Although not every Veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experiences angry outbursts, trouble managing anger is commonly associated with this condition. The body’s fight or flight response is triggered in response to situations that would only be seen as minor inconveniences by others. The Veteran’s difficulty with emotional regulation creates additional conflicts that further interfere with day-to-day functioning.
How Anger Is Related to PTSD
Anger causes the body to remain in a state of hyperarousal. When you are angry, you may have a racing heartbeat, rapid breathing, tense muscles, trouble sleeping, and difficulty concentrating. Your body is trying to stay alert and avoid any perceived danger—even in situations that are 100% safe.
People with anger related to their PTSD are often rigid and inflexible in their interactions with others. They want tasks completed in a specific way according to their own timetable. They will lash out verbally or physically when confronted about their actions. In the workplace, they create conflicts with co-workers, supervisors, clients, or customers. While some employers may try to make accommodations for Veterans with service-connected PTSD, not knowing what will trigger angry outbursts makes it difficult for a company to provide any long-term support.
In addition to causing relationship problems with others, anger can lead to self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse or self-harm. Veterans who are afraid of the intensity of their anger may try to push it away until it becomes an out of control problem. Emotional avoidance is not a substitute for treatment.
Treatment for PTSD-related anger focuses on helping patients developing stronger coping skills. The same self-soothing techniques used to manage anxiety, such as deep breathing, meditation, and writing about emotions, also help to keep anger in check. However, finding effective treatments can be a lengthy process since every Veteran’s PTSD experience is unique.
Getting Disability Benefits for Anger Related to PTSD
PTSD is a complex mental health disorder that can make it very difficult for Veterans to continue working. If your PTSD is service-connected, you are eligible for VA disability benefits that include cash compensation as well as medical care. Contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your application.