Resentment and anger are healthy emotions if expressed in a healthy and constructive manner. Ranging from a mildly irritating sensation to full-blown rage, anger emerges when we feel directly threatened, whether it is a threat perceived as coming from another person or from ourselves. Sometimes anger is unnecessarily experienced because we rush to judge a situation without taking the time to rationally evaluate it.
Alternately, anger can be a normal, justifiable emotion when another individual engages in activity deliberately intended to harm us or our loved ones either emotionally, physically, or both. Regardless of the circumstances, feelings of anger and resentment indicates something is wrong in our lives and needs rectified as soon as possible.
Arising from a deep-seated anger that has never been addressed, additive behaviors represent a maladaptive response to feelings of anger and resentment that probably originated in during an addict’s childhood or early adolescence. Patients seeking help at Gooden Center are often not even aware of these angry feelings because poor coping skills led them to use drugs and alcohol as a way of escaping from a bad situation.
However, once they have completed the detoxification process and begin to experience emotions that have been suppressed for years, the realization of the intensity of their anger often causes a profound sense of despondency, helplessness and loss. At this stage of recovery, we provide patients with the unconditional support, professional therapy and empathetic guidance needed to resolve anger issues and develop coping skills that are healthy and productive.
Anger and Alcohol Addiction
For many alcoholics, the few times they reveal their sober side to friends and family represents a startling contrast to their intoxicated persona. Alcohol abusers who become aggressive when drinking exacerbate their addiction by becoming enmeshed in a vicious cycle of rage and criminal activity that regularly lands them in jail. Fighting, destroying property, seeking revenge, abusing a spouse or child and driving while drunk are ways in which alcoholics express their anger without even understanding what is angering them.
Through detoxification, cognitive behavioral therapy and learning anger management techniques, Gooden Center shows alcohol abusers how to process long-suppressed anger and channel intense emotions into thoughts, words and actions that provide them with satisfying results.
Anger and Drug Addiction
Initiated by a cascade of stress hormones and neurotransmitters, the physiological changes produced by anger are uncomfortable and often frightening. Rapid heartbeat; shallow, quick breathing; heavy perspiration; nausea and vague body aches are classic symptoms of feeling angry. When someone is forced to live in an environment that constantly makes them experience anger, resentment and rage because their needs are not being met, the longing to escape such unbearable conditions grows overwhelming.
Nearly all substance abusers can distinctly remember the first time they took heroin, methamphetamine or another drug because of the way it made them feel for the first time in their lives—calm, serene and indifferent to the turmoil happening around them.
Anger Management Techniques
Patients at Gooden Center are exposed to a variety of anger management techniques as well as therapeutic interventions that help them recognize situations, people or unwanted thoughts that consistently trigger feelings of anger and resentment. By employing proactive approaches to intense emotions, patients can deal effectively with unexpected confrontations that set in motion the compulsive behaviors and distortions in perception which inevitably lead to relapsing.
Our therapists show patients how to release deeply suppressed anger as well as other destructive emotions that are essentially eroding their ability to live a full and satisfying life. Depression is another kind of debilitating emotion that always accompanies long-held resentments against past and present experiences, preventing patients from receiving the love and respect they deserve. Psychologically, depression is anger against the self while aggressive behavior is anger towards the perceived unfairness of the external world.