ANGER

Anger in individuals dependent on drugs and/or alcohol or other compulsive behaviors is often the result of overreactions to everyday stressors. Feelings resulting from the false meaning or interpretation given to these events (not from the event itself), trigger an exaggerated reaction. When this occurs, the fallout from it can leave the recovering individual vulnerable to relapse as a consequence.  Some of the most common of these so called cognitive distortions they are;

  1. Labeling – When a person labels the individual that they perceive has hurt them in a derogatory manner, it demonizes the object of their anger.  It causes the person attaching the label to feel indignant and morally superior.
  2. Magnification – By exaggerating the importance of the negative event, the intensity and duration of the emotional reaction will more than likely be exaggerated.
  3. Mind reading – When the individual feels justified in their anger by imagining erroneous motives as to why another person acts the way they act, self-righteous indignation is sure to follow.
  4. Need for instant gratification – Often people become dependent upon substances or other compulsive behaviors as a way to achieve instant relief from everyday stressors.  When these methods fail, frustration and rage may result. When this happens it evokes the need to seek relief through further drug use or engagement in compulsive behaviors.

All of these processes are destructive and will eventually give way to blame, retaliation and interpersonal conflict.  At inneractions we recognize the importance of breaking this destructive cycle by helping our patients identify their erroneous perceptions and develop new ways of viewing and reacting to life stressors in a healthier manner.

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