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Dr. Lynne Namka
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Ask The Lady
Who Knows About Mads

Lynne Namka, Ed. D.

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Dear lady who knows about mads,

i just want to say that your website is very helpful. im 12 years old and i have a real hard time cooling down. i dont like buy guns and shoot people or attack any body i just get SO MAD! i love my mom very much but we have such the same personalities we have a hard time getting along because were both stubborn.

i can get fixated on wanting to do things and i cant help but just wanting to do it. its usually going to a movie and then if it doesn't work out than i get very mad. and my mom will get real mad at me. and though we always make up it happens too often and I want it to stop. she'll get mad and make me mad or vice versa. then we wont speak to each other and i'll just get MADDER AND MADDER until i don't know what i need advice as to how to deal with her and help cool down.

thank you for your time.

sincerely n.


Dear n.

I felt so good reading your email--that is the part about how you are looking for some help for your mads. That's half the battle--knowing and admitting you are angry at your mother and looking for ways to take care of your anger.

Young people like yourself have been my very best teachers in learning about anger.

Here's what I have found out from other kids.

It's normal to have angry feelings when you don't get your way, It's what you do with them that counts.

Many kids start to get angry with their parents around age l2.

Most kids want to do more things than there parents are ready to let them do.

When the parents have to say no, the kids get mad.

Part of growing up is learning to ask for what you want, but knowing that you won't always get it! Sounds like you are right on schedule age wise. You are learning about yourself and what you like to do. That just doesn't always fit with what your mom wants. The lucky thing is that you love each others and you are trying to do you mads differently.

No one knows how to do mads safely. We yell or clam up--turning them on others causing them to feel rotten or turning them in ourselves where they feel rotten. So I put my web site up to help people with their mads.

The best thing to do with anger is to talk about it. Find a safe adult to talk to. Or talk to your mom when you are both calm! Try to problem solve it. Release it with movement--bike riding or exercise. Or with drawing a cartoon picture of you and your mom getting madder and madder. Or making a list for your pocket of your favorite cool down thoughts.

Fixations are just ideas that stick around in your head until you let them go. They pop up and hang out so you can learn from them. What could you learn from your wanting to do things that you aren't allowed to do?

Stubborn can be good if you use it in the right way. Instead of saying stubborn, why don't you think of how strong minded and determined you are. Strong minded people go far in life if they put their energy in the right places because they have strong convictions. All our heros have strong convictions and determination!

So thanks for writing. Write back and tell me how you are doing.

Peace to you and your mom,

The Lady Who Knows About Mads

Dear Lady,

thank you for your email and im doing just fine we have resolved our problems and i feel much better thank you very much!!!! we just rent a movie when i want to see one and then find a time were we can both see it. and we sit and talk about why were so mad

thank you again. n.

Dear Lady who Knows about Mads,

I have a serious problem and it is really killing me. I haven't been able to enjoy Christmas break because of it, and I'm always filled with negativity.

There's this one kid, let's call him A., who happens to be my best friend's brother. I got to know him really well last year, and we became good friends. Also, I told him a lot of personal stuff about my family, and he promised to keep it a secret.

However, this year, he's becoming really hostile. He'd act like a jerk, and his excuse for acting in that manner would be "C'mon, I'm just messing around!" It seems as if he's always looking for an excuse to cut me down verbally. In addition to this, he also told a whole bunch of people the secrets and personal stuff that I told him last year.

I'm so mad that I just want to just take a brick, and crack his skull. Sometimes I just want to kill everybody, including myself. I feel betrayed, and in some ways, cheap...Cheap because he's using me as his little rag doll.

I need to get rid of this anger! i'm going nuts! Please, Please help me. I'm drowning in a sea of negative energy!

p.e 'od

p. s. you can post my message on your site, but please try your best to help me through this!

Dear p.e 'od

Whew! No wonder you are mad. You have been betrayed by someone you trusted. It's hard to know whom you can tell secrets too. My rule of thumb, tell a little bit, wait and see if what you tell comes back to you. Or notice if the person you tell talks about others and puts them down; if so likely they will spread the dirt about you.

Your letter sounds like you are mature. You didn't say how old you are. So what can you tell yourself to get through this bad, embarrassing time of your life. What are your hot thoughts? Write them down. Then take yourself to task and catch each one as it comes up and put in a neutral or self empowering thought.

Like--I'm not going to let him have power over me. I refuse to ruin my day thinking of ---. I won't drown in a sea of negative energy just for ----. I have better things to think about. I'll blow him and his negative energy off.

Now if you really are serious about killing someone yourself included, talk to a trusted adult. If they don't pay attention to you, talk to someone else safe. This is important! No need to mess up your life just because that friend of your brother is having a Jerkdom Year.

So it's a put it behind you kind of thing and chalk it up to experience. You've learned a valuable lesson about trust. Don't let it ruin your entire life. See yourself as getting though this bad experience and becoming a winner.

To sum it up, DON'T LET JERKS GET YOU DOWN. They just aren't worth it. You are important here. Get ahold of those hot thoughts, cool them down. SEE YOURSELF AS A BIGGER MAN!

May I use your letter and my reply on the web site? With your initials or pseudonym of course. I'll email you one more time after you reply to me.


The Lady Who Knows About Mads

Dear Lady,

Hey! Thanks for the advice! I guess your right...why let one person and his venom ruin everything? I guess the x-files motto, "trust no one," really does apply to real life (at least to an extreme; you don't want to go overboard and start getting paranoid).

Again, thanks for caring about my "life's pothole." Oh yeah, you can post my message. I hope our interaction will be a good example to all those other people out there suffering from backstabbing jerks. Life is too short to be worrying about just one person.

Helping to get me out of this sea of misery is a new year's gift from you to me. In the end, I just needed to talk to somebody that would understand the nature of Anger. Again, THANX!

Love ya

pe'od age 17.


I am P. age 10 from Southern California & I have 2 things i'm mad about.

  • 1: the keyboard won't work
  • 2: my gameboy video game is busted & my mom wont buy me another one
  • 3: i get bad luck
these made me sad & cry a little & i'm starting to hate my life. what should i do? *crying as he writes*

Hi P. From Southern California,

Yes! One reason we get mad is when things go wrong like a busted keyboard. Then when another things goes wrong and another thing we get really frustrated and sad and angry all at the same time. When things go wrong a lot, we add it all up often think it is because it is bad luck.

The challenge of using these wonderful machines we call computers is that things often go wrong. When you use technology, it often breaks. Down time, it's called. It is like a test to see if you can keep your cool while you figure it out.

Down time is like being forced to take a time out. So the challenge is to tell yourself to stay cool while things aren't going your way. So what can you tell yourself that will cheer you up rather than blaming it on bad luck and letting it ruin your life?

I thought about what I tell myself when something I want to do is busted. I say that "I'm going to get my mind on something positive and change my inner channel to a happier station." I take some deep breaths and say, "I won't let this broken machine get me down. I refuse to let a machine or the lack of one control my mood." Then I go do something else that I enjoy. It may not be something I like as much as a video game but it sure beats ruining my day.

If your mom won't buy you a new gameboy video game, what else could you do? Save your money and buy one for yourself? Ask for one for your birthday? Earn the money to buy it? Play at your friend's house until your's gets fixed? Get a new hobby. We make ourself unhappy when we think there is only one solution to a problem.

Here is a story a girl and her dad helped me write about her bad luck.

The Magical Quest

Beatrice had a mad-bad day. It was a bad-mad day. Nothing had gone the way she wanted. Her best friend Carrie couldn't come over and play. It was raining and she couldn't go outside and ride her bike. Her mom said no snacks before dinner. She was grounded from the TV because her dad she had a bad attitude lately.

The day before, Beatrice had a tantrum at the store when her dad said she could not buy a new toy. The day before that she yelled and screamed because her mom said that her TV privileges were taken away until she cleaned up her room. Her bicycle was broken. The VCR didn't work. She had been unhappy lately. She had lost her happiness. She thought she had bad luck because a few days ago she broke a mirror.

Beatrice was so mad that she stamped her foot and threw herself on the floor. She cried and cried and cried but her parents did not come in to see how she was doing. Why wouldn't her parents just give her what she wanted? She told herself that it wasn't fair. She wanted to be happy. She thought that getting her way made her happy. She cried herself to sleep right there on the floor.

And she dreamed and dreamed. She dreamed she went on a magical quest to find her good luck and happiness.

She met a unicorn that was white with a purple horn and beautiful blue, yellow, pink and green mane and tail. "I'm trying to find out what happiness is," she said. "I'm sorry I can't help you. I'm happy all the time and I never have bad luck." said the unicorn.

So she went to ask an elephant. The elephant said, "I can help you. Happiness is when you spray yourself with water. Since you don't have a trunk, I'll spray you." Beatrice said, "No thanks and quickly moved away!"

She went to talk to the giraffe. The giraffe said, "I can help you. Climb up on my back and I'll give you some juicy leaves. Eating leaves makes me happy. That will make you happy." Beatrice said, "No thank you."

The Beatrice asked an ant. The ant said, "I can help you. Working hard all the time is happiness." Beatrice said, "Not for me. I don't think so. I do work hard, but I don't think working all the time would make me happy." The ant told her that the wise old owl might help her.

The wise old owl said, "No, I can't help you with happiness. Go ask your dad. He's very, very wise.

So she went to her dad. Now her dad had lived for a number of years and he was pretty wise. Dad said, A lot of things mean happiness. Here is what I think happiness is:

  • 1. Being nice to others. If you are nice, they are nice to you. It's hard to be nice sometimes, but you have to try.
  • 2. Loving people and knowing you are loved. Your mom, dad, grandma, grandpa and aunt and uncle all think you are important. They love you and you love them back. That's happiness!
  • 3. Remember, sometimes things don't go right. Sometimes things go wrong for a day or day after day.
  • 4. Don't tie your happiness to ideas of good or bad luck!
Beatrice said, "Like the bad luck week I had where I jammed my finger in the door, didn't get to wash my hair, got a stomach ache, mom didn't pack my favorite clothes and I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the Rugrats Movie! That was so frustrating.

"Yes," said Dad. " But is it bad luck or just not planing ahead and doing things without thinking? If you take charge of your life, then you don't have to worry about luck, good or bad. Start watching what you need to take care of and be responsible for it. You are worrying about bad luck instead of paying attention to things like where you put your finger when you shut the door. And if you pack your own clothes, you will bring what you want. If you do to the bathroom before the movie, you don't have to leave in the middle of it."

"Tell yourself, I'll do things by myself and if I make a mistake, I'll own it.

  • It's not bad luck, I just need to think first.
  • It's not bad luck that the VCR broke. Machines break sometimes; that's how it is.
  • It's not bad luck, I just need to slow down.
  • It's not bad luck, I just need to do things for myself that I want done.
  • Then I will find my happiness!"
So Bearice decided to throw the idea of bad luck out the window and start thinking for herself! And doing for herself. She said, "Luck, smuck! I'm not going to even think about luck. I'll think about how I can be happier! Now what can I do right now to be happy?"

So she threw her bad luck ideas out the window and guess what? Beatrice found her happiness!

So P., I hope this helps. You are learning what to do when things don't go your way. This is an important life skill.

The Lady Who Knows About Mads

Dear Lady,

I hate my teacher its not funny how much i hate her, she picks on me all the time and i can't stand it. i don't want to go to school anymore because of her.

a ten year old


Dear ten year old

Bad situation here and the best thing you can do is make the best of it.

How? By not spending a lot of time thinking about your anger and how unfair your teacher is. The more you think about how unfair it is, the more angry you will become.

Some years you get tough teachers. That's life. Sometimes it is unfair, but oh well, we have to make the best of it. Expect it.

You are being given a challenge to learn to work with someone you don't like. If you master this skill, you will have it for the rest of your life--there will always be a boss or neighbor who is hard to get along with. Please, please do not let your anger at the teacher interfere with your learning. Too many children stop trying in class because they do not like the teacher.

Don't give your teacher power over you. Find out what you are doing to set your teacher off and stop doing it. (Sort of like "stop beating your head against the wall")

Do you need to talk to someone in authority about being picked on? Your parents? The guidance counselor? A kind friend. Don't face this problem along. Get input from others.

One other thing I've noticed. The loudest, most active person gets the reputation of being a trouble maker and is picked on. So tone you behavior down. Reputations are hard to live down but you can do it.

So to sum it up, you've got some work to do and some things to work through. Now it is up to you to take this opportunity of this unfairness in your life and learn to handle it differently. Now that is a big assignment, I know. Go back to my web site and read more about anger. Learn better ways to cope with your anger instead of letting them run you.


The Lady Who Knows About Mads

Dear Lady,

I am 12 years old and I have been punished at school and unfairly (actually, many times).

I was suspended because I grabbed a boy by his collar and let go, and he fell down and acted like I hurt him. It was joking around. J. Is widely hated by all of us in my class, and who I cannot stand, and neither can anybody for that matter. I am the one that has the hardest time ignoring him, however. Other kids constantly threaten J., are annoyed by him, get back at him, think he's retarded (he makes stuttering noises and body movements like jerks and everyone laughs at him all the time), they get physical with him, etc. Every time I do anything about it, though, I am punished but rarely are the other children. I admit that I take matters into my own hands all the time (just like the other kids, though).

My teacher definitely dislikes me more than anyone. She even told me in all her school years (she's 56), she's never run across anyone worse to deal with. I have a very hard time being respectful to her and the other staff because I think they are hypocritical. For example, my teacher told me to shut up once. (Oh, by the way, she said in all her years of teaching, she's never told anyone to shut up until me. Yeah, right.) Another teacher screamed shut up at the top of her lungs to the entire class, and said "Do you think Miss Young can hear me now?!!!!

Again, I am so angry because I am continually picked on by my teacher. Everything seems so unfair. Only on a few occasions have I actually done something truly wrong. My mother has demanded on more than one occasion a copy of the school's disciplinary polices and procedures, but they have yet to give them to us. Other parents say there is no consistency, nothing in writing, and that is why so many people leave and never come back. That's why the turnover is so high in this school. It is not fair.

I am so angry that I just beat on my pillows and holler to get out my frustration. My mother talks and talks with me. I spend hours sharing my feelings and she has went to bat for me when she believes I am right. But the teachers tell her that I am just "giving my perception, but the reality is..." That's their favorite saying. As if what I say is not real or is to be discounted. Please help me with my anger. The school will not listen to me because they say that they cannot discuss other children, that I have to be responsible for myself, and they simply will not listen when I holler unfair or discrimination or harassment. They are on some kind of a witch hunt. And I am just trying to fit in and be like everybody else.

Help me, I am so angry. My mother can't afford a psychiatrist because my father just left us after 14 years and now we have to even move because she can't afford to keep this nice house up in this nice neighborhood without his support. Sometimes I think I need a shrink because I'm so frustrated and angry, but most of the time I think I am just trying to be like everyone else. But it seems I am the loudest or the most verbal or whatever, and I always get the punishment.

Please email me back because I am so mad.



Dear JAZ

Yes, there is a lot of anger here at unfairness. Why is it that we insist life must be so fair when it is absolutely not. (Excuse me, but I just realized that I will write to you as you are an adult, so I'm picking up on your intelligence.) So I'm going to be blunt. There is a thing called emotional intelligence that you might look into--look on the web or for books on it. It is an area that you might be ready to grow in.

Or not. I've noticed that there is a time that young men like yourself are ready and willing to see things differently (like from a higher level) and they become introspective and start to see the things in themselves that they can change. Some boys get it at your age, some never get it. I don't understand this readiness to change perspectives and zoom up in understanding but just can tell you to keep an eye out for it.

It sounds like J. has enough problems of his own (whew! how you would you like to be in his skin?) and his problems are increased by the kids picking on him. If he does have all the neurological problems you mention, and I hear some deeper ones that you do not name, what he needs is a friend not hateful words or peers trying to correct him. The teachers may realize the great difficulty just getting by and treat him differently--cutting him some slack while trying to address the more important things.

Of course you can't ignore him--he has some behaviors that may remind you of some of your own--that is called projection. We project what we hate about ourselves on someone else and get very angry at them. You can learn about this psychological way of avoiding your own problems and throwing them on someone else as you grow and mature.

Now I understand your having a hard time being respectful when the teachers are frustrated with you. Yet they are giving you information about which behaviors you do that are up for change. Listen to the messages behind their frustration. What are they really saying to you?

When you are ready to see your part in all of this, ask your parents about getting you some counseling. You need some anger management skills. Beating pillows is only the tip of the iceberg. Anger as an emotion comes up. What you do with it is a choice. Go back to my web site and reread I Stop my Bully Behavior. I'm glad you can share feelings--that is important but deeper level skills are needed here and you will do best with a coach-type therapist who can help you achieve these.

There are counselors in agencies who do not require much money. You don't need a psychiatrist in my opinion unless you require medication. Start with the national Information and Referral at 206-632-2477. Divorce Recovery has classes for young people and there is no cost. Get help! Don't go it alone with all this anger.

If you like, you may show this letter to the teachers. I suspect they do not know what to do with the whole situation. That's why I wrote the curriculums on anger management for teachers--they often do not know what to do and react in frustration just like everyone else. It sounds like your school has a systems problem that they do not know how to address. I recommend a school wide anger management program. They can send for my catalog or there are many other programs available.

One other thing I've noticed. The loudest, most active person gets the reputation of being a trouble maker. So tone it down. Reputations are hard to live down but you can do it.

So to sum it up, you've got some work to do and some things to work through. And you have been given good intelligence and a great mom to help you. Now it is up to you to make some sense out of this unfairness in your life.


The Lady Who Knows About Mads

Second letter to JAZ:

Dear JAZ,

Well how did you do with the answer I sent you? Did it make you madder or did you get any new ideas?


The Lady Who Knows About Mads

Dear Lady,

In basketball I have a tendency to get overly aggressive. I am wondering how I may control that anger and use it to do better in practice and the game.



Dear sprtanger,

Glad you are taking a look at this. I've found that sometimes really nice guys take their anger out in driving aggressively or in sports. Does this apply to you?

What function do you think your anger serves during a game? Is it a symptom of your competitiveness? Does it let off steam? Are you using it to intimidate others? Is it a frustration response when something goes wrong? Who are you angry at--Yourself, the referee or the other players? Is it just a bad habit that you've learned over the years? do you admire sports heros who have a temper?

Anger as an emotion comes naturally. But anger as a behavior is always a choice. So analyze your anger choices during a game. Keep track and see how you can make better choices.

Go back and reread the Primer on Anger again. Get some Helper Words from the file, I Stop My Bully Behavior. You can figure out how anger serves you and how you can do it in more effective ways!


The Lady Who Knows About Mads


Dear Lady,

Well, what I did today was since I wasn't really doing good shooting I calmed myself down by trying to be as relaxed as possible while waiting for my turn in line. After this I started to rebuild my confidence and start to make shots. Thanks for everything!



Dear sprtanger,

Anger is contagious just like breathing toxic fumes. Don't take it in. It's like the flu. Try not to catch it. Anger begets anger.

A man once told me that years ago when he played basketball, he would grab the other players shorts and pull them down. Now that was real intimidation! Don't try this one. Today it would probably be a foul and besides it breaks the Golden Rule.


The Lady Who Knows About Mads


I am 15 years old. i get angry a lot cause i have ADHD and bad impulse control. when something ticks me off i just to something right than and there with out thinking but after i think about it and say i should of not of did it.people say i should think before i do stuff but i have a very bad impulse control like sayed before what can i do about it?

i was on meds but i quit and i want to go back on them but my mom won't let me so what can i do.maybe you have activity work sheets about anger and ahdhd and impulse control that would help write me back asap.




Dear C.,

Knowing and owning the problem is the first step in correcting it so congrats for your understanding of yourself.

The solution has to do with latency of response which is a scientific term for how fast you respond to a stimulus. A slow latency response delays the reaction, poor impulse control has a fast reaction. Some people do not respond to an angering event until the middle of the night or the next day. Some respond immediately; this means that they are more in touch with their feelings. It's said that for some, there is a 30 second delay between an event and our response to it which can be one of anger. Whew! this is fast and so we need to learn to slow it down.

Go back and read A Primer of Anger of my web site. This tells about all the different parts of ourselves that kick in with anger. For instance, there is an event, a physiological reaction, emotional reactions including hidden away hurt and betrayal, and meaning that we give the event automatically.

One trick is to learn to observe yourself in all these areas and in doing so you slow down the reaction.

The more you study anger, the better off you will learn to slow the impulse. Try the exercise Just Poke It on my web site and make the event you tap about very specific.
(I was angry when she said ____,
I'm angry at myself because I say some things without thinking first, etc.)

Sometimes I literally bite my tongue (gently of course) to keep from speaking out. I remind myself to slow down and let the impulse to fight back with words pass.

Have you specially explained to your mother why you think Ritalin works for you? I suggest you explain how your mood, behavior, handwriting, attention span, etc. are different when you have meds to help you inhibit your reactions.


The Lady Who Knows About Mads

Hi Lady who knows about mads,

My name is Rina! and I have a problem getting along with my peers. I always seem to get them mad. Okay, Heres the problem, About 2 weeks ago I ran away from home. Now rumors are going around saying that I slept with one of my friends "Boyfriends" So now she wants to fight me. Because she thinks its true. But its not. I tried talking to her. But all she does is yell, and say she is going to kill me. I get really scared when I go to school or come home from school because I have to be outside for a little bit to ride the bus. I really try to stay away from her. But its really hard when she lives 1 street down from you. I am getting really mad. Because I thought she was my friend.

But now she is trying to kill me and beat me up. I really don't know what to do. She is really starting to scare me now. I called the police because she is 19 and I am only 13. But that does not seem to be working. I am getting really upset, frustrated and scared. Can you help me? and tell what can I do or say to make her stop threating me, embrassing me and hurting my feelings. Its okay if you post my letter on your web site.



Dear Rina,

Ok, nasty rumors are hard to live down, but the only thing you can do is clean up your act and ignore them. Live a clean life and the rumors and the incident will pass as new things come up for people to talk about. People love the choicest, newest gossip. This will pass unless you do something to make it worse. You might ask yourself, "What do I do that encourages people to spread lies about me?"

If your peers are always mad at you, it is probably something you are doing ( as well as what they do). What gets kids in trouble is their mouth, their hands or their feet. Usually with teenagers it is the mouth--meaning the attitude they approach people with. Is this true with you--what you say to your peers turns them off of you? I recommend you read the book, How To Win Friends and Influence People. It is an old book, I read it as a teenager and it changed the way I treated people and how they treated me back.

If the threats from the girl are real, you can get a restraining order to keep her away from you. As to fighting, you can say something like "Why should I have to fight because of something that she thinks? I know the truth of the situation and there is nothing to fight about."

I wonder if the real problem is the conflict in your home that caused you to run away. How do you get along with the people in your family? Are you in counseling and if not, why not? You sound as if you need someone to talk to on a regular basis. Who is there to support you? There are trained professionals to help boys and girls deal with family problems. Will you talk with your mom or dad about finding someone to help you learn how to get along with peers and the family better?

Thanks for writing. Hang it and ride this scary time through. Use it to learn about yourself and how you deal with others.


The Lady Who Knows About Mads

To The Lady Who Knows About Mads!

I am 10 years old and I get very anger. I am not a very good student at school. when my teacher tries to help me it get me mad and i yell at the teacher. Then i get in trouble for getting mad which makes me more mad. My teacher will not leave me alone but keeps bugging me about my work and how it is wrong . I end up getting so mad that i cant concentrate and finish my work. I have been doing this at home to with my mom she dose not get as mad but a little mad at me. When I ask her for help she helps me but sometimes i don't understand it and it makes me mad and sometimes I start to cry.

Could you please help me.



Dear C.,

Hey! You've got it tough with anger and trouble learning. You're going to need some help form other people on this double problem.

Ask your mom to go to the school and see what extra help they might have for you. Schools are required to test kids who have learning problems and provide programs for them. Maybe the school could find a volunteer tutor. Or, if your family has the money resources, there are private tutoring services. My granddaughter went to one for six months and got caught up with her classmates.

Now for the anger. Did you have trouble with your teachers other years or is it just this year? You are right. It is hard to concentrate on your school subjects when you are angry. I hear you are angry not only with your teacher but with yourself because of not getting it. Is there a school counselor you could talk to?

It's no fun to be mad. You can poke your anger away! Tapping helps balance your body's energy. Get your mom to help you with this procedure.

Think about what upsets you. How upset are you--a little, some or quite a bit? You are upset about a lot of different things so you have to break it down and tap on each one. Say each of these sentences while you do this tapping procedure.

  • Even though I'm having trouble concentrating, I'm a good kid.
  • Even though I get mad at my teacher, I still a good person.
  • Even though I get confused with my subjects, I'm still smart.
  • Even though I get angry when I can't get it, I can blow my anger off.
  • Even though I'm so mad that I yell, I can find ways to deal with my mads.
  • Even though, it takes me more time than others to learn, I am OKAY!
  • Even though I have anger, I can learn how to take care of it.
Make up other things you are angry about and then say something nice about yourself. Follow the tapping procedure on each one.
  • Tap on your temple near the outside of your eyes while you take one deep breath.
  • Tap on the inside of your little finger near the nail. Take a deep breath.
  • Tap on your ribs underneath your breast and breathe.
  • Tap on your collarbone lightly. Breathe.
Your brain is like a computer. You can reprogram your brain to release your mads. These eye movements and humming and counting put information in different parts of the brain. Keep tapping on back of your hand on the web of your hand between your little finger and ring finger.

  • Close your eyes. Open your eyes. Hold your head absolutely still during these steps.
  • Look down to the right and back over your shoulder. Keep tapping.
  • Look down to the left and back over your other shoulder. Keep tapping.
  • Roll your eyes in a large circle. Keep tapping.
  • Roll your eyes in a big circle the other direction.
  • Hum any short tune (You Are My Sunshine is a nice song.)
  • Count to five quickly. Keep tapping.
  • Hum the tune again. Keep tapping.
  • Think about the angry situation. Chose one of the sentences to tap on. How upset are you now? A little, some, or a lot?
  • Tap on the inside of your little finger again 12-15 times. Breathe.
  • Tap on your collarbone 12-15 times.
  • Take a deep breath, a big stretch and sigh. Let your mads go. Now how angry are you?
  • Repeat the whole process if necessary.
Still Mad? Chase Those Mads Away With the "Eyes Up and Down Technique"
  • Think of your mads. Say one of the sentences why you are mad.
  • Tap on the web of your hand between your ring finger and little finger.
  • Hold your head level and look down at the floor.
  • Slowly raise your eyes to the ceiling without moving your head.
  • Breathe in and out, then let your mads go. Blow them out.
  • Do this three times. How angry you now?

    Repeat these steps until your anger goes down.

    Then go back to my web site and find some Helper Words that you can use to keep from yelling back at the teacher.

    • I can keep my cool.
    • I breathe through my anger.
    • I chill out.
    • I make a good choice and cool off quickly.

    The Lady Who Knows About Mads



My name is PoOhBeArGuRL. I am 15 years old. I don't normally e-mail or look up this stuff, but I'm at the end of my rope, I don't know what to do, I'm scared about what I will do if I really get mad. I've been having lots of family problems even since I was little. My parents got divorced when I was like in fourth grade, I use to live with my Mom but then we always got into fights, and I end up living in a shelter home before moving in with my dad. But after a while, me and my Mom made up and I moved back in with her. We started to get into fights again and I went to a foster home after that. I lived there for two months, it was awful. I couldn't stand living with my Mom anymore so I moved in with my dad. Things were okay with me and my dad while I lived there but I started having problems there too. We started fighting over the stupidest things, and when I got really mad I threw things around.

I know its not right, but I can't help it, I become very destructive. When I was a little girl, I remember when my dad and my Mom got into fights, he would throw things around, yell at me and my brother when we didn't do anything. I'm not saying I learned it from him, but I don't know, I had to get it from somewhere right?

I got into a huge fight with my dad, over the stupidest things. When I was washing dishes He left some quarters on the drying rack and I got mad because money is dirty and that's where I put the clean dishes at. I asked him to clean it and he started giving me all this crap that why don't I do it, and I don't know. He started saying things like "I'm counting the days till you move out when your 18," "Move in with your Mom, I don't want you," things like that. When he says those kinds of things, I just want to punch him. And that's when I start getting angry, throwing things, pushing things, and sometimes when it gets really bad even hitting him. I don't know, but I'm scared. Because honestly, I think I'm a nice person and everything, I just can't take it anymore. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE THIS STRESS THAT'S BEEN WITH ME FOREVER!

We've had family therapists but it hasn't worked, I have a private therapist, and I don't know, I never really talk about family. But I have so much anger bottled up in me, and when we get into these fights it starts to blow out. I really feel like I hate him, I know he does lots of things for me, but he uses all the good things against me, like taking me back from the foster home. I hate him, he makes it sound like being my father is a favor, but its not, he has to be. Please answer back, I don't know what to do anymore. My life is miserable and I don't talk to no one about this. I really want to handle my anger in a more positive way but I find it impossible if he doesn't change either. Because its the things he does that gets me angry.



Dear PoOhBeArGuRL,

I'm glad you are reaching out for help. This is a hard situation for you to be in alone without talking to anyone. You have had it rough in life and need all the support you can get.

You sound like you are very intelligent and yet confused by all that has happened to you. I believe that you are a good person, just caught up in a situation that has been difficult for you for many years. I'm sorry you have had it so rough. And you have had a difficult life.

You have several years left before you are out on your own. For now, if your dad's house is the best place for you, then find ways to get by until you are 18.

Now why can't you talk with your therapist? You just don't trust anyone or this therapist isn't the right one for you? This is a big difference here. Is it you or is it that you and this therapist don't click? If the therapist has skills and is trustworthy, then you need to take a chance and open up. If you are not comfortable with the therapist, you can ask for a different one.

Talking about the pain in your life, about your current problems and tapping into your desire for being healthy is the way out for young people born into families like yours. Some young people with families like yours start to "adopt" values of other families who are healthier. They more away from the chaos in their own families and choose a mentor or hang out with families who do not display so much anger. In that way, they say to themselves--"I'm not so much like my family--I'm like the people whose values I'm choosing."

In family therapy, is anger management being addressed? You and your dad both need to learn some skills in conflict negotiation and decreasing anger or at least not letting it get out of hand. Ask therapist to suggest some other things the two of you can do when upset.

Your dad may be saying things in anger that he does not mean like get out, etc. Men often do that and you may find yourself doing the same thing. A man told me yesterday that he does the same thing--he gets so frustrated that the only thing that comes to his mind is to tell the problem to go away using nasty language. It is a frustration release thing--Not a fact. So don't assume that he means it--you could ask about this in family therapy. If, of course, he does mean it, then you have a different type of problem.

Are there positive ways you release your stress? Do you have friends to talk to? Is there a school counselor or anyone who is there for you? You deserve some support.

Go back and read my web page, for grownups and read A Primer of Anger and then do the exercise Just Poke It. This may help somewhat. I'm sorry I can't advise more. You have to get the anger feelings out and therapy is the best way besides reading and learning more about yourself and your anger.

I love your email name PoOhBeArGurl. This shows me you have a creative side and a sense of humor.


The Lady Who Knows About Mads


I am twelve year old I have a problem with depression and anger there are some thing's that are weed they make me feel better for a while about the time I'm doing it like acting for a large audience make me feel better while I'm doing it or music like some Japanese music and a anime show called tenchi muyo but the good feelings I get from these things don't last the only remotely American thing I love is a girl.

When these things are over I feel just as depressed as before and angry I even start to cry sometimes and I'M A BOY IT'S MADDENING. I think I know the reason I'm crying a lot I think it's because of this WHOLE GOD FORSAKEN EARTH

I really need help I can't take it much more please.

Boy, it is maddening!


Dear Boy, it is maddening,

Whew, you do describe a lot of unhappiness! I'm wondering if anyone has done something that has hurt you badly, maybe when you were younger? Is there a good reason for you to be angry with your family--I mean have they hurt you or have they disappointed you?

Most teenagers do get angry with their families to some extent. It is part of the breaking away process and finding your own identity. And under your anger is sadness over what is happening on earth. I've felt those feelings too. Yet there is hope.

This is too much for one guy to bear. You need help, help, help! And the sooner you do it, your life will be more productive. Talk to your parents about getting some counseling.

You deserve to get help. I sense a very nice person under all your anger. And you have a very creative mind and some strong interests and talent. Make it happen some way or another. Meanwhile, keep reading my web pages, especially A Primer on Anger.

Write me back and let me know what you plan to do about your depression and anger.

The Lady Who Knows About Mads


Dear Lady,

Thank you very very much for responding to my e-mail after what you wrote I am planning to go to my school guidance consular and maybe see if any body is out there who feels the way I do but I'm kind of embarrassed cause people today don't usually talk about the way they feel.

P.S. You're a very good psychologist but if your not you should be oh and also your a good person thank you.


Boy, it is maddening


Dear Boy, it is maddening,

Good for you on your decision to address yours problems. That sounds pretty mature to me to go ahead and do something about it even if you have embarrassed feelings. Guess what? Feelings are just feelings and we give way to much importance to them. The only thing we need to do with them is figure out what in our life is missing or needs changing. And talking with a counselor is a first step.

I hope you get someone who is helpful. If not, seek someone else out. And keep after it until you start to feel better.

I just found myself smiling as I thought about you and felt proud for you!


The Lady Who Knows About Mads

Dear Lady,

i am 9 1/2 years old and i always get really mad at my mom because i never do get my way and that's a stupid thing to complain about. i always get mad because they always laugh at me. They laugh at me because i get angry at such stupid things. i don't know why, I just do it.

my stepfather always makes fun at me and my anger explodes and then i get grounded for like a day or so. i got mad at school before and I got a conduct for threatening somebody. and i did not feel happy. the thing that started the threatening is people bugging me when i am doing my work and i always end up getting in trouble and they do not.

and sometimes i argue with my aunt, which i am here with her right now and she is helping me. sometimes i argue with tim, my uncle, and he really don't get that mad at me. my aunt has a little bit hard time controlling her temper, but as me i have a very hard time controlling my temper. she has a hard time controlling her temper because i make her that way because i feel really mad.

some of the stuff that makes me mad is people always make fun of me and i really do not like it. and not getting to go to a ball game or getting to go outside to play with my friends. i do not get to do these things because i am really the one that is causing the trouble.

because i am being very bad and i'm punished. say if, like tonite, which we really are going to do, but we can't because my anger, and we were going to play millionaire on the computer with the tv but i have been bad and I'm grounded. can you help me.

Sad guy


Dear Sad guy,

I'm sorry you are having such a rough time of it with your anger. And I'm glad you are looking for ways to deal with it.

You need to learn some ways to shield yourself away from teasing and laughing by others. I work with boys your age on this by using a technique called EMDR. Your counselor might know it. You think of the bad feelings about being teased and laughed at and find where in your body is tense. The counselor waves their hand in front of your face. Your eyes follow his hand while you think of the bad feelings. Making your eyes go back and forth while feeling the anger, helps it go away.

Also go to my web site and do the exercise Just Poke It with every single thing you can think of about being mad. Keep doing it until the anger starts to shrink.

Or you could make pictures in your mind about how your mads look (like a fire or a volcano, then do something to douse the fire.) Or if it looks like a red ball, you could throw it in the trash. Put your wonderful imagination to work and see your anger as a picture, then make the picture a happy one. You can do anything in your mind to get rid of those mads.

Take time outs to go away and blow out your mads. Talk about them with your counselor. Read my book, The Mad Family Gets Their Mads Out.

Keep working on those MADS. You will win out over them eventually.


The Lady Who Knows About Mads

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