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Anger Management Institute

Hormones and Anger

Question: I am having some major problems at the moment with my hubby but now I feel I need to sort out a few issues I have myself. I recognize I had PND after my baby was born a year ago, I was suicidal, felt usless, I pushed my husband away. I beat up my dog. I knew at the time I was doing these things it was wrong but I felt I really couldnt help it. I hated myself at the time and of course even more afterwards when the guilt hit me. I took the car one morning dropped my older child at school and left the baby with her dad. I had a hosepipe and some tape in the back. I intended to kill myself but couldnt go through with it. I hate the person I have become with the PND to be honest I think it’s mostly gone now. I am no longer suicidal. The worst of the anger seems to have gone and I rehomed the dog because I hurt and betrayed him so badly. With everything coming to a head with my hubby and my own realisation I am most likely mentally ill, I feel I need help now.
I have always had a temper but the pnd seemed to make it ten times worse, now that the pnd has subsided, I realise I have been behaving unreasonably even before I was pregnant. I seem to fly off the handle over the silliest things and mostly I direct it at my oldest child who is only 8. I’ve never hit her but I do lose control and scream at her sometimes, only to feel terrible about it later. I feel I need to get help now before I end up ruining her self esteem. I take it my first step would be to go and see my gp but what should I expect when I get there? I have no idea what to expect and don’t like the idea of taking pills.

Dear Friend, you have been experiencing a clinical depression which was exacerbated by hormonal changes after the birth of your baby.

Get Help: I encourage you to get a complete physical examination to rule out any underlying physiological disorders which may be causing the depression such as hypothyroidism and hormonal problems. Then, I recommend that they see a psychiatrist, to get an evaluation to determine the need for medication since a psychiatrist specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health disorder, while a physician only sometimes treats mental health problems.
An anti-depressant can help boost your catecholamines and serotonin quickly and thus, help you feel more focused, hopeful, less irritable and angry.

Whether you take medication or not – you should see a professional counselor to help you explore the real issues which are causing the depression. You need to learn better coping skills for the situations or relationship issues and stressors you are facing. You need to strategize how to deal with disciplining your children without losing control.
Order some Anger management resources which will teach you new coping skills to express your anger in healthy ways. Taking a time-out when you feel anger rising is always a wise intervention.

What about natural ways to increase neurochemicals? You can learn to increase your neurochemicals through natural ways such as exercise and taking time to grow spiritually. The medication will boost your neurochemicals, ie., serotonin, catecholamines… but, it doesn’t change the fact that you might have to work through the loss of a loved one or deal with past abuse, low self-esteem, etc. Those crises and losses need to be dealt with, processed and grieved.

Anger is a secondary emotion. Underneath you are dealing with fears, hurt, disappointments, thoughts which are causing the anger. When you learn to identify the underlying issues, learn new communication skills and ways to manage the frustration and anger – you won’t fly off the handle so easily.
Consider growing in your faith. You need supernatural power to manage anger and experience peace in your life.

© copyright 2005 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC. Lynette is a Marriage and Family Counselor with CounselCare Connection and National Certified Counselor. She is the co-author of What’s Good About Anger?and a speaker for community, women’s and church organizations.


Contact the Anger Management Institute at: 630-368-1880
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