Connection between depression and anger

Written by Amie on December 11, 2011 – 2:33 am -

Using anger against myself

In my life at this moment, I am observing a friend who is going through a very strong bout of anger. This situation got me thinking about the connection between anger and depression. I know *my* experience with depression and anger. I can step back now to see I was angry because I was holding in all of my emotions and feelings. I used this anger against myself instead of expressing my feelings as they came up. This caused my depression-holding in all of my emotions. My friend, who is incredibly angry right now (to the point of raging and lashing out at others) has never been able to express emotions. My friend is also a recovering alcoholic. However, I use the term “recovering” lightly, because she no longer drinks, but she never went through any kind of rehab, therapy, or AA. The fact that she could stop drinking on her own is amazing, but now the problem is she no longer has the alcohol to numb her feelings. This means the anger is spewing out because she hasn’t learned the skills needed to express herself in a healthy way. Her issues are shining brightly for her to see, but she will not acknowledge them.

Emotions are leaking out

It is interesting, sad, and very scary watching this unfold. I really can’t help her because she believes she has no problem. There is such a fear surrounding the rage and anger, it is like a volcano waiting to erupt. The emotions are leaking out, with the whole thing ready to go up at any time. She is lashing out at the people who love her most, blaming them for her problems instead of taking responsibility for her actions and behavior. Everyone else can see she needs help. She refuses to admit that her behavior is hurting those around her. It is very difficult to watch a person sink lower and lower, especially when you can feel their pain so deeply. The anger and rage is seeping out because her body can’t handle anymore repressed emotions. It has almost reached the maximum amount it can handle. It scares me to think what will happen when it reaches full capacity.

Depression is anger turned inward on oneself

Depression is anger turned inward on oneself. I repressed my emotions, which in turn created anger, which I used against myself. I turned everything into a reason to blame myself and hate myself. Wow. So instead of spewing anger and blaming everyone else, I turned my anger inward. I blamed myself for everything. I even blamed myself for other people’s unhappiness! Wow again. I was convinced I needed to save everyone. I also believed I was responsible for everyone else’s problems as well as being responsible for their happiness or lack thereof. What a burden!!!  My anger had nowhere to go except against ME because I was not able to express my truth to the people around me. I am watching my friend turn her anger outward to blame everyone else for her problems. She is not taking one ounce of responsibility for her life. She holds so much pain and she has made the choice to hide behind her anger. She continues to lash out and to be a victim. Both of these ways of dealing with anger are unhealthy.

 I can’t *make* someone feel a certain way

Everyone has issues from their childhood to deal with. Some have more serious issues, but we all have issues. When we were children we didn’t have the resources or the support we needed to get us out of unhealthy situations. When a person becomes an adult, it is time to take responsibility for their own healing and growing. As an adult, you have the ability to take your power back! An adult has the power to choose to get help or to get the support they need so that they may live the joyful happy life they were born to live. I am not saying there won’t ever be bumps along the way. I guarantee there will be. But we can choose how we want to live. One must start by taking responsibility for their behavior and their actions. I know I am not responsible for another person’s actions. I also know that I can’t *make* someone feel a certain way. What I say or do may trigger a feeling in someone else, but the way they react is up to them. I don’t control how someone feels. Each person must take responsibility for their own behavior.

 Anger is most definitely a good thing

It is interesting to see the different ways anger can be used. I think anger is most definitely a good thing. I believe it is there to alert me to the fact that something is wrong. The way I process it and express it determines whether or not it is healthy. If a person holds in the anger for extended periods of time, depression can most definitely be a result. If anger is used to lash out or to avoid taking responsibility for one’s behavior, depression may also result. Both of these methods have one thing in common, and that is avoidance. Using anger against oneself and using anger against another are two methods used to  avoid the true emotions underneath. Some people have a difficult time with acknowledging the pain they are feeling. In my case, I had no idea I was repressing emotions. It was such an ingrained habit, I didn’t know to question it. So if you feel angry, first touch base with your inner self to see what you are truly feeling. If you start to tell yourself something negative, you know you are avoiding what is really going on. And if you start lashing out at someone else, you are avoiding what is really going on. It is a process….start by becoming aware of your thoughts and paying attention to how your body reacts to situations. 

 

 

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