Report says anger endemic in British society

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According to a new report 'anger' is a problem which is endemic in British society, but little is done about it.

A study by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) says despite widespread concern about family breakdowns and mental health problems, not enough is being done to intervene at an early stage.

The MHF study defines problem anger as that which is "held on" to for too long or which produces inappropriate aggression.

The mental health charity warns that people who cannot control their anger have nowhere to turn leading to family breakdown, sickness and mental health problems.

In an accompanying survey of 1,974 people it was found that 64% believe people are getting angrier in general and 32% said they had a close friend or family member who has trouble controlling their anger; another 28% voiced concern about how angry they sometimes felt and 20% of people said they had ended a relationship or friendship because of the other person's anger.

The report aptly called 'Boiling Point' says prolonged and intense anger is linked to illnesses such as heart disease and cancer, and can cause depression, self-harm and substance misuse.

Boiling Point says people describe anger as more likely to have a negative effect on interpersonal relationships than any other emotion and calls for more research into the effectiveness of different treatments, as well as increased training for health workers to help them spot problems.

The report also calls for more work to be done on ensuring anger is seen as a valid reason to refer people for care or for help.

Dr. Andrew McCulloch chief executive of MHF says in society today people can get help for depression and anxiety, panic, phobia, eating disorders and a range of other psychological and emotional problems; he says it seems extraordinary that we are left to fend for ourselves when it comes to an emotion as powerful as anger.

Dr. McCulloch says we need to be able to recognise when anger is damaging our lives, ask for help and receive it.

Currently, say the study authors, unless someone commits a criminal act, problem anger is unconfronted and nothing short of criminality will guarantee a person is referred for anger management training.

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