Posted on 1st June 2020

Anger is a symptom of benzo withdrawal. Whether you are angry at doctors for prescribing these drugs in the first place and causing this to happen to you or whether you are angry at your immediate family and friends for not understanding, it shows itself in many guises.

Anger is a reaction to a feeling within yourself. When recovering from Benzos our whole emotional system is turned up aside down and our feelings are far more intense and perhaps exaggerated. Anxiety is another good example but other feelings such as anger and hostility for another person can become more pronounced and cause some disruption in our lives.

Being human means it’s natural to be angry at times as it’s a healthy emotion which we use to defend ourselves if we feel emotionally attacked or treated unfairly. Anger only becomes a problem when it gets out of control, which it can do while we’re in our fragile recovery state. You may find your behaviour becoming destructive and hurting others emotionally, or perhaps even physically, as well as hurting yourself by hating yourself for what you’re doing or even physically damaging yourself.

Outward expressions of anger show themselves in shouting, slamming doors, argumentative behaviour, throwing things and so on. Inward expressions of anger may cause you to become sulky and silent, even harm yourself physically (banging head etc).

The best way to help control these anger surges is first to recognise them. The physical signs may be churning in the stomach, weak legs, feeling hot and sweaty, dizziness, rapid heart rate and so on. The mental signs may be an inability to relax, being easily irritated or even humiliated, being argumentative, unable to see the other person’s point of view and so forth.

Once recognised you can try some techniques to help control this anger. These techniques are most of those that we also use to control anxiety and any other bad symptoms such as breathing slowly, removing yourself from the situation and distracting, going for a walk or other physical exercise, mindfulness meditation in a quiet room, even hitting a pillow if you feel aggressive towards yourself. Find what works for you but definitely try not to react to the anger and do anything you will regret later because it’s going to pass as your brain calms and you no longer get these anger storms as I call them. All will become calm again and then you can think rationally and deal with any situation that arises with a clearer, peaceful mind.

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