ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– Road rage, girl fight`s and vandalism, we can go on and on about what people do when they get angry. In today`s society, it seems like more and more people are lashing out. Let`s face it, we all get frustrated from time to time, and see every day people flying off the handle at the drop of a hat. Is it the economy? Bad drivers? How about the recent government shutdown? At times it feels like we`re living in an angry society. FOX 2 went to St. Louis University Sociology Professor Dr. Dan Monti to find out if the anger epidemic exists in America.
“We have more opportunities for being angry and there are seemingly more objective reasons to be upset. Income inequality, continuing racial, ethnic and gender disparities are part of it,” said Monti.
Dr. Monti says the amount and degree of violence has dropped in the last 100 years when it comes to severe mob attacks in the U.S., but Americans are still lashing out.
“In actuality we have more outlets to express our big and little pieces of anger,” said Monti.
When it comes to your health, Dr. Anthony Sonn from Mercy Hospital says anger can do some damage.
“If you are stewing on issues and it`s affecting you, if it persists over a long period of time, it`s bad for your heart. So with anger, you get increased blood pressure and increased blood rate. It’s more work for your heart. It also increases stress and energy on the linings of your arteries,” said Sonn.
What about the reports of high profile celebrity meltdowns from people like Mel Gibson, Kanye West, Alec Baldwin and Chris Brown. Of course we can`t forget about Justin Bieber. His behavior is so bad over 262,000 people petitioned the White House to have Bieber deported.
A recent USA Today article says that anger is the internet`s most powerful emotion. People are raging online and trolling social network sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to rant. FOX 2 also asked SLU students about anger in America and got some interesting answers.
“I think everyone comes with a slight sense of anger. Personally for me I get angry at things like ignorance in general. People don`t take the time to understand what people are going through or listen. People will say they`re angry with the economy but like what are you really doing to fix what`s going on. There`s something we are each accountable to do,” said sophomore Kemdi Egekeze.
“These celebrities and their attitudes, I mean people are adhering to those when we should be concentrating on the good will and common equality for all and it`s just different these days,” said junior Eric Pacholski.
In 2012, The Journal of The American Medical Association released a study saying 63 percent of participants between 13 and 17 years old had anger attacks involving vandalism, threats and violence. Researchers are calling it intermittent explosive disorder or IED.
So whether you think our country is angry or not one thing is for sure, at some point we all have to find ways to tame our tempers and let all of the little things that bother us go.
“Everything you do causes a ripple effect so be the best person you can be,” said Egekeze.
Experts also say exercise, meditation, prayer and spending quality time with family and friends can help ease anger. They also say it`s important to know your triggers and take a deep breath instead of acting on impulse.