Anger is an emotional state that can vary from irritation to intense rage. While anger is a natural and healthy sentiment when expressed properly, erratic behavior, physical violence and trouble with the law are all signs that a person may need help in controlling anger. Several studies have even shown that explosive people who often lash out have an increased risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart attack, anxiety and depression.
Robbins said it's important to note that alcohol and drugs greatly affect anger issues. Irritability is also a manifestation of depression and anxiety. Medical conditions can also come into anger problems.
Anger management counseling attempts to keep track of a person's emotions and catch the anger before it takes over and one is unable to deal with emotions rationally, said Robbins. Classes can be conducted in a one-on-one or group setting.
"People learn how to address the problem sooner and more straightforward," said Robbins. "The thing is, it might be a very legitimate trigger and reason to be angry, but if you blow it by exploding, then the trigger seems small in comparison."
Robbins said that it's important to monitor your emotions constantly, pay attention to how you feel and keep looking for signs that you are becoming angry.
"In psychology and psychiatry, we say it's having an observing ego," said Robbins. "You have to be like a scientist and watch how different things affect you."
But often, people attend anger management because someone told them they had to go -- whether it is a court system, a parent or significant other. In those cases, the person attending the class may not believe there is a problem.
"That's a really bad reason to start any sort of therapy," said Robbins. "A person has to believe they have a problem to be successful. In order to make significant changes in the way you behave, you have to have a certain amount of anxiety about it.
"You have to feel badly about the way you behave and recognize that you really have to make a change," said Robbins.
Overall, doctors said dealing with an anger problem can be a long process.
"It's about a whole change in attitude," said Koenig. "[It is] recognition of vulnerability and absolutely relentless efforts to address it."