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What Can Be Done to Control Rage and Abuse?

The time to seek help for the person with uncontrolled rage is at the first sign of their negative behavior

Abuse, violence, and uncontrolled rage are not limited to any one segment of our society. The rich, poor, middle class, educated, uneducated, employed, unemployed and the list is endless when tracking the areas where violence and abuse occur. Spouse abuse and violence all too often makes the news when people of notoriety, means or wealth demonstrate the abusive behavior.

There seems to be an escalation of rage in the last month of the year. It could be that during this time of year there are more stressful family times bringing out the worst in behavior or it could be the rage has built up for many months to only be displayed in December. Whatever the reason might be, there seems to be more reports of abuse and violent behavior during the times of the year when families will be together for holiday gatherings.

For many years behaviorists have sought answers as to why a person will break into rage and uncontrolled violence. While we know much about the behavior of people acting out in that way, too often we discover the causes too late. When illegal drugs or other stimulants are ingested into a person’s body there can always be the unknown type of behavior that will follow.

All too often there are people who want to blame the weapon used in the abuse or violence as if it suddenly jumped into the hand of the person doing the abusing. Just as in the case of every crime, the tool used in the abuse is not at fault but the person who is acting irresponsible at the time of the abuse. There are few of us, if any, who have not at some point lost our temper when we have felt wronged. Traffic issues can bring out rage fast when we are seeking to make our way through the rush hour and someone else cuts us off in traffic and sometimes we see the results of the uncontrolled rage that occurs as a result of traffic issues. Seldom do we hear that the vehicle is the blame for the rage because it is the person driving the vehicle who carries the responsibility for the uncontrolled action.

For a person who is in a state of uncontrolled rage, they will use whatever they can find to impose their abuse on someone else. In all too many cases with adults to minor children, it is the fist of the abuser causing the most physical harm to the child. At the very first signs of uncontrolled rage, families should seek to provide help to the person who can no longer control their emotions. There should not be a time when it is thought that once they cool off and have time to think about what they are doing that everything will be okay. From where I stand, the time to begin seeking help for that person is at the very first sign of uncontrolled rage.

Follow Ray Newman on Twitter @RayNewmanSr

Andy D December 12, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Ray, what a great article. I especially liked this: "At the very first signs of uncontrolled rage, families should seek to provide help to the person who can no longer control their emotions. There should not be a time when it is thought that once they cool off and have time to think about what they are doing that everything will be okay. From where I stand, the time to begin seeking help for that person is at the very first sign of uncontrolled rage." A year or two after we'd gotten married, I was having Yet Another Stupid Fight(TM) (haha) with my wife and I slammed a bedroom door in her face. (I didn't hit her with the door (or anything else), but I scared her, understandably so.) The next day, she called my work's EAP number and set up an appointment with a family/marriage counselor. She then called me at work and said, "I've made an appointment for us to go see someone and I'd like you to come with me, but if you won't, I'm going by myself." I agreed to go and, looking back, it was the second best decision I've made. (First was marrying her.) I won't bore you with the details of the appointment and -- to be sure -- we've had our share of ups and downs since then, but I think you're spot on in your advice: Do not sweep uncontrolled rage under the rug. Your safety and the safety of your children depend on getting the person help or -- if it comes to it -- getting out of the situation. Thanks again and thanks for letting me share my story.
Cynthia Montgomery December 14, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Mr R, You speak from the heart & the mind. If you have never seen rage, it is hard to understand how things can go from 0 to 60 in such a short length of time. I have been reading a book by Dr Amen about the brain & what we can expect with different types of activity levels in the brain. Andy, thank you for sharing your story with us. Many want to stay quiet about a very important issue of rage. We need light to be shed on it so we can begin to make progress in learning about how to share our emotional anger in healthy ways. The news has many instances where a family is faced with a family member in a fit of rage, with a weapon. They fear for their lives. They call the police to insure their safety from the out of control family member, which tends to be a male between 16-45 years of age. Once the police arrive and the same out of control family member rushes or draws the same gun, knife, or weapon on the police, they are killed. We can then expect the calling family to then demand that the police did something wrong in protecting the family, themselves, and the surrounding community members. I don't understand how a family can cry, " HELP, he has an gun, and is threatening to kill us --- come quickly!" & then they think the police are bullet proof and the same fear they had for their lives no longer exist in the police. Moral is the FIRST time your family member becomes enraged, STOP, & get them help so you never will have to appear on the 6 o'clock news crying fowl.
Jimmy Orr December 14, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Cynthia, I was delighted to see your smiling face and read your comment in our Dacula Patch. Matter of fact, I was asking Kristi about you the other day as I had missed you in Patch. As for Ray, he always writes a well thought out commentary. I am honored and privileged to email his weekly commentary, "From Where I Stand," which appears in the Wednesday edition of the Barrow County News, to those in my email database. To those of you who may not know it, Ray served the Georgia Baptist Convention on ethics and religious matters in our state for a number of years. Presently, although retired, he serves as pastor of the Macedonia Baptist Church in Oakwood, GA. His weekly column in our Dacula Patch is always well worth the read. I am proud to call Ray "friend." His wise counsel is sought out by many.

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