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Anger management problem? Seek help
Shilpa Shet
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July 27, 2007

While we come to terms easily enough with the modern world -- a booming economy, more money, and better lifestyles -- many of us are still to come to terms with our everyday emotions.

Psychologist Rekha [Images] Talwar feels that the biggest casualty of our changing society is our emotions. "Often, people do not even realise that their problems stem from not being able to handle their lives, feelings and freedom," she says. Problematic emotions like anger and sadness can especially create an unpleasant, unnatural atmosphere.

She says that the problem is not these emotions themselves, but managing them. "Anger and sadness are very primal human emotions. It's natural to get angry, but it is essential to moderate your anger. You are also bound to feel sad at times, but how much you let it affect you is up to you again," she explains.

Experts say that the best way to deal with your emotional problems is to talk them out with someone else. This person could be your nearest kin, your friend or even a counsellor. However, you must take care to heed the counsel of only trusted sources, as errant advice may add to the seriousness of the situation.

The right counsel

Like in Shobha' Salvi's* case. Shobha says, "My anger cost me my marriage. But what harmed me more is the fact that I did not get the right advice from my family," she recollects. She says she would fly into fits of anger at the smallest of things. "My mother-in-law was staying with us. Everything she did irritated me. I would rage at her and at my husband. It was after two years of such a marriage that he asked for a divorce," she adds.

Did that change her temperament? "No, it didn't. Now I get angry with my parents since I feel that they are responsible for my current state," she muses. Shobha has now become a recluse. She does not want to go in for counselling, since she feels there is no hope for her anymore.

The term 'anger management', Talwar says, is a product of today's civilised society. "Today, it is considered uncivil to be angry, to lose your cool. The key, then, is to find ways to manage your anger," she says.

You can cope!

And luckily there are ways. Apart from the 'ignore, smile or walk out' theory, there are programs that can help people find out what drives their emotions. Vidya Nair said she managed her anger by attending lectures. "I had a lot of resentment towards everyone. At the forum I learnt that I can work with these people in a better way. Believe me, it has helped me a lot," she adds.

Vidyut Joshi, a busy executive working in the sales department of a company in Bangalore, says that he became happier thanks to one fateful visit. "I was very frustrated at work. The constant squabble from clients and seniors got to me. And the worst part was that I could not do anything. So I fretted and got more depressed. Then one day I went with my friend to Narsobawadi (Narsimha Saraswati Ashram). I felt a deep sense of peace."

He says that once he found his guru he was happy from within. "Now I genuinely smile at people and feel more energetic towards my work. I think it has impacted my life in a very positive way," he adds.

For each person, the counsellor who helps him/ her cope with emotion is different. "I have good friends who share all the good and bad in my life," says Kavita Joshi from Pune, "Somehow the family has not been so supportive and it's always friends who have come to our aid. Talking about my problems with friends does not solve them. But I have found though that it does clear up a few things in your mind. The best part is that I do not have judgmental friends, so that helps."

For some, talking their way through problems is almost a habit. "The moment there is something that I cannot handle or don't have answers to, I consult my mother," says Dhiren Shet from Bangalore, "She is very wise and has solutions to almost everything."

Uncomfortable? Seek professional help

There are some, Talwar says, who are not comfortable discussing their problems with someone else. "They feel that people will get biased against them. So many of them go onto the net and chat with random, unknown individuals . Just because they do not want to accept their situation. I feel they should not try to escape from the problem. In such circumstances, the best advice is to take help from trained psychologists or psychiatrists," she asserts.

Talking to someone about yourself somehow seems so easy and yet so difficult. It remains, however, the best method to manage emotions like anger and sadness.

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