As we get older, it’s easy to think that tantrums are something we should have grown out of.
But it is not uncommon for adults to occasionally experience bursts of strong emotion or frustration that can manifest in a “tantrum.”
Adult tantrums can be signs of deeper issues such as anger management problems, depression, or other psychological disorders and should not be ignored.
This article will discuss the causes of adult tantrums, ways to manage them effectively, and when to seek professional help.
What causes adult tantrums?
There are several potential causes of adult tantrums. These can include:
Any strong emotion can be a trigger for an adult tantrum.
Experiencing a sudden surge of emotions such as anger, frustration, or sadness can lead to an outburst that may not be easily controlled.
This could be caused by something as minor as being cut off in traffic or something more serious like the end of a relationship.
High levels of stress can also be a factor in adult tantrums.
Stress is often caused by situations that are out of our control such as an illness, financial difficulties, or family issues, and the resulting emotional overwhelm can lead to an outburst.
Certain psychological disorders can also be a factor in adult tantrums.
People with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or other mental health conditions may experience outbursts of emotion more frequently than their peers without these issues.
These outbursts are often beyond the individual’s control and require professional help in order to manage them effectively.
Faced with a difficult situation
When confronted with a difficult situation, adults may experience strong emotions such as anger or frustration that can lead to a tantrum.
The individual may be overwhelmed by the situation and unable to manage their emotions in an appropriate manner.
This could be caused by anything from an argument with a partner to struggling with a workplace issue.
Feeling powerless or helpless
When an individual feels completely powerless or helpless in a situation, it can cause them to act out in the form of a tantrum.
This could be because they feel like their voices and opinions are not being heard, that they have no control over the situation, or that they are unable to make a difference.
In these cases, seeking help from someone who can help them regain control is essential.
Inadequate coping skills
When an individual does not have adequate coping strategies for handling stress or difficult emotions, it can lead to tantrums.
This could include anything from not knowing how to express their feelings in an appropriate manner to relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse.
It is important for adults to develop healthy ways of dealing with stress and difficult emotions in order to avoid tantrums.
Inadequate support system
Having a support system in place can make it easier to manage difficult emotions and stressful situations.
Without a strong network of friends, family, or loved ones who are available to offer emotional support, an individual may be more prone to outbursts of emotion such as adult tantrums.
It is important to have people in our lives who we can rely on and turn to in times of need.
Unresolved childhood issues
In some cases, adult tantrums can be caused by unresolved issues from childhood.
These could be anything from trauma or abuse to neglect or a lack of strong parental guidance.
It is important for adults to work through these issues in order to prevent them from resurfacing as outbursts of emotion. Professional counseling can be a useful tool in this regard.
Physical illnesses can also be a factor in adult tantrums.
Certain illnesses such as chronic pain or fatigue can affect an individual’s ability to cope with stress and difficult emotions, making them more prone to outbursts of emotion.
Additionally, certain medications can have side effects that may lead to increased levels of irritability and frustration, which can lead to a tantrum.
Substance abuse can also be a contributing factor to adult tantrums.
Drugs and alcohol can alter an individual’s emotions and behavior, leading to outbursts of emotion that would not usually occur when sober.
It is important for individuals who struggle with substance abuse issues to seek help in order to manage their emotions in healthy ways.
What are some effective ways to manage tantrums in adults?
Some effective strategies for managing adult tantrums include:
Building a support system
Having a strong support system in place is essential for managing tantrums.
Having people who you can rely on to offer emotional support and guidance can make it easier to manage difficult emotions without resorting to outbursts of emotion or other unhealthy coping strategies.
Learning coping skills
It is important to have a set of coping skills that can be used to manage difficult emotions in healthy ways.
These could include anything from deep breathing and mindfulness techniques to journaling or talking it out with someone you trust.
It is important to practice these strategies regularly so they become second nature when needed.
Seeking professional help
When unresolved issues from childhood or other underlying factors are causing tantrums, it is important to seek professional help.
A therapist or counselor can provide guidance and support in working through these issues in a safe and constructive manner.
Addressing substance abuse
Substance abuse can be a major contributing factor to adult tantrums.
It is important for individuals who are struggling with substance abuse issues to seek help in order to manage their emotions in healthy ways and reduce the risk of outbursts of emotion.
Taking time for self-care
Regularly taking time for self-care is essential for managing difficult emotions and preventing tantrums.
Self-care activities such as exercise, reading, spending time in nature, or engaging in creative pursuits can help to reduce stress levels and make it easier to manage difficult emotions.
Adult tantrums can be caused by a variety of underlying issues.
It is important to identify and address any unresolved childhood issues, physical illnesses, or substance abuse problems in order to reduce the risk of outbursts of emotion.
Additionally, having a strong support system in place and engaging in self-care can help individuals manage their emotions in healthy ways.
Finally, professional help in the form of counseling or therapy can be an important tool in managing adult tantrums.
This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition and is for educational purposes only.
If you are experiencing any of the issues discussed here, please consult a mental health professional for advice.