Our expert says:
An interesting queston, and I doubt whether there is consensus on the answer. So often both are present, that the distinction isn't usually helpful in choosing therapeutic options. I see anger more as a "pure emotion" --- when I stub my toe on a brick, I feel a blast of sheer anger, and p[art of the anger is that there is nobody else to direct it to --- the brick won't notice that I;m angry, and the only other participant was myself ! Aggression seems more directed towards someone else or perhaps something else --- Arthur, or Big Business, or whatever.
The more useful disinction, in therapy, is between aggression and assertion. Being asswertive and standing up for oneself is Good, aggression towards others is usully no good, for them or for us.
Unless anger/agression is based in a physical cause ( epilepsy type problems, after a head injury, for instance ) medication may not help, though anti-epileptic meds do seem to help some. Usually, CBT type therap has a better chance of identifying triggers, and evolving alternate ways of responding to them
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