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How can I get control of myself so I don't smash things?

answered 05:47 PM EST, Thu September 20, 2012
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anonymous anonymous
When I get angry I break things. I punch holes in walls and throw chairs and stuff like that. Tonight my wife and I had a fight about how I cooked dinner the wrong way and it ended with my smashing the microwave on the kitchen floor. Afterward I always feel stupid for the damage I do but at the moment I feel like it's either break something or hurt someone - so at least I have always taken out my rage on stuff rather than on people. Anyway, I have small kids now and they were terrified by what I did last night. This is not the example I want to set for them. How can I get control of myself in the heat of the moment so I don't smash things. I have tried deep breathing and counting to ten and it does not work because I can't make myself do it in that second when I am raging.

Delisted Expert Says...

Very good that you recognize you need help, and that you want to do better, for yourself, your spouse, and your children! First steps are tough! 

First, get a thorough medical check up. There are many medical conditions and medications that can contribute to aggressive feelings and behaviors. It is important to work with your physical conditions, if you have any, so that you are not trying to control things that need medical intervention.

Second, does your employer have an EAP, or does your insurance cover any mental health services? Seek help in your community (United Way, social services, etc.) wherever you have the most likelihood of sticking with it. There are many different programs for anger management, but also consider that anger management may not be the "root" cause - aside from medical issues, are there other issues in your past or present life that contribute to your current behaviors? Don't rule anything out - seek help and don't stop until you find a therapist or program that works for you. Couples counseling, and then family counseling should follow.  

Third, don't give up and don't lose hope! The fact that you realize you are able to make some choices and decisions means you are one step ahead - you know it is possible to re-direct and control - you just need some help figuring out how/why/when.  

Best wishes, and don't give up until you get the help you need to lead the life you want, to give the love you want to give to yourself and your family!

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Page last updated Nov 12, 2012

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