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Featured Adult Rage

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by dragstone, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. dragstone

    dragstone Active Member

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    I notice that I tend to be short-fused. I don't display it outwardly very often, doing my best to keep it buried. There have been moments that I'm unable to contain. This might happen when I'm unexpectedly disturbed or when someone says something disrespectful to me. But I also anger easily over strange things such as certain emotional expressions (non-threatening) others might display or sounds I hear in my environment.

    It's been this way since I was a child. I figure it has some connection with autism but I don't know how that would be determined. When I can't contain any longer, it has manifested in yelling, which I feel is the best possible outcome. The alternative scares me since I have been very close to physically harming others before. The anger I experience feels like a flood of adrenaline. I will have an urge to crush something.

    I'm aware that people have their outlets but this isn't something a stress ball or exercise will help. If others can relate, how do you manage that kind of intensity in the moment? I know it can't be healthy for my body.
     
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  2. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well Known Chat Member, Welcomer of Newcomers V.I.P Member

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    This probably sounds cliche, but I advise you seek Anger Management help. This would be the best way to gain support.
     
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  3. Joel I

    Joel I Well-Known Member

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    I've found burying works to a point then I just leave (run away). I've learnt violence is not the answer but I'm often thinking about it, which scares me a little. I have learnt to get some of the anger out in music where I write and produce songs. There would be better ways of dealing but unfortunately I don't know how.
     
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  4. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I feel the rage going on inside, but that's where it stays. I know that's not healthy. But I can't even get myself to yell and beat up a pillow when I'm alone. Have you tried that? Going somewhere alone and beating up a pillow? I would agree with Isadoorian about checking into anger management. I think they could give advice on outlets for the anger and such. I know a few people who have gone through an anger management course and I admire them for it.
     
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  5. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Yes, I have a very short fuse too - I have a low frustration threshold. Once it starts, it's difficult to contain, so I avoid putting myself into situations where I know I'm likely to get frustrated, and if I do - I try to calm down by doing physical activity to redirect the energy and distract myself from negative thoughts.
     
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  6. Ginseng

    Ginseng Christian V.I.P Member

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    Yes, I think it is an autistic thing. Maybe if you can identify your self talk when these triggers happen you can create a plan for how to deal with it. When someone puts you down have some witty replies putting it back on them, but humorously if possible.

    Sometimes when people just see we will take up for ourselves or they can’t push our buttons (which many love to do) they will back off and we gain respect. We definitely want to control our emotions. I always try to know where a conversation is going. I try not to give out too much information, unfortunately I usually give out way more than is needed. Find out what your self talk is about all your triggers. If you can’t come up with a plan once you have identified your self talk maybe we can help. One thing that I always try to tell myself is most people are doing the best they can. They are like me and say insensitive things without meaning too. I give them grace because I know I need grace. I try to treat myself the same way. It reminds me of a song I like: Let me Be a Little Kinder. I think that’s the name of it. I hope this helps.
     
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  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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  8. Ginseng

    Ginseng Christian V.I.P Member

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  9. Sid Delicious

    Sid Delicious Balloon animal safety control

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    I recall experiencing something similar when I was a child. My parents remember it more than I do, as I tended to lose memory when in that frame of mind. I absolutely hated being picked up, held, or physically pulled anywhere and would apparently have fits of rage if forced to (for example) hold someone's hand when crossing a road. I stopped growing around the age of ten and my brother and his friends (who were much taller and stronger) would wind me up by rugby tackling me and carrying me about like a doll. I would get violently angry and bite or scratch them, as it felt really shocking and intrusive (although they were just boys play fighting and had no intention of actually harming me). Once they put me down I would run off and kick or punch things in a blind rage, usually the trees in our back garden, until I calmed down again.

    As I got older, that anger became more internalised and I would just do everything I could to escape the situation and isolate myself. I spent a lot of time sitting in the dark in a closed wardrobe somewhere, as for some reason that was relaxing. I still find dark or enclosed spaces calming. Although it's been years since I felt that level of rage. I seem to have mellowed out as an adult and my expectations for life are so low these days that things don't seem to matter as much. I tend to feel more anger on behalf of other people if I feel they are in an unfair situation, but I can put up with a lot more myself without it really getting to me. I think that's just part of life though. By a certain age you've already experienced so much sh*t that you get blasé about things.

    I don't know how old you are, but it may be something that just naturally resolves itself with age. If not, then as others have suggested, avoiding certain situations or people that you know are likely to wear you down, getting anger management help can sometimes work, doing something physical that uses up the excess energy (walking, running, whatever) and just trying to keep every day stress to a minimum so you have spare capacity to work with. I have to get some cardio exercise every day, I get up early and immediately do yoga for 10 minutes, I keep to a fairly strict diet that I know has a secondary positive effect on my mood, I make sure I sleep enough and do everything I can to reduce random stress. I've also had to learn to be more selfish regarding the people I spend a lot of time with, as some people do require hazard signs. I have an aunt that I can only be around for about an hour before I feel myself starting to get irritated. She is a nice enough person, but has the type of personality that just demands a lot of energy from you and you feel you are walking on eggshells the whole time. My dad is the same. He tends to have a way of just ordering people about or switching between two personalities that I find tiring. After an hour I start to feel drained and any other minor issues during the day will aggrevate me a lot more. So I avoid too much exposure to people like that.

    I think intense anger is more a resultant symptom of cumulative stress throughout the day/week. If you are already overloaded and on edge, then you are far more likely to react in a more extreme way compared to someone who is in a very calm state.
     
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  10. dragstone

    dragstone Active Member

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    Thanks all for the responses and info. I like the music idea to channel anger but I'm not much of a musician. And unless I was to take a guitar with me wherever I go, it would be difficult to manage in the moment.

    I'll just say that I'm relatively young but well into my adult years. Old enough that I'm certain that age will not resolve it. I admire the fact that you have that kind of discipline to restrict your diet and maintain your physical health. I also think it's smart to limit time spent around those who clash with our own personality. I don't spend much time with other people if I don't have to. The other things, I'm not the greatest at but I'm not unhealthy either.

    Stress can make things worse but is not the primary factor for me. The reasons for my anger are hard to describe but the best way I can put it is that it's a combination of insecurities and sensory sensitivity. Honestly, to go into every detail would be awkward even on a support forum like this one. Perhaps a therapy session would be best for that but I've already had my share.

    It certainly does seem like my particular anger issues are related to autism. The anger can be extreme and it is very difficult to focus on anything else in the moment. CBT and DBT are well known strategies and it would make sense that a combination of both would be recommended. However, both of those require time to pause and refocus. When I am that suddenly and profoundly angry, I simply don't care and my mind is not in the place it would have to be in order to practice those strategies effectively.

    I might have a time or two when I was a child. Not any time recently. Unfortunately, times I feel the angriest is usually around people and so escaping to another place to do that is not often an option.

    Several people have suggested taking an anger management course. My concern is that those classes are targeted to NTs, not taking into account the peculiarities of ASD. For those who have completed such a course, I would be interested in hearing your take on that.
     
  11. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I hear ya. That in general, behavioral modification of any kind is by no means a cakewalk for so many on the spectrum of autism regardless of the strategies we may attempt to employ. That it may take a very long time just to make some headway over gaining such self control.

    Even then it may leave one with "good days" and "bad days" relative to whatever strategy they employ to reduce such traits and behaviors.

    Contrary to the belief of some NTs, this isn't simply a matter of attitude adjustment at all. That such modifications if and when neurologically possible often require intense and lengthy struggle on our part.
     
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  12. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Can't tell you how many times I've felt that, probably thousands of times. All out blinding rage. When I was in my twenties I began to use it productively. As in hitting a forty pound punching bag, doing taekwondo all the time, running on a track. Exercise has helped me to maintain control of it.

    And in other situations, at work, around people, breathing though pursed lips and taking a break somewhere. My father was the same, and I probably emulated him more than anyone else. I was told as a child, that I was 'just like him' by everyone.

    One of the things I discovered over the years is that my anger is related to extreme frustration, being misunderstood, being unable to explain the way I would like in a clear and concise way. I can't respond with an 'in the moment' manner. It takes time and thought, usually somewhat longer than most people do to respond. It also damages everyone around you, when you show it. If and when anger becomes your default emotion, in many situations people avoid you.

    One of the things that's helped me rid myself of these rages, is pinpointing the causes of them. The 'triggers' related to childhood. You know that you become angry for a reason, being disrespected or misunderstood was often the cause for me, and for my father as well. And looking at that, what is behind the trigger, is difficult and time consuming. But if you know why it happens, it makes it easier to navigate and it has less impact, if you understand how it relates to the past.
     
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  13. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    One thing that helped me to deal with anger was the experience of living with someone (my NT father) who had anger issues relative to his cardiology. He had multiple heart attacks, and struggled to come to grips with just how physiologically toxic anger actually can be.

    That it is something to be profoundly avoided in your best interest. Regardless of neurological considerations.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  14. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    Start to recognise your particular process.

    Is it a continuation of frustration?
    Or is it a random hair-trigger event?

    Are there events/situations going on beforehand winding you up ?
    (Stressing one or two weeks previously over various things?)

    Get familiar with your own patterns and intensity.
    Irritated, Annoyance, offended, frustration, angered... rage.

    It’s okay to feel all of the above,

    It’s the physical actions as a result- particularly if directed towards another,
    that isn’t generally thought of as okay.

    Depending on how far along your own process you are will determine what’s helpful for you in that moment.
    (Pointless me suggesting mindfulness if your at the stage of erupting like a volcano :) )
     
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  15. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    A sense of order and perceived consequences has always helped me along such lines of anger management.

    Whether at work or on the street dealing with complete strangers, I've tried to accept that my anger can only go so far before it can cause me some serious grief. Where the law could intervene at any time and most decidedly not in my best interest. Such considerations help to "ground" me.

    After all, personally I've never wanted to test my anger against a stint in jail and all the peripheral issues that come with it. And as a kid, the world was more likely to cut me some slack.

    But as an adult, you're either "the bug or the windshield". And more often than not, the "bug". :eek:
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  16. dragstone

    dragstone Active Member

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    I relate to this in some respects. I am aware of what is happening for the most part. The knowing doesn't slow or stop the process, though. It is automatic.

    I don't believe I would ever find myself in jail as a result of anger issues. I suppose anything is possible but I'm not concerned about that. It is a deterrent and would be to most of us.
     
  17. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Anger can be a substitute emotion. Sometimes people make themselves angry so that they don't have to feel pain. People change their feelings of pain into anger because it feels better to be angry than it does to being in pain. Being angry rather than simply in pain has a number of advantages, primarily among them distraction. This changing of pain into anger may be done consciously or unconsciously.

    Anger temporarily protects people from having to recognize and deal with their painful real feelings; you get to worry about getting back at the people you're angry with instead. Making yourself angry can help you to hide the reality that you find a situation frightening or that you feel hurt. It's when I realized this, that I began to really look at it for what it was. A 'cover' for feelings of vulnerability or hurt. I grew up seeing this in a parent, and I understood even then what it actually was. And how much it polarized the family. And I learned from his mistakes, to get it under control.
     
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  18. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Absolutely. So can sadness as well. But neither really fill an emotional void.

    Something I continue to struggle with...
     
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  19. dragstone

    dragstone Active Member

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    A good part of my anger is a consequence of insecurities, as stated before. Vulnerability/weakness. That's about all I want to say about it. I won't get into details here but you are correct.

    I know who I am and this aspect of myself will not change. With age or otherwise. Under the right circumstances, I am OK with expressing vulnerability. But most other times, I'm not. I really doubt that anyone feels good about being vulnerable or weak (unless there is manipulation involved), so I don't think my experience is anything special. Particularly for men.

    It's the fact that the intensity of the anger is so high that concerns me. Sometimes over things that others would have no issue with, such as certain sounds or expressions. That's where I think things start to distinguish from normal angry reactions. The intensity and sensitivities suggest it could be brain wiring.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019