Angrophobia (Fear of Anger)
Angrophobia is the irrational fear of anger. Someone experiencing this disorder may find it extremely difficult to cope with their day to day life due to the very intense fear that they have when around people who are angry or when thinking of themselves becoming angered. Their intense fear may be so intrusive that they may even endure full blown panic attacks as a result of their angrophobia.
This phobia may actually be more common than most other phobias such as ergophobia (fear of work), consecotaleophobia (fear of chopsticks), and cathisophobia (fear of sitting) to name a few rare phobias. Uncontrolled anger is one of the most destructive emotions that exists. It can destroy lives and cause people to act in ways that are not consistent with their true character.
One of the best ways to counteract intense feelings of anger is with mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness is a great way to help regulate very strong emotions, such as anger, and to allow you to think more clearly and experience heightened equanimity. If someone with angrophobia is also suffering from anger issues, then they may also be able to benefit from mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR), among other treatments.
People suffering from angrophobia may go to painstaking efforts to not put themselves in positions where emotions may become heightened. For example, they may make conscious efforts to ensure that they do not share many opinions with others to reduce the risk of themselves or the other person becoming angered due to a potential disagreement occurring.
Symptoms of Angrophobia
People suffering from this disorder will experience heightened amounts of anxiety when they are in an argument with someone else or when they are around other people who are angry. Their angrophobia may be so intrusive that it may negatively affect their relationships with others. For example, they may find themselves being incapable of verbally defending themselves when their opinions are challenged.
Besides someone with angrophobia being very fearful of getting in a hostile argument or by being near angry people, they may also be terrified of themselves becoming angry. It is very plausible to conceive that someone with this disorder may be consciously aware that they have a very intense, uncontrollable temper. This fear may entice them to overcompensate by being too neutral on things that they are very passionate about, such as politics for example.
So, someone with angrophobia does not necessarily mean that the individual is very timid and meek as it is just as plausible for them to be very aggressive with full awareness of their aggression. This awareness may be a part of what fuels their angrophobia, among many other things. For people such as this, it may be very difficult for them to be criticized about their anger or for themselves to be truly honest with themselves as they may then become angered.
Below, you will see some more common symptoms of angrophobia:
Anxiety when around people who are angered
Not very opinionated about controversial subjects
Anxiety when thinking of anger
Unable to cope with strong emotions
Muscle tension, shakiness, and sweating
Causes of Angrophobia
There is no known cause of angrophobia. However, genetics and one’s environment may both play very significant roles. For example, someone who has a family history of mental illness may have a higher chance of developing angrophobia. This may be due to the possibility of them being genetically predisposed to developing mental illness. If this were the case, then it may only require that they experience some sort of traumatic event for them to develop full blown angrophobia.
A traumatic experience that may cause them to be irrationally fearful of anger may be that they were once extremely angered and hurt someone verbally or physically. They may have also developed this condition due to them being highly anxious. For example, it is very plausible to conceive someone developing this phobia if they already suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
If someone is already suffering from an anxiety disorder such as GAD or social anxiety disorder (SAD), then it may be very easy for them to develop angrophobia due to them already being very anxious most of the time. With this being the case, it is easy to imagine how an intense argument can lead a very anxious person suffering from an anxiety disorder to eventually develop angrophobia.
There are many different reasons as to why someone may or may not develop a mental disorder. However, there is an overwhelming consensus among most mental health professionals that both genetics and one’s environment play very significant roles in the development of any given mental disorder.
Angrophobia Treatments (abridged)
There is no treatment method that is specifically designed for angrophobia. Be that as it may, there are several types of therapies that may be very advantageous for someone suffering with this disorder. These treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), MBSR, and exposure therapy, among others. As far as treating phobias go, exposure therapy is one of the most effective and common forms of treatment for those suffering from most phobias.
With exposure therapy, the therapist will slowly expose the patient to that which they fear over a given amount of time. Though this will inevitably give the patient a very high amount of anxiety, by doing so they will also be working toward desensitizing themselves from their fear. Exposure therapy is something that takes time to see any sort of significant results. Nevertheless, it can help those who are suffering with angrophobia, as well as many other phobias.
Anti-anxiety medication may also be very beneficial. It may be able to reduce the amount of anxiety and stress associated with angrophobia. However, even though anti-anxiety medication can help to relieve some of the symptoms associated with this phobia, merely taking medication alone may not be enough for someone to truly improve their angrophobia in the long run. They may also need some sort of therapy in addition to taking medication.
If you think you may have this mental illness or if you are suffering from some of the symptoms described in this article, then you should talk to your doctor as soon as you can so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Angrophobia
MBSR is an 8-week evidence-based program that offers secular, intensive mindfulness training to help people who are suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, and other sorts of mental anguish. MBSR may be able to significantly help someone who is suffering from angrophobia as mindfulness meditation has been shown to be very beneficial for anxious people. In such a structured program, someone with angrophobia can expect to learn a plethora of different skills that can help them to relieve the intense anxiety that’s associated with their specific phobia.
Talk to your doctor or therapist to see if MBSR can help you to reduce the intensity of your symptoms of angrophobia, as well as where to find MBSR programs in your area.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Angrophobia
CBT is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve one’s mental health. It is a modality that is often used to treat people suffering from anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and OCD. Someone with angrophobia may also be able to benefit from CBT as well seeing as how it would allow them to have a much better understanding as to why they think and behave the way they do in relation to their irrational fears.
CBT can be immensely helpful for someone with angrophobia given the sheer automaticity of their symptoms. For example, when someone with angrophobia is exposed to their fear, they will almost always have an instantaneous subconscious reaction to their fear. Such a lack of introspection is likely a large part of why someone with this condition will suffer to the extent that they will. CBT can help you to take a step back and analyze your fears more deeply than you typically would.
Besides learning to be more fastidious with regards to understanding one’s specific fears, someone with angrophobia engaging in CBT can also expect to learn various other skills aimed at helping to relieve the anxiety caused by their condition.
Psychiatric Medications for Angrophobia
These types of medications are very useful to help prevent panic attacks. Such drugs can be extremely useful for people suffering from severe angrophobia due to the fact that people with phobias often experience panic attacks as well. Some common anti-anxiety medications include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin, among many others.
These types of drugs are not typically taken on a daily basis, but they may be insofar as their angrophobia is severe enough. However, this is something that you should first discuss with your doctor before you decide to do so to ensure that it is safe and effective.
These types of medications aren’t only for people who suffer from depression as they can also help people suffering from anxiety disorders as well, such as angrophobia. Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro, among several others. These drugs may be able to help reduce some of the symptoms of angrophobia.
These types of drugs are typically taken on a daily basis. They can indeed help prevent panic attacks from occurring, but they are more so used to help reduce people’s daily anxiety. Talk to your doctor to see if taking antidepressants can help to reduce your symptoms of angrophobia, as well as whether or not it is safe to do so.
Meditation Techniques for Angrophobia
There are many different forms of meditation that exists which can be very advantageous for someone suffering from angrophobia. Specifically, mindfulness meditation has been shown to be quite beneficial for helping people to enter into a more equanimeous state. There are many different ways with which you can implement mindfulness meditation and there are also many different meditation apps which are designed to make things as easy as possible for you.
Mindfulness has the potential to significantly help those suffering from angrophobia due to how it will help one to distract themselves from their fear by refocusing their attention onto something else that does not have any sort of emotional baggage attached to it, such as by focusing on the breath for example. This is one of the most basic ways that one can meditate and be present.
For someone with angrophobia in the midst of a panic attack, redirecting one’s attention to the various sensations felt when breathing can actually help to reduce the amount of mental anguish experienced during such an influx of anxiety.
To implement mindfulness meditation to help relieve one’s symptoms of angrophobia, you can do so by paying close attention to the way the muscles in your abdomen and chest contract and relax with every inhale and exhale. You can spend time dwelling on how it feels as your chest expands during each inhale and how it sinks in with every exhale.
Besides focusing on your breathing, you can also focus on the sounds around you, the way your skin feels as you touch certain objects, the way foods taste, as well as the way certain aromas smell. Essentially, honing into your 5 senses can significantly help you to reduce some of the anxiety that is associated with angrophobia. Also, remember that it will take a lot of practice to become an adept meditator. So, practice is key.
Consuming Less Caffeine for Angrophobia
It is no secret that consuming large amounts of caffeine throughout the day can aid in making you more anxious. This makes sense when we look closely at how caffeine affects our body’s physiology. When we consume a high dose of caffeine, our heart will start to beat faster and we become more tense. Essentially, our body will begin to go into a “fight or flight” state of mind. Such a frame of mind is often a precursor for someone with angrophobia to experience panic attacks.
So, consuming little to no caffeine throughout the day may be able to significantly help reduce your day to day anxiety. Although doing so will likely not make all of your anxiety go away, it will indeed help you to reduce any unnecessary suffering that you would have otherwise experienced if you were to consume a large amount of caffeine.
Beverages like coffee and tea are often high in caffeine, as well as some energy drinks. In fact, even some foods have caffeine in them as well, such as dark chocolate. Being more conscious of your daily caffeine consumption may help you to reduce some of the symptoms associated with angrophobia.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Angrophobia
DBT is a very effective form of treatment for people struggling with emotion regulation. It is often used to treat people suffering from borderline personality disorder. Nevertheless, it can also be very advantageous for someone suffering from anxiety disorders like angrophobia too. This is due to the numerous amount of coping skills you can expect to learn in a DBT group. These groups typically last about 6 months long and can have anywhere from two people to several people depending on how many join the group.
One very effective DBT skill for helping someone with angrophobia is half-smiling. This technique works by having you think about that which you fear or upsets you all while slightly raising the corners of your mouth by lightly smiling, thus the term “half-smiling.” Although, it isn’t enough to just think about your fear while half-smiling, you also have to try and refrain from entertaining those painful emotions that your specific fear may evoke.
Mindfulness meditation is also heavily used in DBT and can greatly benefit someone with angrophobia as it is done in a group setting, which helps to put the patient out of their comfort zone. These group mindfulness practices may include drinking warm tea to hone in on the sense of taste and tactile senses or simply focusing on the breath.
Coping ahead is another very useful DBT skill that can help someone with angrophobia. With coping ahead, you will want to find a place where you can sit down quietly without distraction. Close your eyes and then think about the many different possible scenarios where you would face your specific fear and overcome it or cope with it. Doing so will help you to be much better adept at coping with your angrophobia when you are actually exposed to the specific fear associated with it in real life.
Exposure Therapy for Angrophobia
As previously mentioned, exposure therapy is one of the most common ways to treat anxiety disorders such as angrophobia. It can be an efficient way to help desensitize the patient to their specific fears. Be that as it may, it is imperative that the therapist implementing it on their patient is very adept at doing so. For example, if the therapist were to slightly expose someone with angrophobia to their fear, then it may not be very effective as they may need a higher amount of exposure to truly trigger any sort of worthwhile change in the patient.
The same can be said for the antithesis of this scenario. If the therapist were to excessively expose someone with angrophobia to their fear, then doing so could be highly counterproductive to the point to where their angrophobia may become immensely worse due to the therapy alone. So, it is paramount that the therapist implementing exposure therapy for someone with angrophobia has a very strong sense of just how severe their symptoms are so that they can know the level of exposure that the patient will likely be able to handle.
Working Out for Angrophobia
Exercise has been shown to be extremely beneficial for people suffering from anxiety disorders, including angrophobia. Specifically, cardiovascular exercise can significantly help to relieve one’s stress. This is not to say that weight-resistance training would not benefit someone with anxiety, but rather that aerobic exercise is has been shown to be more effective at releasing those feel good chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins.
According to the American Psychology Association, exercise can help to condition the mind to better cope with stressful situations. This makes sense when we take into consideration the high amount of stress that the body is put under during strenuous exercise. So, if you yourself are sedentary, then engaging in some form of aerobic exercise may be able to significantly help reduce your symptoms of angrophobia by making it much easier for you to cope with the anxiety and stress that’s associated with this condition.
There are many different aerobic modalities that you can partake in to help reduce your symptoms of angrophobia, such as swimming, biking, skiing, walking, and jogging. You can also acquire the many benefits of exercise by playing sports such as tennis, soccer, basketball, and racquetball, among many other sports. Engaging in some form of exercise consistently may be able to help relieve some of the pain associated with angrophobia over time.
Yoga Practice for Angrophobia
There are numerous different yoga poses that can substantially benefit someone who is suffering from angrophobia. In part, this is due to the meditative state of mind that yoga tends to emit in those who practice it on a consistent basis. Yoga can be thought of as meditation in motion. It can help to relieve some of the anxiety associated with angrophobia due to the mere fact that by engaging in yoga, your attention will be redirected to something more productive.
There are many different types of yoga that someone with angrophobia can benefit from, such as hatha yoga or hot yoga, among many others. Nevertheless, regardless of the many different forms of yoga that exist, virtually all of them can help to relieve some of the stress and anxiety that is associated with angrophobia.
If you have never practiced yoga before, then it may be in your best interest to take a class or watch some guided videos that can help you through each pose. Just like with meditation, the more you practice yoga, the more adept you will become at it. Besides helping you to reduce your symptoms of angrophobia, you can also expect to acquire increased strength and flexibility, among other benefits.