Depression is not commonly associated with anger. Depression is typically characterized by sadness, exhaustion, hopelessness and fatigue. Though these symptoms are typical with depression, they are not the only emotional or energetic state depression can come to. Anger, irritability and even a surplus of energy can also occur with depression. Depression is a mental health disorder in which men and women can experience an unbalanced flux of emotion for which they can hardly find a name. Anger is often part of that equation. Trying to cope with so many unmanageable feelings which feel so extreme can be irritating, frustrating, and exhausting.
If you are working on a relationship with a loved one who is in treatment for depression, it is not inconceivable that at some point, anger might be directed toward you. Your loved one is working hard to discern their emotions and thoughts. They might not project their anger toward you but be angry around you. Anger is taxing. Coping with one’s own anger is a challenge. Someone else’s anger can be like walking on eggshells, which in itself is a taxing activity. Here are some tips and suggestions for handling your loved one’s anger while they are experiencing an episode of depression.
Watching someone become angry and angrily deny their anger is an ironic situation to witness. Anger isn’t easy for everyone to embody and express. We learn lessons about anger starting from a young age. Many people are taught that it isn’t okay to be angry, or that anger leads to punishment. As a result, people hold their anger in and deny it. Often, people can’t even identify that they are angry because they don’t understand anger. Simply encourage your loved one to accept the emotions they are feeling, even if they can’t identify them.
Temper tantrums, physical violence, and outward aggression is understandable and acceptable in a controlled clinical setting. You know that your loved one is going through a lot in treatment trying to learn how to manage themselves. Setting healthy boundaries will help them know when it is and isn’t appropriate to express their emotions in that way. Without invalidating what they are experiencing, let them know you understand they are feeling a lot and they need to choose a different route of expressing it.
Feeling out of control of your emotions when your depression has gone untreated is normal. We understand you want to take back your life. Harmony Place can provide you with a safe and serene environment for healing from depression and co-occurring substance abuse. For a private consultation, call 1-855-652-9048.