Call Richard Taylor 678.576.1913 of ATLANTA ANGER MANAGEMENT
Rage Help.

Rage is an emotion felt by some that is often expressed as a sudden outburst “RANT”
from a small activating event usually directed toward a loved one. Often the person feels very powerful and tends to “lose time” that shows as memory lose of at least some of the expression of this emotion. Often quite a lot of memory is missing or “blocked out”.

It is considered the most extreme expression of anger and here at Atlanta Anger Management treated a bit differently than our “normal” angry clients.

Why you might ask…?

We consider Rage and Anger as different.

A simple differentiation is:

Anger: I can remember what I say and do.
Rage: Most often I cannot remember what I say or do.

Learning education based Anger Management skills can improve your overall anger control skills yet often the Rage remains.

Rage is associated with the Fight-Flight-Freeze response and often activated in response to an external minor cue. The person tends to have a passive nature and stuffs daily stress and low grade angry feelings until their “pressure cooker” is full and needs to blow to let off steam. A rant issues directly usually to one person. It tends to get more frequent in it’s expression and more intense also. If left unchecked rage may lead to violence.

Depression and anxiety lead to an increased susceptibility to rage and there are modern treatments for this emotional pattern.

Rage can sometimes lead to a state of mind where the individual experiencing it believes, and often is capable of doing things that may normally seem physically impossible. Those experiencing rage usually feel the effects of high adrenaline levels in the body. This increase in adrenal output raises the physical strength and endurance levels of the person and sharpens their senses, while dulling the sensation of pain. Temporal perspective is also affected: people in a rage have described experiencing events in slow-motion.

An explanation of this “time dilation” effect is that instead of actually slowing our perception of time, high levels of adrenaline increase our ability to recall specific minutiae of an event after it occurs. Since humans gauge time based on the amount of things they can remember, high-adrenaline events such as those experienced during periods of rage seem to unfold more slowly.[2]

A person in a state of rage loses much of his or her capacity for rational thought and reasoning, and may act, usually violently, on his or her impulses to the point that they may attack until they themselves have been incapacitated or the source of their rage has been destroyed.

A raging person also experiences tunnel vision, muffled hearing, increased heart rate and hyperventilation. They often focus only on the source of their anger.

The large amounts of adrenaline and oxygen in the bloodstream may cause a person’s extremities to shake. The become”scary looking”. Often the distorted facial expression is extreme.
Rage occurs when oxytocin, vasopressin, and corticotropin-releasing hormone are rapidly released from the hypothalamus. This results in the pituitary gland producing and releasing large amounts of the adrenocorticotropic hormone, which causes the adrenal cortex to release corticosteroids. This chain reaction occurs when faced with a threatening situation.[4]

Anger is a secondary physical emotion caused from a primary feeling felt such as frustration, being disrespected, being manipulated etc. It is a present moment feeling.

Rage is an explosive emotion being triggered most often from a trivial event in a few short seconds bypassing anger. The rager goes into a “rant” and berates the object of the rant. Trust is destroyed. There are no consequences. No thought. Just Emotion. We can’t identify the feeling…it is just too intense and immense. It comes from the past.

When is Rage A Problem?


  • When it is too intense
  • Too frequent
  • Too destructive

Who Would Benefit:

–> You experience rage often (irrational over reaction to an activating event)
–> When you rage you lose time and don’t remember what happened
–> When you get ‘very angry, rant ‘ [RAGE] you alienate everyone around you
–> Your intimate relationship is in crises, you just raged.
–> When you get ‘angry’ you want to destroy
–> When you get ‘angry’ you want to kill
–> You can’t help but break objects, kick doors, punch holes in the wall
–> You don’t do anger
–> You do not ever get angry, but use passive aggressive behaviors
–> You stuff feelings fairly well but need rage to let off steam
–> You don’t have many emotions ‘Mr Spock’
–> I like myself but not many others don’t
–> People seem to avoid me, or walk on “eggshells” around me
–> My was just told to get some anger management or else the relationship is over
–> I don’t like it…but yes I guess I have some anger/rage issues…
–> I rage and scare myself from what happened when I blacked out.
–> I’m realize my kids are beginning to copy my rage behavior. I will get help for them.
Health Complications
Some research suggests that an individual is more susceptible to having feelings of depression and anxiety if he or she experiences rage on a frequent basis.

Health complications become much worse if an individual represses feelings of rage.[5] Dr.John E. Sarno believes that repressed rage in the subconscious leads to physical ailments. Cardiac stress and hypertension are other health complications that will occur when rage is experienced on a regular basis. Psycho-pathological conditions such as depression increase the chances of experiencing feelings of rage.[6] Cardiac Disease due to damaged blood vessels.

Types of therapy
Evidence has shown that behavioral and cognitive therapy techniques have assisted individuals that have difficulties controlling their anger or rage.

Richard Taylor, Owner/Director of Atlanta Anger Management uses several different approaches to helping people who rage (RAGERS) depending on the individual’s openness to the process.

One on One Private Sessions are necessary, not anger management classes with others. The individual needs personal attention to address underlying issues and possible trauma that may be the root cause of this expression of high level anger.

  • Gaining an understanding of Anger vs. Rage starts the education process
  • Anger and Rage Logs to document occurrences
  • Awareness Enhancement
  • Relaxation Stress Management Techniques
  • Assertion Skill Enhancement
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Improved Empathy Building
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Techniques on Response Disruption
  • Journeling
  • Breathing Skill Enhancement
  • Rewire The Brain Techniques
  • Mediation Practice

MRI scans of people who practice compassion meditation show that they have changed their brains in ways that make them more compassionate and less prone to negative emotions such as rage.[9]

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs have also been scientifically demonstrated to produce more frequent and strong feelings of love and happiness and less feelings of rage, anger, stress and depression. See Mindfulness topic on this blog.

The Psychology of Rage
According to psychologists, rage is a behavior that every person exhibits in some form.

Rage is often used to denote hostile/affective/reactive aggression (as distinct from predatory/instrumental/proactive aggression, which by contrast is motivated by a desire to obtain some goal by use of aggression).[10]

It denotes aggression where there is anger present, that is motivated by causing some harm to others, and that is characterized by impulsive thinking and a lack of planning.

Some psychologists, however, such as Bushman and Anderson, argue that the hostile/predatory dichotomy that is commonly employed in psychology fails to define rage fully, since it is possible for anger to motivate aggression, provoking vengeful behavior, without incorporating the impulsive thinking that is characteristic of rage. They point to individuals or groups such as Seung-Hui Cho in the Virginia Tech massacre or Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold of the Columbine High School massacre, and the suicide bombers of 9/11, all of whom clearly experienced intense anger and hate, but whose planning (sometimes over periods of years), forethought, and lack of impulsive behavior is readily observable.[11]


Rage usually represents the ultimate push of hormones creating an outrageous expression, both emotional and physical. Many of the effects that stem from anger and how a person reaches the point of expressing rage is a fine line associated with these behavioral tendencies. Rage is considered to be an emergency primal reaction that humans are pre-wired to express. Rage tends to be expressed when a person faces a threat to their pride, position, status or dignity.[12]

Expression of rage can be very intense, often distinguished by distorted facial expressions and by threat (or execution) of physical attack. Rage is associated with individuals who experience psycho-pathological issues. This can lead to physical violence resulting in serious injury or death.[13]
Self-esteem is another factor of one feeling rage; evidence has shown that individuals that suffer from low self-esteem may compensate by inflicting physical harm onto others.[14]

Some psychologists have seen rage as being internally focused, constituting an attack on one’s self rather than on others. They believe this leads to rage being more intense, less focused and longer lasting. They also believe this ‘self-inflicted’ rage is a narcissistic response to one’s past injuries. Rage, under this set of theories, is caused from built up anger from past traumas. These accumulated dispositions are stored in our mind.[15]

Rage can also be released in the wake of a traumatic event. In people who witness the killing of a loved one, many will often enter or “go into a rage”, attempting to kill the perpetrator. This can sometimes be the most violent and reluctant type of rage and will usually end only after the killer or they themselves have been killed.

The Cannon-Bard Theory
Whether or not actions arise from the emotional state of rage is the subject of controversy in cognitive study. Cannon-Bard holds that a stimulus causes both the reaction and the emotion at once. Thus, a person would not first become enraged and then act, but do both simultaneously. Richard Taylor agrees with this.

PMS and Hormonal Rage

The Cardinal Rule For Women: Thou Shalt Protect Thy Loved Ones From Thy Self!


Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Diplomate American Association Anger Management Providers

Atlanta Anger Management
5555 Glenridge Connector
Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
Atlanta, Georgia 30342 USA

Office Phone: 678-576-1913
Fax: 1-866-551-1253
Web: www.atlantaangermanagement.com
E-mail: richardtaylor5555@gmail.com

Linked in: http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardtayloraam

#1 Certified Anderson and Anderson™ Anger Management Provider
The Best Of The Best In Anger Management & Emotional Intelligence


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


  1. ^ http://www2.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/mwdictfol?book=Dictionary&va=rage
  2. ^ Eagleman, et al., 2007
  3. ^ DiGiuseppe & Tafrate., 2006.
  4. ^ Jezova et al., 1995; Sapolsky, 1992.
  5. ^ Begley, 1994.
  6. ^ Painuly et al., 2005
  7. ^ Willner et al., 2002; Lishman et al., 2008.
  8. ^ Gerzina & Drummond, 2000.
  9. ^ Study shows compassion meditation changes the brain March 25, 2008 by Dian Land http://www.news.wisc.edu/14944
  10. ^ Fontaine, 2007
  11. ^ DiGiuseppe & Tafrate, 2006.
  12. ^ Anderson, 2001.
  13. ^ Greene et al., 1994
  14. ^ Walker & Bright, 2009
  15. ^ King, R. 2007.