What You Need to Know About Chronic Anger Syndrome

February 4, 2020
Anna Jankowska, LCPC

By Anna Jankowska, MA, CEAP, SAP, LCPC

Anna Jankowska is a mental health, addiction, and substance abuse counselor with over 17 years of experience and has specialized training and skill in working with individuals, groups and communities to improve mental health outcomes. NPI number: 1598843526

Chronic anger syndrome affects children, adults and entire families. Anger is one of the most powerful emotions that come from hurt, annoyance, frustration and disappointment. It’s a natural feeling that we all feel at some point and it can range from irritation to a furious rage. Some people seem to be angry most of the time. When anger becomes chronic, it’s easy to feel a loss of control.

Anger often stems from a feeling of lack, whether that is a lack of self-esteem, of a relationship, of security or from being humiliated. The feelings of anger often come along with a physical response, too, with symptoms such as shaking, cold hands, crying, faster heartbeat and dry mouth.

Chronic anger is not a psychiatric diagnosis and there are other mental health disorders that can be associated with chronic anger, such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, oppositional defiant disorder or a personality disorder.

Anger and Your Health

Several studies have shown that chronic anger has led to health issues. Anger has been linked to weakened immune systems, depression, high blood pressure, headaches, digestive orders, anxiety, heart disease, cancer and suicide, as well as bad habits like drinking, smoking, food addictions, alcohol and drug addictions. Chronic anger can also lead to crime, emotional abuse and other violent behavior. Other signs of chronic anger include impatience, an inability to relax, verbal aggressiveness, abruptness, egotistical and histility.

Anger and Anxiety

Anxiety and fear go hand in hand, and while fear is often seen as the opposite of anger, fear can often be behind strong feelings of anger, and even anger itself can be a source of anxiety. Anxiety causes constant stress, which can cause more anger, and the cycle can continue viciously. Some can feel angry without even realizing why.

woman getting frustrated

Anxiety is caused by the fight or flight response in the body, which can cause an undue amount of stress on the body, especially where there is no actual physical reason to feel this way. This happens when there is a reason to respond to a dangerous situation, but when there isn’t a dangerous situation to respond to, the fight or flight sensation lasts much longer.

Anger and Self Help

Anger can come on in a flash for a lot of people. It may be difficult, but intentionality, mindfulness, deep breathing, stress management, meditation and positive self-talk can slow angry thoughts down often. Genuine laughter can also diffuse feelings of anger. Expressing anger is better than repressing it, but it needs to be expressed in an appropriate way, which can be learned in anger management classes. Chronic anger can lead to problems in relationships and can cause a lot of stress.


Chronic anger can be treated with the right therapist and medication. It’s important to explore finding the correct psychologist, one that understands the pain that chronic anger can cause to the individual and their family. Mental health professionals can help their clients deal with their anger in appropriate ways. There are also very effective anger management classes. No one needs to be held hostage by their chronic anger.

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