PSTD & Anger

Do you struggle with anger? Do you know someone who is volatile with rage? Perhaps they also have PSTD (post- traumatic stress disorder). In abusive relationships, anger is often not the real issue. This may contradict what many people believe when it comes to emotional abuse or domestic violence. If you talk to a lot of domestic violence survivors, they often say it is not generally due to rage but the need to control others that results in symptoms of anger and rage.

Effects of Anger on the Body

• a tightness in the chest.

• rapid heartbeat

• muscles tense throughout the body

• stomach churns

• shaking and trembling

• dizziness or pounding head

• excessive sweating

Effects of anger on the mind

• irritation.

• “red mist” or “seeing red”

• guilt

• feelings of humiliation

• tension

• inability to relax

• nervous

• resentful.

Anger and sleep

There is a close connection between mental health issues and sleep. Anger can most definitely impact sleep patterns and will have a negative impact. There is no doubt that when sleep patterns are poor, anxiety is heightened, negative thoughts increase, and depression is also likely.

Positive aspects of healthy anger

• it aids with the identification of problems

• it brings awareness to aspects of life that hurt

• it keeps us safe

• it enables our ability to defend ourselves if situations are dangerous

• It motivates towards change

If healthy anger is smoothly and positively discharged it is often resolved right there and then. Most people have never been taught how to skillfully express anger in a healthy way where they can control it and turn it around; instead the anger controls them.

Destructive aspects of unhealthy anger

Apart from outward aggression and violence, anger may be expressed by way of inward aggression. This is where the individual feels hatred towards themselves. They may isolate themselves away from the world, deny themselves basic needs or even self-harm.

Passive anger directed at others is another form of anger eg: giving the silent treatment to others or using sarcasm.

PSTD and Anger

Quite often suppressed and unresolved anger will be behind symptoms of PSTD. Temper can act as a shield or, as a way of offsetting confrontational behaviour by others- basically a survival defence mechanism. The person may not even realise that this is happening and do it unconsiciously.

Other reasons for ongoing anger include:

• past bullying

• past trauma

• past abuse

If a person has grown up in a family environment where they were discouraged to express their feelings, this can also lead to difficulties talking over their feelings. Suppressed anger that has never been safely released or resolved can act like a ticking time bomb.

PSTD Symptoms in adults and children

PTSD (and Acute Stress Disorder) adult sufferers share 3 core symptoms:

  • being on red alert (hypervigilance)
  • intrusive thoughts relating to the trauma
  • avoidance

Children suffering from PSTD will often present with the following behaviours:

  • intense separation anxiety
  • increased startle response
  • sudden sleep problems

Traumatic Coupling

Anger triggers occur when a perception is associated with a previous traumatic event. It then triggers emotional and physical responses that repeat the responses from the original trauma again. The linking of present triggers to past traumas is known by counsellors as traumatic coupling because the link is so strong that the trigger creates the same response. These are symptoms of anger and aggression that overlap with or develop PSTD.

Can NLP help PSTD?

There are NLP (neuro linguistic programming) techniques that may help alleviate the symptoms of PTSD. However more than often it involves re -experiencing distressing events so this can be retraumatizing. This can leave the person discouraged to follow through with more of the same.

Can Forgiveness Heal?

Forgiveness can be a powerful healing force but is difficult to master especially if someone has treated you extremely badly and emotional wounds go deep. If unresolved, then these wounds could be a cause of some of the anger issues. Equally, it can be difficult for people to forgive themselves and this is something that can also trigger a negative response. Forgiveness and resolution for any situation means being able to resist the need to punish someone or something and no longer feel anything is owed to them. It requires one to also forgive themselves so that the healing can begin. This is a large topic and cannot be dealt here, suffice to say it forgiveness is a difficult way to resolve deep seated anger and PSTD.

Is Anger Management Counselling effective?

There are CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) techniques that deal with “managing” anger issues. Specific events are reframed by viewing it in an alternate way and by doing so, it is then possible to create a different meaning for it. This technique can be especially useful for those suffering from deeply traumatic events where someone has died as a result and there is survivors guilt. Due to human survival drivers looking always for threats, reframing can change both the meaning and the outcome and consequently the person has a better reaction and feeling about it. However counselling for PSTD and Anger Management may take a long time and not necessarily remove the automatic triggers. It also relies on the person using their conscious thinking to change. It may not be effective to disentangle the unconscious trauma loop which has the person stuck with automatic triggers and reactions.

How TRTP can help

The Richards Trauma Process (TRTP) differs from traditional therapy in several key ways. While traditional therapy often focuses on talking about feelings and experiences, TRTP focuses on the physical sensations and emotions that are stored in the body as a result of traumatic events, and unlocking those in a safe way. Instead of just discussing experiences. TRTP works with the unconscious mind to give it a bit of a “reset” in the areas that are causing problematic emotions and behaviour. There is no need for deep hypnosis either.

The therapist uses techniques that help access the subconscious mind and allow trauma to be released and let go of, so that it no longer plays like a broken record in the individual’s life.

3 Stage Process -Finished in just 1 Month

TRTP™ Therapy resolves trauma related issues – quickly, safely and effectively, with a 3 step process. These trauma-related issues include PTSD, anxiety and depression. It helps individuals overcome chronic emotional dysregulation without retraumatizing to the extent of reliving the past. The therapy is heavily guided by the therapist and not like traditional “talk therapy” where the client keeps repeating all the details of past distressing events. TRTP therapy is a holistic and gentle approach that provides a supportive environment for individuals to heal, grow, and thrive. As it can be fully completed in one month it is ideal for people with acute or situational stress, anxiety or depression to get a solution right away.

The Ideal Online Therapy

There is no need to have TRTP sessions in person; in fact sessions via video conferencing are highly effective because they minimise distractions, have a better audio receptive for the TRTP technique, and help the client to be at ease in their own home.

Book a free Discovery Call

If you would like a complimentary no obligation free introduction telephone call to see if TRTP is right for you and have the chance to ask any questions, you can book here: I want to book a free introduction call

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