Is Anger Connected to Depression?
Anger is an emotion all people have experienced at one time or another, but the levels of this emotion can vary depending on the person or situation. However, excessive anger as a response to minor inconveniences or anger that is uncontrollable could be a reason for concern. If you or someone you love are experiencing excessive anger, you might be wondering what the source of it is or how to manage it. If this person also is exhibiting symptoms of depression, the question that naturally arises is if the two are connected. Let’s take a look at both depression and anger and discuss the potential connection between the two.
Common Symptoms of Depression
Depression is one of the most commonly discussed mental illnesses, but the symptoms of it can often be overlooked or dismissed. The key to a diagnosis of depression is the persistence of symptoms for more than two weeks, so it’s important to take note of how often you experience symptoms. Symptoms of depression include:
- Persistent sadness or emptiness
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Decrease in energy
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
While not everyone who has depression will experience all of these symptoms, the presence of multiple of these along with a low mood can lead to a diagnosis of depression.
The Connection Between Anger and Depression
As we mentioned above, irritability is one of the common symptoms of depression and is often exhibited by a lack of patience or the ability to adapt to changing situations. A person who is irritable might lash out at others or emotionally explode as a result of an inconvenience. A 2014 research article discussed the connection between depression and anger reinforced this notion and noted that difficulties in coping with anger impact the onset and continuation of symptoms of depression. This article notes that depression can intensify a person’s hatred and hostility towards others.
Those who are experiencing symptoms of depression can lack the energy required to regulate other emotions, including anger. This makes them more susceptible to outbursts, whether verbal or physical. Learning to manage your anger, however, can help improve depressive symptoms and vice versa.
Managing Anger and Depression
The same 2014 research article also discussed treatment options for anger management and the connection between improvement in anger and depression. The case study discussed in the article utilized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, techniques to help the individual develop anger management skills by understanding patterns in behavior and developing alternatives to the behavior. As a result, the individual noted a sense of control over his anger and thus, an improvement in depressive symptoms.
While this process may sound complex, with a trained mental health professional, it is attainable for all individuals. A mental health professional will be able to guide you through CBT techniques to help you develop the skills you need to manage both your anger and your depressive symptoms.
Help for Anger Management at Pillars Recovery
Anger as a symptom of depression can be alarming for you and the people who surround you, but it is manageable with the right treatment. If you or someone you love need help managing your symptoms of anger or depression alongside your addiction recovery, Pillars Recovery can help. Contact our team today to learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment.