The Silent Killer: Repressed Anger

Do you ever feel like you’re just not yourself? That something is lurking underneath the surface that you can’t quite put your finger on? Well, it may be repressed anger. This is a type of anger that is pushed down and hidden away because we don’t think we’re allowed to feel it or we don’t know how to deal with it. Unfortunately, repressed anger can have some serious consequences for our mental and physical health. In this blog post, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of repressed anger, as well as some strategies for dealing with it.

Defining Repressed Anger

Repressed anger is a type of anger that is pushed down and hidden away because we don’t think we’re allowed to feel it or we don’t know how to deal with it. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as growing up in an environment where expression of emotions was not allowed or being taught that anger is bad. Whatever the reason, repressing our anger can have serious consequences for our mental and physical health.

Anger repression should not be confused with simply not being an angry person. We all experience anger from time to time, and that’s normal and healthy. Repressed anger is different in that it’s a deliberate attempt to push down our anger and keep it hidden away. This can be done for a variety of reasons, such as wanting to appear calm and collected or feeling like we’re not allowed to express our anger. However, repression of anger is often unhelpful and can lead to problems down the road.

Anger is also different from aggression. Aggression is a type of behavior that is intended to harm or control another person, while anger is a normal emotion that everyone experiences. It’s important to note that not all anger is bad. Anger can be a healthy emotion that motivates us to make positive changes in our lives. However, when anger is repressed, it can become problematic.

Symptoms

Just like every other mental health related issue, repressed anger also presents itself in a lot of ways. These signs manifest themselves either psychologically or physically.

Psychological Signs

There are several signs and symptoms that may indicate that someone is repressing their anger. These include:

  • Suppressing emotions or feelings
  • Avoiding conflict or tense situations
  • Constant feeling of uneasiness or discomfort
  • Avoiding talking about your feelings
  • Difficulty establishing boundaries
  • Negative self-talk and low self-esteem
  • Holding grudges
  • Being highly defensive
  • Losing focus and concentration
  • Feeling too much or being completely numb
  • Being overly sarcastic or critical of things
  • Ignoring issues instead of addressing them
  • Putting up with things that make you angry
  • Bottling up your anger instead of expressing it
  • Intimacy issues
  • Exploding or lashing out in anger unexpectedly
  • Paranoia
  • Feeling “petty” or bitter most of the time
  • Putting on a “happy face” when you’re really not
  • Displacing anger onto other people or objects
  • Acting passive-aggressive

Physical Signs

If you find yourself doing any of these things, it may be a sign that you’re repressing your anger. Additionally, repressed anger can manifest itself in physical symptoms such as

Causes Of Repressed Anger

There are several different factors that canSeveral different factors can contribute to the development of repressed anger. These include:

Childhood Trauma

If you experienced trauma in childhood, such as abuse or neglect, you may be more likely to develop repressed anger. This is because you may have learned to suppress your emotions to cope with the situation. Instances like constant criticism and punishments, rigid rules, not receiving appreciation or love, invalidation, emotional or physical unavailability of caregivers or fights in the family, among other things, can make a child develop repressive anger.

Lack Of Assertiveness

People who are unable to assert themselves are more likely to bottle up their anger instead of expressing it healthily. This is because they may feel like they don’t have a voice or they’re not allowed to express their feelings. Some may have a fear of coming off as rude or disrespectful, while some may have issues with confrontation. Some people also avoid conflict at all costs and will do anything to keep the peace. Either ways, lack of demanding accountability or justification in an assertive manner can lead to angry reactions.

Invalidation

Invalidation is when someone tells you that your feelings are wrong or not important. This can happen in both personal relationships and the workplace. If you’re constantly being invalidated, it can lead to repressed anger. When someone puts in their maximum effort and dedication in something, and only receive negative feedback in response, it can make them feel hurt, guilty, unconfident or frustrated, all of which combine to result in anger.

Poor regulation of emotions

If you have difficulty regulating your emotions, you may be more likely to repress your anger. This is because you may not have the skills to deal with difficult emotions in a healthy way. This can happen due to family problems, relationship issues, broke or untrustworthy friendships, unsupportive colleagues or boss, financial disparities, changing environments or other unforeseen circumstances.

People Pleasing Tendencies

People who have a hard time saying “no” are more likely to repress their anger. This is because they may be afraid of disappointing others or making them angry. Keeping others needs over your own may make an individual develop resentment, frustration, low self-esteem, guilt, lost sense of self, among other things, which can subsequently lead to anger.

Perfectionism

Perfectionists tend to be very critical of themselves and others. They may have difficulty expressing their anger because they feel like they should be perfect. Even in instances where others try to help or be there for these people, they feel frustrated or agitated if their ideal standard expectations are not met.

Other Health Conditions

There are several other health conditions that can contribute to repressed anger. These include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If you have any of these conditions, you may be more likely to develop repressed anger. Even chronic physical health conditions lead to anger. This is due to the fact that an individual lives with the stress of handling their symptoms and have their ailment come in the way of living a quality life.

Effects On Everyday Life

Repressing your anger can have serious consequences on your everyday life. If you’re constantly angry or resentful, it can take a toll on your quality of life. Some areas of life that get affected due to unaddressed anger include:

Personal relationships: When you’re constantly angry, it can be difficult to maintain healthy personal relationships. You may find yourself arguing with loved ones or withdrawing from them altogether. Additionally, your anger may cause you to say and do things that you later regret.

Work performance: Repressed anger can also affect your work performance. If you’re struggling to control your temper, it may interfere with your ability to concentrate or get along with co-workers. Additionally, your employer may start to notice these issues and take disciplinary action against you.

Health: Unaddressed anger can also lead to physical health problems such as headaches, stomachaches, high blood pressure, and heart palpitations. It can also make existing health conditions worse. Additionally, repressed anger can contribute to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Quality of life: When you’re constantly angry, it can make it difficult to enjoy your life. You may find yourself feeling stressed and anxious all the time. Additionally, your anger may cause you to isolate yourself from others and miss out on important aspects of life.

If you’re struggling with repressed anger, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. They can help you identify the root cause of your anger and develop healthy coping mechanisms. With treatment, you can learn how to express your anger in a healthy way and improve your overall quality of life.

How To Deal With Repressed Anger

If you think you may be repressing your anger, there are a few things you can do to start dealing with it.

Talk To A Therapist

Talking to a therapist can help you understand your anger and learn healthy ways to express it. Therapy or counseling can also help you work through any underlying issues that may be contributing to your repressed anger. Some common therapeutic interventions used to treat repressed anger include cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and interpersonal therapy.

Join A Support Group

There are many different types of support groups available. These can be a great resource for people who are dealing with repressed anger. Support groups provide a safe space to share your experiences and learn from others who are going through similar things.

Practice grounding techniques

Grounding techniques can help you stay present and calm when you’re feeling overwhelmed by emotions. Some common grounding techniques include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization.

Exercise

Exercise is a great way to release pent-up energy and help you feel better. It can also help reduce stress and improve your mood.

Talk To Someone You Trust

Talking to someone you trust about your anger can be very helpful. This person could be a friend, family member, therapist, or counselor. Talking about your anger can help you understand it better, feel validated and find healthy ways to deal with it.

Start Small

If you’re not sure where to start, try starting with small changes. For example, if you’re used to bottling up your anger, try expressing it in a more assertive way the next time you feel angry. This may mean speaking up for yourself or setting boundaries with others.

Set realistic expectations

It’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself and others. This can help you avoid feeling frustrated or angry when things don’t go as planned.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice that can help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions. It can also help you learn to accept them without judgment. This can be a helpful skill for managing repressed anger because it can allow you to acknowledge your feelings without getting overwhelmed by them.

Keep An Anger Journal

Writing down your angry thoughts and feelings can help you release them in a healthy way. It can also help you identify any patterns or triggers that may be causing your anger.

Work On Your Emotional Regulation Skills

If you have difficulty regulating your emotions, there are some things you can do to improve your skills. This can include things like mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and medication.

Track Your Symptoms

Keeping track of your symptoms can help you and your doctor or therapist identify any patterns. This can be helpful in finding the right treatment for you.

Change Your Thought Patterns

If you have negative thought patterns about yourself or others, it can contribute to your repressed anger. You can try to change these patterns by challenging your negative thoughts and practicing gratitude.

Identify Your Triggers

Try to identify the things that trigger your anger. Once you know what these triggers are, you can start working on avoiding them or managing them healthily.

Express Your Anger In A Healthy Way

Once you’ve identified your triggers and learned to control your anger, you can start expresshealthilying it in a healthy way. This may involve talking to the person who has caused you anger, writing about your feelings, or even punching a pillow. The important thing is that you find a way to express your anger that doesn’t hurt yourself or others.

Repressed anger is a silent killer because it can lead to a number of health problems if left untreated. If you think you may be repressing your anger, it’s important to seek help from a therapist or counselor. They can help you understand and deal with your anger in a healthy way.

Conclusion

To conclude the above, repressed anger is something that should not be taken lightly. If you think you may have this issue, it is best to seek help from a professional in order to manage it in a healthy way. If you’re struggling with repressed anger, know that you’re not alone. It’s important to find healthy ways to deal with your anger. To assist you with your mental wellness journey, Mantra Care offers pocket-friendly online therapy sessions by expert therapists from all across the world. Contact us to book a session and begin your wellness journey today!

A Word From Mantra Care

Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.

At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.

Try MantraCare Wellness Program free