Samuel* lives in North Wales with this wife and two children. Here he blogs about how Mind's Active Monitoring helped him manage his anger.
*Samuel is a pseudonym
The moment that the argument with my wife escalated, was when I knew things had to change. After a year and a half of lockdowns, being stuck in the same four walls, my wife and I working together and home schooling our children. Our house was so pressured, it was not a good environment.
I could recognise the signs. Behaving aggressively and then feeling guilty and shameful about it afterwards.
It was like the pressure of the last 18 months had just wiped out everything I had learnt in the past to manage my anger.
So, I knew I needed help, and I knew I needed it quickly. I contacted Mind about counselling sessions as these had helped me a few years ago. As there was a waiting list, I was offered Active Monitoring while I waited.
It turns out that Active Monitoring was exactly what I needed. To me, it felt like halfway between a group workshop and one to one counselling sessions.
Because it’s one to one, I was able to open up about certain things that I wouldn’t feel able to in a group. It felt good to be able to comfortably explain where I am coming from and what triggered my anger, without worrying about being judged.
Also, because it was over the phone, I found the sessions really convenient and easy to fit into a lunchtime. But unlike counselling I was given workbooks with helpful tools to calm myself down or cope with certain situations. They were really practical so I could start using them straight away. The added support of a real person who was listening to me and guiding me really helped too.
I had always been reluctant to talk to my friends about issues that I’m going through, but Active Monitoring made me realise that the people around me can give me some support. That conversation is important so it’s not all just in my head.
I also started to take time for mindfulness and doing something relaxing and I have come away more aware of myself and the issues I have, as well of understanding of how to address them. For example, I know to take time out if something is happening that could potentially trigger my anger, which gives me that extra bit of time to think about how to react.
There has been a definite improvement but I still have work to do. My wife and children also need time to adjust and get used to a different way of me reacting too. But I feel like we’re making progress.
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