Moms on the Verge

Chrystel and Jessica
Dr. Phil talks to mothers who are afraid they may harm their children in a fit of rage.

Chrystel is overwhelmed by rage and afraid of what she could do to her three children. "I have moments in my day when I feel like I'm at a raging point," she says. "There's always a point when I'm on that verge and I snap. It'll start out small, and then it slowly escalates. Then, boom! I'm done, I've had it... I am to the point where I feel like I could kill my own child."

"I feel like I'm in my own prison " like I'm trapped inside of some body I don't want to be in. I feel anxious. It makes me feel sick to my stomach," says Chrystel of how it feels to be on the verge of harming her kids. "I feel so overwhelmed. It makes me sick and sad that my daughter, my little girl, is scared of me. I'm like a monster that haunts her."

Dr. Phil says that when Chrystel feels the first sign of rage, she needs to remove herself from the situation. He encourages her to go somewhere else as soon as she feels her anger begin to build " whether that means taking a walk, going to the next room, or sending her children to their rooms " because getting through the impulse to act out violently is vital.

Jessica says that she is scared of losing control. She doesn't scream or yell when she's enraged; instead, this mother of two destroys things. She even puts her son to bed for hours to avoid harming him.
"Ninety to 99 percent of the time, I'm a loving wife and mother, but there's a small percentage where I can lose control," says Jessica.

Dr. Phil asks, "What's your explanation for behaving this way?"

Jessica responds, "There isn't an explanation. It's not acceptable behavior. I get angry and I don't know how to express it but to throw things."

"So you run out of things to say," surmises Dr. Phil.

Dr. Phil suggests that Jessica give her anger a voice because right now, she's taking her rage out in a destructive manner. Instead, he encourages her to try sitting down with a pen and paper to vent her anger. Doing so will allow her to express her feelings in a safer way. In addition, she (and moms on the verge everywhere) need to reach out for help — calling on a friend, spouse, pastor or neighbor to whom they can be "accountable."