The Relationship Between Depression and Anger

June 3, 2015 Liz Smith

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

There is a relationship between depression and anger. Read this to learn how to manage your anger with depression.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?

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Image attribution: Mindaugas Danys, used under Creative Commons license.

APA Reference
Smith, L. (2015, June 3). The Relationship Between Depression and Anger, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 23 from

Author: Liz Smith

June, 13 2019 at 8:28 am

i believe that to The world dose suck there is no respect and consideration any more I found God which helped me but i am still alone cant make friends easy get scared in big crowds. and Im sixty i took to drink heaverly when i was 19 lost my girlfriend which shot herself but life still goes on .

Dr Musli Ferati
June, 25 2015 at 8:19 pm

There is a truthful quotation that says: anxiety and depression are twin brothers. In addition, the relationship between these emotional disorders is intertwined and perplex, which ones render more difficult psychiatric diagnose and treatment, as well. But their prompt differential diagnostic distinction in daily psychiatric workout indicates important step in adequate psychiatric managing of these two emotional disturbances. Surely, their opportune and simultaneous psychiatric treatment is the best way to overcome this comorbid disorder. Otherwise, we would to face with heavily complications on definitive prognosis to this psychiatric illness with two edges. Therefore it is advisable to be vigilant during attendance of any psychiatric patient with depression, if the same have got anxious symptomatology, and vice versa.

June, 19 2015 at 4:41 am

I am struggling with depression at the moment and often think taking my life is the only way out. I recently lost a job I thought was my redeeming factor, but waking up each day with nothing to do and losing money daily, just made me become apathetic and lost my will and confidence to do anything
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?

June, 13 2015 at 1:51 am

thanks for that. Also a full-time pastor, battling severe depression for over 15 years. Bottled up the anger until now,..... difficult to let go...

Bruce Leiter
June, 11 2015 at 5:11 am

I experienced depression for seven years from 1979 to 1986. It showed itself in tiredness, then fatigue, then exhaustion, then emotional shutdown. I was a full-time pastor at the time. I had two anxiety attacks just like heart attacks at the depth of my depression. I had to retire to seek psychological help even though God gave me a very strong call to the ministry. In my book Doubtbusters! God Is My Shrink! I describe his psychological breakthroughs through the great people at Pine Rest in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I began pouring out my anger to God in prayer about my losses of a brother and son to leukemia, people who had been unloving to me, and my childhood dysfunctional family. After my seven and a half months of lamenting (angry) prayers, God took away my depression. After another month, he gave me his peace of Philippians 4:5,6.
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.

June, 8 2015 at 6:02 pm

I just saw your YouTube video and I just want to Thank you for having this blog!!!! I have never felt so at home with how you write and speak and I do now. I am 34/ female and I know that I've suffered with the same conditions since I was little. It's a horrible feeling to feel so isolated and when people ask what's the matter, you say I'm just depressed...and they reply, Join the Club! In mockery. I can't stand it because it is real and it does debilitate you from functioning, and I do relate to your over achieving which really hit home with me because I am the same. Please keep up this blog. I finally feel understood.

June, 8 2015 at 5:52 pm

I deal with the same demons day after day. Even though I finally just started on an anti depressant that seems to be working (Viibryd 40 mg), I still deal daily with anxiety and depression and they will over take me sometimes in a light switch moment. It's tough to deal with especially being in certain environments. I have also have anger and both can attack at the same time being triggered by the same elements you mentioned. I realize at those times I just need to escape to a safe place (even if it's to sit in my car or the nearest bathroom) and take several deep breaths, sometimes even talking to myself to stop the madness, everything is FINE. I need several moments of "cool offs" and that seems to help, for now. Great blog btw

Nancy Mclernon
June, 6 2015 at 8:03 pm

I honestly believed that I never got angry !! i was a social worker for 30 year's, and alway's turned the other cheek to anger… Until my mother's death. I became more and more depressed, more and more confused, and crawled into a cave and couldn't find my way out for one year. Tick,tcp, tick,! i conveniently packed away mmemory's of childhood abuse in an alcoholic home, Sexual assault by a stranger in broad day light, not seeking healthy closures to two longterm relatinship's before getting married. Then when anger started to bubble up to my awareness , I blamed other's for pushing me to experience it and act out . How is that for a lifetime of denial? Never to late to ge a grip on whose really are.

June, 5 2015 at 12:00 pm

anger is all that kept me going during some dark times - it is sad that my husband of 27 years pushed me over the edge and I went primal - screaming incoherently - snot flying - the frustration of not feeling heard and being supported was THE most painful thing I have felt EVER. Being constantly pushed to go and do and be functional broke me. He wouldn't let up. And when he finally stopped, he chose to distance himself and treat me coldly if at all.
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.

June, 4 2015 at 10:36 am

Anger and depression go hand in hand I know it because anger was a big part of my life it use to be that anger would be my my jumpstart whenever I got to low and vise versa now a days it's more depression than anger but I do have my days

June, 4 2015 at 10:11 am

Love urself

June, 3 2015 at 4:42 am

No amount of CBT will or any other just think positive bull crap will ever change my mind. The honest truth is that life just sucks and then you die!!!

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