International Day of Non-Violence

What Does It Mean To Be Violent?
Violence is by no means always physical. Violence can be portrayed in various ways:

  • Threatening others
  • Throwing things
  • Punching things
  • Breaking things
  • Sexual violence
  • Physically harming someone

Just because an individual does not hit you, does not mean that they cannot be violent towards you in other ways. Any form of violence is toxic and should no one should ever have to put up with such behaviours.

Reasons Why People May Be Violent:
Often, people who have a tendency of being violent, have some form of past experience that has led them to be that way. Maybe they have experienced something traumatic which has left them filled with anger, maybe an issue that they encountered was never resolved. This is not the case for everyone, some people have chemical imbalances within the brain which may cause short temper and outbursts of anger.

There is never an ‘excuse’ for being violent and I for one will never condone violence. People who have anger problems that have stemmed from their past experiences can be helped through the likes of counselling and therapies, talking about the events that they encountered and getting to the bottom of where their issues came from. Counselling and therapy for anger problems often teach the individual different ways of coping with their anger, rather than lashing out and being violent.

For those who have chemical imbalances, medication may be given to help them to be calmer. Sometimes people with anxiety or depression can show irritability and may lash out from time to time, antidepressants can be helpful for symptoms such as this.

We have all experienced anger at some point in our lives, it is a normal emotion to feel, but how you react to that emotion is what matters. It also depends on what triggered your anger… was it something serious? Or was it something minuscule that a person should not get angry at?

Managing Anger/Violence: 
The starting point for managing anger problems is recognising that you have a problem in the first place. It is useful to know what sort of things trigger you and what early warning signs you possess; maybe your heart rate increases, your body becomes tense, you begin tapping your feet or clenching your fists. Recognising these early signs can help you to stop and think about your actions and assess the situation before rushing into responding and maybe doing something you will regret. If you spot the early signs, you may be able to engage in some form of coping strategy which can help you to calm down and allow you to look at the situation from a much better perspective. This can be hard to do in the heat of the moment, but there are various sources of help out there to guide you and help you with coping strategies.

Anger management is available, but you must first recognise that you have a problem when it comes to controlling your anger/violence. If you think you have a problem, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with your GP. Your GP can assess you and point you in the right direction for treatment and help. You may be referred to a counsellor and/or therapist, these forms of treatment aim to find the source of your anger, maybe you experienced something traumatic in your past, or maybe you have a chemical imbalance within your brain.
If there is something specific from your past that may contribute to your anger problems, the counsellor or therapist will talk to you about the events that occurred, help you to let out all of the emotions that you have been bottling up and help you to look back at the event from a different point of view. They will then work on various coping strategies that you can use when you feel as though your anger is getting the best of you. These may be things such as breathing techniques, or grounding techniques, which are designed to bring your focus back to your environment and surroundings rather than focusing on your inner anger.

It is important that you get help for your anger/violence, especially if it becomes physical. No one deserves to be treated in such a way that they begin to fear another human being, so do not be the person that others are afraid of. Seek help, do not be ashamed or embarrassed. You deserve the help you need, and not only will you benefit from it, but so will your loved ones.

Sources:

NHS – How to Control Your Anger

MentalHealth.org – About Anger as an Emotion

Mind Charity – Anger and How to Cope

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