Anger In America: Why people are more angry now

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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.

Anger management information
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Information on Dr. Dan Monti

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10 comments

  • ByeByeToTheRite

    Here’s my simpler explanation:

    Almost everybody in America is getting ripped off by the wealthy and the big corporations they own. We’re working harder, taking home less, while the rich get vastly richer by the day on our backs and at our expense.

    But everybody in America has a different opinion about why they are sliding downward: The Tea Party 30% is convinced it’s poor people on welfare and entitlements like Social Security, Medicare the new health care law. The smart 30% knows the truth, but that’s not enough. The rest in between either don’t care or have a wide variety of other excuses for it i.e. those unions, drug users, whatever.

    And let’s not forget the role of religion: Religion divides people, and right now America is becoming more religious than ever before. So you have the Jews hating the Muslims hating the Christians hating the Mormons and all basically hate anyone else not their religion – it’s what religion does, and why it has no place in civilized society.

    In short, this is what happens when a society lets themselves decline as much as we are. We’re on the way out as a significant world power, and we know it.

      • Amanda

        See here we are reading an article on anger in our country and instead of taking something from it and learning how to better the problem, we are here bashing each other based on opinions. Not everyone’s opinion is going to be the same, so don’t judge on what people say because it’s not what you think or feel. It doesn’t make someone an idiot for having an opinion that may not match yours. So sad what this country is coming to and if it doesn’t change we have no hope.

  • Steve

    Shawdrea Thomas, is anger really something new in America? Is it really becoming more of a problem? Road rage and celebrity meltdowns are the least of our worries.

  • Steven Sweeney

    There is a lot of anger: mainly because the people who are SUPPOSED to do the right thing simply are not..The prez raises taxes on us working stiffs, yet lets his rich left wing billionaire buddies go tax free..We get ripped off by obamacare, his rich friends and unions are exempt..Military gets layoffs and cuts, terrorists get billions and weapons..hard working folks get less for their money, People on welfare get food stamps and now even free pot in Colorado..Denver affiliates just ran story on that..As far as division, Obama has divided us by race and class..religion is one-sided as Christians are murdered every single day In Arab and African countries just for sport by Muslims, while here at home, Muslims get preferential treatment despite terrorism and still owning 27 million slaves around the world..Obama and the liberals have been in charge for 6 years now and NEVER EVER taken responsibility for one single thing..that trickles down, and now people feel they can be the same way, hence all these thugs stealing cars and committing crimes..Why do you think one of the city’s biggest gangs is called “Obama Boys”..Nothing is their fault either..Accountability has gone the way of the dodo, courtesy of the dodos on the left and the dodo in the white house..If changes aren’t made soon, american values will be extinct..

  • GG

    Well said Steve! The current administration doesn’t want the American people to come together and instead their motto is divide and conquer! All part of the plan for the demise of this once great nation. Sad thing is, we are letting them do it! Time for a change – bring on November and then 2016!!

  • Bob James

    I’ve lived in several cities across America, and I can say the most angry drivers I’ve encountered are here in St. Louis. I never understood this tail-gaiting thing when traffic slows down. Or do I understand why the highways are like a NASCAR race, where drivers think it is bad if they come in second place, or speed up to cut someone off when they are coming on the highway. I realize that many people reading this won’t understand what I’m saying, because they haven’t ventured more than a few miles from home in their entire lives, but I can tell you in many cities nobody acts like they are more important than anyone else on the roads.

      • Bob James

        No, I’ll agree with your Minneapolis and Chicago reference, as they do refer to his as Chicago style attitude. I won’t agree with your Los Angeles reference, though. Millions of people need to get somewhere every day and most don’t think they are more important than the next guy. They understand how to merge onto a freeway, and other drivers will let them merge, too. They also won’t have a big baby pants fit when someone needs to change lanes. Honking your horn as an F-you substitute is an invitation to get shot at.

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