Anger

An emotion that is quite common, with potentials for untoward outcomes is anger. From a normal perspective, anger has to be directed towards an object or situation. While it is not uncommon to have persons who are basically angry without a reason, angry persons might be experiencing a psychological disturbance.

It has been discovered that anger appears to be an emotional reaction to mask fear or other emotions that make us vulnerable to being psychologically distressed. These include shame, guilt, anxiety, and helplessness among others. Unfortunately, the emotion of anger does not resolve any of these other negative feelings.

 

Persons who recurrently express anger in unjustifiable circumstances need help. This is to prevent the potentially terrible outcomes of anger which include physical or mental illness and breakdown of relationships.

Persons who recurrently express anger in unjustifiable circumstances need help. This is to prevent the potentially terrible outcomes of anger which include physical or mental illness and breakdown of relationships. The help required depends on how intense the bouts of anger are and the resources available for the individual. Some situations will respond to counseling or lifestyle modifications. Other situations will require more intense management which could be in form of intense psychotherapy and (or) medications.

 

 The Case of Mr. B

Mr. B recently lost his job in a private firm. His predicament isn’t farfetched from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Before the loss of his job, he took a bank loan to complete his house. Mrs. B noticed that in the last 2 weeks, her husband had experienced bouts of anger in very flimsy situations. Some of these situations are definitely not new to them as a family. It was obvious to her that he had become less tolerant and more impatient with those situations. The latest incident (which triggered off the need to seek professional help) was disturbing to her. Her husband almost physically handled one of the attendants of the garbage company that came to cart away their refuse. The man’s offense was related to his request for payment of the bill for their services rendered in the previous month. Mr. B rightfully noted that they missed out a week during the month in contention. He, therefore, demanded that they work for one more week before getting their pay. However, the man also rightfully stated that they had made up for the week missed by eventually removing all the dirt the following week. The conversation became an argument; the argument escalated into hurtful verbal exchanges and the exchanges degenerated into shouts, pulling, shoving, and threats. Mrs. B had to physically intervene to break the altercation. She then sat down with her husband and calmly gave him a detailed recap of some of his angry outbursts in recent times. She eventually convinced him to have a chat with his friend Pastor S, who works as a counselor in an international school.

You are Pastor S.

  1. What will you like to find out from Mr. B?
  2. What will you advise Mr. B to do?
  3. Do you think Mr. B is insane? Give your reason(s).
  4. What will you advise Mrs. B to do?

 

Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section below.

To be continued!

 

Note: This story is entirely “fictional”.
Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination for education and information about mental health issues. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

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Ola Ibigbami

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19 Responses

  1. I don’t think Mr B is insane but the recent frequent outbursts suggest a mental/psychological stress which warrant an urgent help.
    I would like to know Mr B recent mental state and his present challenges as well as how he has tried to cope.
    I would advise Mr B to be open as much as possible for him to be helped and he should be willing to receive help.
    Mrs B would have to support Mr B in his therapy.

    • Many thanks for your comments. I totally agree with you you that he needs help. Help is relative. The first step is to actually agree that something is wrong somewhere

  2. Mr B is suffering from Emotional imbalance; which Is a TEMPORAL SITUATION.

    BUT if the situation lingers on then it will lead to Depression and later MENTAL ILLNESS.

  3. Wow. This is a very good article.
    The problem of anger I personally considered to have reach an epidemiologic status in Nigeria. It is very disturbing when you see everybody on the street venting anger on each other in every day communication and interactions.
    You have done a great deal in pointing bout some of the basic underlying causes of this inappropriate display of emotion. This must be made more widespread for all to know and learn about the evil effects of anger on man and how to control it.
    Well done doc. Great job.

  4. Anger is a common problem and thus the article is very pertinent. It is well written and I believe people of all ages would find it interesting and beneficial. Looking forward to part 2. Thanks for the good work

  5. A timely piece. There are many frustrated individuals roaming the streets without any idea that they need help or can get help. Thanks for shedding light on this.
    Mrs B needs to recognize Mr B’s predicament and make room for his moods. I recommend lots of patience and prayer!

  6. Thank you sir for the article. If I were to be the pastor to Mr B, I would want to find what situation provoked his outburst of anger and what is reactions were to the situation. I will then compare it to his reactions in the past to similar events. Then, I will be able to gauge if the reaction is out of proportion to the situation and different from his pattern of behavior in the past. With the interview, I will either counsel him myself on the anger management or advise he sees a professional to help him out. As for sanity, I could say that his reactions might be out of normal. So my final counsel will be for him to see a psychologist or psychiatrist. I will seal it up with prayers.

  7. Since I am the Pastor, I would advise him that everything would work out with time and that all he has to do is just be patient.

    I don’t think he is insane, he’s just operating his decisions and actions out of fear.

    I would advise Mrs B. to be more considerate about his predicaments and that she should also know in her heart that everything would get better soon.

  8. Hmmmmn….Thank you so much for this article sir, you actually made me to realise the importance of anger as a tool for change and not to be used against someone. Well, Mr B is actually suffering from emotional imbalance from various situations combined together as one, so he needs to see a psychologist for mental sanity.

  9. You are absolutely correct Dr on your submissions on this menance called Anger. For me, anger is a cummulation of frustrations of different degrees as a result of failed state we called Nigeria. Mr B needs serious and genuine counselling from experienced Guardian Counsellor; he must be patience and take life easy and must trust his ability to bounce back economically. Majority of Nigerians are today Mr B in nature and character. May God help us all. Thanks for this unique write up which if not properly treated can consume humanity.

    • Happy new year Sir! I can bring out counselling, patience and hope as some of your suggested options. Stay tuned for more tips!

  10. Amazing article, Dr. what is your take on our culture and its contribution in anger and how we control our emotions?

    • Hello Dr.Mwita. Culture is a relevant factor that determines the expressibility of anger. Maybe we should consider a review like the one we did on self-immolation!

  11. As the pastor to Mr B I’d first like to know if Mr B agrees that anger is a challenge he’s dealing with, his response will determine my next action. Ultimately I’d encourage him to get something doing to improve his finances as this is the reason for his current display for unnecessary anger

    • Thanks Mosicated!
      I agree with you. This will be a helpful strategy as it gives ample opportunity to tailor your intervention to what you discover to be wrong! Many thanks for sharing. Kindly stay tuned for more insights.

  12. What I would like to find out from Mr B: I would like to find out who Mr B was before his present predicament, I would appreciate if he could define the type of person he was, a cool- headed person, level-headed person or temperamental person? before his job loss. So as to ascertain whether the excessive anger is his nature or conditional? I will ask him what steps has he taken so far to get a new job or get something doing. I will advise him to always calm down in every situation he finds himself letting him know that anger cannot solve his present predicament and for him live a better and productive life, he must be able to manage his anger very well and cope with his emotions.
    Mr B is not insane because he still have some sense of rational judgement though, his judgement may not be ideal in some situations, his tolerance threshold has really gone down which may be secondary to the job loss and other environmental factors.
    Mrs B needs to be more supportive to the husband and the family, she needs to keep reassuring and encouraging the husband, after all, nothing is permanent in life and when there is Life, there is Hope !

    • Many thanks for your comments. Kindly read through the second part of the series for more information that will guide your insight into the situation!

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