An Axe for the Frozen Sea
November 9, 2018 10:02 AM   Subscribe

I have recently started therapy. And axe throwing. My husband found me crying in the bathroom and asked how he could help. Vote. Donate. Teach our son to dismantle the white cis hetero patriarchy. “I would like to throw axes,” I said. We got a babysitter.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat (52 comments total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
 
I loved this essay so much, and this part spoke to me deeply: "It’s easier when you have a clean shot. It’s easier when you know where to aim. “See, that’s the problem!” I yelled at my therapist when she asked the ridiculously obvious question of what are you angry about, Megan. “I don’t know where to focus! Which target to choose! Every day there’s a new cause of fury and I’m not done being furious about the thing I was furious about yesterday so where do you put your energy and your time and your heart?"

My partner suggested to me recently that I was filled with rage in a way he hadn't seen from me before, and I'm like, yeah, duh, I'm full of bees and I'm tired of trying to pretend I'm not. Therapy, exercising, limiting screen time, volunteering, cooking nutritious meals and all the other privileged markers of 'self-care'; they're not working anymore. Maybe I just need to borrow a friend's backyard and start axe-throwing.
posted by stellaluna at 10:14 AM on November 9 [36 favorites]


Therapy, exercising, limiting screen time, volunteering, cooking nutritious meals and all the other privileged markers of 'self-care'; they're not working anymore.

I made this remark to my partner the other day, that there's just not a socially acceptable place for 2018 humans to go and scream. Like, sure you can do this in your car with the music blaring or into a pillow. But I'd like to just go out into my backyard some days and just scream until I stop crying and cannot breathe. It'd be such a release, but I know that if I did this, it'd end up in phone calls being made. Also, as a person of colour, I realize I do not want to be labelled an "angry brown man" by my neighbors or the police department.

I just want to scream.
posted by Fizz at 10:21 AM on November 9 [61 favorites]


My partner suggested to me recently that I was filled with rage in a way he hadn't seen from me before, and I'm like, yeah, duh, I'm full of bees

My partner continually points this out to me as well, and it's like. Yeah, I am more expressive of rage than I used to be. But oh. My sweet summer boy, I was always this angry.

But also. HE has always been this angry. He's an angry man. He has things to be angry about; I don't begrudge him that anger for a second.

But now me, all five feet 100 pounds of me, yelling a string of cuss words when our garbage apartment's unregulated hot water scalds my hand, that's scary. Not him, twice my size, screaming cuss words all day long, no. That's normal.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:23 AM on November 9 [57 favorites]


The rage is reasonable, but exhausting.  How 'bout a momentary palate cleanser?
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 10:26 AM on November 9 [6 favorites]


The zeitgeist type rage is intensely personal for me as I work through my past in therapy, and it turns out that I recently learned how to, you know, have and identify fear like a human person instead of the robot I was for the first (x-1) years of my life. It's ugly out there, man, but it's delicious to feel like I am experiencing something the way other people are. I am happy to be ragey and confused and scared? Sort of. I'm happy to be able to understand my rage and confusion and fear.

I need a hug/know that I have them available to me/will manage/do you want one?
posted by wellred at 10:32 AM on November 9 [11 favorites]


This was really good. I've got some major shiz going down at home, and in a moment of pure anger and frustration I picked up these short branch chunks we have as firewood, they're like 9"-12" long and about an inch in diameter and just started hurling them at the back fence. It felt great.

BRB looking for axe throwing near me.
Mefi meetup?
posted by Fig at 10:34 AM on November 9 [11 favorites]


wellred -- I too, have been learning to feel feelings in therapy this year! It kind of sucks and I still hate it a little, but it's better than repression. Lots of internet hugs (and axes)
posted by Fig at 10:35 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Fig, you are as sweet as your namesake, let us rage ambivalently together.
posted by wellred at 10:36 AM on November 9 [8 favorites]


let us rage ambivalently together.

We should pick an evening and rage against the dying of the light.
posted by Fizz at 10:41 AM on November 9 [21 favorites]


There are days I miss aikido for just these reasons.

The very satisfying thwack of human bodies -- both mine and whomever I was practicing with -- really helped distribute my rage during the height of the Iraq War and Bush atrocities.
posted by offalark at 10:42 AM on November 9 [4 favorites]


That was a really good essay. A lot going on in it.
I will just say that the act of throwing things is amazingly cathartic. I first noticed it when I was stressed out about studying for the GRE and I threw my pen across the room. What an amazing feeling I will never forget. I had never done that before. And I don't think I've done it since. I bet throwing an axe must feel amazing. Anyway I suggest throwing things. Just give it a try.

I also recently let out a good scream for the first time in my life due to anger & frustration finally working its way out of the little box it had been housed in. Also cathartic and good. Sometimes that screaming match with your loved ones is required. Not often of course but it's better to do it than not do it sometimes. Get it out on the table.
posted by bleep at 10:45 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Axe throwing is weird. The weight of the axe, the target over there, the satisfying tangible feel as the axe leaves your hands and the more satisfying feeling as the sharp blade wedges itself into the target and the best feeling of all, seeing that the axe bit into the wood exactly where you wanted it to. It all feels so good for some reason. There's other feelings as well: what if I slip up somehow and hurt somebody? What if I hurt myself? And these feelings are somehow welcome. The feeling of knowing that this could be a dangerous activity and then finishing your throwing session with everybody unscathed. The feeling of realizing that you want to shred that target, that you want to cause damage. The feeling that you might have some control after all, even if you don't have control over what the world is trying to do to you. All. The. Fucking. Time. The feeling that the people throwing with you might be feeling some of the same things.

Hell yes, that's therapeutic.
posted by ashbury at 10:51 AM on November 9 [6 favorites]


That really resonates with me. Sadly I don't think my rotator cuff would allow me to throw axes, but this part stood out to me as something I COULD do:

My favorite is an enormous red hoop she made for the Women’s March that reads: I’M SO ANGRY I STITCHED THIS JUST SO I COULD STAB SOMETHING 3000 TIMES.
posted by pangolin party at 11:00 AM on November 9 [21 favorites]


Saved for later:

ashbury: Yeah, if I wasn't like already crazy and several times the baseline risk for suicide, plinking bottles or something with a single-shot bolt-action .22 like I was a teen would be options. These days I have to settle for gratuitous paper-shredding. It doesn't have the same sort of feeling of responsible control over a dangerous thing though.

My uncle had a brilliant idea for an amusement park for adults that would be an empty lot, a big pile of dirt, and a backhoe.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 11:02 AM on November 9 [10 favorites]


wellred - many hugs to you, and yes, I would be happy to have some as well. I am happy for you getting to be ragey and confused and scared, and learning to understand those things in yourself. Good for you for doing the work to get there.

More hugs.
posted by kristi at 11:06 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


When will She-Hulk get a movie indeed!

This essay, and all of modern life, should serve as the last-call wake-up notice to mysogynistic, patriarchal men everywhere: Madame DeFarge is not just a literary construct, ye shall reap what ye sow.

In my view, the meatspace manifestation of rage in this essay is not a threat, it is an effect and an inevitability. The arrogant, ignorant, unfeeling tripling down of patriarchy is melting this frozen sea, and its storms, tsunamis, and hurricanes will be an unstoppable fury of rage. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction; nature delayed is nature betrayed.
posted by riverlife at 11:06 AM on November 9 [7 favorites]


thanks kristi! hugs for you.
posted by wellred at 11:07 AM on November 9


Axe-throwing bars are a hot new trend for a reason, I guess. There's one opening up on Capitol Hill in Seattle (or maybe it's already open? In the space on Broadway where Castle Superstore used to be?).
posted by palomar at 11:09 AM on November 9 [4 favorites]


My uncle had a brilliant idea for an amusement park for adults that would be an empty lot, a big pile of dirt, and a backhoe.
This exists in Las Vegas!
posted by foxfirefey at 11:16 AM on November 9 [13 favorites]


It's been kind of a heck of a year for me as well. The thing I'm dealing with has engendered feelings of sadness, loss, and occasional anger. Recently, I passed a milestone in the process of dealing with that thing, and the anger I had been feeling changed shape. Pre-milestone, I had felt occasional anger about very specific things, (the things that resulted in the loss, and the sadness). Post-milestone, the anger became more of a background simmer, co-simmering with sadness.

My counselor thought that shift made a lot of sense. Passing that particular milestone meant that it was now safe for me to feel--and express--anger. He encouraged me to let myself experience it without judging myself for having that feeling.

His perspective, and advice, sent a wave of relief through me. My anger had worried me; not because it's excessive, or destructive, (it isn't), but because it was there.

His words also brought to mind the Mr. Rogers song, "What Do You Do With The Mad That You Feel?". I pulled up the lyrics, and decided they could do with some, um, improvements.

Here's my axe, MeFi. :)

"What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel [when you have axes]?
(Originally by Fred Rogers, um, improved? by FHT)

What do you do with the mad that you feel
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong...
And nothing you do seems very right?

What do you do? Do you [throw an axe]?
Do you [throw some sticks at the fence]?
Do you round up friends for a [MeFi Chat]?
[And try to make things make sense]?

It's great to be able to stop
When [you've thrown all the axes you own],
And be able to do something else instead
And think this song:

I can stop when I want to
Can stop when I wish.
I can stop, stop, stop any time.
And what a good feeling to feel like this
And know that the feeling is really mine.
Know that there's something deep inside
That helps us become what we can.
For a girl can be someday a woman [or not!]
And a boy can be someday a man [also, or not!]"
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 11:16 AM on November 9 [14 favorites]


I am filled with rage at current events.

I come from a family of screamers. The last thing I want to do now, is scream. That's just taking me back to a time in my life when I felt powerless. I screamed when I was a child, we all did. My parents still do. I have had enough of screaming powerlessly in the same general vicinity as my family. Some of the most powerful feeling moments in my life, were moments when I walked AWAY from screaming. You can't win at screaming, it's just noise.

Axe throwing sounds great, but I am disabled in a way that makes it also sound exhausting.

The only thing that makes me feel good, lately, is donating to political campaigns. And my credit card can't take any more of that.
posted by elizilla at 11:17 AM on November 9 [8 favorites]


I am a woman in America in 2018. My imagination is a dangerous place.

ah yes my aesthetic
posted by poffin boffin at 11:19 AM on November 9 [32 favorites]


This is such a good piece of work, it resonates with me. I've shared it further. Thanks for posting it here.
posted by odinsdream at 11:34 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


really though this addresses a thing which has been on my mind since forever and that thing is: triggering. when sneering shithead MRAs bray their witless juvenile laughter about "triggering sjws" they always overlook the "fight" aspect of the fight or flight reaction. they never seem to realize that they might end up getting more than they've bargained for.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:46 AM on November 9 [21 favorites]


We should pick an evening and rage against the dying of the light.

The solstice is what, a month and a half away?
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:49 AM on November 9 [4 favorites]


I know a story can’t save us. But it can show us how to save ourselves.

I hope so. Sometimes I find my mind turning and turning, looking for a narrative with some hope in it. I remember waking up in the night again and again after the 2016 election, my mind desperately looking for a story to tell about how we would fix this.

Forced relaxation. Structured violence.

I know these two tools well. They have not been gentle on my body.
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:50 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Regarding the stabby stitching aspect, this is also something I do...group project?
posted by wellred at 11:50 AM on November 9 [4 favorites]


All future MeFi MeetUps will include at least 15 minutes of screaming.
I think we ALL need it.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 11:58 AM on November 9 [8 favorites]


I made this remark to my partner the other day, that there's just not a socially acceptable place for 2018 humans to go and scream.

This is how punk music was invented.
posted by 100kb at 11:59 AM on November 9 [9 favorites]


I come from a family of screamers. The last thing I want to do now, is scream.

Yeah, right there with you. I was actually discussing this with a friend last night, about how we — two people who have lets call them lingering effects from being yelled at all the time in childhood — structured our lives as much as possible (significant others, workplaces, friends, family we choose to remain in touch with) around not getting screamed at or near by cognizant adults. Which kind of sucks in the face of people actually being able to harness that sort of explosive energy out of themselves for the purpose of relief!

Scream a second time for me, friends, just preferably not around me.
posted by griphus at 11:59 AM on November 9 [8 favorites]


That was a really great essay.

In college, I bought a set of throwing knives and set up a cardboard target on my dorm room door. It was a great way to work through a lot of frustrations and think through things. Just keep throwing until my shoulder got sore. I should actually try one of the axe places around here.

plinking bottles or something with a single-shot bolt-action .22

I've taken up shooting clays at a local shotgun range. I find this difficult to admit to people for a lot of reasons. But it's very cathartic - like in the essay, you have to let everything go or you won't connect with anything. Seeing a cloud of orange dust when you obliterate a target is very satisfying. Going home with a big bruise on my shoulder is also very satisfying in a weird way.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:16 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


Hey I'm the partner mentioned in this essay! So fun to see my wife's piece here. Can confirm that she's still just as angry, but somehow it's what keeps her going at an incredible pace... and so far the axes remain headed in a direction opposite me. Thanks for the share, KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat.

(and thanks everyone for the lovely comments)
posted by colossal at 12:28 PM on November 9 [64 favorites]


I had a coworker who went to a "rage room" where you could sign a waiver and then be given a very large bat and a variety of breakable objects. I don't know that I would be into it, but they found it very cathartic.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:30 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


I've taken up shooting clays at a local shotgun range. I find this difficult to admit to people for a lot of reasons.

I find video-games are also good for this. Shooting at virtual monsters/demons while playing DOOM and listening to this soundtrack is such an enjoyable feeling.
posted by Fizz at 1:00 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


I really enjoyed this essay, in an uncomfortably familiar way. I've been throwing myself at bouldering walls since July 30th - 36 times in 100 days, according to the gym login records I looked at recently - and have a feeling is a damn good thing I found something more physical when I did. I even went and found a bouldering facility while in Europe for a conference as all the Kavenaugh hearing shit went down, and it was... essential. I've also been meaning to look up our local axe throwing place here. This essay may be the catalyst. Thanks for posting it.
posted by deludingmyself at 1:07 PM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Love the idea of a rage room. Kind of like Cafe Disco from The Office, but with breaking things.
posted by kweedmanthat at 1:11 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


When I used to chef, we would have group screams in the walk in. I own two hatchets. One year suffering betrayal of the most tender type, (self betrayal when you KNOW what is going on, but pretend you don't,) I spent a long hour, sharpening the living shit out of the red handled hatchet. We threw knives and hatchets as kids, shot arrows too. I decided this year to be fueled by joy, rather than fight or flight. It is an effort that is paying off in my exercise routines and walks. I have a lot of fears and tend to catastrophize even in daydreaming. My new motto is, "You can only kill them once, then you must move on." It makes me laugh that I am pulling the plug on some habits, daydreaming is one of these. I started asking myself what part of my biome needs this sort of stimulation? This is with regard to any common thoughts or emotionl habits that come unconsciously bidden. I just can't let the whole world live in my head, nope. They don't pay well enough, for one thing.
posted by Oyéah at 1:31 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


Love the idea of a rage room. Kind of like Cafe Disco from The Office, but with breaking things.

We have a place like this nearby where you can go break dishware and just chuck things at a brick wall. I've not done it but I hear it's very cathartic.
posted by Fizz at 1:37 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


absinthe and axe throwing? That's a combination I haven't tried before. (Alas, I cannot, being medically barred from alcohol)

At least I can testify to the enormous pleasures of splitting 7 cords of wood each year.
posted by doctornemo at 3:33 PM on November 9


Re screaming in public:

Early last year I felt that need hardcore, once due to a breakup and the other due to the Travel Ban. At first I looked into going to a link dungeon, but I got overwhelmed and didn't follow through.

Then I was told about an abandoned warehouse/laundromat not far from me. I brought a friend both times, and as they kept lookout for me, I went in there and screamed and cried and threw water bottles.

It was draining and cathartic and took so much out of me that I defaulted to an alterego that steps in to make sure I'm fed and watered while my usual self recovers. God was it so good.

I think that warehouse is inaccessible now, they're taking it down and building something in its place, possibly another condo block. I feel that urge sometimes, to return and scream again, but I also feel like this is my default state. I grew up in a country that has told me since the day I was born that they didn't want something like me. I've moved around the world and the message is the same. All the politics happening in the US or elsewhere is old hat. Nothing is news. Nothing is surprising. Nothing is going to change and even if it does it doesn't last. I can't even feel betrayed because I've always been betrayed. Anger turns to depression turns to resignation turns to this is what it'll always be, I am incurable, the cure is bigger than me and a fantasy because I live in a world that doesn't want me.

I'm writing this in the CBD where the tram got redirected because just yesterday, not even 24 hours ago, a man blew up a car at my usual tram stop and stabbed people with a knife and because he is brown it is automatically terrorism. One year ago another man rammed into a bunch of people at that very same tram stop because he was drunk and angry at his ex and his court case is this week. I am planning a SlutWalk rally next week and our inbox has been stuffed with alt-right Nazi bros planning to rape and murder us, threatening to ram another car at us at that same tram stop. The police are sending extras but they don't think the threats are credible because people don't follow through. Last year our main stalkers were radfems replacing our posters with their screeds against trans women and sex workers, with razor blades hidden behind them.

I write this in the CBD waiting for a meeting and my tears dry up because this is not news. This is the same old thing and resignation stays in my blood and I am incurable.
posted by divabat at 3:47 PM on November 9 [13 favorites]


Don’t get in the habit of throwing things around your house. There’s a 100% chance you’ll break something you really care about and/or can’t replace without a significant amount of trouble.

The thing about expressing rage through a physical outburst is that it seems to focus and expel your rage, but it actually doesn’t. It magnifies and centers it. It might not be the next time you need to throw something, but maybe the time after that, or the 5th time after that, but soon throwing a pillow won’t do the trick. Throwing a pen, throwing your phone, throwing a plate, punching a hole in the wall, they won’t do the trick either.

Finding a structured and controlled way to engage in physical expression is healthy (axe throwing, martial arts, archery, skeet shooting, whatever) but beware of teaching yourself to lash out physically in anger as an immediate response. It doesn’t lead anywhere good, I can say that from experience.
posted by Autumnheart at 4:54 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


The thing about expressing rage through a physical outburst is that it seems to focus and expel your rage, but it actually doesn’t. It magnifies and centers it.

This. The essay is a fine piece of writing but a terrible prescription. When you think you're "letting it out", you're not. You are instead practicing and strengthening the link between anger and aggression.

Think about this: if you see your neighbor in his backyard screaming and throwing things in anger - do you think to yourself, "hey, great to see Greg letting off steam." No. Your instinct would be to be very wary. And for good reason.

Science: You Can't Punch Your Way out of Anger.
posted by storybored at 8:55 PM on November 9 [4 favorites]


Surely that depends on the person though? Because I’ve had situations where I’ve repressed my anger inward too long because “oh I don’t want to be violent” and it just caused inner toxicity. I found a safe outlet to express it outwards in a controlled environment and it helped.
posted by divabat at 9:03 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


I also like to shoot clays (pro-tip use a 20g and not a 12g, your shoulder will thank you). I think all of those "track visually, aim and send object" sports tap into a primitive part of your brain that we don't use often enough anymore and we need to use. Same with walking. The more I walk as part of my daily life the happier and calmer I am. About 3 hours is optimal.
posted by fshgrl at 10:07 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Surely that depends on the person though? Because I’ve had situations where I’ve repressed my anger inward too long because “oh I don’t want to be violent” and it just caused inner toxicity. I found a safe outlet to express it outwards in a controlled environment and it helped.

It would be nice if it depended on the person but the evidence points the other way. Politicians and generals exploit this anger-aggression cycle because we are all susceptible.

Yes it feels great to scream and punch something. You can see the same dynamic at Trump rallies. His followers go there to feel good. They shout and pump their fists. Do we think they will be less angry in future or more? Less or more aggressive?

I am not judging here. Sometimes you want to be more angry, more aggressive. But that should be a conscious choice not something you get pulled into.

One point: There is a false dichotomy between repressing anger and "letting it out". The third choice is mindfulness. Be aware of feelings of anger, trace it to its cause, express it in a healthy way (through self-care e.g. walking, running, fresh air, going to a calm space), transform it into peaceful action.
posted by storybored at 11:03 AM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Thank you for sharing this article, it speaks to my soul and the author writes beautifully. Checking out her essay collections.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:34 AM on November 10


This is exactly why I loved blacksmithing so very much: you get to hit something super hard with big ass hammers, making big smashy noises while you’re at it, but rather than just destroying something and centering your rage on the act of smashytime, you end up with something practical, or beautiful, or else something that needs to get chucked back in the forge because you don’t want to waste the steel. It’s like a combination of “hit the thing! throw the stuff! smash it up!!” and artistic release. Plus you can sing hammering songs about workers rising up to stay in rhythm.

damn, I made some ugly nails for a bit there though.
posted by zinful at 11:46 AM on November 10 [6 favorites]


I don't really think of this type of thing as aggression as long as you're not directing at somebody? Hopefully there is no one else even around, unless they're like, actively doing the same thing as you for the same reason.
posted by bleep at 1:09 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I guess it depends. Are you funneling that fury into destroying? Or are you funneling it into action--rock climbing, say, or metalsmithing, or throwing the axe with precision, or making a noise?

You can be training yourself to destroy things and act in a scary way when you express your anger, or you can train yourself to express that anger and let yourself feel it and let it move through you without making people around you afraid. If you are channeling fury into destroying things in a context that doesn't fill people around you with fear--if everyone there is hitting metal with a hammer with their own feelings, say, or even joyfully aiming the axe, you don't run into much risk of training yourself to do scarier and scarier things as you become angry. You just train yourself to, when you're angry, handle the fury by expressing it in a directed way--that's not actually bad.

But if you train yourself to express anger by destroying things in your home, or by screaming in front of people who find screaming scary, or by throwing your weight around and making other people uncomfortable--that's the kind of thing that is a very, very bad idea. You don't have to pretend to always be calm and in complete control to process anger. You don't have to not process it and insist on trying to stifle it as much as you can, either. You just need to find ways of expressing anger that are controlled and ritualized enough that you don't wind up training yourself to express it in destructive and harmful ways.
posted by sciatrix at 3:04 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


It would be nice if it depended on the person but the evidence points the other way

You did not cite science. You cited a blog post about a single unreplicated “study” where they told people their writing sucked and then had some of them punch a pillow.

Years of trauma research and evolving methods of treatment, as well as the fact that “catharsis” is such a common human experience that we have a word for the concept, directly contradict this weird idea that expressing anger necessarily engenders more anger. As a categorical statement that is transparent nonsense.

It certainly can, just as reinforcing the neural networks involved in any response or experience can overdevelop that response. But catharsis itself is an actual thing, and is necessary for recovery.

The distinction is important, and barging into a thread about people — especially women — discovering ways to release the epic shit tons of anger they’ve had to repress for years and years and years to scold them about becoming “too angry” is, uh, many things, but chiefly it is wrong. In many ways.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:20 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


Years of trauma research and evolving methods of treatment, as well as the fact that “catharsis” is such a common human experience that we have a word for the concept, directly contradict this weird idea that expressing anger necessarily engenders more anger. As a categorical statement that is transparent nonsense.

I would definitely like to know more. Can you cite some scientific studies that back up the claim that catharsis reduces aggression?

....to scold them about becoming “too angry”

My apologies that I gave you that impression. I am not asking anyone to reduce their anger. I am suggesting that people embrace their anger through mindfulness. And to be aware that the popular advice of cathartic release has hidden implications.

The pillow study I cited is just one of many. A quote from this article:

“'Venting may make you feel different in the moment, but the change in emotional state doesn’t necessarily feel better; it may just feel less bad',” says Jeffrey Lohr, psychology professor at the University of Arkansas. Lohr coauthored the 2007 study: “The Pseudopsychology of Venting in the Treatment of Anger: Implications and Alternatives for Mental Health Practice,” published in Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice. Reviewing the results of anger expression research–including the earliest experiments in 1959–he and his co-researchers found that venting lacks scientific support, and “directly challenges the integrity of mental health practice and places the public at risk.'”
posted by storybored at 7:53 PM on November 11


When I was a child I threw something across a room in rage borne of frustration and it felt so good that I've never done it again. It was kind of like how some people say they liked a drug so much they knew they could never have it again.

I didn't have any sports training aside from being poorly coordinated in gym class. I definitely didn't have any training in healthy emotional stuff. But I instantly understood why my rage filled father threw things. It felt so good. Like the author reports, my body was mine. I also realized that I didn't actually feel better and the problem certainly didn't go away. In fact, I had created a new set of problems because the thing I threw was my rented musical instrument.
posted by bilabial at 6:57 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


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