The Connection Between Addiction and Anger

wilmington alcohol rehab centerAnger can be difficult to manage, especially when an addiction to drugs or alcohol is added to the equation. For those who struggle with anger, this rage is often rooted deep in their psyche. People who have extreme anger issues often turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their strong feelings. Anger can mask much deeper problems and make it difficult for professionals or loved ones to see that there may be an underlying mental health concern that has been left untreated. If you need a Wilmington alcohol rehab center that you can trust, please call Legacy Freedom for help.

One of the most commonly undiagnosed anger based mental health disorders is Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). This disorder is characterized by explosive and often violent outbursts, typically followed by a period of guilt or sorrow over what occurred during their rage. IED is a secondary diagnosis that is found most commonly in people who:

  • Have a prior history of physical abuse
  • Experienced notable and traumatic events in childhood
  • Were exposed to violent outbursts or physical violence as a child
  • Have a history of substance abuse
  • Untreated mental health disorders

Men are at a higher risk for developing IED. The occurrences of these episodes usually begin in their early 20's, but in some cases can extend as far back as their teenage years. Research has shown that there is a hereditary link between parents who have IED and their children. While not every genetic disorder is passed on, the predisposition for it will appear throughout generations. Abnormalities in the portions of the brain which control inhibition and arousal are structured differently in those who have IED. Serotonin in the brain controls motor activity and is considered to be the body's natural mood stabilizer. This chemical is responsible for a wide range of body regulating functions like sleep, appetite, mood and arousal. When the levels of serotonin are low in the brain, people are more likely to experience violent outbursts and rage.

Those who have IED may not have had the issue diagnosed previously because it has been masked by other more prominent mental illnesses. IED is most commonly found in those who also have:

  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Disruptive behavior disorders
  • Problems with substance abuse
  • Depressive disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorder (APD)

Though it is often considered a secondary diagnosis, IED is a real mental illness. Weeks or months may pass between explosive episodes, however, when these incidents occur they can happen in clusters and include behaviors like the destruction of property, verbal assault, physical assault, and self-injury. Increased irritability and picking fights with friends, family or coworkers are all classic hallmarks of IED. More common issues and effects of intermittent explosive disorder are:

  •  Inability to hold gainful employment
  • Frequent car accidents or incidents of road rage
  • Financial or legal difficulties due to their outbursts
    • Assaults
    • Damage to property
  • Self-directed anger resulting in self-harm or suicidal behaviors and thoughts
  • Poor interpersonal relationships
    • Child abuse
    • Few friends
    • Divorce
    • Domestic violence

Wilmington alcohol rehab centerNearly three percent of the US population is diagnosed with IED each year. There is no cure for this disorder, however behavioral therapies and anger management strategies can help control the behaviors. This illness can be successfully managed if the primary mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, or substance abuse are treated and managed appropriately.

At Legacy Freedom of Wilmington, we understand that drug addiction is often a way to self-medicate to deal with larger issues. We are not a twelve step program. Our approach at our drug and alcohol rehab center begins with treating the whole person, not just addressing their substance addiction. The journey to sobriety starts with healing the mind, body, and spirit. Our combination of traditional talk and group therapy paired with more than ten alternative therapies allows our care team to customize a treatment plan around your needs and interests. Call our Wilmington alcohol rehab center to learn more.

One of the most popular therapies for treating those who have experienced severe trauma and who struggle with substance addiction is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. EMDR helps to disturb the way the brain processes these distressing memories that have resulted from this trauma. By addressing the lingering effects of this trauma and developing adaptive coping mechanisms many people are able to overcome these issues. The treatment involves an eight step protocol that recalls distressing moments while receiving binaural sensory inputs. EMDR has proven effective in treating addiction and substance abuse.

Since much of the cause for IED lies in experiencing violent outbursts and violence as a child, inner child therapy is often used with those who have a substance abuse problem and IED. This treatment has become popular because of its effectiveness in resolving mental health issues and treating addiction. The focus of this treatment is on fulfilling or addressing the needs of the inner child. There is an inner child in each of us. However, the relationship we have with this child as an adult may not be a healthy one. There are many types of inner children, each with their own needs and effects on our adult behaviors. The inner child and its needs are directly related to the traumas and experiences of childhood. The different types of inner children include:

  • The spoiled child - wants what it wants no matter what
  • The playful child - wants to play and have fun without guilt or anxiety
  • The neglected child - wants to feel loved and nurtured
  • The abandoned child - fears being left alone and is starved for attention
  • The fearful child - needs positive affirmations and encouragement
  • The disconnected child - craves the ability to trust and rely on people
  • The discounted child - needs love and support to feel confident and wanted

Many clients at Legacy have come to us only to find out that their primary underlying cause of their mental health issue and/or drug and alcohol abuse stems directly from a childhood event or events. Once we help you get in touch with your inner child, we can access these events directly thus alleviating the need or want to drink or use addictive drugs. The goal is to stop these behaviors permanently, helping you to achieve and live a sober life, free from relapse.

Affordable Wilmington Alcohol Rehab Center You Can Trust

The connection between anger and addiction is real. Together with your care team at Legacy Freedom we can help you address and heal the underlying behaviors that have lead to your substance abuse problem. If you or someone you love is battling addiction, we can help. Learn more about our holistic approach to addiction treatment on our website and our blog. The help you need to live a sober, healthy and purpose filled life is just a phone call or a click away. What are you waiting for? Call Legacy Freedom today! We're a Wilmington alcohol rehab center you can trust.

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