When Anxiety Manifests as Anger—Taming Your Temper
While they are two different emotions, anxiety can present itself as intense anger. Recognizing this is important, so I can prevent taking these feelings out on others.
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Discerning Anxiety from Anger with Bipolar
I’ve been thinking about anxiety and anger, and, specifically, whether anxiety can manifest as anger.
Right now I’m having problems with anxiety. This has to do with a medication side effect and my own underlying condition. What I find is that sometimes I walk around my apartment with my fists balled, and I feel really angry.
I feel angry at everything. I feel angry at nothing. It’s a feeling of anger that is being induced by nothing at all.
And what I think it is, for me, is that this anger is actually my anxiety.
The Negative Energy of Anxiety
Anxiety comes with a certain amount of “scratchy energy.” It’s a horrible, negative energy. It’s not useful; it’s not productive; it’s the kind of energy that makes you want to wring your hands or pace—so, it’s quite useless.
I find that my anxiety is very difficult to deal with and harms my productivity. I really don’t like it.
So, what I think happens is that my feeling of anxiety turns into anger. It actually transforms into the energy that balls my fists and makes me feel very mad.
Accepting My Brain’s Way of Handling Tension
I know this is really unhealthy, but I also know it’s my brain’s way of dealing with this symptom right now. It’s the coping skill that my brain is using. I might not think that coping skill is the best, but it’s a coping skill nonetheless.
What I understand is that, for me, anxiety is really painful and my brain is trying to avoid it. I get this.
But the important thing to recognize is that the anxiety and the anger are actually coming from the illness and not from anything or anyone around me. It’s important for me to remember this so I don’t take that anger out on anyone else.
When Anxiety & Anger Stem from Bipolar
Anxiety can be extremely difficult to deal with, and so can anger, but the important thing is to remember is that these emotions are the fault of the illness, of bipolar disorder, and not the fault of the things and people around us.
Originally posted June 4, 2018