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Uncontrollable anger and irritability

Community Member


My name is Zoe and I am a long term survivor of cPTSD, anxiety, depression and OCD. Lately I have been struggling a great deal with my anger, particularly anger attacks and outbursts of rage.

I have a couple of tools I have been given from therapy but I feel like I need more tools. I am especially raging out when my carer doesn't do what I nneed them to. He is around me almost 24/7 and I feel suffocated. any tips?

6 Replies 6

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Zoe~

Welcome here to the Forum. I'm sure there are many here that really wish they were calm and did not give way to anger.

I'm no expert but will try to say a few of the things I do. I'm a lot better than I was (I've PTSD, anxiety and occasional bouts of depression). I try to have a plan when things are about to descent to lashing out.

I guess the first thing is I am getting better at knowing when I'm liable to react with anger, and do try to take steps to forestall it. I've often walked outside. On other occasions I've actually felt adult and proud of myself for not giving way.

In my case - maybe yours (I'm guessing) - a lot comes down to lack of control, events piling up, further demands and then a last straw, or something else going wrong. Often just those circumstances help me realize I'm vulnerable to temper and lashing out.

I would think you realize that outbursts don't really help, and can be pretty hurtful. If you didn't oyu would not be posting here or talking wiht your therapist . That's one of my motivations form not giving in, my partner - who is the handy target - would get pretty hurt and upset. So space and pause if all else fails.

A desire to be fair helps, if my target does not deserve it, that can help put the brakes on.

Apart from going out I do try to move away and do something else - even a favorite comady DVD.

I did read in your post you have a carer, and that person is there 24/7. I'm sure not matter how kind and caring person that is a recipe for rubbing up the wrong way. Is there any possibility of regular respite, either you are accommodated elsewhere or another carer is substituted. Even looking forward to such a change can make a big difference (to both parties).

I'm not sure if I've said anything you've not already considered, please come back and say more


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Zoe, can I offer you a warm welcome to the site.

I am sorry that you have to suffer from this list of illnesses but I would imagine that having OCD maybe a reason why you don't want the carer to be around you all the time.

I'm not sure how strong your obsessions are but know they can be annoying, as I too have OCD, but if your carer is messing around with the way you want to keep objects in place, how you want a door to be kept ajar or how you want to do something, then this will frustrate you when the carer puts everything back in place.

A carer doesn't have to live with you so maybe you could ask them to move out.

Hope to hear back from you.


Hi Geoff & Croix,

I've only noticed today that these replies occured years ago - SORRY! I'm glad I found this because my anger and rage has been resurfacing, and I think Geoff was right about OCD influencing my rage and irritability.

At present, there appears to be no option for respite care as I don't have friends or family who are willing and able to take care of me to the extent that I sometimes need. The thing that is frustrating with my health is that there seems to be ebbs and flows. For days and sometimes weeks, I will be absolutely fine and almost 'normal' and 'functional' and other days I will be really fragile, easily startled, often disassociate, be prone to uncontrollable outbursts and so on.

How would one who is not on DSP or NDIS access respite care? My spouse still cares for me and we moved in together kinda because there was literally no other choice for me financially. Two years later and I still feel stifled and enraged and have gotten so sick of trying to be perfect all the time and calculate every iota of my day (down to how I breathe, what words I use etc) that I kind of exploded at my partner and told him I feel like he has no idea what it's like to exist as myself and that if he didn't start seeing my external rage he wasn't going to get it.

Well now he gets it and he is slowly falling apart because the pandemic has put a lot of pressure on him at work. He can't take time off, and on the occasions he has had to take leave it has been compassionate leave to care for me and not leave my side. Of course I appreciate that he does these things for me, but since the new financial year he has actually dropped a day of work to cope with his own work/life balance which has led to me feeling more stifled.

As he now has 3 full days off work a week, and works one full day and 3 half days, I feel like he is ALWAYS home. We are now also down to just my car which he has been using for work as he was worried about being exposed to the virus via public transport. This creates several problems: 1, if he has the car, I can't leave the house 2, if I have the car, I'm often too sick/tired/stressed to drive and 3, lately when he drives with me in the car, he grinds the (actual) gears of the car (not my metaphorical temper) and bumps roundabouts and curbs etc and this triggers panic attacks for me.

Now I don't trust him to drive my car. If he doesn't have a car, how can I encourage him to leave the house and give me space? What can I do for myself?

Dear Zoe~

Welcome back! Yes we are still here and sorry to hear thngs have deteriorated, not just for you but your partner too.

I guess the first thing I should ask if either or both of you are under medical support for your mental states? It sounds important. Geoff may be right and OCD is driving you to have an orderly existence and your partner is not able to supply that.

It may well be that lack of ability is one thing your partner may struggle with, it can be hard to accept our limitations. Actually it sounds as if your partner has a number of thngs to struggle with, not only work but I'd expect finances now he working less, plus worry how much further matters might deteriorate.

I would imagine being on public transport could quite sensibly be regarded as a danger, but agree it is unfortunate he cannot drive as well as some and your car suffering as a result. Probably a source of stress for both of you. I hope it is a robust vehicle.

I do think the fact he has persevered at work with 1 plus 3 x 1/2 days could well be regarded as an achievement.

I'd not like you to think this post is a "praise the partner" thing and nothing else. I quite acknowledge your frustrations, the variability in your conditon, not having enough time alone and and trouble retaining your temper when things go over the top.

My point is that both of you may well need medical support, even if it is by telehealth if driving is too stressful.

Of course living thrown together 24/7 without respite is a hard way to be, however it's circumstances that have dictated this.

May I suggest a couple of thngs?

Firstly to enure you both have informed and competent medical support, which may be a GP plus psychologist or some other form of therapist, and secondly you make the best effort possible to help your partner cope.

Think of things to ease his load. Then when you do burst out with anger his remembering your efforts may make it easier for both of you.

Have you talked to your partner along these lines?

You can also ask your medical help about the various avenues though which respite might be arranged.

Finally being thrown together without the peace of solitude. Here I find I can take my mind out of the present by reading and becoming engrossed in enjoyable fantasy - is there anything similar for you? Also an equivalent for your partner?

This post is not intended to be overly blunt or unsympathetic. I'm simply trying to consider viable ways the pair of you can live greater harmony.



Thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate the pragmatism in your comment and do believe that some of the things you said are being done on my end anyway. I have had access to various medical assistance on and off for many years now and am continuing that with EMDR with a qualified Occupational Therapist. I've been doing EMDR treatment for over a year now, and was doing 'regular' psychology before that. I also see my GP regularly for check ups.

One of the biggest problems in this was getting my partner to go get help without nagging him to death. He only just started seeing someone two months ago for his mental health and he doesn't want medication for his deteriorating health (which is completely valid). So far nobody has mentioned what our options are for respite, despite us repeatedly stating that my partner needs a break. At this point in time, his FAMILY doesn't even think it's FAIR to FORCE/PAY someone to come in and care for me because "she's an adult," which translates to me that they don't understand that despite my "adult" age, I DO sometimes need intensive care due to the NATURE of the PTSD that I experience.

I have already been doing a lot that I can to ease his load. I do all of the financing, budgeting and planning for the house. He doesn't know when to wash sheets or vacuum the house so I will either do it or tell him on the day that it needs to be done. He can't cope with a system. For two and a half years I have been in charge of all of that.

He voluntarily stepped down his hours because he assumed that my COVID payments would cover it and was completely comfortable with the finance side of things until I actually showed him the books (in the two + years I've been balancing the budget, he NEVER looked at it or offered help/information).

Recently, we had a big discussion about the fact that I feel like my recovery feels like a perpetual state of 'coaching' and 'teaching' him how to be a good boyfriend and how to care for me when I have specific needs, and that after 2.5 years of basically mentoring him that I'm at the end of my tether and no longer have the energy or the desire to stress about him and exhaust myself over trying to carefully, calmly and sensitively explain everything I need from him. I am at a point now in the relationship where I am wondering that he has reached his limits, and that rather than being in a relationship with someone who can no longer provide love and care for me, that we are better off single.

Dear Zoe~

It is obvious that there needs to be more balance in your relationship. Just reading your bare words it seems like your husband has acquired a servant, source of income and household staff -you. Now I'm not sure that is a fair assessment, you did say his mental health was deteriorating, do you know the diagnosis?

Also do you think that my initial description is unfair? Is he in fact capable of budgeting, washing on time etc if not being steered all the time -how about cooking?. A wall calendar might help with repetitive tasks. What are your thoughts?

I suspect that steering/mentoring/whatever you like to call it has brought you to the end of your tether. While EMDR may be appropriate for PTSD I'm not a all sure it is a substitute for counseling about your domestic arrangements and the load you bear.

His family is just pain wrong. PTSD is a serious and sometimes unpredictable illness, when I was at my worst my wife, who bore the brunt of all family related matters and worked, had her mother to help practically and emotionally. That was respite.

I guess there is one thing needs asking, do you both genuine love each other?