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Stopping The Chain Of Abuse

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
im 16yrs old and i recently found out that my dad is not my real dad, and that my biological dad was a very physically and verbally abusive person... i have noticed that over the past year that i have been getting angrier and more violent over the simplest little things. this is really ruining my home life. i want to change and have been struggling to control my angry outbursts, but it is proving fairly difficult for me. when i get married and maybe become a father myself (some time in the fairly distant future) i want to be the best loving, compassionate, caring, and supportive father and husband i can be, but in order to do that i realize that i have to stop the chain of abuse now. do you have any suggestions to help me with my situation? signed: stopping the chain of abuse.
Signed: Stopping The Chain Of Abuse

Dear Stopping The Chain Of Abuse,


TeenHealthFX can appreciate if finding out this news about who your biological father really is, as well as his being an abusive person, has been difficult for you to cope with. If you feel close with the person you thought was your biological father, it may feel painful for you to now know now that you are not his blood-relative. In addition, you may be struggling with what it means that you are related to someone with a history of being physically and verbally abusive. If you find that you need some support and guidance in dealing with all of the feeling you have related to these issues, FX hopes that you will seek out a trusted adult at home or school, or seek out a mental health professional for assistance in dealing with all of this.


As for wanting to stop the “chain of abuse,” FX thinks that you have made your first steps by recognizing that this could be a potential problem and for deciding that you want to do what you can to ensure that you will not relate to your future spouse and children with anger and abuse – and we applaud you for having made these realizations and for taking these steps.


Some people who have a hard time controlling their anger, or who act in abusive ways towards others, do so as a result of dealing with an untreated mood disorder. There can be a genetic component to mood disorders – if your father had issues with anger and you notice you do as well, it possible that both of you have had some kind of mood disorder that requires treatment. FX recommends that you meet with a mental health professional who can evaluate your anger outbursts and what might be contributing to them. Depending on this evaluation, it might even be recommended that you take psychotropic medications to help even out your mood so your anger outbursts are more in control.


It is also possible that your anger outbursts are a result of issues you have had to deal with in your life that have left you with a tremendous amount of anger or rage. In addition, anger outbursts can be learned if the people around you as you were growing up modeled poor ways of dealing with anger and difficult situations. A therapist can also be helpful in these types of situations in terms of helping you to work through any issues that have contributed to your angry behaviors, as well as helping you to develop alternate methods of dealing with anger and stressful situations rather than blowing up. 


If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers.

Signed: TeenHealthFX