What Can I Do About My Anger?

I'm 13 years old and lately I've been angry a lot. Anything will make me mad, and when I do get mad I usually go into a rage. Is this normal and is there anything I can do to get rid of this anger?
Matina*

Our emotions, like our bodies, can go through some crazy and unfamiliar changes during adolescence. Feeling angry from time to time is a normal part of this. Everyone experiences mood swings during their teenage years, and these emotions may be so strong that they catch us by surprise.

There are ways you can try to manage anger. First, try to mentally back away from your anger and figure out if anything in particular is making you mad. Sure, the hormones of puberty may be playing a part, but are other things in your life causing you to feel like this? Maybe you're under more stress at school or perhaps your family is going through difficult changes, like a move or divorce.

Sometimes, it's not one thing but a lot of little things leading to frustration. Although you may not recognize what's making you mad at exactly the moment you feel like exploding, taking time to evaluate things can help you learn to manage those emotions.

Try to deal with what's causing you to be angry. If pressures at school or home are mounting, talk them over with a parent or another adult. Learning when and how to calm down can be very useful for people of any age. Working off some of that negative energy in constructive ways, like exercising or writing in a journal, also can help.

If you feel like you're angry a lot of the time or are having trouble controlling your anger, talk to a doctor or counselor.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: May 2009

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