New York: ``Mad Max`` star Mel Gibson``s anger at ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva may have been caused by "righteous rage", say experts.
According to a website, experts said that what causes a calm individual to morph into an out of control monster in a traffic jam, may stem from a survival instinct.
"It gets into this mentality of ``kill or be killed``," the New York Daily News quoted psychiatrist Dr. Tracy Latz as saying.
"Subconsciously, there`s a fear that someone else is going to kill or take power over me," she said.
When this sense of one`s very existence being threatened is paired with a sense of entitlement, "righteous rage," can result, according to clinical psychologist and attorney Robert Goldman.
A person may believe he or she deserves something so intensely that he doesn`t see the real situation, and irrational behaviour is the result.
"While we live in a world of abundance in our country, it can also create feelings of anger and rage when we get caught up in it," Goldman said.
"We`re not able to step back and see how really lucky and blessed we are," he added.
For a high-octane celebrity like Mel Gibson, that sense of entitlement coupled with a fear that someone could take away his power could have pushed him so far over the edge that he was willing to risk all in order to harm the mother of his baby.
In some cases of uncontrollable rage, drinking is to blame. The brain`s frontal lobe is crucial in the decision-making process, but anger is centred in a more primitive area of the brain.
Anger can be released when alcohol inhibits the more reasonable and thoughtful part of the brain that would normally make a rational decision.
How people handle anger is also contingent upon their own upbringing, Latz explains.
Those whose parents either repressed anger or expressed it inappropriately may do the same thing, which is how abusive behaviour is handed down from parent to child.
But there are ways to reign in inappropriate anger. Just thinking about the consequences of anger gone too far may stop a person before it`s too late. Another tactic is to shut your eyes and think of something - anything - that calms you down. Letting go of grudges is also important.