The teenage years can be difficult for many people. While some teens experience depression, many teens may experience hard-to-control anger or rage. While some emotional outbursts are considered normal, a recent study has found that 1 in 12 teenagers suffer from an anger disorder. If your child has an anger disorder, then their feelings of anger may lead them to harm themselves or others and make everyday activities difficult to manage. If you think that your teenager has a serious issue with anger, you may want to watch for these 5 signs that they need professional help.
They Have Regular Outbursts
While it is normal to get angry at times, a teenager should be developing the skills to control their outbursts when they feel angry. If your teen often resorts to yelling, physical displays of anger such as throwing items and slamming doors, or threatening when they become angry, then they may need some assistance to learn to control their anger.
During anger management sessions, a counselor can help your teen recognize potential triggers for their anger and create methods to control their secondary reactions when they become angry.
Anger Has Caused Them To Get Into Physical Altercations
If your teen has gotten into more than one physical altercation with a classmate or into a single serious fight, then they may benefit from professional help controlling their anger. It is important to listen to your teen's side of the incident and not assume that they were acting out of uncontrolled rage. However, if fighting happens regularly or is paired with other signs of an uncontrollable temper, it is time to actively seek alternative methods for processing anger.
They Tend To Stay Angry For Long Periods Of Time
Anger is a natural reaction that humans feel when they are threatened in some way. However, normal anger tends to dissipate once it is expressed or suppressed by the person experiencing the anger. If your teen stays angry for long periods of time, it may mean that they are either not expressing their anger in healthy ways or there are underlying hormonal, emotional, or mental causes that are exacerbating the anger.
It may help you to keep a journal of how often your teen has positive, happy interactions as opposed to how often they appear sullen or angry. You may find that you are overestimating how often your teen gets angry and how long they stay angry for. However, if they are angry for long periods of time, you should seek professional help.
For Girls, Their Anger Coincides With Their Monthly Cycle
Anger has many hormonal causes, which is why some teens have a difficult time controlling it. In girls, if they regularly have uncontrollable anger before and during their monthly period, it may be a sign of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Although PMDD is often associated with severe depression, it can also cause rage in some women.
Your Teen Is Angry About Past Events
It is often difficult for a parent to determine exactly what a teen is angry about. It may seem like your teenager gets upset over very minor conflicts and you don't understand why. Many teens that have issues controlling their anger feel upset and insecure about a past traumatic event in their life. This can be a major trauma such as childhood sexual abuse or a seemingly less threatening event such as a divorce or moving to a new city. If you think that your child may be holding onto past trauma, it is important to get them professional help.
A counselor can help them process their past trauma. This can make them feel like they have more control over their life and can make current anger more manageable.
Although it is easy to become frustrated with a teenager that seems out of control, it is important that you realize anger issues can be a serious disorder. Rather than return your teen's anger, help them by finding a professional counselor with experience in anger management issues.