Many adults have moments when they feel angry, out of control or even like a helpless child, says author John Lee. Understanding the nature of those feelings can help you overcome them in a healthy way, he says. Dr. Oz talks to John about how to effectively handle anger and how to cope with emotional regression.
Growing up, John says his childhood was shaped by his absentee alcoholic father and an overly emotionally involved mother. As an adult, John says he became emotionally unavailable and incapable of expressing his thoughts and feelings. After a number of failed relationships and a lot of soul searching, he wrote about his experiences and the lessons learned in his book The Flying Boy: Healing the Wounded Man.
John has since written extensively on the topic of Anger Management and Emotional Regression as well as emotional regression, and he has played a pivotal role in the men's movement in the United States. He says many people—not just men—have trouble expressing their feelings and instead end up raging, which he says is a way to numb one's true feelings. Anger and rage, John says, are important to differentiate. "Anger is a feeling or an emotion," he says. "Rage is a behavior or an action."
Feeling angry is natural, John says, and when we express anger in the right way, it can be beneficial for a person's emotional and psychological well-being. But John says most people don't know how to properly express anger. Instead, they resort to inappropriate behaviors, such as blaming or criticizing others.
Identifying the source of that anger can help people cope, John says. He says more often than not, the source of one's seemingly uncontrollable or irrational feelings can be traced to an unresolved issue or conflict from one's childhood or past. John shares the five things that most people need when they start regressing and raging:
John says that each time we recognize we're regressing and take steps to correct our behavior, we have an opportunity to heal and move forward. "Regression is not a neurosis and it's not a psychosis, it's a part of the human condition," he says. "Everybody regresses, some more so than others and at different times."
Printed from Oprah.com on Thursday, December 5, 2013