The Anger We All Share
Anger, it is an emotion that we are all familiar with and in a way, an important part of the average normally functioning human. Who hasn't encountered anger in a friend, family member, or even the random person you met on the street? In literature, it is absolutely necessary in order to generate a tale with the right tension and motive for character behavior. Authors use creative wording to fashion the various images necessary to convey this emotion: fiery, smoldering, explosive, seething, etc., they're all employed to describe anger. Anger seems to be something we can't avoid. Every time you're bitter, cynical, holding a grudge, sullen, or frustrated, it was either because of anger you're experiencing these emotions or will result in anger. So what is anger, and what causes it? Why does this emotion play such an important part in our lives, and in some cases, cause so much trouble?
Anger can be mild, as with annoyance at a younger sibling, or intense like the rage felt if you returned home to find it burglarized. Though in this society, we have generally been taught that anger is bad, this is actually a normal and healthy emotion (1). That is, if experienced in moderation; anything to excess tends to result in trouble. When anger gets out of control, it can become a serious problem, which could not only damage your relationships with other people but also leave you feeling helpless to an unpredictable emotion (1).
The Forebrain, namely the Cerebellum, is responsible for our emotions, anger being one of them (8). Like other strong emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes. These changes include, but aren't restricted to, the increase of heart rate and blood pressure, as well as levels of energy, hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline (1). Adrenaline is usually associated with fear, while noradrenaline is with anger and hostility. This suggests that fear and anger are linked, and it is no great surprise that anger is often the response to a fear inducing threat. This anger quickly escalates into aggressive self-defense, which is sometimes a necessary component to keeping alive. So you see, a certain amount of anger is actually essential for survival (1).
Anger is generally the result of frustration and feelings of inadequacy when the attainment of a goal is blocked (6). It can be triggered by both external and internal events, even events that happened a long time ago or to unrelated people. A person could be angry at specific targets, like a coworker or neighbor, or at an overall event, such as a delayed flight. Anger can even result from an individual's brooding or anxiety over personal problems (1). Intense anger can even be caused by dreams, causing the person who experienced this brain produced 'movie' to wake up seething over an imaginary event.
In class, we talked about how the brain affects behavior in humans. Anger is a great example to demonstrate this point. First,...