What can I do to control my anger?
Here are some tips to help with anger.
- Think before you speak
- Once you’re calm, express your anger
- Engage in some exercise
- Take a timeout
- Make a note of possible solutions
- Stick with ‘I’ statements
- Try not to hold a grudge
- Use humour to release tension
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Know when to ask for help
Recognising the warning signs
To control your anger, you first need to be able to recognise the signs that you are getting angry:
- Muscular tightening, especially around the jaw and arms
- A sensation of intensifying pressure in the head area
- Sensations of heat and flushing in the face
- Elevated heart rate, breathing or sweating.
Changing beliefs that contribute to anger
Some anger problems are rooted from the underlying belief systems about how the world should be. If you have a strong belief that the world should conform to your expectations and standards, you may experience a lot of frustration and anger when it doesn’t go according to your plan.
Why does someone self-harm?
Some people are motivated to self-harm in an attempt to display to others that they are struggling. Some people also self-harm in an attempt to handle with unsettling and upsetting feelings and thoughts. They may self-harm due to loneliness or an attempt to release feelings of guilt. However, feeling relieved after self-harming is only short term, and can lead to self-harm again.
Self-harm includes behaviours such as:
- cutting, burning or hitting yourself
- binge eating or starvation
- putting yourself in a risky situation
- abuse of drugs or alcohol
- overdosing on prescription medications
Some people are more likely to self-harm than others. The risks of someone engaging in self-harm can rise if they have suffered or are suffering from physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or are living with a mental illness. Someone may also self-harm because of the death of a loved one, because they experience pain, such as bullying, or loss such as miscarriage, or because they experience extreme sadness or anger.
Suicide Prevention – Things to look out for
Nearly everyone who has contemplated suicide will have indicated some signs or warnings, even if the signs are subtle. A person might show they are considering suicide in how they feel, talk and behave.
How they feel and talk — signs include:
- feeling sad, angry, ashamed, rejected, desperate, lonely, irritable, overly happy or exhausted
- feeling trapped and helpless: “I can’t see any way out of this”
- feeling worthless or hopeless: “I’m on my own — no one cares. No one would even notice I was gone”
- feeling guilty: “It’s my fault, I’m to blame”
How they behave — signs include:
- abusing drugs or alcohol, or using more than they usually do
- withdrawing from friends, family and society
- appearing anxious and agitated
- having trouble sleeping or sleeping all the time
- having sudden mood swings — a sudden lift in mood after a period of depression could indicate they have made the decision to attempt suicide
- having episodes of sudden rage and anger
- acting recklessly and engaging in risky activities
- losing interest in their appearance, such as dressing badly, no longer wearing make-up or not washing regularly
- rapid change sin weight
- putting their affairs in order
- making funeral arrangements
High-risk warning signs
A person may be at high risk of attempting suicide if they:
- threaten to hurt or kill themselves
- possess or have ways to kill themselves, such as stockpiling tablets or buying equipment that could be used to harm themselves
- talk, draw or write about death, dying or suicide
Risk factors for suicide
Someone is at greater risk of attempting suicide if:
- they have attempted suicide before
- they consume alcohol or drugs
- they have a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or PTSD
- they are having family or relationship problems
- they are in trouble with the law
- they have access to ways of killing themselves, such as medication or weapons
- someone they are close to has died recently
- they are subject to bullying
- they have an illness or disability
Feeling suicidal can also be prompted by life events such as stress over a job or money, trauma, a life change such as a divorce and loneliness.
Responding to warning signs
It can be challenging to talk to someone about their suicidal thoughts, but if you have noticed warning signs and are worried, the best way to find out is to ask. You might be the only person who does ask.
Beyond Blue has tips for how to start a conversation about suicide and questions you could ask.
Where to get help
The person’s doctor or acute care team can provide a range of options for treating and managing mental health issues. The emergency department at their local hospital will also be able to help them. Alternatively, if they are in Australia, you or they can ring the following numbers for 24-hour help, support and advice:
- Lifeline — 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline — 1800 551 800
- Suicide Call Back Service — 1300 659 467
- MensLine Australia — 1300 78 99 78
While waiting for the person to receive treatment, remove any possible means of suicide from their immediate environment, such as medicines, knives or other sharp objects, and household chemicals, such as bleach.