If you are depressed or are diagnosed clinically depressed, then you might experience the combination of anger and depression here and there or quite frequently.
Again, depression affects everyone differently depending on person to person from factor to factor. Nonetheless, anger is a common symptom of depression for many people.
Here, I will discuss why we develop anger when we have depression, anger and depression symptoms, and ultimately how to deal with anger and depression.
Why we become angry and depressed?
If you have depression, then chances are you are experiencing many other symptoms such as loneliness, isolation, fluctuated sleep schedules, fluctuated appetite, anxiety etc.
There are multiple symptoms of depression as well as many ways we can develop depression (multiple causes).
Ultimately, the symptoms of depression like to build on top of each other. The cycle of depression symptoms likes to continue over and over again. You may feel lonely and fearful at points. Then another day, the anger will hit.
The anger can be about multiple causes. You can become angry at your friends, family, a certain situation, or even a simple statement or comment. These wavelengths will likely continue, much like depression and anxiety that comes in wavelengths or occur simultaneously.
If you find yourself as a grouchy, annoyed, or irritable person generally, then this situation of depression and anger may occur more frequently than others.
When people have depression, they seem to already be in a fragile state and their mind is not working fully attentive. They have common thoughts like, “who cares?” “what’s the point?” “nothing is going well for me.”
These thoughts in turn may make someone who is experiencing depression to lash out in anger, unable to think of the consequences before hand, in which they will later regret. They may perform risky actions or say risky comments because in their eyes, very little matters.
Why not just do this or say this if I am already the lowest I can be? Who cares? These are the thoughts that may be going through your head which in turn, will make you more prone to lash out in anger with very little worry.
Psychology Today elaborately discusses the role of anger in depression. Below is a video that also discusses Anger in Depression.
Overall, anger is a common symptom of depression and there are definitely measures we can all take to reduce the anger and ultimately treat both.
Anger and Depression Symptoms:
With the already symptom of anger when it comes to depression, sub-symptoms can result which are unhealthy and need proper addressing.
A person who experiences depression and anger may:
- Find themselves very short-tempered where a simple statement or comment may irritate them.
- May lash out at friends or family for a simple reason or for no apparent reason.
- Become highly aroused and expel all their negative energy on someone else in the form of words or actions.
- May find themselves in a binge eating stage.
- May look for common flaws in what a person is saying and point these out.
- Have difficulty adjusting to someone.
- Have difficulty maintaining friendships or creating new ones.
- May perform self-damage.
- May prefer being isolated or alone most of the time.
- Dislike social situations.
- Lash out physically on random objects to help expel the negative energy.
- May have difficulty expressing gratitude or care.
- May perform reckless actions such as rampage driving, fighting, stealing.
There are more symptoms/actions that can occur when a person is experiencing anger and depression, but I do believe these are the major ones. With this being said, there are definitely things we can do to help our battles with this.
10 Tips on How to Deal with Anger and Depression
How do we overcome anger and depression? It may seem like a never ending cycle for some people and that the symptom of anger will just never go away. Before we can beat the depression, we need to beat the anger. Here are some tricks/tips that work when reducing the level of anger and diminishing it ultimately. Beating it altogether is our main goal here.
- Forgiveness. Has someone ever lashed out at you? Has someone ever said something that hurt you emotionally? Has someone ever done something to you that hurt you emotionally? Allow room for this to heal. If they will not apologize, maybe they do not know they hurt you. Confront them about it. Let them know that what they did/said hurt you. Only after they understand and most likely apologize, you can forgive them. Forgiveness is very important. Without it, this rage or grudge will not leave you. Once you forgive, you can move on which ultimately helps beat the anger out of depression.
- Try your best not to lash out at people. If you do not like what someone has said to you directly or indirectly, then ignore it. Ignore them. Walk away. If walking away is uncomfortable for you, then make an excuse. Say you have to do something or go somewhere to get you out of this situation, otherwise you are a ticking time-bomb. Even if in reality, the thing or action the person did/said is not hurtful but to those experiencing depression and anger, it very well could be – in this situation, still walk away. An example of this could be if your parents ask you to do a chore politely and you literally cannot do it because you are in a bad state right now mentally so you lash out unreasonably, not thinking about the damage. Before you do this, politely tell them you are not feeling well right now. Say anything that will get you off the hook, but do not lash out.
- When lashing out because it definitely happens to those experiencing anger and depression, you must apologize. Of course, apologize in situations where you lashed out unreasonably and it was uncalled for. You will feel better apologizing and it will destroy the possible feeling of regret you may carry. Of course, after lashing out, the regret will come and we will start to feel bad about ourselves. Without apologizing, you may feel the regret for a while. So apologize and you will feel better.
- Take deep breaths. If you sense a feeling of anger coming on while you are experiencing depression, then take deep, large breaths. Inhale for five seconds and exhale for five seconds. Do this over and over again and you will start to notice your system calming down. If you are in a state surrounded by people, then calmly walk away to a place where you can be alone and continue with your deep breathing.
- Counting in your head or aloud is also a good idea. Count to ten. Once you’re done, count to ten again and continue this cycle until your mind is free from any hostility or anger. Counting serves as a good distraction and calming technique for those that may feel a sensation of anger about to emerge.
- There are other simple activities that help battle the anger out of depression. Some of these include going for a walk or run, drawing, listening to music, exercising, cooking, or any other fun, enjoyable activity that makes you feel comfortable. Once your anger is relieved, you can start to take the appropriate measures to battle the depression fully.
- Categorize your emotions. You must realize what you are experiencing. Confront your anger. Admit you are feeling angry. Hiding it will only make it worse. Just like to fully diminish your depression, you must admit and confront it first. Well, the same goes with the symptom of anger. Realize you are angry and beat it. Tell you anger it will not control you and you will get rid of it.
- Talk and write about your emotions. Create a daily log or journal. Writing or talking about your anger and depression will help you understand what you are experiencing and what helps to get rid of it. If you walked today or cooked a nice meal, write about it. Write how it helped with your anger and what it could do in the future if you continued this activity.
- Do something nice. I really enjoy this one. I find doing something nice for someone makes me feel ecstatic. Lighting up someone, making them smile, or making their day just makes me feel great about myself. It really makes me feel as if I am helping those in need without them even asking. This feeling of pride and satisfaction diminishes the feeling of anger. Try it. Even if it is something simple such as making your family dinner, or buying your friend a chocolate bar, just do it. Their gratitude will make you feel better.
- Take natural supplements such as 5-HTP that can help to elevate your mood by increasing the levels of serotonin in your brain. With an elevated mood, you may find it much easier to control the role anger may play in your depression.
There are definitely more things we can implement or do in our lives to help beat the anger out of depression, with the main goal of beating them altogether. But I do believe these are the strongest ways/remedies that work when battling this symptom.
Please, I would love to hear from you if you do something else that helps you when you are angry and depressed or just angry in general. What do you do that helps? Comment below!