Adult Carers

I feel angry!

It’s normal to feel angry sometimes. If you’re caring for someone, you might feel angry because you don’t have the time to do things you enjoy. You may feel your life has been put on hold. Sometimes you may feel resentful that other people cannot or will not give you the help or support you need. Or perhaps the person you are caring for does not seem to appreciate all that you do for them.

Why we feel angry?

Feelings of anger arise because of how we interpret and respond to certain situations. Everyone has their own triggers for what makes them angry, but some common ones include situations where we feel:

  • threatened or attacked
  • frustrated or powerless
  • like we’re being treated unfairly
  • like people are not respecting our feelings or possessions.

Anger feels different for everyone, and its effects are usually felt physically and mentally. You might feel a churning in your stomach, tightness in your chest, or a rapid heartbeat. You may feel hot, sweaty, or start shaking or trembling and feel unable to relax. Anger can also cause you to feel tense, resentful, easily irritated and guilty.

People can interpret situations differently, so a situation that makes you feel very angry may not make someone else feel angry at all (for example, other people might feel mild annoyance, hurt or amusement when faced with the same situation).

Just because we can interpret things differently, it doesn’t mean that you’re interpreting things  in the ‘wrong’ way if you get angry. How people interpret and react to situations depends on a lot of factors in their lives such as their childhood upbringing, past experiences, and more recent experiences.

Anger is a normal, healthy human emotion, and it can be a positive force because it can spur us to action when changes need to be made in our lives. Learning healthy ways to recognise, express and deal with anger is important for our mental and physical health. However, anger can also be a destructive force. How you express your anger makes a big difference. It’s OK to be angry, but anger is a problem if you find yourself lashing out – verbally or physically – to others or yourself. The charity, Mind, explains that this can happen when:

  • you regularly express your anger through unhelpful or destructive behaviour
  • your anger is having a negative impact on your overall mental and physical health
  • anger becomes your go-to emotion, blocking out your ability to feel other emotions
  • you haven’t developed healthy ways to express your anger.

If you’re finding it difficult to keep your anger under control, here are some things that will help.

Action you can take right now

NHS Inform and Macmillan Cancer Support offer some suggestions about what you can do right now and in the long term to bring your anger under control

  • If you are not in immediate danger, you could start by speaking to someone you trust, such as a friend, relative or colleague. Try to pick someone you think will be understanding of your situation and will act quickly, decisively, and sensitively on what you tell them.
  • You should also speak to a professional. You could start with your GP – or the GP of the person you are caring for. Let them know what’s been happening and the impact it is having on you. Ask for their help to make it stop. You could also speak to one of the Rights and Engagement Officers at the Angus Carers Centre.
  • You may also wish to contact your local authority social work department. As a carer, you have certain rights, and your local social work department can play a role in supporting you.
  • If you’d prefer to speak to someone confidentially in the first instance, you could phone a free helpline. (Several are listed below.)

More Information



  • How to cope with anger, Mind – Explains anger, giving practical suggestions for what you can do and where you can go for support. 
  • Problems with anger self-help guide, NHS Inform – A cognitive behavioural approach to managing problems with anger.
  • Understanding Anger (pdf), SAMH – A publication which explains anger, giving practical suggestions for what you can do and where you can go for support. It also includes advice for friends and family.
  • Coping with anger, Mental Health Foundation Scotland – One person discusses her personal experience of anger and shares her tips for managing it.



  • Advice on how to manage anger, BBC Sounds, Personal Best programme (30 minutes) – Also includes information about how to deal with other people’s uncontrolled anger.
  • Shortcast: Do you Get Angry? Life Passion and Business (15 minutes) – Covers where anger comes from and offers some simple techniques that you can use to deal with anger in everyday situations
  • How to Manage Your Anger Better, The Verywell Mind Podcast (Episode 90) (11 minutes) – A podcast that explains how to get better at calming yourself down and managing those angry feelings in a healthy way.



  • CBT Self Help for Anger, (4 minutes) – Explains why we get angry, how to recognise when our anger has become unhelpful, and how to manage our anger in more appropriate ways.
  • Anger Management for Kids – and Adults, Jammiespree (4 minutes) – A short video teaching kids and adults how to manage their anger in 5 simple steps.

Where to get more help

If your angry outbursts are violent or abusive, this can cause serious problems in your life and relationships and can be very damaging to people around you. If you are in this situation, it’s important to seek help.

  • Speak to your GP, who will be able to suggest ways of getting help. The charity, SAMH, provides tips for how to talk to your GP about your mental health.
  • Some NHS Board run local anger management classes. Your GP may be able to signpost you to these if they are available in your area.
  • Samaritans (24 hours) – 116 123 or


Help us continue our work by making a donation to angus carers today.