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I Choose Anger Instead of Depression

I’ve been having a really hard time. Immobilized with depression. Frozen in time and agony. The pain of blinking keeping me weeping sporadically throughout the day.

And so today I am angry. Oh sure, I’m depressed too, but I’m also largely angry. I’m hateful. I hate everything from people to stoplights to walking to moving my eyeballs. I’m just angry that I’m alive.

But I have chosen this anger. I have chosen the anger over the depression because it is more useful. It’s better to hate everything because hate comes with energy, depression does not.

Depression and Energy

People who are seriously depressed often do not move from their bed. They do not move from their couch. They do not eat food. They do not clean. They do not do laundry. They do not change their clothes. They do not shower. They do not think. All of those things require far too much energy and effort. And every drop they have is being used, burned, destroyed by the effort to keep breathing. Keep going. Not to simply blow away in the wind.

mp9003854011Anger and Energy

On the other hand, angry people have energy – after all, it takes energy to hate things. It takes energy to be annoyed, irritated. It takes energy to want to snap at the cashier or yell at the TV. These things require movement and thought – things depression doesn’t offer.

Anger is Better, More Functional than Depression

So I choose anger because that horrid, hateful energy is something I can pour into work. Instead of sitting on a couch thinking about how much it hurts to turn my eyeballs to see the seagulls outside, I can channel that energy into writing and editing and doing chores and running errands.

Now don’t get me wrong, I can’t actually get mad at anyone or anything because that would be unfair, and dare I say, crazy, but I can use that heat to move a little from the couch. And clients prefer that. Because I don’t get paid for sitting around and wishing my life was different.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or GooglePlus or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter.

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar Burble, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

18 thoughts on “I Choose Anger Instead of Depression”

  1. I agree that untamed, uncontrolled anger can be very dangerous. There is no doubt about that. But, for me, personally, as a short-term work productivity tool, it works. But then, I have it completely under control

    – Natasha

  2. My anger, which followed a long depression, did not find a healthy outlet, and the outcome of the explosion was that I lost my job and now have a criminal record. Personally, I’d rather be sad. But I am glad you are feeling more productive.

  3. I don’t know Natasha… my experience has been different. While I can rely on anger to give me a brief dose of energy, I’ve found that I end up more drained and with less energy in the long run. And for me, when I’m in my depressive mode, that’s dangerous. Sure, with practice a person can focus anger even through depression and use it to work on (or even complete) a task. But what do you do after? What happens when the anger causes you to snap at someone you need to support you in your depression? What happens when you use it consistently and those people you need to help you and support you and give perspective aren’t there any more because you’ve become an angry person, rather than ‘just’ a gloomy one.

    Perhaps this is just me… but I hate myself enough when I’m depressed, and I hate myself more when I’m angry. And then I feel guilty after the anger which makes that hate worse. Perhaps sometimes the task completion is worth it (and I can’t say I haven’t succumbed in order to get myself to work). But I think anger has to be managed very carefully as a coping strategy. Almost anything else is better in the long run.

  4. I wholeheartedly agree, Natasha.

    For me, anger is far more functional than depression. I also believe that with some effort, anger can be used in a very constructive way. It doesn’t always need to be viewed as a negative emotion.

    Anger truly does give me energy. If I control it, and use that energy to work on a project, I find that I can get quite a bit done. Far more than if I remain immersed in depression. I also find that when I’m feeling angry, I can use that energy to make myself get on the treadmill, or workout for awhile, which can help pull me out of my depression.

    It’s not always easy to convert depression to anger, and may not even be a conscious choice for me, but when it happens, I find it to be much more preferable than depression.

  5. Hey Natasha. When I was hospitalized it was explained to me that sometimes depression is merely anger turned inward. As I began coming out of that paralyzing depression, I found myself overwhelmed with anger for no appaarent reason. What I’m trying to say is that sometimes anger can be a positive sign. As long as it’s channeled properly, anger can be a very motivating thing. Sometimes it can even be a good sign that changes are on the horizon.

  6. I do apoligise, but I totally disagree, In no way shape or form would I replace all my Mental Health Issues with Anger. Sure I get angry, however I absolutly hate being angry at all, especially because unless u dont go out at all and dont associate with people that Anger can explode towards others, thus causing gaps to be formed in relationships. Anger might give you energy but it takes a hell of alot of strength and courage to get up, get dressed go for a walk or even get out of bed. Its my belief and I will hold to it that anger is like a cancer that will eat your very soul and spirit away. This is only my opinion, everyones illness and techniques in dealing with it might be similar or totally oposite to one another, again this is only my thoughts about this.

  7. OMG !! Do you have any ideal how great and excited (not angry) I am to know I’m truely, honestly not the only person in the world that experiance this !! For years now people will always ask me why I never smile or why I’m always mad. They think I don’t like them or that I’m mad at them for some mystery reason when in all reality it’s not even like that but you can’t explain exactly what it really is either. Whew, I may be human afterall !! LOL

  8. ” I don’t get paid for sitting around and wishing my life was different.”

    My wife made me leave my bed today and go to school. Math is a distraction from depression for me, although wrapping my head around it in this state is a challenge.
    I just underwent kidney stones, I found the pain was actually an amazing distraction from my mood. I would have thought it the opposite.
    I am glad you are being proactive Natasha, you might not be able to “snap outta it” as people so often suggest but at the very least you can channel it.


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