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I Become Enraged When I've Been Wronged

by Ronda

I have recently (within the last year) been diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, severe and chronic depression and disassociation disorder. I am under a doctor's care and also have had extensive therapy for quite some time as well as being placed on medication.

I can say that ever since my doctor found the right combination of medications for me I have felt great and have seen a huge improvement. Many of my symptoms have dissipated completely. However, one of the biggest issues I've dealt with most of my life has been my outbursts of anger when I feel I am wronged. I don't even see it coming. It comes out of nowhere and at those times I feel extremely enraged at the person and have a very hard time defusing my anger.

In the past I have broken things, hit things (not people or animals) and a list of other things when I've become this enraged. I still find myself in a fit of rage when I feel I am being wronged. I immediately start screaming and yelling, I have still at times thrown things and as a rule I say things that I later regret having said.

I want more than anything to be able to not get to the point of such strong anger and rage. I would love to obtain the tools and know how to see it coming (possibly) and know how to keep things under control even if I am angry. Since my treatment started and since feeling like I can have a normal life I find that this one last thing is a huge hindrance in my recovery and it is definitely not something that I want to continue.

Any input that you might have or information you can pass along would be greatly appreciated and I will take to heart. I do not consider myself to be a closed minded person and with having to open my eyes and mind to all that I have been diagnosed with I have learned that the only way to go forward is to stop living in the past. I feel my anger issue is something that has carried forward to my present and is still lurking in the shadows. Thank you for listening to my situation and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Ronda, and thanks for telling your story here. I am glad you feel better with your current diagnoses and medications. I will try to help you with your anger, with the following considerations:

Some of what I recommend could take you back to past trauma, which could upset your current balance and high functioning. For that reason I suggest you do two very important things:

1) Trust your own judgment as to whether these are the right techniques for you at this time. You said you didn't want to "live in the past," and some of these techniques will take you back to your past.

2) Consult with your doctor before trying these techniques.

That being said, this is what I recommend:

Try the "Trauma Writing" exercise and the other two journaling processes on this page, if you and your doctor feel that it is appropriate for you.

Again, if it is appropriate for you, try these imagery processes for emotional healing regarding some of your past traumatic experiences.

5) Something else that might help you is to focus your mind on the good things in your life. The third of the journaling exercises guides you through this. See if this helps you to access your good heart and positive attitude more.

It is my experience, Ronda, that anger comes from past pain and fear--in other words, trauma. If we don't deal with the trauma, trying to control the anger is like trying to put out a fire on a stove without turning off the gas burner. It just won't work.

Do what is right for you.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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