S1E3- How Anger could Stem from Old Wounds

Author Posted On 11 August 2023

Podcast Transcript

I'm your host, Coach DD, and I sincerely hope you're all doing well. And if, unfortunately, you're on a grieving journey, I truly hope that our channel is providing you with guidance as you navigate through the challenging terrain of grief.

Today, we're delving into a powerful emotion that frequently emerges during the grieving process: Anger.

So, let's dive right in.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a distinguished Swiss-American psychiatrist and pioneer in the study of death and dying, is best known for her work on the "Five Stages of Grief." In her groundbreaking 1969 book "On Death and Dying," she delves into these stages—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—as common emotional responses that individuals encounter when grappling with the loss of a loved one.

In relation to anger, Kübler-Ross underlines that it's a natural and common reaction during the grieving process. When individuals confront a significant loss, they often experience intense emotions, including anger.

She goes on to emphasise that anger often arises from feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and frustration caused by the loss. People might direct their anger at the circumstances surrounding the loss or even feel angry that the loss happened. This emotion can also stem from a sense of unfairness or the profound feeling of being robbed of the presence of a loved one.

Recent research reveals that when anger persists beyond a reasonable duration, it might be an indication that this anger is deeply rooted in what's commonly referred to as "old wounds" or unresolved emotional issues from the past. This phenomenon is often labeled as "emotional flooding" or "emotional hijacking." Here's why enduring anger might be linked to old wounds:

  1. Emotional Triggers: The current situation or event might trigger memories and emotions tied to past experiences, traumas, or painful memories. The mind might connect the present circumstance with unresolved emotional pain from the past, intensifying and prolonging the angry response.
  2. Accumulated Emotions: Over time, unaddressed emotions can accumulate. When a new event triggers similar feelings, these amassed emotions can contribute to an overpowering and sustained angry reaction.
  3. Unprocessed Emotions: If someone hasn't properly dealt with past hurts or traumas, the emotions associated with those experiences may linger and surface when faced with new challenges or stressful situations.
  4. Suppressed Feelings: At times, people suppress their emotions, including anger, due to societal pressures or personal reasons. These suppressed emotions may resurface with even greater intensity, persisting longer when triggered.
  5. Conditioned Coping Mechanisms: Individuals might have developed coping mechanisms during their formative years that involved suppressing or avoiding emotions. These learned behaviours can contribute to the lingering anger beyond its initial trigger.

Kübler-Ross underscores the importance of expressing and processing anger in a healthy manner during the grieving process. Suppressing or denying anger can prolong the healing journey and result in unresolved emotions. Encouraging individuals to acknowledge and validate their anger—through open conversations with supportive individuals, journaling, or seeking professional counseling—can assist them in navigating this stage and ultimately moving toward healing and acceptance.

At this juncture, I'm both proud and excited to introduce you all to my recently launched "Heal Together Community." It's designed to aid people in navigating the intricate path of grief within a safe space where they can freely express their emotions without fear of judgment or criticism.

Feel free to explore my website at deepakdeopure.com to learn more about this community. You'll find the link in the description of this episode and on my channel.

With that, I wish you a wonderful weekend, and until we connect again next week, I'll be here to explore another topic that helps us untangle the threads of grief, healing, and hope.

This is Coach DD, signing off for today.

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