People can feel powerless after a traumatic event such as a burn injury. You might feel angry and you might have thoughts of blame and about wanting to punish whoever you view as responsible for the injury. Anger and fantasies about revenge or punishment can provide a sense of control over an unpredictable situation.
Following their child’s injury, some parents told us that they did not feel that they deserved support because carrying their own guilt and upsetting feelings was their punishment for not preventing the injury. If you experience these feelings or thoughts, they feel overwhelming, or you are concerned about them, it is important to seek help.
- Breathe slowly
- Use some relaxation strategies
- Distract yourself
It might also help to think of harmless ways that you might express anger and discharge tension in your body. This can be done by, for example:
- Exercising or doing another activity to use up some of your energy safely
- Hitting or punching a pillow
- Tearing up paper
- Smashing ice cubes in the sink
These are things that harm you or harm people around you, for example:
- Drug use
- Destructive behaviour
If you find you express your anger through outward aggression and violence, this can be extremely frightening and damaging for people around you – especially children. In this case, it is very important to seek support. Alternatively, you might never be outwardly violent or aggressive but you might direct this towards yourself, leading to you punishing yourself or cutting yourself off from others. These behaviours can still be problematic and can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. It is important that you seek help.
You can also read more about anger on the NHS Choices website.