The Importance of Anger and Rage

You have the right to be mad

Shirley J. Davis
6 min readJun 1, 2022


Photo by Taylor Smith on Unsplash

Everyone gets angry. Anger is a natural emotion that humanity has plenty of experience with it. When expressed in healthy ways, anger is adaptive and necessary to help us understand, set, and maintain boundaries.

This piece will concentrate on how anger and rage affect survivors physically and mentally. Often, survivors are told they should not be angry and ‘just get over it.’ That is not what this article is about.

Instead, this piece shall examine the importance of anger and rage in healing from complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD).

Childhood Anger, Rage, and Complex Trauma

Anger, like all emotions, serves the purpose of alerting us we are in some distress. Although anger is uncomfortable mentally and physically, it motivates us to address our needs, desires, and threats. However, unprocessed anger leads to many problems.

When anger or rage is expressed appropriately, the survivor of complex trauma feels relief, and their bodies and minds have a chance to heal.

Researchers estimate that over 3% of people living in the United States have experienced complex trauma and, as a result, have formed CPTSD. This 3% might be an understatement in childhood, as complex trauma is common.

As children, people experiencing CPTSD were not allowed to express their emotions healthily, pushing anger and rage deep into their minds. Unfortunately, this anger and rage, when left unexpressed, follow people into adulthood where it turns into depression or many other mental health disorders, including CPTSD (Plate, Bloomberg, et al., 2019).

For children living in a dysfunctional home, it was frightening and perhaps dangerous to get angry or rage at your parents or caregivers, as it may bring more abuse. You grew up with pent-up anger and rage that needs to be expressed.

Types of Anger

Anger is related to the fight, flight, and freeze response of the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and prepares people to fight. Fighting doesn’t just mean getting into a fistfight. Anger, when harnessed, can also motivate people to stand up against injustice.



Shirley J. Davis

I am an author/speaker/grant writer living among the corn and bean fields of Illinois in the U.S. I own Davis Integrated Services .