Why do people behave violently? Psychologists claim that violence mainly stems from fear and feelings of anger and frustration. A person resorts to aggressive behavior when they believe there is no other solution to their distress. Cursing or beating another person may help the aggressor gain the upper hand and control over the situation
There are other reasons for violent behavior, some of which include the following:
- Peer pressure
- Need for attention as a way to gain respect
- Low self-esteem
- Abuse or neglect in childhood
- Life characterized by evidence of domestic violence
- Overexposure to violence in the media
- Easy access to weapons
As we can see, many of the causes mentioned here are more mental than physical. Generally speaking, mental stress is the root cause of most of the violent acts.
Psychologists usually try to create mental balance in people with hot temper in order to reshape their conception of self and the environment surrounding them. A person who learned to balance his feelings of distress with more positive thinking will be able to face the challenges in life in a more rational and moderate manner. Of course, in order to achieve this internal balance, a psychotherapy treatment is required.
Some psychologists adopt cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help violent people control their emotions. CBT enables the patient to gradually understand the negative implications of his behavior and learn where his disruptive tendencies stem from.
In addition, CBT strengthens self-esteem and raises awareness of others. The patient learns that he or she lives in an imperfect world and those around them may deal with problems as well. Yet they find more decent solutions apart from using violence.
If psychotherapy does not succeed, the next step is resorting to medication. Today, psychiatry can offer a variety of drugs that affect the serotonin level in the brain and thus reduce depression and anxiety and as a result lower the tendency towards aggressiveness. One of the most known drugs is Cipralex. It has proven to be very effective with almost no side effects.
The Origin of Human Aggression