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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Letting go of depression and opening to love

Written by Amie on November 2, 2011 – 1:11 am -

Being depressed is like being in prison

Wow! I was just watching Oprah’s new Life Class show, and I sobbed tears of joy throughout the whole thing. I am so touched right now. I feel so alive with hope and love, it is overwhelming. In a really hopeful beautiful way. Please keep reading, I won’t talk just about the show the whole post here. The show was about how animals touch our lives and how they give pure unconditional love. There is a program in some prisons called Puppies Behind Bars, and this is what touched me so deeply. Let’s see if I can put it into words. My body is pretty overwhelmed with feelings of love right now. When I watched these men taking care of the puppies, my stream of tears started. I could *feel* the weight of the world being lifted from them. These men felt unconditional love for the first time ever in their lives. It was painfully sad on some level, but so beautiful on a much deeper level. I felt a connection with these men. I realized how depression really imprisons a person. I was a prisoner of myself for years. I do realize that being incarcerated has so many other challenges. I don’t want it to sound as though I am minimizing this.

The minute you decide to pay attention to your thoughts and beliefs, and start *questioning* them is the minute the bars start to crumble 

The men in the show were physically imprisoned, or so it seems. I believe they are also emotionally, spiritually, and mentally imprisoned. This is exactly the same for people suffering with depression. Depression causes a person to be stuck on all levels. Depression is caused by the suppression of one’s authentic self. We become numb on all levels because we are stuck in the thoughts and beliefs we were conditioned to believe. Our authentic selves are fighting against what we have been taught. Each time our authentic truth tries to show itself, the messages we have been conditioned to believe convince us that this authentic self is wrong or bad. So, back to being stuck. It is a continuous fight. The more the thoughts and beliefs are believed, the stronger the “bars” become. BUT, these bars can be knocked down. The minute you decide to pay attention to your thoughts and beliefs, and start *questioning* them, is the minute the bars start to crumble. *You* are in control of your prison, I promise you.

 They have never known what it is like to be loved for exactly who they are. Their true selves have been conditioned out of them

Watching this show brought up so many emotions for me. Like I said earlier, I was sobbing while watching it. It hit me on such a deep level. I could see the humanness of each of these men. I could clearly see what I have always felt. My belief is that people end up in prison because they have never felt love, they have never been really *seen*, they have not been unconditionally loved, they have never known what it is like to be loved for exactly who they are. Their true selves have been conditioned out of them. They are acting out of fear and desperation. They have given up on the hope that they can ever feel better or ever be loved. They are convinced that they are not worth anything and that nobody cares about them. Therefore, they live to survive. In any way they can. Sound familiar? Anyone suffering from depression probably feels all of these things as well. I know I did.

This is the reason you feel self hatred. This is the reason you feel hopeless. This is the reason you feel worthless.

I understand that everyone has their own journey. I know from my own experience that we are exactly where we should be on our journey. I am in a place now that I know *for sure* that each of us has unconditional love inside us at all times. Depression can be healed when we make the decision to become aware of what we are telling ourselves. Every single person is capable of healing. I know this  deep inside. At the core of every one of us is love. By questioning and changing what we believe we get closer and closer to our authentic selves. Every time you allow yourself to notice your thoughts or beliefs, question them, and then acknowledge what you really believe or feel, you get closer to your truth. The truth is *you are loved* unconditionally, and that you deserve to be full of love. The only reason you don’t know this right now is because the messages you have been taught and told to believe are blocking this truth. This is the reason you feel self hatred. This is the reason you feel hopeless. This is the reason you feel worthless. These are *all* thoughts!!! They are NOT true, I promise you. they may feel true deep in your body. That is *only* because you have had them in there for a long time. That is the only reason!!! Stop believing your thoughts. Begin right now by noticing what you tell yourself. Once you start doing this, you will become more present in yourself, which will lead you to being strong enough to process some of your emotions. This leads to healing…..and ultimately to self-love. I don’t even know you, but I *know* for a fact that I love you.

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