Can I Take Medication for Anger Management?

Cindy Quarters

While anger is considered a normal part of life, sometimes it can get out of control and cause significant problems. Instead of occasional feelings of anger, some people may find themselves angry much of the time, or so angry at times that they cannot control the way they feel. Those who struggle with these feelings are often encouraged to seek professional help, and may often benefit from learning to control their feelings. There is also medication for anger management that can help people with certain types of issues, but it is not considered the solution to all problems. Such medication is not specifically for the treatment of anger, but is designed to treat other conditions that may result in loss of control when a person is mad.

Some people take medication for anger management.
Some people take medication for anger management.

Making a decision to take medication for anger management often depends largely on the source of that anger. In those rare situations where a person has a significant physical issue contributing to the problem, such as brain damage or epilepsy, medication can be a great help in minimizing anger. Medications can also benefit those with bipolar disorder by bringing mood swings and strong feelings under control. Most often, though, anger problems are a matter of an individual's inability to cope with strong feelings, allowing those feelings to control behavior.

An individuals with anger issues could choose to seek counseling and possibly the aid of medications.
An individuals with anger issues could choose to seek counseling and possibly the aid of medications.

Sometimes the underlying causes of uncontrolled anger include feelings of sadness and depression, a low self-esteem or other emotional problems. In such cases the medication used to treat those specific problems can result in helping manage anger. Mood elevators and antidepressants may be used to help cope with these feelings. This often has the effect of helping a person to better handle the situations and the frustrations that can lead to anger.

In the short term, the use of medication for anger management may be useful to someone who is struggling to bring strong feelings under control. Sometimes, medication can help break old patterns while learning new ways of coping with anger. Medication for anger management is not generally seen as a long-term solution to anger management problems.

There may be alternative options for those dealing with anger management issues, rather than using medication. Some recommend developing a system to head off and control anger before it gets out of hand. Therapists can teach methods such as identifying triggers, promoting healthy responses to anger, and the use of techniques such as humor and relaxation to help minimize problems.

Difficulty with controlling anger can lead to high blood pressure.
Difficulty with controlling anger can lead to high blood pressure.

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Discussion Comments


Something I read the other day that I found interesting talked about how the way we're told to release anger is actually wrong. Usually people are told to not hold it in until it explodes, but in fact allowing yourself to "explode" makes you more likely to get angry again.

You're better off trying to settle your mind, turning it to something else and practicing meditation techniques. Anger can become a habit like anything else.


@Ana1234 - I think it's really sad that often people just get directed into anger management seminars and the root of the problem isn't examined.

I was listening to a talk on domestic abuse the other day and one of the people basically said that very often it's caused by unresolved PTSD, which is a condition that can respond to medication.

It just makes my heart break to think of people who may have been physically altered by war or other events, who then cannot control their actions and have to live with that shame as well.

I hope more people go into treatment, now that PTSD is recognized as a disorder and not just a temporary condition.


I think it really depends on the source of the anger. I mean, if someone is just a person who thinks they have a right to lash out in anger, then no amount of medication is ultimately going to change them because they are getting something out of being angry and basically deciding to become angry.

If, on the other hand, you've got someone who feels helpless when they get angry, as though someone else is filling them with these feelings, it's likely that they have some kind of chemical imbalance and taking medication could help them.

There are a lot of shades of grey when it comes to this kind of thing though and that's why if someone is having serious anger management problems they should probably see a psychiatrist to determine what the best way to help them might be.

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