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Ask Dr. K: Anger can damage your relationships and your health

Dr. Anthony Komaroff gives ideas for dealing with anger, which is natural for people to feel, but at times can be tough to deal with.
BY Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D., For The Oklahoman Published: May 7, 2013

Think back to Kevin and Jane's exchange over the milk. Fortunately, Jane stopped, looked and listened. She recognized her own anger, but also Kevin's effort. She observed that he felt bad, and she quickly backed down from anger. An incident that could have escalated into a full-blown argument ended instead with a peaceful family dinner.

To learn many more strategies for recognizing and controlling anger, read “Outsmarting Anger” by Harvard Medical School's Dr. Joe Shrand, with Leigh M. Devine.

Besides the damage that anger can do to relationships, there's growing evidence that anger is just plain bad for your health. You've probably heard about people who get heart attacks from having “Type A personalities” — from being hard-driving and perfectionistic. There's a measure of truth to that, but anger is even more of a factor in bringing on a heart attack.

Dr. Komaroff is a physician and professor at Harvard Medical School. To send questions, go to, or write: Ask Doctor K, 10 Shattuck St., Second Floor, Boston, MA 02115.

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