The Relationship Between Depression and Anger
When people think of depression, they think about a character like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh -- someone who's a bit gloomy and sad, perhaps, prone to moping about. Some even think depression is a bit hip and edgy -- an affliction of creative types like artists and writers. But the truth is, I'm afraid, a lot less romantic.
Anger Can Be a Depression Symptom
Depression symptoms aren't all tears and sadness. Sometimes it's all-consuming, white-hot rage. I don't know if I get angry at the depression itself, or whether it's more that depression makes me get angry at the world more easily. All I do know is that it's a vicious cycle -- being angry begets depression, which makes me angry.
When to Pay Attention to Anger
A lot of depression self-help books are all about overcoming anger, positive thinking, and inviting calm into your life. Those are great things, but sometimes, you do need to pay attention to what your anger is trying to tell you. Are you angry because you're stressed or irritable, or is there something in your life, or someone, that is making you angry? Are you being taken advantage of, or being treated unfairly? If so, then your anger is a warning sign that you need to deal with that situation and protect yourself (Setting Boundaries).
Confronting Your Anger Demon
When you're coping with depression, you may have reduced tolerance for life's ordinary irritants. As I was coming home from work yesterday on the bus, there were three children shrieking and shouting at the top of their voices. Normal, high-spirited kid stuff, but because I was having a tough day, it pushed my buttons. I really struggle with loud noises, crowds and bright lights on my down days. Knowing and understanding your triggers can help to keep those anger-flares under control. Of course, avoiding triggers is one option, but for most of us, we can't avoid them completely.
I can have a little chat with the anger demon now -- I can say to him, "Hey, I know you're not liking this because you're stressed and tired and feeling down today, but we just need to deal with it for three more stops, then we can go have a coffee somewhere quiet". My anger demon is a like a toddler that's about to throw an epic tantrum -- he needs to be caught in his tracks and diverted before he raises merry hell.
Is anger one of your symptoms of depression? What are your triggers and your strategies for dealing with them?
Image attribution: Mindaugas Danys, used under Creative Commons license.
Smith, L. (2015, June 3). The Relationship Between Depression and Anger, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2015/06/the-relationship-between-depression-and-anger
Author: Liz Smith
I'm writing here because I'm so scared that I'll never be the same again. I've attended a few CBT sessions, but I just find myself unable to think about anything else other than I'm unemployed and having financial difficulties. I've lost my identity and most days I just lay in bed all day thinking what is the point. I'm really desperate and wondered if anyone could help with some guidance. I'm reluctant to take antidepressants because of the possible side effects. So far I've been given sleeping tablets as lack of sleep or indeed many sleepless nights gave rise to my current state. But I realise it's my loss of routine and money that's eating me away. What can I do to stop myself from going crazy?
My advice is if depression is interfering with your life, seek good psychological help to find out what is really the past basis of it, and unload your anger on God. He can take it, whereas people usually can't.
We now live separately but on the same property for financial reasons. I have to see him daily and know he and I will never be the same.