Being a teenager can be frustrating, and the pressures of high school sometimes drive teens to react in anger. Everyone gets angry at times, but teens with anger management issues aren't able to consistently control their actions and emotions. They might lash out at family and friends, causing emotional or physical harm to those around them. Sometimes, an angry teen may destroy their own property or break things at work or school. In some cases, teens with anger issues put themselves in danger by driving dangerously or getting into physical fights. They might face legal repercussions for acts committed in a fit of anger.
Often, anger issues are associated with drug use in teens. The Teen Treatment Center offers recovery programs that can help your teenager develop appropriate coping skills for anger while simultaneously getting treatment for drug abuse and addiction. Contact us at (844)319-5239 to learn more about how our drug treatment and anger management classes can help your teen.
When Should Anger Issues Be Addressed?
Treating anger issues as early as possible reduces the chances of rage-filled reactions causing permanent damage to your teen's health and property. Even children, preteens and younger teens can benefit from classes and programs that address anger management for kids.
The longer anger issues remain unaddressed, the worse the problems often become. Severe anger management issues can lead to anxiety and other mental health problems if left untreated. Physical health can also suffer. Some kids and teens with anger issues start hurting themselves, getting in fights or engaging in reckless behavior. The constant stress of being angry leaves a teen unable to concentrate or participate in pleasurable activities.
Parents are in a unique position to help a teen with anger management issues. Ignoring the behavior and hoping it goes away doesn't typically work. Getting a teen into a dual treatment program for substance abuse and anger management can help resolve the issues before the teen reaches adulthood.
Sometimes, teens don't face their anger and substance abuse issues until ordered by a court. While it's preferable to get help before that point, teens with a court-ordered treatment plan can successfully recover and go on to lead a healthy, happy life.
How Common Are Anger Issues in Teens?
According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 19 percent of young people receiving mental health services need treatment for anger issues. Because anger ties in so strongly with other mental and emotional problems, it's important to get treatment for all of the issues at once.
Teens with anger issues have a significant impact on those around them as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10 percent of high school students have been physically injured by a girlfriend or boyfriend. Physical fights in and out of school, damage to school property and car accidents also affect an angry teen's community.
Causes of Teen Anger Management Issues
In some cases, teens develop anger management issues because of childhood trauma. Others may have underlying mental health issues that present themselves as incidents of anger and violence.
Substance abuse is often tied into anger management issues. Many drugs make emotions harder to control, which can cause eruptions of emotional and physical violence. Some drugs cause changes in the brain that reduce the ability to control emotions and impulses even when the drug isn't in the teen's system. Withdrawal symptoms for some drugs include anxiety, frustration and irritability, which can all shift quickly into an angry outburst.
For other teens, drugs may be a way of dampening tumultuous emotions that often feel out of control. Teens sometimes turn to sedative drugs to calm their angry outbursts. Addiction can develop when the teen starts feeling as though taking the drug is the only way to stay calm.
Anger may also develop as a response to parents attempting to curtail a teen's drug or alcohol use. Some teens become defensive when confronted with their drug use and resort to anger in an attempt to prevent their parents from taking away their drugs.
Recognizing Anger Management Issues
Anger is a normal emotion, so occasional arguments or outbursts aren't necessarily a sign of a problem. Most teens behave rebelliously toward parents and other authority figures at times, and the stresses of teenage life can cause brief angry flare-ups even in the calmest of teens.
However, when anger and rage grow out of control, this becomes an issue that needs professional intervention. There aren't any specific tests or diagnostic criteria for anger management issues, but there are signs and symptoms that indicate a real problem. Some signs that your teen has anger management issues include:
- Lashing out physically at others
- Damage to property
- Reckless driving and road rage incidents
- Ongoing difficulty participating in normal activities at home, school or work without becoming angry
- Frequent tantrums and outbursts over minor issues
- An inability to explain or describe internal feelings and thoughts
- Blaming others for aggression
- Running away, or running away ideation
For some teens with temper issues, the problems are situational. A teen might develop appropriate coping mechanisms for dealing with teachers at school or with a younger sibling but be unable to control emotional outbursts when talking to parents or close friends.
Treatment for Anger Management
For a teen with anger issues, learning how to recognize and cope with overactive emotions can help. A trained therapist can work with an angry teen to uncover the reasons behind the rage and teach coping skills for anger.
Relaxation techniques and mindfulness training can help an angry teen stop the cycle of anger and violence as soon as it begins. Recognition of triggers makes it possible for the teen to avoid situations most likely to cause flare-ups. Cognitive behavioral training helps a teen address the irrational beliefs and inflammatory thought processes that cause angry reactions. Training in conflict resolution and how to be assertive without being aggressive help teens find new ways to react in the situations that typically lead to verbal outbursts or physical violence.
A good anger management program provides multiple solutions for the teen to try. Specific substitute behaviors might work in one circumstance, but not in others, so teens need a variety of healthy strategies to switch between when emotions rage out of control. A focused anger management plan gives teens the tools to successfully deal with their emotions long after leaving the program.
Even teens with severe anger issues who resist getting help can reap the benefits of an anger management program. Therapists who are trained to deal with anger issues can safely introduce alternative ways of coping that a teen might otherwise resist trying.
How Our Programs Can Help with Anger Management
Teen Treatment Center offers comprehensive programs that deal with the whole person, not just one specific substance abuse problem. Upon checking into our drug and alcohol rehab facility, your teen gets a comprehensive assessment that identifies any anger management issues or other mental health problems that also need to be addressed. Some teens with anger issues also have post-traumatic stress disorders or mood disorders, and these can be treated at the same time as well. By treating all of the issues at once, relapses and future problems become less likely.
Through individual and group therapy sessions specifically designed to deal with anger management for teens, your child learns to deal with anger while breaking free of drugs and alcohol. Our calm, supportive environment lets your teen focus on treatment and recovery without outside distractions.
Once your teen leaves our facility, continued outpatient therapy ensures that old patterns of behavior don't return. Counseling sessions and 12-step programs help keep your teen free of drugs and alcohol and help you maintain a peaceful home and family life once your teen returns from treatment.
Call Teen Treatment Center today to talk to an admissions counselor about our programs. Our lines are open 24/7 at (844)319-5239, so you can access help when your teen needs it.
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