The Difference Between Angry and Mad

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How many times have you heard people use the word angry and mad interchangeably (me included) when there really is a difference between angry and mad.

 

Difference Between Angry and Mad

While there is technically a difference between being angry and mad, it’s not that big of a deal if you say you are mad when you mean angry, especially if you live in North America.

Although I will be explaining a bit behind the meaning of the words, this post is about dealing with your anger as much as it is about the correct grammar.

Angry and Mad Defined

Angry

1. Having a strong feeling of or showing annoyance, displeasure or hostility; full of anger.
Some synonyms: irate, cross, vexed, incense, infuriated, etc.

He makes me so angry.

I get angry when she does that.

Mad

1. mentally ill, insane
Some synonyms: crazed, psychotic,

She felt as if she was going mad.

He could feel the madness welling up inside of him.

If you live in England you will hear the word mad used to mean mentally ill more than you will in North America but the meaning is still the same.

How Angry and Mad Got Mixed Up

So how did people start using the word mad when they mean angry?

Unfortunately a lot of people have trouble with their anger and instead of expressing it well, as soon as it bothers them, they do a number of different things to not express it from bottling it all up quietly inside of them, to acting passive aggressive (e.g. the person who says nothing is wrong but gives you the cold shoulder) to the person who takes the anger out on the wrong person.

When they do this, anger tends to build inside of them and act like a poison to their body. They are not expressing their anger in a healthy way and so it can feel like they are going mad (insane) because their anger is building inside of them and affecting their mental health.

This seems to be the way that the word became known to be about anger.

“To feel and to express anger healthily is actually the antithesis of madness.” – The Angry Book by Theodore I Rubin, M.D.

Not Letting Anger Turn to Madness

I have no idea what the actual stats are but I do know that many people struggle with anger problems.

The Angry Book by Theodore I Rubin, M.D., although old, is a good resource for recognizing how you deal with anger. It shows the MANY and varied ways that people don’t deal with their anger in the best ways. Some are obvious but many you would not at first think have anything to do with anger.

You might be surprised to see how your behaviours might be betraying a long standing “slush fund” of past anger. Slush fund is the term used in the book to indicate the built up anger inside of you.

Definitely if your anger often seems stronger or more potent than would make sense for that situation, is very frequent, hurts your relationships or makes you act violently than you definitely are having troubles with your anger.

Seek help with your psychiatrist, doctor, counsellor or a trusted family member or friend if you are worried.

NOTE: I have reviewed the book I mentioned above at one of my other blogs if you are interested you can read my review of The Angry Book.

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