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Anger Control

answered 07:34 AM EST, Wed November 02, 2011
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I have a problem controlling my temper. I am a very nice and pleasant guy but when someone pushes me too far I literally see red and lose my ability to control my anger. I was suspended at school a couple of times for getting in bad fights and I was kicked out of a community soccer league and charged with assault for an on field fight with a player who had been playing very dirty. After he spiked me in the leg for like the fourth time I broke his jaw and knocked him unconscious. In that case, I think he had it coming. Actually I never pick fights at all but when someone crosses me or treats me or my friends badly I just can’t let it go and if it gets to the point where I am really pushed hard then I just lose it.

At a party this weekend some guy who had heard I was a tough guy wanted to make some trouble for me and started calling me names. I tried to ignore him but after a while I asked him to stop and when he wouldn’t I lost control but this time I grabbed a steak knife that was on the counter and stabbed him in the leg and then he and friends took off.

I am worried now because I already have one assault charge and I don’t know if I am going to get charged again for stabbing him, even though he started it. I am also worried because I so totally lost control and I never meant to stab anyone and it just happened in the heat of the moment. I’ve got to learn how to control myself. I kind of like my tough guy reputation but I do not want to go to jail and I can see that if I don’t learn to control myself that is where I am going to end up.

Dr. John Gorvin Says...

You are correct that this is important to address immediately.


Focus on controlling this – what are specific things you can do to stop the escalation of your anger?


  • Walk away (when you say you tried to ignore it, that is when you walk away – create distance between you and the instigator).
  • Count to 10 (or 100) before you say or do anything
  • Take deep breaths

What will help you remember the consequences of your actions before you act?


I suggest you go to counseling immediately to learn why you act this way, and to learn ways to cope and control it.  You also should have a psychiatric consultation to see if there are medications that can help you be calmer and in control


I also recommend a full psychological evaluation to rule out that you any mood based disorder or anxiety disorder, and this will help focus and direct your treatment



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Page last updated Nov 02, 2011

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