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Old 03-10-2009, 12:58 AM   #1
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readytorun HB User
Angry Anger eruption turns violent, can't control it

As I write this, I'm icing my hand because yet again, I've had an anger spike while playing a stupid video game that caused me to punch my table. This is my third table in the last year, I've destroyed two already.

I've always had a short fuse with electronics and games, but it's only given way to violence in the last year or so. I'm 25 years old and for some reason, certain video games make me lose control for 2-3 seconds and I'm overwhelmed with a need to punch something or expel energy in some violent manner. I get angry with games where my input to the game (the button I press, for example) doesn't match what happens on the screen (what the game does in return), so I don't have control of what is happening infront of me. This goes on and on and each time it happens, I get more and more frustrated, until finally the camel's back breaks and I lash out at something.

Outside of this context, I'm a healthy, upstanding individual. I'm extremely patient with co-workers and other people, even serving as a mentor in my profession, and I have maintained a long and healthy romantic relationship. I'm normally not a violent person and have never violently lashed out at another person.

For some reason, I have a very, very short fuse/temper when it comes to electronics "not working." When the remote doesn't work, I tend to curse at it in a frustrated manner instead of just getting new batteries. After playing some of these games long enough, my anger builds up so much that I just "black out" for 2 or 3 seconds and punch something. My dominant hand has probably had serious bone chips knocked out of it in the last year.

I have come to grips with the fact that I have a problem and am trying to identify the triggers and my reactions. As of tonight, I've sworn off playing these games, but that is problem avoidance, not problem remedy.

I can't control myself in the moment of eruption, so I feel like I need to identify when I've gotten "half-way there" in terms of my anger, and take action at that moment (before I get violent).

I'm interested in hearing stories from other people who get frustrated by electronics/video games to the point of violence, or anybody who has violent reactions. Have you taken steps to control it, and if so what are they? I imagine this is something I will have to live with, and I can't continue the way I'm going (literally, my fists won't hold up much longer).

Cheers, all responses and feedback are appreciated. Thank you.
-ReadyToRun

 
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:56 AM   #2
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graces23 HB User
Re: Anger eruption turns violent, can't control it

Heya

When I was around 11-16 years old, I played heaps of video games (I'm a girl by the way), and used to get SOOO angry sometimes when I "died". I'd throw the controllers at the wall and swear and stuff...it wasn't to the extent of your situation, but I do sort of understand where you're coming from.

I have these things to offer...

1. You are able to control the virtual world you're playing with to an extent...more in a way than you can control the real world you live in...this I think makes things like "dying" even more infuriating, because you CAN control it...this may make no sense.

2. You should stop playing these games immediately the minute you START to feel your anger levels rising. Just switch it off and leave the room, even if you're at the same time enjoying the game. It's not worth it. Come back to it when you're calm, and again, the next time you get angry, leave it again.

3. If you cannot do this (and this would be its own problem if you can't stop playing. Addiction, etc), try a thing I find kind of funny. I used to find when I got to the point of almost constant swearing and obscene language, I sometimes would feel sort of bad (I guess I was only 11 years old, you know? lol), so I'd switch to saying "darn it" and "con sarn it" and "dammit" and "blow!" and it'd sound so prim and proper and so silly...I'd end up laughing and it'd diffuse my anger a bit.

4. You CAN actually control your anger you know. I've had issues with abusive and destructive anger in real life, and whenever it results in such situations that you describe, it is because you're indulging your anger. You are LETTING yourself give in to it. Simply do not do this. (ok, it's not simple, but it can be done)

 
Old 03-18-2009, 02:10 AM   #3
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krazy2day HB Userkrazy2day HB Userkrazy2day HB Userkrazy2day HB Userkrazy2day HB User
Re: Anger eruption turns violent, can't control it

Quote:
Originally Posted by graceslick23 View Post
You CAN actually control your anger you know. I've had issues with abusive and destructive anger in real life, and whenever it results in such situations that you describe, it is because you're indulging your anger. You are LETTING yourself give in to it. Simply do not do this. (ok, it's not simple, but it can be done)
Yes, I agree.

When I first heard, "people dont make u mad, YOU make you mad" I wanted to punch the therapist (hahaaa, not really) but I certainly gave him a mouthful and swore people DO make me mad, its certainly not something I 'choose' to do.

So it took me a lot of years, my first steps were to recognize it was happening (stop thought process). Im not even sure where or when things changed but they did and I'm thankful.

 
Old 03-18-2009, 08:16 PM   #4
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readytorun HB User
Re: Anger eruption turns violent, can't control it

Quote:
Originally Posted by graceslick23 View Post
Heya

When I was around 11-16 years old, I played heaps of video games (I'm a girl by the way), and used to get SOOO angry sometimes when I "died". I'd throw the controllers at the wall and swear and stuff...it wasn't to the extent of your situation, but I do sort of understand where you're coming from.

I have these things to offer...

1. You are able to control the virtual world you're playing with to an extent...more in a way than you can control the real world you live in...this I think makes things like "dying" even more infuriating, because you CAN control it...this may make no sense.
This is true, of course. It is this inherent paradox which is at part of the core of my frustration. As an engineer, I expect my inputs to the game to be met with certain outputs. When I say jump, and nobody jumps, what can I possibly do!? (You have to realize how absurdly childish this sounds to write out...)

Quote:

2. You should stop playing these games immediately the minute you START to feel your anger levels rising. Just switch it off and leave the room, even if you're at the same time enjoying the game. It's not worth it. Come back to it when you're calm, and again, the next time you get angry, leave it again.
I actually have not played this particular game since I last posted, which was just after I punched the table. My hand recovered quickly luckily, by the way ;-)

I talked to my longtime girlfriend and confessed my problem, which I've never done before. We talked about it a bit. What usually happens is that I can feel myself getting angrier and angrier, and then it boils over. The first incident that frustrates me puts me at 5% anger, a few more has me at 30%, and eventually I get to that exploding point at 100%. What I'm going to try to do is identify when I'm at ~40% anger or something, sometime BEFORE I explode, and stop playing for a bit. Even if it's just a few minutes, go chill out, have a beer, play with my cat, step outside, do something and hope that evaporates away and I'm back at 0%.

Does that percentage analogy make any sense?

Quote:
3. If you cannot do this (and this would be its own problem if you can't stop playing. Addiction, etc), try a thing I find kind of funny. I used to find when I got to the point of almost constant swearing and obscene language, I sometimes would feel sort of bad (I guess I was only 11 years old, you know? lol), so I'd switch to saying "darn it" and "con sarn it" and "dammit" and "blow!" and it'd sound so prim and proper and so silly...I'd end up laughing and it'd diffuse my anger a bit.


4. You CAN actually control your anger you know. I've had issues with abusive and destructive anger in real life, and whenever it results in such situations that you describe, it is because you're indulging your anger. You are LETTING yourself give in to it. Simply do not do this. (ok, it's not simple, but it can be done)

[/quote]

Yes. I absolutely can and I'm the only one who can. The problem is that I wait until it gets to that 100% anger point where I'm so frustrated that I give in to it. I need to try to identify the point where I'm angry, but where I can still think rationally, and try to do some exercise to lower that anger level.

Thank you all for you responses. Any kind of response is helpful at this point, it's just nice to talk about it a little.

 
Old 03-20-2009, 10:32 PM   #5
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cathy1 HB Usercathy1 HB User
Re: Anger eruption turns violent, can't control it

I have little patience for electronics going wrong i.e my laptop, my remote, my (insert anything electronic). I know that my lack of patience with this is my outlet for all the other things that are frustrating me in my life. It's not the electronics - its the other things going on so when the laptop is screwed up I'm real quick to get really ******. I don't get violent or slam things but I get really angry and it feels like my blood pressure is sky rocketing. I used to stay with it trying to wait out the computer problem but now I walk away and I'm okay.

I know stuff not working is irritating but this is just the "one more thing" that doesn't go right in my life and thats where my anger goes. I have to use my computer but now when it gets slow or its not something I have any control over, instead of staying with it - I turn it off. I remember a friend of mine who flipped out at football games who was otherwise a nice guy. He stopped going to the games. If something is always getting to you and its a game - and you can't control it - you might want to take a long break from it.

Last edited by cathy1; 03-20-2009 at 10:41 PM.

 
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