Living gives us goodness and laughter. It also delivers sadness and sorrow. People picture their world with millions of pictures and even more emotions. People strive for intimacies, significance, power, attention, joy, connection, and survival. People who can’t achieve these things grow despondent and feel powerless. Some call this the power of depression. In the yin and yang of balance, depression is not always silent. Behind it may be anger and rage. Rage can be lethal as we have witnessed over the past few months. In some areas rage rooms are becoming popular to help channel anger. Rage is a prime emotion and key to survival. It also is a key to unlocking tragic events beyond imagination.
Actor, Kevin Bacon, was quoted, “I really believe that all of us have a lot of darkness in our souls. Anger, rage, fear, sadness. I don’t think that’s only reserved for people who have horrible upbringings. I think it really exists and is part of the human condition. I think in the course of your life you figure out ways to deal with that.”
Do you feel rage ready to burst out or do you repress it as much as possible? Is rage a problem? How do you release rage productively without violence?
TV violence and violent video games have been blamed for promoting rage. Several studies have demonstrated inconclusive relationships. Among certain age groups, unsupervised violent video games may be associated with violent emotions that might (one time or another) be expressed as rage.
Exposure to violence and aggressive behaviors may be affecting future generations with outlets of rage expression through electronic media. Then again, as far back as the Bible, rage has been released against others for gods and countries. Many have perished by the swords and ideologies of others.
Some even say. “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Holding and releasing rage may have a genetic base that stews beneath rules of social order and etiquette. Modern approaches find that rage can not only harm others but also your self. Are you easily provoked to rage? What prevents release?
Have you ever wondered what darknesses lie beneath individuals (or groups) that could target and shoot people either specifically or randomly? Do they lie within you? Early psychologists believed repression and desperation were possible causes behind those results. Rage may be lingering at the roots. Rage isn’t necessarily noticed or observable until it explodes. Rage rooms are cropping up as places to vent anger and rage. But these businesses are far too inaccessible to stop rage from hitting public venues and streets.
Finding repressed emotions and feelings are the core concept of psychotherapy. In 1970, Dr. Arthur Janov published The Primal Scream. He concluded that patients can dramatically reduce such debilitating medical problems as depression, anxiety, insomnia, alcoholism, drug addiction, and many other diseases by releasing inner anger as a scream. Primal therapy created a small revolution in psychotherapy modalities for releasing inner anger and anger management, As such, anger and rage rooms were established as safe outlets for releasing stress and anger.
In the classic story of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll is a docile, proper, rigid, socially acceptable professional; highly regarded for his etiquette and a prime catch for any exceptional, church-going woman. Jekyll fantasizes a theory about unlocking the primitive it inside the psyche. He concocts a serum that releases that other side of himself – crude, lascivious, aggressive, and violent. He kills a prostitute and an associate. Eventually he loses control. Inner rage emerges more frequently and the socially acceptable demeanor of Jekyll is diluted by Mr. Hyde. This late 19th-century novel, published during early psychology developments in Europe, presupposes how primal feelings and instincts can turn a sane person crazy. Leasing time in rage rooms may just be one way of socially conducive anger management. Using rage rooms act as a temporary release to what stood beneath your rage. Biological exhaustion helps you feel relieved and relaxed.
Repressed thoughts of anger lead to rage as thinking of these thoughts produces stress responses that release key neurotransmitters. The longer you focus on the anger (whether you know why or not), your lower brain begins releasing Catecholamines that include dopamine and norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline), as principal neurotransmitters. They help mediate motor control, cognition, emotion, memory processing, and endocrine modulation.
In spite of all these complex functions, it is still very possible for your emotions to rage out of control. The the prefrontal cortex of your brain (located just behind your forehead) functions to aid keeping your emotions in proportion. The amygdala handles basic, unfiltered emotion, while the prefrontal cortex handles judgment. The left prefrontal cortex can switch off your emotions. It serves in an executive role to keep things under control. Getting control over your anger means learning ways to help your prefrontal cortex get the upper hand over your amygdala so that you have control over how you react to feelings of anger and rage. Yes, humans have been handling, using, and employing rage to survive conflicts for thousands of years. It is gut fight or flight, leaning toward fighting to win.
Possessing and chronic obsessing over anger elevates it to rage. At this extreme, the mediating systems may fail. That’s when rage is uncontrollable and consequences are likely to develop.
There are many symptoms attributed to anger issues and its possible variations of behavior. Evidently, predictions of where and how that anger perpetuates at or above thresholds are often miscalculated. Some but not all perpetual anger may lead to heart attack and strokes. When anger evolves to rage, it may possibly lead to murder of self or others?
Rage should not be mistaken for complaints, rants, and anger, though these all have physical and emotional traits. Rage results from higher levels. such as popping a cork due to intense pressure. Unlike anger, rage has high levels of aggression with intent to do violence.
The most common form of rage we hear about is Road Rage. A speeding car can be a tool for aggression and violence. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines road rage as when a driver “commits moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle”.
According to the American Automobile Association, “Eight out of 10 drivers surveyed in the AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety culture Index rank aggressive driving as a “serious” or “extremely serious” risk that jeopardizes their safety.” Between the two genders, men are more likely to experience road rage on a daily basis (56% of men versus 44% of women). Men between the ages of 35-50 are the most frequent culprits of road rage; however, male teenagers less than 19 years old are most susceptible to the impulsive aggressiveness of road rage (not surprising how unhinged teenagers can be). Among the two genders, men are more likely to experience road rage on a daily basis (56% of men versus 44% of women). Men between the ages of 35-50 are the most frequent culprits of road rage; however, male teenagers less than 19 years old are most susceptible to the impulsive aggressiveness of road rage.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study of over 10,000 traffic accidents linked to driver violence. Over a seven-year period, AAA found over 12,500 injuries could be linked to these acts. Road rage could also be linked to 218 deaths, mostly deliberate murders conducted by angry drivers. That number has been steadily increasing at a rate of 7% each year.
In addition, as accidents occur, fights (often with weapons) may result in associative road rage statistics involving injuries or death.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving. 37% of aggressive driving incidents involve a firearm.
Crimes of passion, envy, and jealousy are often sourced through rage of different kinds. Rage is also factored into domestic abuse incidents.
Often rage erupts from powerlessness and has been empirically examined as part of depression. Yet, cases have shown that resulting crimes may have evidence of obsession and compulsion in parts. Feeling powerless on different levels may lead to greater irritability in obsessing on ways to regain control. Some of these cases have been exhibited in mass terror killings.
It isn’t always simple to distinguish someone who is depressing powerlessness. Feelings of that nature are not considered disabilities and hide behind veneers of normalcy. It is simpler for those living in such a void to be easily implanted with thoughts and ideologies that suggest empowered feelings to the powerless. These are the victims for whom rage can be focused. These are potentially the terrorists with suicide vests, and assault rifles.
Rage is studied among psychologists but often is the most evasive for early detection, or to what degree. Through slow, methodical analysis, finding the source of rage may be too slow to avoid its expression. Cognitive might be quicker and neuropsychology might have tested for depressive symptoms.
Behaviorists outline possible characteristics of someone prone to rage. These are characteristics used by law enforcement behavioral science units. It is difficult to ascertain and predict one prone to rage until after the rage has exploded. Obsessive rage is usually repressed, hidden in planning, until the opportunity arises.
The Psychiatric Diagnostic Statistics Manual Fifth Edition (DSM-V) outlines IED Intermittent Explosive Disorder as associative with stress and anger linked to work and home. It may be combined with other diagnoses where anger and violence appear.
According to the DSM_V, intermittent explosive disorder is characterized by impulsive and aggressive outbursts. These outbursts can be in the form of verbal tirades or physical aggression. These outbursts are impulsive, not premeditated and extremely difficult to predict. Additionally, the outbursts happen without trigger or are not proportionate to the preceding trigger or stressor. To qualify for diagnosis, outbursts must occur about twice a week for at least three months (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Furthermore, the DSM-V explains that because of the violent and intimidating nature of intermittent explosive disorder, the patient is likely to experience significant impairment in many areas (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Common behavioral manifestations of intermittent explosive disorder include road rage, domestic violence, child abuse, and property damage. Violent and aggressive behavior creates a sense of distrust among family members and friends.
Rage related attacks to large groups are more complex and fewer in number than road rage or street rage. Yet the impacts and the type of targets bring many social and practical issues to the front stages.
Siuationally there are few avenues that allow prediction or assessment of IED until the manifestation of a problem comes forward as a form of criminal or social scrutiny. Those exhibiting rage rarely perceive their problem as a problem.
Social norms, religions and proprieties normally create crusts of stability that allow people to hide their anger and violent feelings at bay. Powerlessness through depression and isolation in a society of individuation may find gaps in that crust.
Of course there are activities to help redirect rage. Video games are one. Participation in athletic activities regularly are another. Some find recreational boxing as a means of managing stress and rage. These are sample methods that many people do for fitness covering mental and physical improvements.
The introduction of rage rooms, where you can literally throw and break things within a certain room, has its followers. There are few rage rooms available and uaffordable to most. Barring such activities, angers and violence may gestate. Within isolation, they may make sense. That’s when possibilities of unpredictable behavior develops. That’s when rage symptoms begin to appear.
Primal Scream as therapy might work with a few people. The idea of releasing anger as a scream is a nice concept. If more therapeutic models integrated primal scream into their therapies, perhaps interesting discoveries will take place.
As a western society we all have anger and find little constructive to vent and act on them. Perhaps that is part of the unpredictable success of Donald Trump’s presidential run displays. In the USA, the Constitution allows many peaceful ways to express feelings to representatives. Few do.
As a survival tactic, rage is easy and entrenched in our genetic lineage. One would hope that everyone might (one day) find healthy, socially acceptable outlets for rage. Yet, we continue to fight ourselves, others, and scapegoats. Whether it’s LGBTQ, racial, ethnic, political, and theoretic, these horrific targeted incidents are likely to continue until we learn to cope with our rages within. Inappropriately acting out rage may lead to terrible consequences, as we have witnessed.
Thankfully, those that act out rage in public are very few. They usually impact many.
In Isaiah, over 2,000 years ago, the dream was “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Can we ever resolve the dangers of deconstructive rage in modern society?
In the classic movie, Forbidden Planet, a society called Krell moved far ahead of Earth. With its advanced technologies, the Krell became extinct. They could not suppress the monsters of the id.
Rage is a powerful monster of the id, an early psychology concept introduced by Sigmund Freud. If rage lives within all of us, the media will likely have ample news to cover as more mass tragedies develop. Happily ever after for all is subjective and abstract.