Understanding the Link Between Depression and Anger

Depression and Anger

Depression and AngerDepression triggers a multitude of symptoms in the sufferer. Some people fit into the stereotype of someone with depression by being sad and tearful as they lack energy and motivation to accomplish the most basic of tasks. They have low self-esteem and generally see the world as a negative and dangerous place. These people are easier to identify and treat, since their depression fits the common understanding of the mental illness.

There is another group of people with depression that do not fit into this mold. These people do not express their depression in the form of sadness or isolate themselves in their homes. Instead, this second group is typically energetic and motivated. They are driven, but the drive does not come from hope or desire to make a positive change. The energy comes from anger.

What is Anger?

Anger tends to be a misunderstood symptom in the world of mental health. You likely know people who have problems with anger, or perhaps you struggle with anger management yourself, but there is no diagnosis for anger issues that a mental health professional can give you. This is because professionals widely believe that anger is a branch of depression. Think of anger and depression as the same feeling. When it is turned towards you it is depression, but when pointed out towards the world, it becomes anger.

To know anger, you must know the different forms anger takes. Anger is defined as an emotional, affective and antagonistic response to a situation. This means that anger is a reaction to an unwanted/undesirable event that creates changes in your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Anger is immediate and ranges from mild annoyance, to high levels of fury and rage.


Rage is the most extreme form of anger. It is more difficult to manage because it usually takes over your body as well as your mind. The last important definition associated with anger is hostility. Someone that is hostile has an attitude towards others or the world that breeds anger. Hostility is an angry version of pessimism.

Negatives of Anger

As mentioned, when people think about anger, they think of violence, aggression and disruption. Overall, anger does create many problems, including:

  • Anger limits your ability to think clearly and use good judgment.
  • Anger increases your physical tension. In the long term, tension will have unwanted effects on your physical health.
  • Anger leads to you hurting yourself or others physically or psychologically.
  • Anger leads to a lack of social awareness as it forces you to be more egocentric and selfish.

Next page: positives of anger and how to manage it.

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