Hi, how’s it going? Hope you are doing well.
Have you ever heard much about anger management classes? Maybe you’ve been to one yourself, or maybe you know someone who’s been in them. Obviously, anger management classes aim to work on a person’s anger issues and get them to the point where they can express their anger appropriately (instead of just “blowing up.”)
But if you’ve never been in this type of group, you might not realize just how often anger is expressed inside the group. Conflicts tend to arise in a group where everyone has anger management issues. I guess that makes sense.
But it makes it both harder and easier at the same time to teach how to handle anger appropriately. It makes it harder because tempers have risen and people are less willing to listen in those moments that they are angry.
It makes it easier because it gives the facilitator a real-life example to use right then and there to show them how to manage their anger. It also helps the clients to practice their new anger management skills. The teacher might even have them replay the conversation with the intent that they will do better the second (or third) time around.
One of the things they teach in anger management classes is that your emotions, and what you choose to do with them, are your choice. No one can make you outburst in anger. They might provoke you, and they can certainly do bad things. But they cannot control your actions. Only you can do that.
And you can help guide a situation to go the way you want it based off your actions. If you act in a negative way, then the situation is more likely to become negative very quickly. If you act in a positive, constructive manner, then the situation is more likely to turn in your favor.
Now, this isn’t a guarantee, for one simple reason: You cannot control other people’s actions. Realizing this is a major part of anger management. When you get to the point that you realize that all you can control is you, you will learn how to manage your anger, and even some of your stress levels.
People with bipolar disorder often have anger management issues, especially when they are manic. They are as likely as not to escalate a situation until it reaches a boiling point, so to speak. But there are things that both they and their supporters can do to minimize the situation and to build a constructive atmosphere.
For a person who has bipolar disorder and also has a history of poor anger management, I would strongly recommend taking anger management classes. You can decide with your treatment team whether a regular anger management class is more appropriate, or whether you need a one-on-one counseling session with a therapist who knows something about bipolar disorder.
For the supporters, there are some things you can do as well to help the situation along, without hurting your loved one’s feelings. Make sure to validate their feelings, even if you don’t agree with how they acted on those feelings. That by itself will often bring their level of aggression down.
Use “I” statements; never accuse, even if you know you are right. Remember that all you can control is your own actions. If the situation gets out of hand, especially if it gets violent, call for outside help. It may be a sign that your loved one needs more help than normal to stabilize themselves and to control themselves.
Take a break from the situation as needed. You’d be amazed what a break and a clear head can do for you. There are other tactics you can use, as well. The most important being respect: Respect yourself, respect them, and when you can, ask them to respect you as well. And then remember that, while it is perfectly okay to ask this, you still cannot make them do it.
What do you think about this?
Well, I have to go!