Disappointment, Anger, Rage

Originally posted on The Naperville Sun
By Kristen Kucharski For The Sun Dec 1, 2010 9:20AM

When disrespected, a father throws his teenage son against the wall by his neck. When feeling intimate, a husband slams doors and storms around when shunned by his tired wife. When cut off by someone on the road, a man chases the driver down to tell him off. A senior executive punches the table during a meeting when he feels his employees are not listening. Are these examples of anger or rage?

“There is a defining moment when anger turns to rage,” said Sheldon Isenberg, of Isenberg Consulting in Naperville. He e-mailed The Sun in response to the Men’s Health Series article on mitral valve prolapse.

“This condition can contribute to anxiety symptoms. Symptoms such as jittering feelings, heart palpations, tightness in the chest, or feeling like you are coming out of your skin.

“Anger and hostility have a direct impact on the cardio system,” Isenberg says. “Sometimes just breathing deeply and getting oxygen to your brain can help you overcome worry and anxiety to help you think more clearly.”

“The person who takes everything too serious can be stereotyped as a Classic Type A personality. They may feel they can do things better than others, may be difficult to live with, simply cannot relax, are very ambitious without consideration, and are often critical of how others do things.”

Isenberg goes on to say, “this type of person may act out their anger; that action is the defining moment between feeling angry and physically expressing your anger.”

He continues to share an example of a disagreement between a father and son.

“The son may be upset because his father will not allow him to go to a certain social function. The son may begin to swear at his father in the midst of the argument. Here is the defining moment. Does the father ask the son to calm down and work through the argument with a level head, or does the father take action and pin his son against the wall to demand respect? Rage is that out-of-control moment when action takes place.”

So what brings men to the point of seeking help?

“Most men come to see me because something has happened and they have to, or their family has had enough and they feel the pressure of losing their spouse and children and are ready to make changes.”

It’s not just family issues.

“Some men come in because of work-related issues and are being told their behavior is inappropriate in the workplace; their job is threatened.”

Dr. Paul Capriotti, a psychiatrist in Lisle and Naperville, says “this economy has had a negative affect on a lot of men.”

“When I am diagnosing someone, it is not as simple as anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or depression,” Capriotti said. “Sometimes the anger and rage is situational and can be treated with therapy rather than medication.

“I find out what is causing the rage, what is the trigger point and how it is impacting their personal life.

“Sometimes a man can feel he is simply letting his children, spouse, significant others down all the time. Sometimes there is anger, resentment, disappointment and guilt after an emotional outburst. Get help before reaching the point where the action is out of control.”

Isenberg closes with a profound statement. “Money should never be a reason not to get help, maybe an excuse, but not an obstacle. Metropolitan Family Services at 630-784-4800 can offer services for free or on a sliding scale. There are many agencies sponsored by the United Way to offer assistance to a happier and more peaceful life.”

If you have a personal health journey and would like to contribute to the series on Men’s Health, please e-mail Kristen Kucharski at knkucharski@hotmail.com.