Anger is a basic emotion that every human being experiences. Anger is an unpleasant emotion, typically spurred on by a type of emotional hurt or distress. When a teenager is injured, treated poorly, contradicted, or presented with an obstacle they can become angry.
Each teen experiences anger differently. Anger varies from individual to individual by how often the anger occurs, how intense the feelings of anger are, and how long it takes for the anger to subside. Some teens may seem like they are always angry, while others may never seem angry at all. Regardless of your teen’s personality, anger is an unavoidable emotion.
Anger in teens can actually be constructive if it is handled properly. Anger can get your teen’s attention and motivate them to take action. An example of constructive anger would be if your teen witnesses a classmate being bullied. They may become angry about the situation, causing them to act and stand up for their peer.
Anger can also be destructive to your teenager. According to MentalHelp.net, anger can be detrimental to your teen’s health or have interpersonal consequences. Anger is a sign that something within your environment isn’t right. When you express anger your blood pressure rises and hormones flow. Teens can be overcome by these intense emotions and become violent. A teen may also develop a reputation for being a ‘loose cannon’ or a ‘time bomb.’
Is My Teen’s Anger Normal?
Teens face a lot of changes during their teenage years. There are a lot of emotional issues that become present in a teen’s life as they continue to grow and develop. Teenagers are faced with pressing and difficult questions like, “who am I?” “what’s my identity?”. Teens feel separation, are involved in complex relationships, and are trying to determine their purpose in life. Combined with changes of their body and hormones, this can seem like a daunting and difficult time for many teens.
Relationships with parents can also be strained during the teenage years. Teens are becoming more and more independent. They are taking risks. It is often very difficult for parents to deal with this newfound independence while maintaining a healthy relationship with their teen.
During this volatile time of life your teenager may be expressing anger. Psych Central says , ‘Teen anger can be a frightening emotion, but it is not always harmful.’ It is important to recognize the warning signs that your teen’s anger is becoming out of control.
Negative Symptoms of Teen Anger
There are many negative expressions of teenage anger. Teens who are angry will often express their anger through:
- Verbal Violence
- Physical Violence
- Prejudice Speech
- Malicious Gossip
- Anti-social Behavior
- Intense Sarcasm
- Psychosomatic Disorders
Teenagers who choose to express their anger in such a negative way are not only putting themselves at risk, but others as well. This type of anger can harm or destroy relationships. It has the potential to affect another person’s life, sometimes with lasting effects. According to Psych Central, these expressions of anger harm others, disrupt normal life situations, cloud effective thinking, affect physical health, and oftentimes ruin someone’s future.
Teens who express anger in a negative or uncontrollable way often have additional motivators for their actions. Anger is often a symptom of an even larger root problem. If a teenager is angry, it is important to discover if there is an even bigger problem at hand.
Psych Central found that teen anger can be a symptom of issues such as:
- Alcohol or Substance Abuse
Signs that a Teen’s Anger is Dangerous
When a teen is negatively expressing anger, there are some telltale signs that their anger is a call for help. While it is normal for teens to experience anger and angst, when a teen begins to isolate themselves from others, there may be something more serious going on.
WebMD cites 6 signs that a teenager’s anger may be dangerous:
Blatant Cry for Help. Teens will sometimes openly seek help. When your teen tells you “I’m going to do [some kind of harm]” they are often seeking an intervention from their parent.
Extreme identification. It is not uncommon for a teen to identify with a group or ‘clique.’ However, when your teen becomes exclusively attached to one group this can become dangerous. An extremely dangerous way of thinking is for a teen to feel they should ‘go to war’ for their subculture.
Cut off Communication. Social isolation is a sign that a teen’s anger is at a dangerous level. When all communication is cut off between a teen and their parents or peers, this is an indicator that isolation is taking place.
Violence. A pattern of violence is dangerous, not only for teens, but for those around them. It is important for parents to be aware of dangerous or violent acts and habits their teens develop.
“I Quit.” Another form of isolation can include disconnecting from the things they used to love. Dropping out of activities such as sports, music, etc. can be a sign of risky and dangerous behavior. A sudden drop in grades can also be a sign of danger ahead.
Substance Abuse. Drugs and alcohol may be used by a teen to ‘escape’ or put up mental barriers. This behavior is extremely dangerous and requires treatment. It is important to keep in mind that teens use all kinds of substances: from street drugs, aerosol cans, prescription drugs found in the home, to over the counter medications.
Treatment for Teenage Anger
Extreme anger in teens can become incredibly dangerous. A teenager risks inflicting harm on themselves, their families, their peers, and even strangers when they act out in anger. It is important to seek treatment for a teen suffering from anger issues.
A successful treatment options for angry teens is a Residential treatment center. Shepherd’s Hill Academy is a Residential Therapeutic Boarding School with a Wilderness component for teens suffering from emotional disorders.
As angry teens tend to isolate themselves their grades tend to plummet. As a parent, it is frightening to think of having to decide between seeking treatment for your teen and them finishing their education. At Shepherd’s Hill Academy you don’t have to make that decision! Shepherds Hill offers an accredited boarding school on campus with a strict 5:1 student to staff ratio. Our dedicated team of faculty and staff work to ensure your child’s success. Individualized attention, mentoring, and goal setting help to get your teen back on track.
The wilderness aspect of Shepherd’s Hill Academy takes your teen out of their comfort zone. They are removed from a contemporary environment of peer pressure, pop culture, and technology. Here they learn how to realize their emotions and deal with them in a healthy manner. Shepherds Hill takes students back to the basics, working to develop good character through team building exercises.
While Shepherd’s Hill Academy accepts both boys and girls, our campuses are 100% separate. We believe your teen should have the optimal environment to heal. This does not include the distraction of the opposite sex.
Is your teen angry? Are they exhibiting signs of dangerous behavior? Give us a call or inquire online today to discover how Shepherd’s Hill Academy can offer hope and healing to your family!