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Anger Management Techniques for Those Suffering from Mental Illness

Anger management techniques for those suffering from mental illness are particularly essential because people with mental disorders can have trouble expressing emotions in healthy ways, may have difficulty relating to others and can experience high levels of stress.  Anger management is a process of learning to recognize signs of anger and then taking action to calm down and deal with the situation in a positive way. Anger is an incredibly powerful emotion that can originate from feelings of annoyance, frustration, disappointment, or hurt, or pain.  It is an ordinary human emotion that can vary from minor irritation to strong rage. It is important to note that chronic anger has been linked to a slew of health concerns such as high blood pressure, heart problems, headaches, and digestive problems. Below are some common anger management techniques from eHow Health for individuals living with a mental illness.

Anger management techniques often start with identifying the physical signs of anger. By focusing on body cues you can take steps to relax and become aware of the signs of anger before escalating to rage.  Body clues include increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, teeth grinding, shaking and feeling hot or dizzy.

Relaxation is a fundamental factor in anger management techniques. By teaching stress-reduction tips, mental health professionals give the tools necessary to calm down. Relaxation techniques include deep breathing, identifying underlying emotions, exiting a situation or environment, meditation, or physical activities. Counselors may also use music and soothing surroundings to help individuals who suffer from mental illness feel more at ease.

Talk therapy is another common technique for individuals with mental illness to manage their anger. Seeing a trained professional can significantly reduce stress and anger. Many have trouble identifying their emotions, or they may feel controlled by their emotions. Therapists may encourage patients to use forms of art to express their emotions. Another way to vent is to write about what is causing the anger.  Some mental health professionals may also encourage group therapy where individual can share with and support each other and learn about the feelings of anger that we all experience at times.

You can learn anger management skills on your own; however for many people, seeing a mental health counselor is the most successful approach.  A licensed mental health professional can help to develop techniques for changing your thinking and your behavior. They can help you to deal with your anger in an appropriate way. It is always best to seek the assistance of a mental health professional if you feel that your anger or the anger of someone you love is out of control and is having a negative effect on your life and relationships.

The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 877-845-5235 for more information.


If you think that you or a loved one may be struggling with a mental health disorder, Pasadena Villa can help. We are here to answer questions and connect to care. Pasadena Villa currently offers treatment at two residential locations in both Orlando, Florida and Knoxville, Tennessee, and outpatient services in Cary, North Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina. To learn more about our program, call us at
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