We are continuing to work from home. To contact us please email us at contact@asdhelpinghands.org.uk

When talking about anger it can be very hard for us to grasp the idea of escalating behaviour and at what point things become uncontrollable. We use the anger mountain to describe and visualize the build-up and release of ‘emotions’. We use the word emotions as although the Anger mountain particularly looks at the build of anger it is normally not the overriding emotion in a situation.

Anger is used as an umbrella term and covers many different emotions. Anger is normally the secondary emotion and is a natural human response especially in those who are unable to or find difficulty in communicating. Other emotions encased under the anger umbrella can include but are not limited to :

  • Frustration
  • Sadness
  • Embarrassment
  • Joy
  • Fear
  • Excitement

It is often those who find it difficult to convey these different emotions that display ‘anger’ as a way of dealing with this surge of emotion/emotions.

 

  1. A Neurotypical person (someone without a neurological disorder), would normally begin their day at base camp, with no anxieties or worries about the day ahead.

  2. Throughout the day we are all subjected to ‘triggers’ these could be small incidents such as being late to catch a bus, or not being able to find something in the morning or the children not getting their uniforms on for school. As each of these unresolved pressures and incidents occur we move up the Anger Mountain towards the peak, it is important to note that if issues are resolved i.e. you find your lost items we are able to move back down the mountain.

  3. If these incidents continue to happen and we are unable to resolve them we head towards the summit. Once we have taken all we can this is where we hit the ‘melt down’ or the blow out stage’. It is at this point that we are no longer able to cope with the pressures and this may resolve in us shouting, arguing in some becoming violent and so on. During this stage we are unable to accept logical reason, debate, negotiate or bring ourselves down naturally. It is important to note that when someone is in this position they are unable to process verbal information, and it is normally best practice to let them calm down before engaging again. We just need to make sure the environment is safe for them and that they are unable to cause harm to themselves or others.

  4. After a period of time we enter the cooling off period, where we have vented and some of our frustrations have begun to release, in most cases engaging in a negotiation or debate about the behaviour will cause a person to return straight back the summit and continue their ‘blowout’ or ‘meltdown’. Once the person has calmed fully they will enter the calming period, it is at this stage that you can introduce calming techniques in relation to your child, i.e. sensory play or other calming strategies. Do not address the behaviour at this point either.

  5. After a period of time we enter the cooling off period, where we have vented and some of our frustrations have begun to release, in most cases engaging in a negotiation or debate about the behaviour will cause a person to return straight back the summit and continue their ‘blowout’ or ‘meltdown’. Once the person has calmed fully they will enter the calming period, it is at this stage that you can introduce calming techniques in relation to your child, i.e. sensory play or other calming strategies. Do not address the behaviour at this point either.

Those with a neurological disorder will not always begin at base camp and may begin their day already half way up the mountain meaning they will require less incidents and triggers to reach the summit.