By SHELLY COONROD

Anger is a natural, and even healthy, human emotion. It can motivate change and give insight to stress levels.

However, without proper control, anger can become hate, hostility and even rage. Such extreme anger can be destructive, harming careers, destroying relationships and lowering the quality of life.

When anger becomes unmanageable, it is important to seek professional help.

If you are feeling constantly frustrated, your temper causes problems at work, or you avoid events and people because you can’t control your temper, perhaps it is time to seek outside assistance.

Frustration, hopelessness, powerlessness or feelings of being attacked lead to feelings of anger. However, anger can also be a symptom of mental illness. During the diagnostic assessment, the mental health professional can determine if your anger problems are caused by depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.

Once the cause is determined, treatment can begin.

In counseling, a client will learn triggers, such as being wrongly accused or having an untidy roommate. He or she will learn physical, emotional, behavioral and cognitive cues that foretell an explosive outburst. For example, a rapid heartbeat or pacing can be cues to rising feelings of anger.

An anger-control plan may be developed, allowing the client to learn coping skills such as progressive muscle relaxation and thought stopping. Conflict resolution and assertiveness training may also be a part of treatment.

If you find yourself struggling with anger control, please understand there is help available. Again, anger is not a “bad” emotion, but it can lead to severe consequences if not properly managed.

Make an appointment with a counselor and begin the journey to anger management. A higher quality of life is more possible than anger would let you believe.

Coonrod is a licensed professional counselor at New Transitions Counseling, Tiffin. If you have a mental health question, please send it to: Mental Health Moment, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay 45839.

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