Anger and Depression: a strong link.
Sigmund Freud used to refer to depression as anger turned inward. There is clinical evidence that anger plays a significant role in depression. Cassiello‐Robbins in 2016 found, when it comes to emotional disorders in general, the presence of anger has “negative consequences, including greater symptom severity and worse treatment response.” He concluded that, “based on this evidence, anger appears to be an important and understudied emotion in the development, maintenance, and treatment of emotional disorders.”
RudyAbi-Habiba and PatrickLuyten in 2013 suggested that going inward and turning our anger on ourselves contributes to the severity of depression.
It has been found that when someone suffers with depression often has also intense critical inner voice that perpetuates feelings of unworthiness and shame. If we listen to this inner critic, we not only feel more depressed, but we will also find it much more difficult to stand up to the depression.
There have been identified two types of anger: the maladaptive anger and the adaptive anger:
The maladaptive anger drags us down and deeper into a state of anxiety or depression. In other hand the adaptive anger relieving us of a heavy burden, lightening us emotionally, and contributing to our taking constructive actions. While it can feel scary to face these deeper, core emotions, we must access adaptive emotions to transform our maladaptive emotions. This can be a vital process in helping us deal with depression.
Ultimately, accepting that anger plays a role in our depression will be an empowering tool in our fight to feel better. When we express anger outwards in a healthy adaptive manner, we feel less depressed. Accessing and expressing this anger isn’t a matter of acting out, being explosive, or feeling bitter toward our surroundings. In fact, it means exactly the opposite. It’s an act of standing up for ourselves and use that energy to create what we really want and desire. The more we can take our own side and resist our tendency to turn our anger on ourselves, the more compassionate and alive we can feel in facing any challenge, including depression.