by Sardonyx
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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Sardynx,

I think you are getting great advice here. Clearly, there is something about your anger issue that touches something important in all of us.

I know from experience and over a very long time that sometimes it's necessary to change psychiatrists because they are missing something. Perhaps a consultation with a different psychiatrist is a good idea? Just like ther rest of medical treatment, a second and even a third opinion is important. Please do not misinterprest what I am saying. I do not believe medicine is the answer to all. However, with the explosive nature of your anger, I can't help but think that something is going on that is both physical as well as psychological. Anyway, it's just my opinion and you are the best expert on yourself.

Allan

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Its ok, you didn't do anything wrong. :) I have calmed down now so its all good!

You gave some good info there (personal experience and perspective is especially good info). There is no telling when the dreaded rage monster will show up! I apologise for this thread, it was really embarrassing.

So as they say.. "Lets never speak of this again" (lol)

Sardonyx,

I'm so glad to hear all this. Thanks for coming back. And I really don't think you have anything to be embarrassed about. One interesting thing I noticed. Another individual here had a 'dreaded rage monster' that would show up periodically. When that happened, he disappeared for 3 or 4 days and came back calmed down. I asked a new seemingly emotionally stable 'friend' of mine what he does when he's really angry - he said he goes away for 3 or 4 days (but always say's he's coming back). I see you took 3 or 4 days. It just leaves me wondering why this time frame seems to keep popping up. And whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. We all need 'time outs' to cool off from time to time. It's probably what goes on in our heads during those time outs that determines how long they last and how we are when we come out of them. I read somewhere that when emotionally healthy people feel horrible, they actively think of ways to get out of that mood. Personally, I know I feed the rage. If I'm triggered by something awful, I just let my mind connect that horrible thought to everything else horrible, I listen to depressing music, turn to harmful coping mechanisms and just generally make things much much worse until I eventually stop out of sheer exhaustion. Unless: I have a distraction that I must deal with, is totally unrelated and requires my full attention. So, I don't think there are any answers here, just observations - which I'm hoping will eventually lead to solutions.

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Yeah 3 or 4 days is about the norm for me. Come to think of it, I think i've read about other people who take the same amount of time to calm down.

I have fallen into that trap of going really negative: listening to negative music, etc and feeding the rage. It made me feel a lot better but i think that was the negative music that did that - but it was only a superficial feel-good thing (it felt good because of the song, and so I think to myself "someone else has felt this before, and written the song" so its like im not alone or something like that. Something about someone else being in the same situation is comforting? Something like that. But even then, in the end you feel worse than when you started because its like you are stewing in your feelings or something.

What I do is I just go into hardcore distraction mode until my steam runs out. Like I will play games that require 100% of my concentration. I used to watch movies that made me think a lot (like psychological thrillers where you have to constantly work out what is going on, etc) but I haven't done that in a while. And I try to listen to the sort of music that isnt positive or negative, its just background noise so that if I start to think, I can just tune into the music and it distracts me. Even if its techno (which I do not like very much, lol) - its great for distracting my mind.

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Distraction and exercise have always worked best for me. Even the phone ringing can knock me completely out of my negative mindset. Mastery of one's emotional highs and lows is the cornerstone of "Emotional Intelligence". It marks the difference between success and failure in life, more so than IQ.

I'm wondering Sardonyx, what is your priority in therapy - to get rid of the rage, to get rid of the depression or is it something else?

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Sorry i didn't reply for a while, had problems with a rootkit on my computer Grrr. Gone now though :(

The whole point of me going to psychotherapy was to get rid of this depression. I say "was" because my free sessions have run out and she isn't willing to give me the discount rate like beforehand, so I can't go to her anymore. I can't blame her really, lol, I am probably not the most easygoing client she has ever had, haha ;P

But yeah that is the thing I went in there for - to lessen the severity of my depression, even if it was just a little bit, that would have been great. In my life I have had a big list of things to try - because that is the way I think. If such-andsuch doesn't work, then I will try the next thing on the list, etc. If anything lessens the depression (even the slightest bit) then I would be really, really happy about that.

I'm not sure what to do now though. Can't afford to go to her anymore until either 1. I get a job (i can't even shower or wash my clothes so I think that is a long way off) or 2. next year rolls up and I get a new set of free sessions. So shopping around for a new therapist is definitely out of the question due to the cost.

But even if she did have a change of heart and offer a discount rate (which I doubt, but you never know I guess), I'm not sure if it would be worth going back. This is because I made no progress whatsoever in 2 years and all it did was make me very angry all the time. The only other item left on my "things to try" list is hypnotherapy but that sounds a bit dodgey to me. So I'm not sure whether to stick with the psychotherapy idea (because it is my last option) or to just cut the crap and battle on as I have been doing, maybe try the hypnotherapy out of desperation but if there's no luck, just continue on with my distracting.

I have a huge urge to just stop fighting and just accept - this is life, this is how it is always going to be, so I better just cut the crap and get used to it. Or as they say "radical acceptance". I think I am out of steam from the 19 years I have been battling this mental illness. I am really sick to death of all the dead ends I keep coming up against. Maybe my expectations of life are too high? That is what I am leaning towards, I think. If I lowered my expectations then I wouldn't have to be constantly disappointed whenever I hit a dead end. Maybe listening to all the input I've had from therapists, websites, health professionals all these years has skewed my view of reality and about my concept of happiness. All the big, marvelous words they use to describe the notion of "happy" and all that it entails - maybe I have taken those out of context and now my view of what "happy" should be is way more than the reality. And maybe that is why I am not satisfied whatsoever. Hell, maybe I am overjoyed right at this moment and I just confuse that with "depression"?? I have no idea, lol.

When I was really young, my mother used to tell me over and over "Expect the worst - that way, you will never be disappointed". Maybe she was right. Maybe I have been expecting the best all these years? No idea. I don't know whether I'm coming or going.

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