Scene at the grocery store

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kmaben

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So I've noticed over the last few years I've been having a harder time keep my anger in check. It really came about after I started deploying. Every day things like going to the grocery store or bank are becoming harder and harder. I really have to motivate myself or have so many taskings piled up I have no choice to but to do them. I've never struck out at anyone but sometimes I just have to throw things around before I can begin to calm down. I've tried different outlets and the only thing that works is physical labor. Especially snow shoveling.

Todays scene: I'm standing in the cereal aisle looking for grape nuts. I really wanted grape nuts and I was just going to go in and get out. I couldn't find grape nuts. There's a million and one cereals they have to be here. I decided I wasn't leaving until I had grape nuts. So I spent a good five minutes roving the aisle looking for the f-ing grape nuts. I'm not in the middle of the aisle I'm letting other shoppers get around me and I paused for I guess to long. This gal very condescendingly and very loudly asked if I was going to spend all day standing there or was I going to pick my cereal and let her continue her shopping. I immediately go on the attack. I figure if she wants to make a scene, we'll make one. There was a very loud, very ugly, altercation that followed and she ultimately left crying. I had to sit in my car and chill because I was just so livid to do anything else. I have NEVER created a scene like that. I'm sure she may have just had a bad day. Maybe her husband is deployed and she had a sick kid and her dog took a crap on the carpet this morning. Rationally I understand that. At the point of explosion not so much. Mind you if even after this incident if I had seen that same women getting attacked in the parking lot I would help her out.

I do so much better when I'm around my husband. He's like my rock and I can control my emotions with him. The only patience I have left is for animals and kids I like. I use to be a real charming people person. I could know your whole life story in two minutes standing at the checkout line. Now I dont want you to talk to me or even look at me.

I've been through an anger management class. It was total crap and I quit after like four weeks. I've been shot at, I've been blown up, I've seen women and child abuse so extreme it curdles your blood, I've been the only medic around when my gunner was decapitated and platoon sergeant unrecognizable because he took an EFP to the face. I dont have nightmares, I dont have flashbacks, I dont break out into tears thinking about it, I'm not an alcoholic, I dont run around my backyard in a gilly suit with a gun. I dont have PTSD. I just cant seem to keep my anger in check.

I know this isn't normal but I dont know what else to do. I dont want Mental Health notes in my record hanging over my career. And yes it can damage my career despite what the AFN commercials say. I like my job. I'm good at it and I want to keep it. Does anyone else suffer with anger issues? I know there are some Psych people on here. Is there an herb or a bath salt that helps keep you mellow through out the day? Acupuncture? Sugar? Cut out the caffeine?
 

holtzchick

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For stabilizing moods I say healthy veggies, organic meats, and lots of tea particularily chamomile and Melissa tea. Bath salts that are lavender. I sometimes have anger issues as well but I keep them bottled up pretty tightly. I find that anything will help to a certain extent only but what really helps is at the moment of anger stop yourself, take very deep breaths and remember to be the bigger person :)
 

gmas rabbit

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I am so sorry that you are going through this. My son in law went through the same thing. If a car back fired he would hit the ditch. He was just so pissed at the world and had trouble dealing with the trivel crap when he got home. Try talking to someone at the health food store. They would have better knowledge of the type of herb that you can take. I guess the other suggestion would be when you find yourself in a situation like this again, leave and take a good brisk walk around the block and blow off some steam. That is not meant as a critism, but a solution to trying to get yourself back under control. I find when I have a panic attack I have to do the same thing.Possibly yoga would help to teach you some breathing exercises. I don't think the average public can understand the horrors that you have seen and endured, especially us from Canada. IMO
 

Anaira

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I go through phases where I become a pretty mental person, and lash out at the drop of a hat. I'm not in that state of mind right now, so it's harder to remember what helps, but I'll give it a shot.

Deep breathing. Remembering to take deep breaths, and trying to count to ten, or even five. I know when I get mad, even the idea of trying to calm down can sometimes make me madder, but sometimes it helps.

See a counsellor, maybe. This didn't help me, but it doesn't have to be a real counsellor if you don't like that sort of thing; it can be a journal, husband, Kai, someone online, anything. Anger is hurt. Or at least, it is for me, although it took me awhile to realize it. I'm going to guess that what you've seen, done, and been through *should* have affected you, but you didn't let it. You didn't deal with it, just buried it. It comes out as anger.

This is normal. Things have to be felt somehow, and if you can't cry, sooner or later things break out. Different people deal with things in different ways, and my guess is you deal with it by repressing it.

I can't suggest a fix. I have my way of coping, but I wouldn't suggest it to anyone. I'd just suggest trying the anger management thing again, often they get better the longer you stick with it; can't hurt, anyway. Or try a different one, maybe that one was just wrong for you. There are online sites you can go to, I'm sure; I only know about kiwi ones but I bet other people can suggest some.
 

qtipthebun

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Try rescue remedy tablets if you're in a pinch. I keep a thing of them in my backpack. They work well for a "stop freaking out NOW".

In general, try yoga or meditation. I find that on mornings when I don't do yoga (even ten minutes) and meditate (five minutes), I'm unusually cranky and evil. I really can tell a difference. Good breathing techniques in situations of anger or anxiety are also useful. I can usually stave off a (w)itch-attack with a few deep breaths.
 

Bassetluv

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I'm not sure I have any suggestions that would be different than what has already been offered, though one thing I used to tell my son whenever he would come home carrying extreme anger over someone who had riled him was this: Don't react to the person. Step aside, turn your back, or walk away. As angry as they might make you feel, generally when someone is throwing a dig your way, is being snide, or is goading you in an effort to get a response, the most aggravating thing you can probably do in response to them is to not respond at all. If they are looking for a reaction and don't get it, there is nothing to fuel their fire. Let them rant and rave if they want. If they continue to pick on you and you are not in a position to walk away, smile at them and wish them well, and be proud of yourself for maintaining your own level of composure.

Often, talking about inner pain/anger with someone who can empathize and even help deal with the inner turmoil can be a godsend. I don't know if you practice any sort of religion, but perhaps locating a good minister, priest, or head of an agnostic organization (Unitarian?) might help, and would give you opportunity to talk to someone without having anything go on your record as mental-health related. I'll also second the suggestion to take up meditation, yoga, or other exercises related to slowing the mind and getting into a more mellow, relaxed state of being.

One other suggestion that you could look into is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). It is a form of psychological tapping, or acupressure, that - as bizarre as it sounds - is supposed to be extremely helpful for people who are caught up in negative thoughts, including those who have experienced extreme trauma in their lives. I've not tried it myself, but many people swear by it.

Personally, I cannot even begin to imagine the horrors and atrocities that you and so many others have witnessed...no human should ever have to go through such a thing....
 

12lawliet12Snickers, Truffle

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It's not the same thing, but I have some anxiety issues, to the point where I can't even place my own orders at restaurants or ask someone at the store where something is, I can't even call an automated number to check my card balance because I'm too shy, but what helps me is my body wash, hand soap, perfume, and basically all of my toiletries except my toothpaste have lavender essential oils in them, and I have this pillow spray from bath and body works that's lavender vanilla that helps me relax every night so I can get good sleep. It helps me feel my best the next day. Also, try to meditate for at least an hour every day and just relax.
 

Nancy McClelland

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I did 3 tours in Vietnam flying helicopters. I used to hit the ditch when a car backfired too. You need to get in touch with the VA and see if they have any groups with similar backgrounds you can get together and chat with--it and time will help. My wife used to give me crap about not talking out my experiences with her while I used to chat freely with other vets. I told her she'd have to have been there and I don't like talking about it anyway with civilians. I still have trouble sleeping, don't like anyone touching or grabbing me, and don't watch any news coverage as it does give me some pretty bad nightmares. There's no magic pill or potion but sharing with others that have been there helped me a lot.
 

kmaben

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Oh the VA. I didn't even think about that. A support group may not be a bad way to go. I definitely have some things to try out. It' really hard to turn the other cheek when all you want to do is attack.
 
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