Is Anger a Symptom of Depression?
Many people believe that depression can result from anger turned inwards. Anger and depression are simply states of mind just like sadness, frustration, confusion etc. Yet many people mistakenly ask the question “is anger a symptom of depression”?
Anger does not cause (nor is it a symptom of depression). In my clinical experience, persistent anger does often co-exist with MANY other negative emotions – frustration, despair etc. However, in assisting clients to release these deeply ingrained patterns of negative emotions, it is often necessary to work with and release anger first as it is a strong, dominant, primary emotion. Often, unless anger is released first, it is impossible to face or address the underlying issue(s).
However, I do not believe anger causes or is a symptom of depression per se.
Depression often presents when a person is constantly worried about problems they perceive they have no control over. It results from a tendency to focus exclusively on the negative – thought, spoken word, physiology etc. Like anger, depression is not something that happens to us – it can be created and exacerbated by our thoughts, words and physiology over time. Over long periods of time, it is possible to develop a habit of being angry all the time and/or a habit of being depressed.
Statistics prove that the majority of us focus more of our attention on what we don’t want (or are afraid of) and we tend to do it with passion! Science has already proven that anything we do with strong emotion and passion creates a deeper engram (impression) on our minds.
Changing deeply ingrained habits or repetitive states of mind (whether they be positive or negative) requires repetitive autosuggestion over a period of at least 21 days. This fact was discovered in the 60’s by a plastic surgeon named Maxwell Maltz.
What this means is that we are always in control of our experience of the world – our emotions, our meanings and the habits we develop over time. No one causes us to feel angry or depressed. It is something that we choose to do ourselves, in response to our life experiences. The good news is that we can take responsibility and “unchoose” the unproductive states of mind or habits….thereby changing forever our results and our destiny.