Addictive coping mechanisms? That’s right! Much like behavioral scientists understand alcohol and substance abuse as an addiction to a method of coping, they understand a range of other behaviors as addictive as well. This includes gambling, hoarding, and sex addiction. More recently, scientists are viewing anger through the lens of addiction theory as well.
Ever punch a pillow to release anger? Ever tell a child to? Most of us have. It is what many of us were taught, but we now know that the brain may actually become addicted to the brain chemistry changes (including feelings of power and control) when we respond to feelings of anger with aggression. This behavior can escalate from targeting pillows to people as a method of managing the overwhelming emotion of anger.
We need to train our brain to go-to healthier coping mechanisms. Check out our past suggestions for cultivating positive COPING. We will post a new one every Saturday!
Wanna deep dive?
Article (read about what happens chemically in the brain as well as good and bad sides of anger):
Book (tailored to angry men in relationships, but provides a background on anger in context of addiction theory):