Estimated watch time: 45 mins
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In this presentation, addiction professional Arthur Bain discusses anger and the many underlying feelings and emotions that cause it to occur. You’ll learn about the relationship between anger issues and the negative effects of pride, judgment, fear, perception and other states of mind.
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Presenter Arthur Bain, LMHC, MCAP, CST, is a Certified Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Master Certified Addiction Professional, Certified Spiritual Transformer, Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and EAP provider serving the U.S. Military and the public. Mr. Bain is a 1985 graduate of Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree, and a 2004 graduate of Nova Southeastern University School of Psychology with a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Mr. Bain is currently working towards a Doctorate in Metaphysics at the University of Metaphysics.
Welcome to the Community Education Series, hosted by The Recovery Village and Advanced Recovery Systems.
My name is Heather Ann, and thank you for joining The Recovery Village and Advanced Recovery Systems Community Education Series. We host these every Wednesday from two to three, so please join us. And thank you for those that are here today to join us. Like I said, my name is Heather Ann. I am a senior outreach coordinator for Advanced Recovery Systems. I’m part of the South Florida team. Advanced Recovery Systems is an integrated behavioral health care company dedicated to the treatment of addiction, substance use, eating disorders and mental health issues. We use evidence-based therapeutic approaches at all of our facilities, including MAT, CBT, DBT and EMDR. We are a national company — residential treatment for both adults and adolescents. We have four facilities here in Florida, as well as four out of the state. I’d be happy to share more; I’ll put my information in the chat for anybody that would like to learn more about Advanced Recovery Systems.
So without further ado, I’m going to introduce Mr. Bain, who is our guest today, who is going to be speaking on anger and depression. And Mr. Bain is a 1985 graduate of Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor of business administration degree. And in 2004, he was a graduate of Nova Southeastern University School of Psychology with a master’s degree in psychology. Mr. Bain is currently working towards a doctorate in metaphysics at the University of Metaphysics. So thank you for being here today. Mr. Bain, you have the table.
As you said, we’re going to be talking about anger and depression, and we’re going to investigate this from a neurological perspective of anger and depression. It is really kind of a misnomer kind of study of things. It has more to do with philosophy than it does with cognitive, or the psychological approach to mental health. We’re gonna be looking at this from that perspective to know that pain. Metaphysics for about 30 years, and I’m just pursuing a degree in it, and hopefully, I will have a doctorate in a few years. But at the moment, I’m pretty much still a student. And we’re going to address the signs, which indicate the behavior associated with anger and depression. These factors might be helpful for clients and patients to overcome anger and depression. So, if you don’t have any questions about this presentation at this moment, I’ll keep going.
Now, the thing that we want to explore is, “What is anger?” And if I ask, in your view, what anger is — you can either type them on the screen, or you can just say what you think anger is and how you look at anger — I’d be glad to entertain any thoughts on that. What is a claim and what is blaming and what is spiritual deprivation and pride and helplessness, and expectations and fear and judging you have to do with anger.
Now, the earliest writings that I can find on blaming is taken from the King James version of the Bible found at Genesis chapter three. Here, we find that Adam and Eve have disobeyed God, and when he confronts them, this is what he had to say: “And they heard him, the voice of the Lord walking in a garden in a cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid from the presence of the Lord amongst the trees. And God called onto Adam and said unto him, where art thou? And he said, I heard that voice in the garden and I was afraid.”
That’s the first thing — anger has a lot to do with fear, and parts with anger. I’ll discuss in detail as I move along. And then we see here that Adam admits that he was afraid. That means that in depression and anger and anxiety and most mental mood disorders, there’s fear involved, and worry. Adam was afraid, and then he said, I hid myself. And then what does hiding have to do with anger, and what is being hid and who has it been hid from? Especially when a person becomes angry, that’s something you might want to think about. And then further along, you might want to ask some questions about that.
And then he said, he told thee that thou wast naked? That’s a question that God asked Adam. And hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And remember that word commandment — there’s an opposing word to the word commandment, and the word is demand. And when the person is angry, they’re not commanding anything, they’re demanding. They want something and they demand that they get it. That’s what’s going on. And this is caused mostly because it feels like they do not have a choice, and whatever they are demanding, somebody else is in possession of it and therefore dependent upon them for giving them what they want. And if that person does not give them what they want, then that kind of causes them to become angry. And sometimes, the anger can be so intense that it goes into rage. And sometimes I ask my clients to measure their anger on a scale of one to 10, and if they say eight, I say 16 because they are a poor judge of the intensity of their anger. And the man said, the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree to eat. That’s blaming. Anybody disagree with that? Can you see where that is? What’s that all about?
Now, what’s going on when it’s anger? They’re making a legit claim. At least they think they are, and who or what has the power and authority to make a claim or to deny a claim or right or authority? That’s the question: Who has the authority and power, and where did they get it from? Did it just fall out of the sky and a person just assumed that they have power and authority to make demands based upon a claim? I got to address one point in this slide. Legitimate — when you see that word, you think of a law. Is that correct? Anybody disagree with that? It’s a law being violated. So you would ask yourself, what law is the person that is angry violating? They’re violating a law, and that’s something that’s going to cause them a big-time problem. And later on, I’m going to touch on that when I get to another slide. But I’d like to let you know that some laws — it’s maybe not written anywhere. Maybe it’s not even clear what the law is, but there are laws that are laws of nature, laws of God, and laws of man, and there are spiritual laws. So, some law is being violated when a person is making a claim.
Now, this is something C.S. Lewis had to say about making a claim. He says, “Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury. And the sense of injury depends on the feeling that a legitimate claim has been denied. The more claims on life, therefore, that your patient can be induced to make, the more often he will feel injured and, as a result, ill tempered.” There’s a couple of keywords here that you might want to keep in mind. One is injured — that’s one you might want to keep in mind. And the legitimate claim has been denied — you might want to keep that in mind. And you might want to keep in mind that as a result of this person making a claim that if they don’t get what they want, they’re going to feel ill tempered.
Someone in the chat said, “I see anger as an emotional response to a boundary being violated or a reaction to a perceived threat or violation.” Well, that’s pretty close, and if you get it from the front end — if you look at it from that direction — that’d be fine because now we’re saying that anger is an emotion, right? But in truth, it’s nog. What we are saying on the front end is it’s the reaction to something — a person has chosen to react. So if they have boundaries, then who sets those boundaries and who do those boundaries belong to, if they are truly there? And I do agree that they are truly there in the front end. The boundaries that we often encounter is the boundaries that we grew up in — that space that we call preconditioning. Those boundaries do not have walls. I have a saying that I say about those walls. Since you can’t see the walls, they’re invisible. I’ll call it an assumption. That’s what we grew up in, and that’s who we coasted ourselves to be, and that’s what we have violated — a boundary. Somebody has boundaries — what I think myself to be.
So, when they see this going on, first of all, we need to identify what is this law that this person is breaking. They’re violating a law and they feel injured, right? The reason that the person feels injured is they’re doing something they ought not to do. It’s judging the thought and intent of the person’s heart, who they are demanding what they want from. That judging comes in — they feel hurt. They feel like the person intended to hurt them, and that may not be the case. The person may not want to hurt them at all. The person might have intended to help them. But since they judged the thought and intent of the person’s heart, they feel injured. The next thing they’re going to feel is — what do you think it’s going to be? Anybody? What’s the next feeling after feeling hurt? Well, you’re going to feel disappointed, and then you go to anger. It’s going to happen so quick that you’re not gonna realize that you went through from hurt to disappointed to anger, still on the front end. Am I making sense? It’s not what was going on in the background. What’s going on in the background is the judging and the fear. That’s what’s going on in the background. That’s what the person can not see, and in most cases, we can’t see either. Remember the last time you felt angry? What you did? If you can remember the first thing you did, then you can see where I’m coming from.
Now, the root cause of anger is pride. Eric Hoffer is an author that I was introduced to when I was in my internship, and my supervisor at the time offered me this book to read called “The Ordeal of Exchange.” And Hoffer was what we call a vagabond. He traveled from the East Coast, West Coast, doing menial jobs, catching train rides and hitching rides and taking little menial jobs throughout the country. But in every city that he stopped in, he got a library card and he began to write, and he wrote a lot of things. And by the time he got to the West Coast, he’d been a professor at University of California, I think it was — Caltech, one of those universities out there — but he also maintained those menial jobs, like working on the docks. So he had two jobs and he never got married, but he wrote some really good stuff.
This is one of the things he says: Pride is the refusal to accept oneself as one is. And the core of pride is self-rejection. The assumption is that if I refuse to accept something, I must know what it is or at least think or believe I know what it is. Pride breeds frustration and intolerance.
What the person is really feeling in the background is they’re feeling helpless. Because if it’s something from somebody and they have control of it and they refuse to give it to me, then that will make me feel helpless because I can’t do anything about it. So at the back end of anger is helplessness. Now, if this continues and if it becomes habitual, then we know where this is going. Eventually, this is going to become depression. Now from a cognitive point of view, what stops a person from anger is when they think they don’t have a choice. If you can remember back to when you was about two years old, maybe one-and-a-half years old — and most of us that grew up in America ate that baby food out of a jar, and they served those nasty peas. I don’t think no baby on Earth liked those peas. And when our mothers tried to put those peas in our mouth, we spit them back in her face. What did we get? A whack on the butt, right? Those of you that’s old enough to remember some of that — some of you may not remember that. Somebody else, you may be this old, but you had a similar encounter sometime in your childhood where you were denied something. And when you reacted to that denial and in an angry way, you got punished. Anybody remember that? If you do, just say yes.
And see, that was the time that you began to learn and think that you don’t have a choice. You learned it and think to believe something that is not true. So, your thought process and your belief system is forming based upon untruths because you always have a choice. No matter what the situation is, there’s always a choice. And at the root of all choices, there has to be a foundation to make a choice. I have to make a choice based on foundation, and I can call it a lot of different things, but they all amount to the same thing. Every choice is founded upon the foundation of life or the foundation of death — every choice. Not only that every choice I make is not a primary choice. It’s a secondary choice. The choice has already been made, and I’m just making a choice of response to a choice.
If this becomes habitual, it’s going to lead to depression. And if it becomes depression, it’s going to lead to suicidal thoughts. And then when it comes to that, it’s going to lead to the first attempt — you plan an attempt to commit suicide, and most likely the first is gonna fail, but it’s going to persist until the person commits suicide. And then that’s the end of that because they are trying to kill something and they really know what to kill. They think if they kill the body, they have killed the self, but they haven’t. As long as something outside of myself has this supply of what I want — whatever I’m doing — I’m making a demand. And just the word demand means — if you take the word and divide it up between de and mand, and you take this and put a slice between the E/M, you have DE. And that word means deprived — you know, you may have felt less than. If I start feeling that, then I’m definitely headed for depression because I feel less than.
Alright, expectations. This is what happens — what’s going on is a person expects to get what they want. So they’re expecting something, and I urge my client: Do not expect anything because if you expect something, it’s going to lead to hurt, which leads to disappointment, which leads to anger, which requires the use of the imagination. Because if I expect something, I can see it. I got some kind of picture of what that thing is, and when it doesn’t turn out to be that way, I’m definitely going to be hurt. I’m definitely going to be disappointed and going to be angry. So, don’t do that. I recommend that they hope rather than expect. Anybody ever had this issue? I recommend that they hope and don’t expect anything because if they do, this is the process they’re going to go through. And of course, you can see where this is going. Anger leads to depression. They are connected. I have never seen a patient come into my office that wasn’t irritable, frustrated, or angry, or all three. And they are all just forms of the same thing, which is anger.
Anger, really, in truth, is a spirit. It’s not an emotion. The emotions that we see is coming from the thought process. We start thinking a certain kind of way, we are going to feel that, and then when we feel that, we’re going to act. That’s a cognitive-behavioral approach to treatment — we’re going to definitely act the way we think and the way we believe what we think is true. Is that correct? Anybody that believes what they think and believe is not true? But it may not be — that’s the point. That’s the law that we break. What I think and believe may not be true at all. What I’m taught to think and believe is what I’m preconditioned to believe. And at some point, I should start to investigate what I think and believe and find out if it’s true or not, but we never get that far in life. We usually just settle with thinking and thinking and believing that I’m right. Any questions? Nobody questions about being right. I’m surprised. Well, if you are right, the question becomes: According to what is your right based on? What makes you right? Have you ever thought about that? Well, it’s called being self-right. You’re right according to the self, and the self is that thing that we learned in that box — I’ll call it a psychological hell. We’ve been preconditioned to be ourselves, and there is no way killing my body is gonna kill me. The only way to get away from that is to walk away from it — just leave it where it is.
Judging. I mentioned this earlier that when a person is angry, they’re judging that the person has hurt them. And what they’re doing is they’re comparing themselves to the other person. This is done on a deep, deep, psychological level. They’re not even aware that they are comparing themselves. Anytime we compare ourselves to anybody, that is going to cause us serious psychological harm. It is going to lead us away from a very important question that we ought to ask ourselves. The question is, who are you? Many of us know what we are. We are a lot of “whats.” It depends on who I’m standing in front of, what I am. If I’m standing in front of my dad, I’m a son. If I’m standing in front of my boss, I’m an employee. If I’m standing in front of my wife, I’m a husband. So we wear a lot of hats, a lot of what we are — but who we are? That is a question that we do not investigate. I think it’s a very important question to investigate. There’s two parts. When I’m judging and comparing myself, in a kind of a roundabout way, that’s what I’m trying to find out. So, how can I compare myself to a person? Like, I would like to be like that person, I don’t want to be like that person. And I start complaining about how that person is ‘cause I think I’m not like that. Do we do that? Anybody that’s never done that, please let me know. You never done it? See, we do that when we ought to stay away from comparing ourselves to anybody in anything. And especially because that puts a label on us on the outside. We’re not looking at the inside. What’s causing the anger is not really what’s going on the outside — it’s everything that’s going on on the inside of that person. You ask that looking out and they’re projecting what is going on on the inside of them onto something — a person, place, a thing. And that’s the way we do.
This is a philosophy. The ontological philosophy is more of an existential philosophy. One of the authors that I study is a guy called Rollo May and he wrote this book called “Being a Non-Being.” And what “being” means is his life and “non-being” means his death. And this is a philosophy that is trying to bridge the gap, but brings no solution from nothing to being there. I think that’s something that — I can’t read the other part — to bridge this gap from where we go from nothing to something. Attempts are sometimes made to bench the question rather than give it an answer. So, how did anger come to be? How did we come to be? What is the origin of everything? If we started to investigate this, we may find out, or we may not, but I think it’s a worthwhile investigation to try to find the origin of things. If we know where we come from, most likely we will not repeat that again. So if we don’t know what happened then we don’t know how to really correct them or change it, right? And those who asked the question, we are all extended, illegitimate — I can’t read the rest of that — from the whole of being the contrast to a supposed alternative non-being, which only particular beings possess. So there’s a statement that we make: I am. And the moment you say I am, that’s what you be and that’s exactly what you’re going to do. You can’t do it because we do what we believe. In spite of what anything or anybody said, we do what we believe. We can say one thing, but we will do what we believe.
This is a psychoactive process. All that I said before is going on in a continuous circle. It’s a never-ending circle. It goes from conscious, unconscious, super unconscious and back again — continues to go round and round and round. And there are two things that are going on at this time, and those two things are words and work. Now, a person cannot pretty much reason why they are angry — it’s because they’re speaking words, but they don’t understand what they’re doing. When we talk, we are actually doing something. So the listener, the therapist, ought to be able to identify exactly what the person is doing. Now, when a person is angry, what is the first word they speak? Anybody? What’s the first thing a person says when they’re angry? I know you’ve heard. Insults? Yes. What kind of attention? What are they doing when they insult a person? Trying to hurt them. Well, they’re drawing attention for what they’re doing. They’re blaming. “Something made me do something. He made me do it. They made me do it.” You hear that through that — something made me do something. What are they doing? They’re blaming.
So, what they’re not doing is really causing a problem. What they’re not doing is causing a problem where they’re not doing — it’s accepting responsibility because they’re saying somebody made me do something. That means they gave a person a power to cause them to react a certain kind of way. Does that make sense? This is a continuous cycle that goes on, and when a person is conscious on the top, what they do is they push everything down and then are unconscious of the super unconscious. But it’s going to surface — it can’t help but surface. If I feel hurt, as soon as I see any trigger — anything that reminds me of hurt — it’s going to come, and it’s got a continuous cycle until something intervenes from the outside and changes this. What I call this is the constant variable. The constant variable is the thing that’s always in the middle. If you think about a problem that you have, anybody ever have, the constant variable is the self. The self is present in all our problems. So is it outside that’s causing the problem, or the inside?
They must be inside because no matter where I go, if there’s a problem, I’m always there. It can be a different problem, but I’m still there. So, what to do is to change this process — to change yourself completely. Sometimes, some things can’t be fixed. The best thing to do is walk away and create something new because there’s a cycle with the process. So, it’s not going to stop until something intervenes from the outside and changes this process.
Okay, this is something C.S. Lewis wrote again on anger. Basically, what this says — I don’t really have to read this whole thing, ‘cause I think you guys can read this. Basically, what he’s saying is anger kills. What anger does is when something kills, that means that’s the end of it. Is that correct? What anger does is separates. It separates the angry person from the person that you’re with, and any separation between us indicates that we have a consciousness of separation instead of a consciousness of unity. Because what I’m saying is I’m not like that other person. That’s basically what I’m saying when I’m angry — I’m not like that other person. So, that’s separation. And usually, if you’re in a kind of intimate relationship and a lot of anger begins to occur, you’re going to ask to be separate. It’s called a divorce.
Okay, the nature of anger — I think we covered this, so we can skip that one. Okay, fortune. This is one of the definitions I pulled up for fortune — it’s chance, luck as a force in human affairs. This is an ecological definition. It’s from the Latin word fortula. If I miss a fortune, I missed a choice. I do have a choice when something happens — I can either react in some way or another. I have a choice, but if I feel like I don’t have a choice and the only choice that I feel like I have is me, that’s the way I’m going to react. But that’s not true; I have another choice, another option. Well, it’s not a choice but an option. I have one choice, two options — either this or that. But if I choose anger, and I can’t help but do that because that’s all I think I got. What you can tell the language is the fuse. When they think this kind of way, the language is, “I have to, I got to.” These are the types of things. “I should have, I would have.” All of these are negative phrases indicating that the person thinks that they only have one option in their choice, but this is never the case, so it’s not true. I never found them true. Anytime you have faced a situation where you don’t have at least two options — to live or die. You can stay or walk away. You always have two options, but if you’re forced into a corner, you’re gonna have an option. You’re going to come out angry or are you going to come out fighting. That’s fear.
Sense, alright. Anger is more of a reaction to sense consciousness than to reason. If we were reasoning when we — I reasoned that this situation does not call for this type of reaction, and we will give the situation the appropriate reaction. But if we’re functioning on sense consciousness, then that’s not going to be the case. We’re going to do something based upon how I feel, and mostly, that is never really a good place to make a decision. Because the way I feel comes into the way I think, so it might be better to think my decision through — at least to my thought process, at least to the mental level — rather than to react based upon how I feel. Feelings change constantly. By the time you started listening to this presentation to now, your feelings have changed a multitude of times, and that’s the way it is. I make a decision that is based upon quicksand — it’s shifting and saying it’s never going to be stable. That make sense? Sense is a perception, and the perception of a thing is not the thing. It’s just the perception. It’s not true. Example: Somebody walks up behind you and hits you on your back real hard. What’s your first reaction? Most likely, you think the person intended to hurt you, but there could have been a scorpion on your back about to bite you. See, you didn’t know that. Anger is a lot about not knowing. It’s not really knowing what’s really going on.
A claim. This is a big one. A claim is a demand of a right. A right of claiming is complaining. When we make demands, that’s definitely going to separate us from other people. Rather than demands, we ought to make commands. Commands unify, demands separate. Okay, we go back to the circle. We have thoughts and beliefs on the top. We have the unconscious anger — one truly thinks and believes that a person, place or thing outside of themselves is denying their legitimate claim. That’s exactly what we’re thinking and believing when we’re angry. I know I’ve done it plenty of times. Anybody who has not done this?
Okay, depression. Now, the word originally showed up in the DSM-5 book some kind of way — not sure exactly how it got there. But the word depression really was an astronomical term in the beginning. It was used to measure angular distance; the word then got into the DSM-V, DSM-IV, in the DSM-3 and 2 and 1. But depression, in truth, the original word was despair. That’s the next word. It really was this — it was despair. It was a feeling of hopelessness. And like I said, when a person is angry and they can’t get what they want, bottom line is, on a base level, they’re feeling hopeless. They feel helpless, and helplessness leads to hopelessness. So the word was truly despair. There’s no reason for us to be angry or depressed, from a cognitive perspective. Now, a person can suffer anger because of a blow to the head. They can be suffering from traumatic brain injury, or there are a few rare medical reasons why a person is triggered to be angry, but those are rare. My estimate is the vast majority of anger and depression is because we are functioning at the psychological level rather than at the psychic or the rational level or the spiritual level.
Despair naturally destroys courage; it stops all efforts. So when a person is depressed, they go into withdrawal. They stop making efforts, they stop trying to help themselves and they become very, very, very withdrawn. And if this becomes very serious, we know that they eventually won’t come out of the house. Not only would they not come out of the house, they won’t come out of the bed. They just stay in the bed constantly all the time. Despair destroys courage, and we need courage. We need courage because the things we face, there’s going to be fear, and we need courage to face fear. It produces a new kind of courage, and that new kind of courage then leads to an attempt to commit suicide. This was taken from an old dictionary back in 1897. Any questions about this slide?
Ah, this is the answer to most anger issues. Because if I’m angry with a person because of what they’ve done, what I’m going to do — because I feel like I was hurt — I’m going to hold a grudge. If you never held a grudge, then this doesn’t apply to you. But I think most people have held the grudge at some point in their life. Now, this is from an author by the name Gerald Jampolsky. He wrote a book called “Letting Go of Fear.” This book changed my thought process a great deal when I first read it. I recommend this book highly. There are several new editions to it. I really love the edition, but it is called “Letting Go of Fear.” And he says love is letting go. Inner peace can be only reached when we practice forgiveness; forgiveness is letting go of the past — all fear to the past. And therefore, it’s the correcting of our misperceptions of what happened to us. Our misperceptions can only be undone now, and it can be accomplished only through letting go of whatever we think. And through this process of selective forgetting, we embrace a present without the need to reenact our past. In other words, anger is living in the past, not in the present. We need to go and ask that person to forgive us for holding that grudge, and that’ll end our issue with anger against them. The more we know about a thing, the less likely we are to commit that error.
Thank you so much for joining us today. We host these every Wednesday from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., so feel free to join us for the next one. But thank you also, Arthur, for presenting for us.
You’re quite welcome. It was my pleasure. I enjoyed it.
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