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The Physiology of Anger

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 19 Jul 2015 | comments*Discuss
The Physiology Of Anger

Anger can be a very powerful emotion and evoke very strong reactions from all human beings if the stimulus is great or the control management we exert is not effective.The reaction can be very physical and many changes happen in the body as a result of getting angry.

What Happens To The Body When Someone Is Angry?

The physiological aspects of anger are very interesting as the effects on the body are very noticeable but out of our control in many ways. Even if we are good at controlling our external display of anger we may still be unable to control the physical response that occurs within our body.The physiology of anger has been studied for many years by many different groups of people who all agree that overall the person to be the most negatively effected by anger is the person who is experiencing the anger.

The Biological Process

Emotional disturbance can cause a disruption to many of the chemical balances in the body. The same chemicals are involved in regulating many of our biological processes and keeping us healthy. These chemicals are called adrenalin and noradrenalin which surge when we begin to feel angry. The physical result can cause our respiration rate to increase as our oxygen demand becomes greater due to our blood pressure and heart rate increase. Our body can shake as our blood sugar plummets and our pancreas tries to keep up with demand. When these reactions are caused very often or to a high degree, long term damage can result. In some instances when someone becomes very angry very quickly the physical reactions can cause the blood to clot very quickly and this clot can travel to the heart or lungs causing rapid and potentially lethal complications especially when combined with a drop in blood oxygen levels. It is not just our circulation and respiration that is affected by anger as our gastro-intestinal organs may also suffer. Anger can cause a rise in stomach acids which can cause irritable bowel and diarrhoea along with a susceptibility to stomach ulcers as the acids attack the lining of the stomach.

People who are continually angry, risk having long term problems with blood pressure and may even be more susceptible to angina attacks or breathing problems. It is also possible that they may have an increased likelihood to suffer from panic attacks.Due to these physiological responses, it is important that we learn to cope with our anger in a way that is not going to cause us harm.When we feel ourselves becoming physically affected by a surge of anger we must learn to exert some control over our response and behaviour which will help the internal chemical reactions lessen in severity.

Anger can be a very powerful emotion causing severe physiological changes to occur which can be dangerous to health. In order to prevent anger being detrimental to health we must learn ways of lessening the chance of becoming angry or indeed how we mange and control anger when we do experience it.

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Can diabetes mellitus type 1 cause bad temper
mel - 19-Jul-15 @ 10:39 PM
@Ganathi - you might like to see our page on Is Frustration and Anger the Same Thing? link here . Both anger and frustration can lead to acycle of rage and defeatism which can lead on to depression. I hope this helps.
AngerManagementExpert - 21-Oct-14 @ 1:44 PM
what's the difference between anger and frustration, and how do they lead to depression
GANATHI - 21-Oct-14 @ 10:49 AM
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