Last Updated: February 16, 2023
Anger tends to be a normal part of the healing process for recovering addicts. What has changed is the way drug rehab in Ohio helps patients understand and process toxic emotions. Shouting and hitting a punching bag are not as healthy as once believed. In fact, they could create new stumbling blocks.
Until recently, therapists thought outbursts were good for you. A rage purge feels almost purifying in the moment. Later, the results are more complicated. Between the two extremes of suppressing anger and letting it all out, there is another option that teaches you the coping mechanisms to resist relapse.
Getting Sober Uncovers Pain that Drugs and Alcohol Numb
Anger in treatment stems from a number of prominent causes. Physical discomfort may accompany the early stages of getting sober and anger is a normal reaction to it. Headache, nausea, muscle cramps, and drug cravings are part of the process of eliminating toxins. While medications help manage symptoms, it takes time for them to subside. Co-occurring disorders, such as untreated anxiety, may be another source.
Newly clean addicts no longer have the numbing crutch that addictive substances provided. Without the dulling sensation of drugs or alcohol, addicts may not know how to cope when emotions such as fear, shame and anger flood in. Because venting feels good in the moment, many schools of thought encouraged it. Unfortunately, those outbursts are now understood to be counterproductive.
Shouting and Punching a Pillow are as Damaging as Suppression
The body’s reaction to anger is not healthy. Blood pressure and anxiety surge. The University of Illinois says the breathing rate increases and pupils dilate. Some people may shake and others may develop nausea and chest pains. While shouting or punching some inanimate object feels like tripping the pressure release valve, Nicholas A. Roes, Ph.D., writing for Addiction Professional, says outbursts can “increase feelings of anger and aggressive inclinations.”
Traditional anger management tactics rely partly on control and partly on coping instead of actively seeking to understand the root of anger and learning ways to process it. Some anger is good, says Nicholas. It can help protect you against real threats to your safety as long as you handle it appropriately. However, lashing out in anger or pretending that anger is not a powerful emotion can both lead to relapse after rehab.
True Anger Management Empowers You to Break the Anger Cycle
Anger can steal your ability to steer recovery in a positive direction. If you suppress it, you cannot learn your triggers or develop healthy responses. While lashing out might feel like attacking the anger monster, it also puts you on an avoidance path instead of facing it head on. Anger management helps you identify stressors, break unhealthy patterns, and find healthier options.
In treatment, you will learn anger management techniques such as meditation, exercise, journaling, and many others. More importantly, you will learn how to identify your triggers so you can break the anger cycle before it causes you or those around you emotional and physical harm. Treatment helps you succeed.
Addiction recovery sometimes feels overwhelming with emotions and sensations that you have avoided through drugs or alcohol. When the fog lifts, many newly sober addicts are unprepared to handle what comes next. That is why intensive treatment is vital to long-term success. Without it, anger can quickly lead you back to misguided, perceived comfort of addictive substances.
Drug rehab in Ohio treats you as a whole person. Our trained, caring staff understands the struggles that accompany recovery and they can teach you how to succeed. If you or someone you care about is suffering from addiction, do not wait.
Contact us to learn what treatment options are available.
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.