Veterans discuss the impact anger and irritability had on their lives and how their relationships and daily activities were affected. Hear how they decided to reach out for support and found ways to manage anger and improve their lives.
What are anger and irritability?
Everyone has been angry at some point, and even the most patient of people can get annoyed or irritated at times. Perhaps you’ve been in heavy traffic and become upset at other drivers. Or maybe you’ve gotten mad after someone broke his or her word or damaged your personal property. Being interrupted, or just the way someone did or said something, might have gotten on your nerves. Many people become angry or irritable in situations like these.
Anger is an emotion that can range from mild annoyance to intense rage. People may become angry when they feel threatened, harmed, or powerless. Some Veterans may be more likely to feel anger in everyday situations because of a traumatic event from past military experience, such as combat, physical or sexual abuse, injury, or the loss of a buddy from their unit. Others may experience anger because of the stress of such life events as preparing for deployment, transitioning from service, changing jobs, retiring from work, or because of family or job disputes.
Slightly different from anger, irritability is having a general tendency to be easily frustrated or impatient. Sometimes, irritability causes people to lash out at others, which can put a strain on personal and work relationships.
Constant anger and irritability can be bad for a person’s health, resulting in problems such as high blood pressure, headaches, ulcers, and other conditions.
“I had a short fuse. If you looked at me the wrong way, I’d basically walk up to you and say, ‘You got an issue?’”
For most Veterans, anger and irritability do not interfere with day-to-day life. However, if the signs and symptoms associated with anger and irritability are affecting your work, relationships, or activities, or they seem to be happening all the time, it could be a sign of underlying issues that need to be addressed.
If I’m experiencing anger or irritability, what can I do about it right away?
Remember, you can’t always control situations that make you angry, but you can choose your response. Some anger management strategies include:
- Taking a timeout. Walk away from the situation and give yourself time to calm down.
- Adopting relaxation methods to avoid an angry response. Take slow, deep breaths or count to 10.
- Breaking the cycle of anger. Acknowledge your feelings and then remind yourself that responding in an angry way may make the situation worse or result in negative consequences for you or someone you care about.
- Maintaining a regular sleep schedule. A good night’s sleep can help you handle situations during your day.
- Exercising regularly. Physical activity can improve your mood and help you sleep better.
Talking with your family and friends about your anger and irritability can be a good first step. They may be able to provide support and help you find resources that are right for you. You can also begin letting people know about the types of situations that irritate you or make you feel angry to prevent negative situations before they occur.
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NEED HELP NOW?
Call The Veterans Crisis Line at (800) 273-8255 And Press 1. Or Send A Text Message To The Veterans Crisis Line At 838255.
They offer free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Give the San Jose Vet Center a call, at (408) 993-0729 to get back to your best life.