If you’re interested in anger, the effects of anger, or anger management, the Wall Street Journal ran an interesting article today that deals with all three topics.
Called “When Anger is An Illness,” the article details a trend towards sending people with “Intermittent Explosive Disorder” (also called a “hot temper”) to anger management classes to avoid everything from blow-ups at team mates to full-fledged lawsuits. The trend may be good — having an explosive temper can do a number on your relationships and your career. But the article notes that there’s not much proof yet that the programs work — in part because no one’s sure what could be just hot headedness and what could be a full-fledged mental illness.
Still, the idea of helping people recognize their rage and learn to express it more skillfully sounds good: as WSJ writer Melinda Beck notes, “Most anger-management programs stress ’emotional intelligence’—the idea that understanding why you are frustrated or annoyed or upset, and finding a calm, constructive means to get your way, is far more effective than losing your temper.”