We’ve heard people talk about others having “anger issues,” but that could mean a lot of things. There are specific mental illnesses that have anger as the primary symptom. For example, Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is an illness that is characterized primarily by the person being extremely angry. Someone with IED has severe impulse control. This illness is characterized by sudden instances of rage that is not provoked.  The disorder involves hostility, impulsivity, as well as outbursts of rage.

People who are living with IED have pronounced rage regardless of being provoked or not. Essentially, they are angry for seemingly “no reason.”

Even though there appears to be “no reason” for this rage, there’s always some reason that someone is acting angry. The reason here is that they have an anger disorder. When you have anger problems, sometimes the reason that you are expressing anger or rage is that you struggle to manage your angry feelings. When you lack that impulse control, it can be frustrating and make you feel angry.

Though anger is not an official symptom of depression or bipolar disorder, people with these illnesses often experience varying levels of irritability which could easily transform itself into anger or even rage. Anger is a difficult emotion to process and is best dealt with when working with a trained professional.

In order to manage anger effectively, it’s important to first find out what it is that makes you angry. That is logical and helpful to know. Once you’re aware of your anger triggers you’ll be able to manage them better and know how to react more rationally and less impulsively when you get angry. It can take time to develop those skills in therapy, but it’s important to work on them rather than letting your anger run the show. Being aware of when you are angry is the first step. The second step is learning what to do with that anger when you experience step. And the final step is accepting that you will become angry in life. There’s no way to prevent or avoid these feelings no matter how uncomfortable they are.

Anger isn’t a fun emotion to experience, but it is real. It’s better to confront it so that you can find healthy coping mechanisms to learn to manage it in your life.