Although anger is often a normal response to life events, if it is negatively affecting your health, work and/or relationships with other people, then you may need some support with the cause(s) of your anger and some help to express it in a healthy way. If you are not sure whether your anger is a problem, you could try writing in a journal or diary or talk to a trusted friend or family member about it. If your uncontrolled anger causes you to act in a violent or abusive way, it is vital to get help.

If you think your anger could be the result of an underlying mental health issue such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or anxiety, Mindwell has a section on common anxiety disorders and where to find support.

What are the causes of anger?

Anger is thought to have evolved in humans as a response to situations where we felt threatened or attacked.  Many different things which happen to us in our daily lives can cause anger such as:

  • We feel that we have been let down by others or we have been treated without respect
  • Having a lot of stress in our life, such as financial worries or relationship issues. Stress can also make it harder to control our anger. If you feel stress is a problem, you might find it helpful to look at some information and resources around coping with stress.
  • For some people, their anger might be the result of trauma and could relate to experiences in the past, such as abuse, neglect or bullying. 
  • Events which have happened to us, such as a significant loss or bereavement or if we are experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • There are a number of biological and environmental factors which can influence how we respond to situations (sometimes referred to as nature and nurture). For example, we may naturally feel emotions very intensely or perhaps we have seen people close to us respond to situations in an angry way, when we were younger.  Our hormones may play a role in our emotional response to situations too. 

Identifying the cause(s) of your anger is an important part of understanding and learning to express this emotion in a healthy, assertive way.