The Most Common Addictions and Compulsions: Could You Be At Risk?

How to know if you have a problem -- and how to treat it (15 Photos)

Cynthia Ramnarace on Mar 31, 2011 at 1:18AM

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The Most Common Addictions and Compulsions: Could You Be At Risk?

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The Behavior: Anger

Everyone gets mad every once in a while. A stranger judges your parenting skills; you’re bumped from the flight you really needed to get on. But for some people, rage is a routine state of mind and, subconsciously, a path toward relaxation. Take for example, Chris Brown. After being asked during an interview on a national morning show in March about his arrest for allegedly beating up then girlfriend Rihanna two years earlier, Brown went into his dressing room, started screaming and smashed a window. “The outburst releases feel-good chemicals in the brain,” says recovery expert Holly Cook, executive director of the Integrative Life Center in Nashville. “The person becomes reliant on the anger for making them feel better.” People with compulsive anger routinely have an over-the-top response to frustration, says the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The anger causes problems with family and friends, can lead to run-ins with law enforcement, and can cause high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems and anxiety. (Think you might have a problem? Take this anger quiz.) Anger can also be a symptom of another illness, such as postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and dementia.

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