What are the Differences Between Anger and Rage?

angry man yelling
What are the Differences Between Anger and Rage?

What are the Differences Between Anger and Rage?

Anger and rage are two separate emotions.  Anger is a feeling that a person experiences when they have been wronged.  It is appropriate to express anger provided it is done in a healthy manner.  A person who experiences rage has little to no control over the emotion, which can often turn destructive.

The origins and purpose of anger and rage are different.  Anger is an appropriate emotion when warranted.  It is okay to experience anger provided it is dealt with through healthy expression.  Anger does not need to be conquered, as it tells us that we have been wronged somehow.  We can take appropriate steps to recognize and effectively deal with anger.  Sometimes anger can motivate us to make changes and it can also tell us when something is not right.  Anger allows for the opportunity to work on emotional management and to learn alternate coping strategies.

Anger can also be seen in terms of self-preservation.  If we feel angry, it could be that someone or something might be trying to harm or manipulate us.  Anger serves a valid purpose when handled with respect and accountability.

Rage is another emotion that serves no purpose.  Rage indicates disrespect of others and does not solve problems; it can often make things worse.  Rage is an unconscious process that cannot be subdued until a later, more appropriate time.  It is not resolved by counting to 10 or from stepping away from the situation.  Rage is explosive and unproductive and does little in terms of emotional release.  Rage can also activate the fight-or-flight response in which one feels the need to either stay and fight or flee altogether from the situation.

Rage typically occurs when unprocessed emotions are allowed to build.  Over time, the unprocessed emotions turn into an overwhelming array of feelings that soon cannot be contained.  It is almost as if it is uncontrollable.  The origins of rage are found in unresolved trauma or compounded stress.

Both anger and rage can be addressed with mental health interventions.  A therapist can provide a safe and supportive environment where the anger and rage can be expressed and managed.  A therapist can build rapport and empathy with the individual to reduce the stress that previously resulted in rage.  The benefit of therapy to recognize and manage anger and rage lead an individual to a place where emotional regulation can occur.
Our world renown treatment programs at Cottonwood Tucson gain their notoriety from clinical excellence in the treatment of co-occurring disorders. We lead the global industry of mental health treatment in taking an integrative approach to co-occurring disorder treatment, leading our clients on a transformational journey in healing mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information on availability and pricing: (888) 727-0441

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