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Anger and it’s ill effects

by Aparajita Jaiswal

June 1, 2021

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Setting You and Your Health at War.

An insight into the effects of poorly managed anger upon mental and physical health. 

Anger, warmth, rage, aggression, something every human is acquainted with. People usually have many tales to narrate, either about themselves or about situations that went worse in a fit of anger. Anger is one of the emotions among the ocean of emotions that every human being deals with every single day. The personality of a person depends upon how he responds to his emotions, the way in which anger is managed to play a major part role. Like everything else in the world, anger has both the positives and the negatives, YET THE ILL EFFECTS OF ANGER ARE MORE EVIDENTLY KNOWN AND SEEN. If you are someone prone to losing temper, here’s why you need to stay calm.

Anger, to a limited extent, is good and proves to be beneficial. It helps people think rationally and is a source of motivation for some of the people out there. The general fact is, anger can be good for you if addressed quickly and expressed in a healthy way. In reality, more often than not, anger proves to be hazardous and the ill effects of anger weigh a lot more than its positive effects. Anger does not just affect you but adversely affects the people around you as well.

The unhealthy episodes of anger, when held for considerably longer periods, usually ends up as an explosion in rage and can wreak havoc on your body. Anger is a powerful emotion and thus has destructive effects when not handled appropriately. The underlying cause of such havoc lies in the fact that anger triggers the body’s “fight or flight” hormone, i.e., adrenal glands flood the blood with stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. The brain consequently shunts blood away from the gut and towards the muscles as preparation for physical exertion. Thus, the heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increase. Skin perspires and body temperature also increases. This creates an image of a person in a fit of rage. An angry person is so rightly animated in cartoons or comics as someone who is grinding teeth, tightening arms with closed fists and fire used symbolizes the rise of temperature within and around the individual. 

The constant flow of stress hormones and the metabolic changes associated with seven major health issues that arise out of uncontrolled anger that one needs to know:

  1. Frequent outbursts put your heart at great risk: In words of Chris Aiken, MD, an instructor in clinical psychiatry at the wake Forest University School of Medicine and director of the Mood Treatment Center in Winston Salem, “In the two hours after an angry outburst, the chance of having a heart attack doubles.” “Repressed anger – where you express it indirectly or go to great lengths to control it, is associated with heart disease” Dr Aiken adds. 

  2. Increases the stroke risk: If you’re prone to outburst, beware. A study suggests that the risk of a stroke from a blood clot to the brain or bleeding within the brain during the two hours after an outburst. Furthermore, the arteries of the brain are prone to six times higher risk of such bleeding. 

  3. Weakens the immune system: The state of mind undoubtedly has a behavioral impact. If you are mad all the time, there is an obvious chance that you feel sick always. A fit of anger causes a dip in levels of the antibodies. 

  4. Anxiety: Anxiety and anger go hand in hand. In a study carried out in 2021, researchers found that anger can exacerbate symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder characterized by an excessive and uncontrolled worry affecting an individual’s daily life. 

  5. Depression: Anger in its elevated state, becomes a cause of self-destruction and adversely affects your loved ones as well and such destruction obviously becomes a cause of depression.  Numerous studies have linked depression with aggression and angry outbursts. 

  6. Effects on the lungs: Even if you aren’t a smoker, you can still hurt your lungs if you’re perpetually angry and a hostile person. 

  7. Anger can shorten your life span: Scary, isn’t it? The fact that happy people live longer is really true. With anger, comes stress and stress is in every way harmful.


The key to save yourself from such huge havoc and safeguard your health is to learn to appropriately express anger. The key to begin is to try and start calming yourself down. In case you find a difficult to deal with negative emotions or expressing anger, therapy and counseling will always help. Assertive communication, effective problem solving, using humor, or restricting your thoughts to get away from that black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking are good ways to get over anger. Getting yourself involved in the activities that interest you so much and make you happy proves to be an effective measure as well. 

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