Are Angry Feelings And Actions Affecting Your Ability To Feel And Function Well?
Have you been expressing your emotions through angry outbursts or engaging in self-destructive behaviors? Are you struggling to figure out what you want to do with your life, questioning the expectations and ideals of your parents and/or society or feeling misunderstood or unsupported in your relationships? Are you self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, easily influenced by friends, or making poor choices that are causing harm to your life and/or to others? Do you feel angry at yourself, your family, or the with the world in general? Are you easily triggered, stuck in an angry way of being, or seem to have more bad days than good? Do you often think that life would be so much better if everyone got off your back and you had free reign to do, say and feel whatever you want?
It’s so common for young adults to experience fears about the future and a lot of confusion about what to do with themselves and their lives. Losing the structure provided by high school or a parent’s home – while liberating – can create feelings of high anxiety and vulnerability. And, some young adults experience a lot of anger as they adjust to this major life transition. They may become angry at themselves, at their family and friends and at a world that can seem dysfunctional, frightening or extremely difficult to navigate.
Many Young Adults Experience Anger
For many young adults, the transition into adulthood comes with a range of intense emotions. This is normal. It’s hard work to figure out who to be and how to engage with the world. And, anger is an emotion that often arises when faced with these new and sometimes frustrating challenges. Anger is tricky because it can be hard to “own,” or even understand, and when left uncontrolled, it can have grave and sometimes long-lasting impacts. While it’s common for many young adults to feel angry and uncertain as they try to navigate a new environment and sense of freedom and self, anger becomes a problem when it begins creating unwanted consequences. If people close to you have expressed concern about your angry actions or if your anger has caused you problems with the law, in relationships, or led to fights or other destructive behaviors, getting help and support is critical.
Therapy Can Help You Better Understand And Manage Your Anger And Other Emotions
It can be so helpful to talk to another person about feelings that you’ve been holding inside. And, therapy is a supportive, safe and nonjudgmental place to take chances and explore the uncomfortable feelings that can be difficult to discuss with friends and family.
Your experienced and highly trained BPS therapist can help you better understand what’s going on in your life, in your head and in your heart. You can identify and address the stressors and triggers that are causing you to feel and behave in angry and destructive ways. You can explore your lifestyle choices, relationships and any negative feelings that you may have toward yourself. It can be uncomfortable to take an honest look at yourself and your actions, but developing a better understanding of your emotions and an increased self-awareness can be so beneficial and lead to a much easier and happier life.
In counseling, you can learn practical and concrete skills and techniques that you can apply when you sense your anger rising. You can develop self-soothing and breathing techniques and increase body awareness. Learning to identify how anger feels in your body at its onset can help you calm or cut it off before you act in ways that are destructive to yourself or others. Your BPS therapist can also help you notice any negative self-talk you may be engaging in and shift into thinking about yourself more positively and with more compassion.
With help, it is possible to learn how to express emotions in less destructive ways. If you are motivated to make meaningful changes in your life, you can make strides toward taking better care of yourself and the people around you. You can cultivate more mindfulness, enjoy healthier relationships and feel much better about yourself and how you fit into the world.
But, you still may have questions or concerns…
I think that therapy could be helpful, but I’m concerned about costs.
This is your life and wellbeing. Addressing your anger issues now can prevent a host of problems from occurring with work, school and relationships as you continue into adulthood. Investing in your self now may also prevent your anger from worsening and impacting your life in negative and possibly long-term ways.
Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with young adults and anger issues or who they couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct an initial assessment and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced to treat young adults with anger issues and whose personality is a good match for you. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to yourself may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine feeling and functioning better in the real world on a regular basis and ask yourself what that’s worth.
If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find other lower cost resources in the community.
I’m afraid that therapy will make me feel worse.
This is a very common and understandable fear. Talking about feelings can be scary, but most people find that sharing their feelings leads to relief. And, although you may initially feel worse at, sometimes it’s necessary to experience and work through painful emotions in order to feel better.
And, you can feel and function better. You also do not have to do this important work on your own. Your BPS therapist can guide and support you as you make important self-discoveries and courageous changes in your life.
I’ve done and felt some things that I’m not proud of. I’m not sure that I could talk to anyone – even a therapist – about some of my thoughts and actions.
Your BPS therapist is not there to judge you. Rather, your therapist is there – without expectations – to listen, to help you be curious about yourself, and to work with you to identify and address the stressors and triggers in your life that spark your anger. We have all made choices that we are not proud of. But, getting help, sharing your experience honestly and actively making positive changes is courageous and something to celebrate.
We encourage you to schedule an initial assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your specific issues are and ensure a good match between you and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.
You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and with a therapist who has expertise working with young adults with anger issues.
BPS therapist Tim Anspach, LPC, helped create the content for this page. Tim is a licensed professional counselor who blends Western psychological modalities with a mindfulness-centered approach. He has been working with young adults with anger management issues since 2002.