Worksheets and Info Regarding Anger:
Angeris often a large part of a survivor's response to trauma. It is a core piece of the survival response in human beings. Anger helps us cope with life's stresses by giving us energy to keep going in the face of trouble or blocks. Yet anger can create major problems in the personal lives of those who have experienced trauma and those who suffer from PTSD.
In people with PTSD, their response to extreme threat can become "stuck." This may lead to responding to all stress in survival mode. If you have PTSD, you may be more likely to react to any stress with "full activation." You may react as if your life or self were threatened. This automatic response of irritability and anger in those with PTSD can create serious problems in the workplace and in family life. It can also affect your feelings about yourself and your role in society.
Researchers have broken down post-traumatic anger into three key aspects, discussed below. These three factors can lead someone with PTSD to react with anger, even in situations that do not involve extreme threat:
"You can't trust anyone."
"If I got out of control, it would be horrible, life-threatening, or could not be tolerated."
"After all I've been through, I deserve to be treated better than this."
"Others are out to get me," or "They won't protect me."
How can you get help with anger?
In anger management treatment, problems with arousal, behavior, and beliefs are all addressed in different ways. Cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT), a commonly used therapy, uses many techniques to manage these three anger problem areas:
For increased arousal
The goal of treatment is to help the person learn skills that will reduce overall arousal. He or she may learn how to relax, use self-hypnosis, and use physical exercises that release tension. This may include yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, regular physical activity, and practicing good self care.
The goal is first to look at how a person usually behaves when he or she feels threat or stress. The next goal is to help him or her expand the range of possible responses. More adaptive responses include:
Taking a time out
Writing thoughts down when angry
Talking with someone instead of acting
Changing the pattern "act first, think later" to "think first, act later"
It is ever so helpful to become more aware of your own thoughts leading up to becoming angry. Come up with more positive thoughts to replace the negative, angry thoughts. For example, learn to say to yourself, "Even if I don't have control here, I won't be threatened in this situation." Another example would be, "Others do not have to be perfect in order for me to survive or be comfortable." Role-play is often helpful so you can practice recognizing the thoughts that make you angry and applying more positive thoughts instead.
References and further Info:
INformation, Resources, and Support for Women with PTSD
Women with PTSD United