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This is what ANGER does to your body: Quickly activates the "fight or flight response" where stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol dramatically accelerates!
-By A. Scott Roberts
M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling, Addiction Specialist
You may hear that negative emotions are bad for people in recovery, but ANGER is the number one excuse you'll hear in AA or group therapy.
Most people in recovery have pent up anger issues and frustrations, once without their drug they have built up frustrations that alters their thinking to the point they do not care about becoming sober. Soon they turn to their drug of choice for a respite or solace...
Anger not only feeds the addiction cycle, but also contributes to a dramatic decline in health (Dr. Don Colbert, M.D., author of Deadly Emotions). Anger activates the "fight-or-flight" response that is biologically deeply rooted within our brain.
Our ancestors, when they were faced by threats such as animal preditors, this "fight-or-flight" response saved them by dramatically boosting chemicals into our brain and body, such as cortisol and adrenaline.
But today, this response is very unnecessary 90% of the time. In fact, it may be killing us. (Peter McWilliams, author of You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought: A Book for People with Any Life-Threatening Illness—Including Life.)
But did you know that even having a thought that leads to anger can trigger the "fight-or-flight" response? These thoughts (and angry actions) are precipitated by a surge of hormones and chemicals triggered by the thoughts resulting in:
decreased cell production
decreased immune defenses.
decreased nutrient assimilation
But... The long-term effects are anxiety, depression, heart problems, high-blood pressure, insomnia
It is the inability to control and manage emotions such as anger which push people into addiction in the first place and a reason for relapse in recovery.1
Anger could be killing you.. Speeding up your breathing, heart rate and feeding addiction. Anger is one of the most used excuses why people relapse. IT can lead to explosive behavior. An angry person may start to no longer care about getting sober.
Anger is dangerous because it:
feeds guilt because of violent outbursts
inhibits rationalized thinking
destroys family and friend relationships
Pushes one to "use" leading to great remorse thereafter
lead to lose of employment
contribute to fatigue and insomnia
increases probability of violence
turn to alcohol, drugs or tobacco for solace
CAUTION: Those trying to manage an addiction, abruptly quit an addiction or those dealing with an addicted loved one often experience anger.
For a recovering addict, individuals are on a roller coaster - they are happy one minute and then irrationally angry over a small provocation.