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Uncontrollable Anger Over Trivial Stuff

by Nick

I was one of those kids that would feel persecuted and get so mad I'd destroy objects that meant a lot to me. And then I would realize what I had done and be heartbroken. My feeling then was "look what you made me do."

Now in my mid 20's, I've lost the "you made me do" part, but not the breaking things. I do get some serious road rage from time to time and rarely will even yell and honk, but my usual reaction is the finger and dwell on it for a minute before letting it go. The main parallel I'm drawing back to my childhood with is video games. At first it was dropping the controller, then throwing, and by now I'm screaming obscenities and twisting controllers in my hand till they break. I've been through three already.

I actually get flush in the face, racing heartbeat, tight chest, the whole deal. I love playing these games and although competitive, I am only very mildly disappointed when I'm beat fairly. However when there's something threatening going on (real or perceived it elicits a reaction and feels real) I bug out. I understand that this isn't solely the video game and that there's more underlying, but about three times too many of the outbursts made me look here and the example is decent.

I feel like an a-hole for it and try through many of the events to chill, but it always ends up the same. I don't want to quit playing, I want to control myself (game or whatever situation).

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Nick, and thanks for submitting your story here. It sounds like you've got some strong anger going, and it's great that you want to deal with it.

There's no reason you should have to stop playing video games, but something has to shift about how you're approaching the games and your life as a whole.

It could be that one reason you are getting so angry is that you're not using your talents and gifts well enough. You need to be involved in doing things that have value and meaning--that matter to you. I have no idea what that would be, but I'm sure you can figure it out for yourself.

If that doesn't fit for you, just disregard it. As a human being, however, you will only be happy long term if you feel that you are making a positive difference in the world.

Also, try these anger management techniques. They will help you, if you use them.

Use your mind and heart to do something that has value for you and/or others, Nick, and it will really help you. You have gifts to offer this world that can only come from you. If you don't know what they are, then make up your mind to find out.

Believe in yourself.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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Feb 17, 2010
Breaking Things
by: Anonymous

After I read your story I was reminded of another person who told me that he couldn't stop breaking things. He told me that he just wanted to throw things and smash them up against the wall. Then he told me that he had a toy that he loved when he was a child and he wanted to smash it, but his father beat him to it. His father starting cussing, picked up the toy and threw it up against the wall breaking it into little pieces.

After he told me that, he looked stunned. Then he said, "I wonder if that's where I learned to express my anger by throwing things and smashing them?" After he realized that, he started talking about all of the things his father and his mother smashed. His parents used to throw things at each other all of the time. After talking about this for awhile, he found that he didn't want to break things so much.

I wonder if you saw your parents or anyone else break things like that?

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