Depression and Anger

Occasionally I hear of someone who acts out their depression on other people.  Lashing out.  Anger, either expressed physically or verbally.  I don’t really know much about this kind of manifestation.  Does anyone hear have any experience and/or wisdom they could impart on it and how to deal with it either as the doer or as the loved one?


6 thoughts on “Depression and Anger”

  1. Anger is how my depression manifests itself. Before I started on the road to wellness, I could be irritated easily. I would yell at my wife about the least of things. It wouldn’t take much and she would start to cry. I would yell at our daughter when she wouldn’t behave, especially if she woke us up in the middle of the night.

    Now that I am taking anti-depressant medication I see my anger trigger mechanism doesn’t have quite the itchy trigger finger. It’s still there, lurking in the shadows, but it’s under control.

    I must say that being in God’s Word in an intentional way also helps curb bouts of anger. I pray the Office. I meditate on the Word. When anger comes, I may try to sing a hymn or at least sing the tune out loud. That helps.

    I’m not proud of myself when my anger is unleashed. I apologize, but the guilt remains. I know I shouldn’t do it. More and more I cling to the forgiving grace of Jesus. His blood cleanses all sin.

  2. I don’t know about depression and anger. This sounds like the way my bi-polar manifests, however. Instead of ecstatic happiness, my manic phase often expresses itself in anger. As far as how to deal with it as the doer, try to remember that the “voice in your head” is not real, try not to say anything you’ll regret later, and don’t do anything that could have permanent consequences. As the loved one, try to remember that anything the sufferer says is probably not meant. My husband also used to fight my angry moods with direct, constant prayer until the anger passed.

  3. At least for me, anger related to depression is one of the latter stages of the game. You’ve heard about people who cut themselves. I prefer to bruise myself. The blunt pressure helps to take notches out of the anger and I calm down after hitting myself in the leg or punching a door frame a few times. I hate the idea of taking my anger, especially the anger from depression, out on other people. I would much rather hurt me because I see myself as the source of my pain.

  4. I have been on the receiving end of anger expressed both verbally and physically. Trying to reason with them and trying to get them to see that they needed help was not productive in my case. It seemed as though the more gracious, the more accommodating, and the more reasonable I tried to be, the worse it made the situation. Stern admonition, saying no, and setting boundaries did not help either. Intervention by the police made them feel that they were the victim and that I was the bad guy. As you can see, I have no good ideas to offer on that end – only failure.

    On the other side, I am finally out of those situations and struggling with PTSD (includes anxiety and depression). I used to be so numb inside that I didn’t react to much of anything – good or bad. In the past, I used all sorts of denial methods to minimize the impact of the situations. The more I tried to deny or diminish or ignore or relativize it all, the worse my health has become. I’m finally paying attention to myself now that my feelings are beginning to return. I am becoming aware of irritation/anger and becoming fearful/panicky, and various other unpleasant emotions.

    For me, I think the biggest thing has been finally admitting that I have a problem that will not go away by itself. I hate getting angry or short with people. I hate being terrified by people. Knowing that I am struggling with my emotions seems to help me stop or slow down and not react so much, but inside I am still a mess. I am looking into various avenues/help to get well. If I was a veteran it would be easier to find resources.

    Anyway, I’m wondering if recognizing and admitting that you have a problem is a majority of the answer on how to deal with the problem of anger as well as most other problems? What is your view?

  5. I have been told (and experienced) that my depression is anger that is bottled up. It is repressed anger that sents me into a tail spin. Since I did not have the coping skills to deal with the anger in the first place, when it blows I still do not have the skills to deal with the anger. In my case I channeled the explosion, as best I could, toward my self. Bottom line is thaat there are those of us who have a real connection between our anger and our depression.

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