As we often hear from members of The Depression Project's community, it's common for depression to contribute to feelings of anger. And, if you can relate, then in order to help you feel a little bit better understood and a little less alone, in this blog post, we'd like to share with you a free excerpt from our "Depression Anger" Journal that includes quotes from our community members about what "depression anger" is like.
Are you ready?
“You get angry over nothing”
Perhaps the most common account that our members gave of “depression anger” was becoming irritable, upset, and/or enraged over little things that under usual circumstances, would hardly bother them at all – such as, according to one of our community members in particular, “dropping a pen”.
“I’m always so self-critical”
“Depression anger” can also manifest as being highly self-critical – in the sense that you’re frequently abusing-, blaming-, and/or shaming yourself over, for example:
- Something you did;
- Something you didn’t do;
- The “consequences of depression” - such as, for example, struggling to function up to your usual potential; being unable to be the person you want to be in your relationships; and/or decreased performance at school or at work.
“It makes you act impulsively and say and do things that you’ll later regret”
This often happens when you’ve lost control of your “depression anger”, and can take the form of, for example:
- Saying something hurtful and offensive (including to someone you love);
- Becoming aggressive and/or violent.
“I find myself hating everything and everyone”
You may also feel overcome with anger at the world, including at everything and everyone in it.
“You can get really defensive and overly sensitive to criticism”
If you’re already feeling angry at yourself, others and/or the world, then criticism – even if it’s constructive and well-intentioned – is often the last thing you want to hear.
“‘Depression anger’ can lead to you engaging in self-sabotaging behaviours as a coping mechanism”
Some people in The Depression Project’s community who struggle with “depression anger” also reported engaging in self-sabotaging behaviours in response to it. For example:
- Binge eating – in order to, most commonly, give your mood a temporary boost;
- Substance abuse – in order to, most commonly, try to “drown out” or “numb” “depression anger” and everything else that you want an escape from;
- Self-harming – because, for example, you’re so furious with yourself that you hurt yourself as punishment; you’re so frustrated and mad at not being able to control your emotions that you self-harm because it feels like one of the few things you do have control over; and/or because you’re so bottled up with fury and other emotions that you self-harm as a way to release all those emotions.
End of free excerpt
If you can relate to some or all of the above journal excerpt, then like we've said, please rest assured that you are NOT alone, and that feelings of anger when you have depression are extremely understandable given everything you're going through.
All our love,
The Depression Project Team.
P.S. In addition to helping you feel as if you're not alone, we created The "Depression Anger" Journal in order to:
- Help you understand why anger is such a common symptom of depression;
- Help you understand the ways that “depression anger” may be fuelling and compounding your depression;
- Help you manage and defuse your “depression anger” in the “heat of the moment” – so that you don’t act in ways that you’ll later regret, and so that you can prevent it from fuelling and compounding your depression;
- Help you take steps to feel less “depression angry” in the first place, and instead feel more calm, relaxed and at peace on the whole.