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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can i stop being angry all the time?

    I'm constantly angry, i try my hardest not to take things out on my wife, but just cant help it. It could be the smallest thing that does it, i'm always tired & lethargic.

    I'm a shift worker 2 days 2 nights of 12 hrs 6 to 6 with 4 days off. My job is very very stressful and most shifts the only time i get up from the desk is for the toilet, no lunch or other breaks. The 4 days might sound good but by the end of it i'm totally exhausted mentally and cant be bothered doing anything, but then i feel guilty that i dont help my wife as much as i should who doesnt get as much time off. Lately ive been doing 5 shifts of 12 hrs in a row due to down on people. i get extremely anxious about going back to work each time.

    i feel at times the only thing keeping me going is coming home to my family especially my 19 month old son and his open arms walking in the door. What can i do about this constant felling of anger / tiredness.
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    With a passion to see people move forward and break free from the barriers holding them back, Grant is a highly experienced counsellor with over … View Profile

    Hi, well done on recognising you are not doing so well, that's the first step. There are several things that you mention which need addressing and you really need to talk to someone and start knocking them over one at a time. I'd suggest you pop in and see your GP and have a physical once over, which is a good thing to do, and mention you are having stress and anger problems and is there someone he/she would recommend you see.

    There are two key issues from what you say; a) your anger/lethargy   b) the stress at your work.  Not having breaks at work is not only a breach of workplace regulations it is potentially dangerous to your workplace, as well as yourself.

    Shift work can be difficult at the best of times and it would be easy to blame your anger on your work but they are separate and you need to deal with both. To deal with the anger look for a men's group that specifically assists guys with anger. Your GP or community health service should be able to point you in the right direction otherwise contact some local counselling services. Do it now, you won't regret dealing with the issues sooner but you may regret putting it off until the problem increases.

    Re your work, you need to have breaks - period. Your health and mental state won't improve if you don't have breaks at work - plus you could potentially put people at risk depending on what you do. Fair Work has guidelines on this - view an example here - you can search for your industry. Your employer is possibly breaking the law if they are refusing you breaks. If you are voluntarily not taking breaks you are potentially exposing your employer to fines if something happens. Either way, talk to your boss/union and make it happen, for everyones benefit.

    I've worked with guys who have made tremendous progress in deling with their anger. It is not easy and can be difficult but it is all worth it when they see their wife AND kids are more relaxed around them rather than anxious about how dad will react when something happens.

    Get on top of it now before it effects you, your wife and your young fella - he needs a dad who is a positive influence in his life. Good luck.

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