chapter  6
Anger Disorders
ByJerry L. Deffenbacher
Pages 24

INTRODUCTION Anger is a frequently experienced emotion for most people (1). When mild to moderate in intensity and expressed in constructive, nonhostile ways, anger can lead to positive, adaptive behaviors such as expressing feelings; asserting one’s rights, thoughts, and feelings; problem solving; redressing concerns; setting appropriate limits on the behavior of others; and motivating effective behavior (1,2). Anger, however, is a double-edged sword, often leading to many negative outcomes. For example, chronic anger and hostility are associated with health problems such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, compromised immune functioning, dental problems, and overall mortality (3). Intense anger is often associated with marital discord, abusive parenting, intimate partner violence, and other relationship problems (4,5). Anger has also been implicated in school violence, bullying, and disrupted teen relations. Anger may also lead to major or minor property damage (4), and an overall propensity to aggression and violence (6). Anger is also associated with reduced work effectiveness and problems such as being placed on probation, demotion, and termination (7). For some angry individuals, their anger is totally externalized and entirely justified, leaving their sense of self untouched. For others, however, their anger impairs their sense of

psychological well-being; they feel out of control and overwhelmed by their anger and feel anxious, embarrassed, guilty, ashamed, and depressed by their anger and anger-related reactions. While these are but a few examples, anger and its dysfunctional expression affects the physical, psychological, interpersonal, educational, and vocational lives of many people.