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Switch to Forum Live View Could anger be an addiction?
6 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2008 - 11:52AM #1
Evillynnstar
Posts: 531
I'm not trying to be poetic or bring any disrespect to the board. Nor am I asking for sympathy or anything of that nature. What I want to know, is could anger be an addiction?
Let me explain. I tend to be a very angry person. In away I enjoy being angry. I feel strong, in control and even empowered.  When I get angry it doesn't take much to trigger it and I'm told I can be very cruel. But in the same respects in many cases I feel right for being angry, but sometimes I just get angry for the sake of being angry. Not being angry actually makes me uncomfortable and insecure at times. Often I confuse anger with happiness. I feel almost like a high, like I'm walking on air. I've been trying very hard to control this anger and try and live positively. Yet it is very difficult for me not to feel angry at least several times a day. I don't inflict any physical damage, but its hard not to feel so negative, bitter and resentful of those I love most. So is this an addiction?
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2008 - 1:11PM #2
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799
Your insight is extremely keen. At least, in regard to this matter it is.

Yes, according to Buddhism, anger can be an addiction. Any strong desire can be an addiction. But especially anger. It is listed as one of the Three Poisons, the other two being; Greed and Ignorance.

How can we eliminate the three poisons? Letting go and giving offset greed. Patience and loving-kindness counteracts anger and hatred. Seeking and practicing wisdom counters ignorance.

How To Turn Three Poisons Into Three Pillars - LINK
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2008 - 2:38PM #3
Agnosticspirit
Posts: 9,244
Hello Evillynstar, and welcome to this corner of Beliefnet! Like Chiyo said, any strong desire can become an addiction. I guess what determines the difference between addiction and a passion, or an interest is the ability to achieve mastery and whether or not the strong desire/interest/addiction/passion has a negative impact on you and those around you.

If you lack mastery over your anger, then it can certainly be an addiction. I admire your ability to see this propensity within. Now what do you do? No matter the problem, it always starts with the awareness that it exists.

(((( hugs ))))

agnosticspirit
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2008 - 3:43PM #4
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799
You know, I've been thinking about this thread since I'd last posted... And I got to wondering if this really could be called "an addiction", as opposed to "a compulsion" - since there would be very little physical element involved, no physical withdrawals, etc... So, I went on a search and googled; "Difference Addiction Compulsion" and looky at what I've found!

Basically; "All addictions are compulsions, but not all compulsions are addictions". The one thing they both have in common is, they drive a person toward the object of their desire with such intensity that the individual feels they have no choice...

LINK

LINK
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2008 - 8:15PM #5
Kapha44
Posts: 439
"What I want to know, is could anger be an addiction?
Often I confuse anger with happiness. I feel almost like a high, like I'm walking on air."
Any substance activity etc which alters your mood, changes the way you feel can be addicting.
The question is does it have life damaging consequences?

No matter the problem, it always starts with the awareness that it exists. Excellent point by Agnosticspirit.

Chiyo there is a withdrawal from adrenalin.

Tom rom is right getting angry is a solution. A bad one but nevertheless a solution.

As a former rageaholic I ought to know.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 02, 2008 - 5:48PM #6
appy20
Posts: 10,165
It is not an addiction but there is an inherited ability to volatility.  There is a precise neurological response that is more easily set off in some folks with the right genes.  It may seem like an addiction because the person keeps doing it.  We have a society that people think anything and everything that we keep doing is an "addiction" and it just isn't.  We are convinced that we all have the same brains from birth that react the very same way and we just do not.  The biology of anger is quite complex with many, many biological aspects that can go wrong.  There are architectural differences of the brain that make impulse control more difficult for some than others.  There are other neurochemical reactions that just literally flick on too easily in some folks because of the way their synapses, neurons, and actual composition and quantity and ratio of biochemicals.  Some of these things cannot be controlled. 

And sometimes, people do get mad for the right reasons.  Anger is not all bad. It can be creative and constructive.  It can also save your life if you are physically attacked.  It has its place.  Although, it generally does cause more problems than it solves. 

My philosophy is that I only get angry with people that I do not wish to have a relationship with.  I rarely go against that. It does happen but it is rare. If I get mad and react in anger, chances are I don't give a flip about the relationship.  Now, I have become friends with some folks that have made me angry but I always consider anger a burning of the bridges. If I attack, then for me, the relationship is not one I want to continue.

However, a lot of people do not have that luxury.  Some folks get very angry and cannot control their reactions to people they value.  It is easy to be judgmental about such people but I think they may be doing the best they can with what they have. 

There are so many things that can go wrong with a brain. If you stop and think how much complexity is in the average brain and how much biochemical perfection is required to be "normal,"  you can't help but be amazed that we do as well as we do.  We take "normal" for granted when it is actually a miracle because there are probably a million plus processes that have to run perfectly to be "normal."  You can take "normal" and add injury, viruses, bacteria plus genes and you can lose it pretty fast. 

There is interesting research currently being done on emotional volatility.  A lot of tragedy may one day be averted when all is finally understood.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 03, 2008 - 12:10PM #7
ODIECOM
Posts: 326
like some of the others, i dont believe anger is an addiction. having dealt with alot of anger since i was a kid,  it took aloing time for me to figure out what the root cause of the anger was. we get used to being angry and it becomes second nature. its what we use to deal with ppl or issues. there usually is an INSIDE reason.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2008 - 4:33PM #8
iamonewithhim
Posts: 20
[QUOTE=ODIECOM;933282]like some of the others, i dont believe anger is an addiction. having dealt with alot of anger since i was a kid,  it took aloing time for me to figure out what the root cause of the anger was. we get used to being angry and it becomes second nature. its what we use to deal with ppl or issues. there usually is an INSIDE reason.[/QUOTE]
Hi - I  just wanted to say that a lot of times I thought I was acting hurt and when I went into therapy I realized how angry I was - angry at the child abuse, angry at the abusive relationships I had gotten myself into; angry that I listened to so many people tell me what I could or couldn't do; angry that I messed up my life when I was young; angry because my ex-husband didn't help with my kids; angry my mother killed herself without ever telling me she loved me; and then to top everything off angry, hurt and devastated from the murder of my son.

All I know is I want the anger to go away - I was to walk in love and peace and not destroy any more relationships - and truly find the love of God inside of me that I may share it with others.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2008 - 9:13AM #9
sagegreen
Posts: 1
I believe amger is an addiction. When angry, the fight or flight response is activated, which served early man well. There is a release of adrenalin into the body, hence the feeling of power. This is very low on the spiritual evolutionary scale and does a body more harm than good.
I agree that at times anger can be a body's way of tipping you off that you are in danger, either physical or emotional and perhaps there is someone you should cut ties with.
Anger as an addiction is self indulgence with tragic consequences.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2008 - 11:27PM #10
Oceanheart33
Posts: 1
[QUOTE=tom rom;919762]Anger, in psychology, is a secondary emotion; it is a reaction to fear, which is very common in someone with an addictive personality.

If a person is addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, shopping, sex, ect., it is all the same. The drugs, for example, are not the initial problem; they are a way of coping with the problem, which is the persons desire to have control over all situations. When a situation does not turn out as expected, or anticipated, the addicted persons behavior usually leads to a fear of losing control of a situation, and consequently, anger.[/QUOTE]

I would also like to remind others that anger can calso be a symptom in several mental health dysfuntions, one of the most common being part of the mania state of bipolar disorder.  Addiction, reaction, or disorder, determining the root cause of your anger is truly the first step in releasing it from your life.
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