Angry outbursts raise flags for concerned uncle

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DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, you helped me with an unhappy relationship I was in. I took your advice, and it made a big improvement in my life. I am now engaged to a wonderful woman, and were very happy. I never thought I would have to write you again.

Abby, I am seeing some behavior in my 15-year-old nephew that has me worried. Hes a high achiever and, basically, a pretty good kid. Maybe hes under stress from school or sports, but he has been having some shocking, angry outbursts. Whether against his parents, his brother or his girlfriend, he will fly into a rage. He shouts, pounds his fists on the table, slams doors (breaking a glass pane) and storms out of the house. I saw him shove his brother during a recent argument, and I have heard him threaten to put his fist through a wall. Luckily, he hasnt followed through.

He doesnt have a history of causing trouble, and these angry outbursts dont happen all the time. I know you have a booklet about controlling anger. Do you think it might help him, and how can I order one?

WORRIED UNCLE

DEAR WORRIED UNCLE: We all have moments when we react without thinking. Your nephew is young, and his problem could be caused by a number of things including immaturity, lack of self-control and raging hormones. If you have a good level of communication with him, the first thing you should do is have a talk with him and ask whats really going on.

If he is not having emotional or substance abuse problems, my anger booklet might be helpful to him. It contains constructive information about anger and suggestions for defusing it in healthy ways. It can be ordered by sending a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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