Health dangers of anger – Tena adam / Ethiopian Health, Sport and Social Affairs
Anger

Health dangers of anger

Anger is a significant part of clinical practice, occurring in as many as one third of all adult psychotherapy cases, overlapping with as many as nineteen different psychiatric conditions, and concomitant with drug and alcohol misuse, interpersonal crime, anti-social behaviour, and physical health problems.
Anger 2
Add to this the widespread acceptance of the effect that dysfunctional anger has on limiting an individual’s personal opportunities, as well as the negative impact it has on the wider society; on education, health and the economy – all indicators of social exclusion, in itself a complex determinant of dysfunctional anger, and we begin to see the enormous impact out-of-control anger has on all of us.

However, problem anger does not only affect your relationships – personal, social and professional – it also affects your physical as well as your emotional, mental and spiritual health. Anger produces the same physiological and psychological effects as stress. This means that dysfunctional or unhealthy anger can impact on every aspect of our life in exactly the same ways: fatigue, sleep disturbance, lowered sex drive, withdrawal, lowered tolerance threshold, increased alcohol, tobacco or drug dependency and weight issues (elevated cortisol levels cause a slower metabolism and weight gain).

Anger is a systemic phenomenon, with chronic anger having the potential to lead to disease and ill health in every bodily system. For example:

• cardio-vascular: heart disease, stroke, blood pressure
• musculo-skeletal: general aches and pains, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia
• gastro-intestinal: IBS, ulcers, certain cancers
• auto-immune: arthritis, lupus, diabetes

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