Anger With Ourselves !

by | Dec 18, 2011 | Anxiety, Panic Attacks, OCD | 6 comments

When a person comes to me because of panic attacks or OCD, one thing I always look for is a sign of repressed anger.  Anger is such a powerful emotion, and although natural in so many situations, when it is not understood or dealt with effectively and honestly, this emotion can cause much inner conflict and many anxiety symptoms.

With that thought in mind, I typically will explore  any signs of anger and attempt to help my client look at the anger in his or her life, and realize when that anger is more anger with themselves than with the apparent object or person they profess to be frustrated with at the time.

The reality is, I find many are really more angry with themselves for being so naive, gullible or vulnerable to controlling, manipulative or selfish persons especially when they face the fact that there has been a pattern  of not taking control, of not asserting themselves, and avoiding conflict which is especially typical of the adapting and approval seeking personality types.

Those personality types might be seen as caregivers, conformers, peacekeepers and perfectionists. These are most often good people, with a sensitivity to others, but their adapting natures tends to make them vulnerable to the controlling and manipulative types.

So, yes, they often have repressed anger and frustration within themselves as they feel so much in conflict between their basic needs and nature and yet do not set adequate boundaries once they see signs of that anger rise to the surface. Setting boundaries is not an easy thing to learn, but it makes a huge difference in the emotional well-being of the person who is learning to take control of his or her life.

Step by step, the adapting personalities set basic boundaries by learning to put off decisions when things are being requested of them, and allowing a twenty-four hour period to pass at which time they can respond. In this way, they are giving themselves time to determine whether saying yes is a healthy response that they feel very comfortable with, rather than giving in just to please, when below the skin they are  wishing they had not.

Yes, there are manipulative, controlling and selfish personality types. The trick is to recognize them, realize your vulnerability to them, and develop a game plan to learn to deal with them.



Gene Benedetto, Psychologist



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    • Alya

      Start with baby steps. Until you are able to at least get to your dcootr even if you can only get there with someone safe at first.And by baby steps I mean going outside at least once a day and sitting on your front steps or standing in your front yard alone. Your only one step away from safety but at the same time your getting exposed to all the openness the people the noises and everything else that comes with being out again. Go everywhere you get a chance to with your boyfriend. Every time he leaves someplace or someone else you feel safe with an extension of home- go with them. Eventually you will get comfortable enough to tolerate going somewhere with this safe person and being outside for very brief amounts of time. This is when you get hooked up with a therapist again. Your main goal right now should be to get desensitized enough to be able to tolerate someone driving you to a therapist once a week. I know you’d like your life to be normal again a job everything all at once but it took time for you to get as bad as you are it will take time to get back to where you were. But if you do not leave the house you will not get better you will only get worse. The only thing you need to think of now is starting the process. Even if it takes you a year of sitting on your porch for a half hour a day. Or standing outside to watch your kids play. You just have to do it. Unfortunately there is no way to get the help to come to you once you get passed a certian point. You have to be able to bring yourself back enough to be able to get to that life line that is a therapist. Be kind to yourself no matter how long it takes and how tiny your efforts seem to be just be making an effort to get yourself out that door long enough to be able to evnetually get to that dcootr and pat yourself on the back along the way. I have been there and am still mostly there. I didnt leave my house at all really for 3 years. It got to a point I didn’t leave at all I reached out online tried to find a way to bring the help to my home to my saftey and realized it just isnt possible. It got to a point where the need to stay home was equal to the frustration pain and desperation I was feeling by staying home. A point where I couldnt live like that anymore. It was a point when I knew the only way out was my getting out to a dcootr. And no one but me could make me able to do so. And preying the dcootr could fix the rest if I could just get that far. It was eaither that or kill myself as I could not live that way any longer. Just pick one place and that place should be help. And make a plan of what it will take to get you there and do it as slowly as you need to. Its a year out for me now. 4 years Ive been living this way. The longer you stay where you are the worse it will get I promis you that. And I promis you that as excrutiating the process will be it will be worth it eventually. I am still not there a year out. Don’t expect a mirical. But from where you are to get out once a week to a dcootr is itself a small mirical and when you can congradulate yourself for it. I am now at a place I leave the house atleast once most days of the week. I can ride the public transit somewhat. And am begining to consider a part time job. It is slow. But it would still be right where I was right where you are a year later if I didnt start.So know your not alone. But know the only way to get help is to get out to get it. This isn’t saying get over it. I know better than that. But you will reach a point where there are only so many options. And e therapy is not a good one. It only reinforces your staying in. Your soul goal in life right now should be to get to a therapist even community mental health even with your boyfriend by your side the whole time. Just as you eventually were able to do with the swine flu. You can do it. You did it for that. You can do it for this. You have to. You just don’t have to do it this second. You need to take as much time as you need to make it happen but you need to be doing a little bit to make it a possibility. And the more you do the better your depression will be because you will not feel nearly as hopeless. Good luck. I wish I could telly ou something easier like a number you could call that you wouldnt have to leave but unfortunantly for us it doesnt work that way. So grab a cup of coffee and sit on your steps and drink it. And do it again the next day. Go sit in your boyfriends car in your driveway with him. Do what you can as often as you can and it will slowly get better. Better enough that you can get to a dcootr.

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    • Coach

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