What is "Rage" as a behavior or symptom?


I think both, its a behavior and often a symptom of something else.

To me rage contains an out of control element that is really dangerous.


What do psychiatrists mean when they use the term "rage" to describe a person's behavior? Does it require actions that are observable by others like yelling, throwing things, physically aggressive behavior, or would it include just angry thoughts in a person otherwise behaving calmly and going about their business?

I have always understood "rage" to involve vocalizations and/or actions, typically explosive, that the person can't decide to stop, rein in, or de-escalate on their own. Like toddler tantrums would qualify, or maybe an adult being so overcome with anger they lash out or yell and scream at someone without their rational mind getting to weigh in and approve or deny the "motion to take action in response to a stimulus."

For instance, could one have a bad day at work or school but not act out in that environment, and come home and let it rip at those who live with them and still call that "a rage"? Or is that just controlling onesself where it's beneficial and choosing to be a jerk when stakes are lower?

Is there such a thing as "rages" that are purely inside the head & you wouldn't know unless you asked the person's thoughts AND they went into vivid detail about violent wishes as revenge or something? Or is that just "sitting there stewing and being angry"?

This is not a current subject in my life, but for some reason I'm stuck trying to define this and another term from before. I googled them both extensively and the results were not even remotely consistent.

If this post belongs somewhere else Mods, please rehome it!

I see emotions on an emotion spectrum. Rage falls under anger.....so it's on the anger spectrum, anger sits in the middle (median).
As you travel left on the spectrum, you get less and less irritated the farther left you go (minor irritation being to the far left) and as you progress to the right of the median on the anger spectrum....you get super pissed off........enraged.......and maybe if it's bad enough, you get to can't hold it any longer......and might reach a full blown tantrum, throw shit, break shit,......or hurt someone else of you are inclined. Rage I see is at the more uncontrolled/uncontained end of the spectrum and more volatile, in my opinion.....
It's basically when you lose your shit.....however that works for you. That's how it is for me, anyway. Good thread.


It is dysregulated anger, ie: anger without control. Rage for me two is two ends of the spectrum. Either its the standing beside myself watching this crazy person losing their shit saying "what the hell is wrong with you?" or its silent.

Silent is worse, its like a huge pimple. Its sore and has your attention and sooner or later its going to pop but until it does I'll just obsess over it.

Losing my sh*t entirely is draining and the rage ends sooner.


I started with a new therapist about a year and a half ago. I spent time telling her my trauma.....she looked at me and said, you aren't just angry, she said you're feeling rage. At the time, I didn't see myself as a person who could feel rage.....because that was a behavior for "crazy" people.....when in fact, my belief about the emotion/behavior was off-base. My brother had rage.....he seethed rage....and I was nothing like him. So, anger and other ugly feelings are something I've always worked to keep in check. So, when she said "You're feeling rage" I said, "No I'm not.....but I later decided, my dissociative periods occurred when rage was involved......so, I didn't feel them.....I ran away from my feelings. So, you can have rageful feelings and not believe you feel that way.....or maybe not have ever labeled it that way. Just my experience.