ZocdocAnswersWhen is anger pathological?

Question

When is anger pathological?

What are the symptoms of a real anger problem? I'm 41 and I've always been 'tightly wound', and I know it. But everyone has anger from time to time. How can I tell if the bursts of anger I get are the kind that are normal or the kind that I should see a doctor about?

Answer

Any time that you feel that you may have a mood or anger issue that is effecting your life, you should seek attention from a qualified health care professional. In this case, you could start by seeing a primary care physician such as a family doctor, but may need to see a psychiatrist for a full evaluation. Anger is a problem that is seen in normal real life, and with psychiatric conditions. Anger is a spectrum ranging from a normal response to an unfavorable life situation to a completely inappropriate response to normal life events. The question you need to ask yourself is if your anger is effecting your life or your relationship with others in a negative way. If the answer is yes, then your anger is pathologic. There are a couple of possible psychiatric problems which result in too much anger. Some people that are suffering from depression have anger issues that are brought out when they are feeling down. Another condition called intermittent explosive disorder results in people having uncontrolled outbursts of anger at seaming trivial things. Only a doctor can determine where you sit it this spectrum. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can discuss the issue with you and determine if your level of anger needs an expert opinion. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.