Is There Any Connection Between Anxiety Disorder and Anger?

Same physiological symptoms

When you’re angry or anxious, your body secretes hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, that prepare you to fight or to flee.

During anxious or angry moments, you’re likely to experience:

  • rapid heart rate
  • chest tightness
  • clenched or tight muscles
  • rushes of heat
  • gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea
  • tension headaches

These symptoms will dissipate quickly under normal circumstances. But if you have long-term issues with anger or anxiety, the release of these hormones over and over may lead to health problems.

Same psychological roots

Psychologists have equated both anxiety and anger with the loss of control.

In other words, when you’re confronted with a stressor you feel you’re not equipped to deal with, you may become anxious.

If you feel even more threatened, that anxiety can quickly morph into anger.

In both instances, an outside stimulus threatens your sense of safety and control over your environment. Anger may simply be a more chemically-charged version of anxiety.

Some psychologists have also suggested that anger lies at the root of anxiety: People who haven’t learned how to express anger constructively may experience prolonged anxiety.

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