One of the DSM-V changes that has elicited little discussion is the expansion of anger as a focus of psychopathology. Anger is included in the indicators of a range of disorders including both the depressive, and in children, the manic phases of bi-polar disorder, Intermittant Explosive Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder and the new Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder.
In popular culture and philosophy anger is almost universally seen as a negative emotion, causing harm to those who harbor it and clouding their reason and judgment.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.
Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.
A large body of research however has shown that in fact, anger is one of the most positive emotions we can feel. This research also reveals that there are reasons for governments, institutions and authorities to fear anger which have little to do with the risk of violence and everything to do with the risk of resistance.
Studies have found that anger is associated with a desire for change and to take action against a person or obstacle by “fighting, harming, or conquering it”,that central to being angry is a belief that you can achieve your goals and that anger triggers such beliefs in all spheres, including health, social relations, career, social competence, and political concerns.1
The literature shows that in comparison with positive moods, “negative moods can improve judgement and decision making, supporting focused cognitive processing by narrowing people’s attention and prompting a more analytic search for causes.” Interestingly, when people are angry they apply this strongly analytical thinking across issues not just those related to the one which prompted the anger. 2
In addition to more carefully considering the causes of events, anger prompts a feeling of certainty about what has happened and the belief that someone other than oneself was responsible for the negative event. Importantly it engenders a strong sense of one’s ability to influence a situation and optimism about ones chances of success in doing so.1
Studies suggest that anger influences not only what people think but how they think and that angry people believe they will prevail regardless of circumstances. Anger triggers optimism which in turn triggers a bias toward seeing oneself as powerful and capable.
By contrast, where negative events are blamed on situational factors rather than on individuals or groups, sadness is dominant while a belief that one has triggered negative events oneself gives rise to feelings of guilt and shame.
Consider those who wish to impose their thoughts, views or will on others. Anger, in that it generates resistance, challenge, critical thinking and opposition is a highly undesirable state or trait in its targets. On the other hand, happiness, which research shows involves less careful thinking with reliance on stereotypes spontaneous, quick, general knowledge structures, or ‘‘rules of thumb’’   makes others more likely to accept the status quo or imposition of less favourable conditions.
Angry people are more likely to ask awkward questions, to refuse to comply and to take action to hold those in authority accountable for negative events. Happy people tend to assume that the authorities have their best interests at heart, know what’s best and could not have forseen or prevented harm that arises.
Research and experience tells us that attempts to persuade another person are often preceded by efforts to change their mood. If we want someone to make a particular decision, behave in a particular way or tolerate our less than desirable behavior, we do things to make them happy and avoid approaching them when angry. Whether we are wanting to use Dad’s car, working to persuade the boss to give us a raise or hoping our partner will respond to our advances, we prepare the way by attempting to get them ‘in the mood.’
In pursuing or maintaining action that may have negative outcomes for others, those in control do not want to deal with people who carefully analyse their actions, attribute blame and feel confident in their right and ability to overturn the situation you have, or are attempting, to create.
In seeking to persuade others to accept your view, your will, your desire, a happy population would be much easier to work with. While this could be achieved through providing everyone with the necessities of life and meeting some wants as well as needs, this is likely to require significant effort and huge expenditure.
How much easier would it be to get people ‘in the mood’ by persuading them that happiness is what they want, that no one need ever feel sadness or anger, that in fact any emotion other than happiness is disease and an indication of a defect and giving them drugs that blunt any emotions that may cause them to feel that their situation is less than ideal, that you are to blame and that they have the power to resist your control.
In pathologising and medicating anger, psychiatry and its partners in pharma and government socialize us towards apathy and compliance and reposition resistance from an ingredient of democracy to an indicator of disease.
Around the world there is an army of angry people whose loved ones have died from suicide. People who do not accept their child, spouse or parent’s suicide was inevitable. People who believe psychiatry is responsible for the death, who are committed to achieving change in the way emotional distress is addressed and who have confidence in their ability to overturn current paradigms of care. People who are comfortable with their anger and refuse to take their ‘happy pills.’
 Lerner, Jennifer S., and Larissa Z. Tiedens. “Portrait of the angry decision maker: How appraisal tendencies shape anger’s influence on cognition.” Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 19.2 (2006): 115-137.
Schwarz, Norbert Higgins, E. Tory (Ed); Sorrentino, Richard M. (Ed), (1990). Feelings as information: Informational and motivational functions of affective states. Handbook of motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behavior, Vol. 2. , (pp. 527-561). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press, xviii, 621 pp
 DeSteno, D., Petty, R. E., Rucker, D. D.,Wegener, D. T., & Braverman, J. (2004b). Discrete emotions and persuasion: the role of emotion-induced expectancies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 43–56.
 Neumann, R. (2000). The causal influences of attributions on emotions: a procedural priming approach. Psychological Science, 11, 179–182.
 Bless, H., Clore, G. L., Schwarz, N., Golisano, V., Rabe, C., & Wolk, M. (1996). Mood and the use of scripts: does a
happy mood really lead to mindlessness? Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 71, 665–679.
 Chaiken, S., & Trope, Y. (Eds.). (1999). Dual-process theories in social psychology. New York: The Guilford Press.
 Eagly, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
 Petty, R., & Cacioppo, J. (1986). Communication and persuasion: Central and peripheral routes to attitude change. New York: Springer-Verlag.
 Schwarz, Norbert, Herbert Bless, and Gerd Bohner. “Mood and persuasion: Affective states influence the processing of persuasive communications.” Advances in experimental social psychology 24 (1991): 161-199.