Explosive Anger

January 1, 2014

Nichole claims that her husband, Don, gets violent when he drinks — which he denies. And, Theresa and Steve say their son, Steven’s, rage is out of control, and they fear for their lives. Plus, two victims of a road rage incident caught on tape share their story.







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NicholeDonStevenTheresa, Steven's motherSteve, Steven's fatherDr. Frank Lawlis

Nichole and Don

Nichole says her husband, Don, drinks between 12 and 18 beers a night and claims that when he drinks, he becomes "very, very violent." She alleges that Don has chased her with knives, bitten her, given her two black eyes — and even punched her in the stomach when she was pregnant. Nichole claims that she has called the police about a dozen times. "It's to the point where I'm very scared for my own life," she says.

Don denies ever physically abusing his wife, insisting that if he had, he would be in jail. He also says that he doesn't have a drinking problem and only has about two or three beers every day.

“She says that you’re physically abusing her. You told us [that's] not true,” Dr. Phil says, addressing Don.

“Not that I remember,” Don replies. "There are times that — whether I've had too much to drink, or I'm upset or I get down on myself — I've been told that I do things that I honestly don't remember doing," he confesses. Dr. Phil asks Don about how much he drinks, and Don admits that, on average, he actually has closer to eight to 10 beers per day. "I think that I drink too much, yes," he relents.

Don reveals that Nichole has also gotten physical with him, throwing remotes and pushing him. Nichole admits that she does fight back and says she feels like it's her "only option." She explains that they have separated several times, but then Don apologizes and she takes him back.

“Did you tell her that you would bash her face in with your fist and slit her throat?”

"Has it occurred to you to leave, to run, to get away?" And, Don opens up about his behavior: "It makes me absolutely sick."


Dr. Phil tells Don that he becomes a different person when he drinks. "It takes your pain away, but it also takes away your ability to inhibit your behavior," he says. "All of these things that you have inside come bubbling out." Don explains that he has sought counseling, but he never sticks with it. He confides that he's afraid to let his emotions show — because he doesn't want to be perceived as less of a man.

“Big boys don’t cry, but men do. Men have the ability to be all of who they are.”

Dr. Phil explains to Nichole that in a situation of abuse, fighting back is not the answer. Rather, a safe exit is the answer. He adds that, as the mother of a 2-year-old boy, Nichole also has a responsibility to protect her child from potential harm.

He then turns to Don and tells him that he needs to get in touch with his feelings, rather than suppressing them until they boil over. "You're an alcoholic," Dr. Phil adds. "It's crippling you and your family, and you need to get that under control." He offers to send Don to a treatment program and recommends Origins Recovery Centers. Don agrees to take the help.


Steven's Rage

Teresa and Steve say their 23-year-old son, Steven, first started getting "explosive with anger" in high school — and say his temper has only gotten worse since. Teresa claims Steven calls her hurtful names, hits her, shoves her and threatens to kill her at least once a week. "We fear for our lives sometimes," Teresa confides.

Teresa and Steven give very different accounts of the last altercation they had, which ended with Steven being arrested — and Teresa getting a no contact order against him. Teresa claims that her son grabbed her and spit in her face. But, Steven insists that his father punched him and says Teresa ignored him when he tried to tell her about it. He claims that he never put his hands on his mother and only pretended to spit on her.

Steven confesses that he tends to take his frustration out on his parents. "When I'm trying to ask them for help or talk to them about something, I don't feel like I'm getting the kind of respect I deserve," Steven insists. He says many of his fights with his father are about him getting a job and claims that his dad gets in his face. Steven's parents agree that they often argue with their son about money issues.

Dr. Phil asks Steven what he'd like his parents to do differently, and Steven admits that he's just frustrated with life in general. "I would like to do something great with my life," he says. "I don't know ..."

Hear dramatic audio from the day Teresa says her son held her captive. How does Steven describe his behavior?

Steven breaks down while talking about his anger: "I wouldn't say it was really my parents ..."

Dr. Phil explains that he thinks Steven's problems are coming from the inside out — and don't really have anything to do with his parents. He introduces Dr. Frank Lawlis, of the PNP Center, which diagnoses and treats individuals dealing with neurological issues and related symptoms. Dr. Lawlis says he believes Steven is suffering from deep depression and may also have some biochemical issues.

"Let's see if we can get you some answers and give you some of the tools to get happy in your life," Dr. Phil tells Steven. He offers to send him to the PNP Center for a full evaluation, and Steven and his parents accept.

Road Rage Caught on Tape

Josh and Nathan say they made headline news back in March after a road-rage fight that ended in a broken arm, a busted lip — and a truck full of bullet holes. The violent encounter was captured on video.

Josh and Nathan give their account of the altercation — and Dr. Phil reacts: "Both of y'all could have been shot and killed."

Brad Turner, the other party involved in the incident, declined to be interviewed. His attorney, Roger L. Crowe Jr., provided the following statement:

“I would like to thank the Dr. Phil Show for the opportunity to appear and allow Brad Turner to tell his story. Unfortunately, the case is still pending. My co-counsel, Marc Chesnutt, and I feel that it would be inappropriate for us to discuss the matter other than in court.”