The Hulk and Rage Attacks – Not So Unusual

 

New Book on Teen Depression

New Book on Teen Depression

This past weekend it was a treat for me to sit in the movie theater with my entire family (wife, son, daughter and their significant others) as we were entertained by the ramblings and rumblings of THE HULK!   Yet, as I followed the antics of Bruce Banner (a.k.a. The Hulk) I couldn’t help but be reminded of the many teens and adults who had visited my pastoral counseling office with stories of similar “transformations.”  Bruce Banner was propelled into his rage attacks by an overdose of gamma radiation and some external stimuli.  “You won’t like me when I’m angry,” he kept telling his agitators.  However, the teens and adults I’m reminded of were propelled into their rage attacks by some external stimuli along with something like clinical depression or bipolar disorder (the new name for manic-depression).

I often find that Hollywood imitates reality.  We just always aren’t aware of what reality Hollywood is trying to imitate or portray.  The Hulk graphically portrays what it’s like for many folks who suffer from rage attacks associated with depression and related illnesses.  Like Bruce Banner, the afflicted teen or adult does not want to transform.  They don’t want to go into a rage state (what I have come to call “an altered state of consciousness”).  The afflicted teen or adult may try to “manage their anger,”  but often, they’re already in the rage state before they even see it coming.  Once in that state, they (like The Hulk) will often lash out even toward those they love.  
Once they’ve entered the rage state, it is impossible to negotiate or dialogue with the afflicted person.  That’s why I call it “an altered state of consciousness.”  Trying to rationally dialogue with them while they’re in the rage state would be like trying to hold a rational conversation with someone who is drunk (another “altered state of consciousness).  The only thing those around the afflicted person in a rage state can do is back off and give them the opportunity to calm down.  Like The Hulk, teens need to get away so they can calm down.  The more parents try to exert control while the teen is in the rage state, the more likely it is that more emotional, relational, and even physical hurt will occur.  Oh, and like The Hulk, many folks who have these rage states don’t always remember everything they said or did while they are in them.
Folks who have these “rage attacks” need more than just “anger management.”  They also need help for the depression or related illness that is behind these attacks.  There is tremendous hope for healing!  The help often comes in the form of some kind of professional counseling along with medical interventions like anti-depressant medications. The anti-depressants in the SSRI family (like Prozac and its relatives) are often extremely helpful in stopping rage attacks.  I’ve seen this miraculous healing many times.  There is hope!  
For more information visit my website: http://www.survivingteendepression.com
Peace,
Gary

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~ by revgenelson on July 7, 2008.

2 Responses to “The Hulk and Rage Attacks – Not So Unusual”

  1. Gary,

    Thanks for doing an interview with me for the Parental Power blog – I love what you are doing and want to get more people connected to your cause. Here’s the link to our interview:

    http://parentalpower.wordpress.com/2008/07/08/surviving-teen-depression/

  2. I agreed with you

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