The Links Between Anxiety Anger And Depression
Anger can be the match that sparks a dip in your mood or a bout with anxiety, and according to what I’ve been reading recently this is because the part of your brain that normally keeps a lid on angry feelings is impaired when you’re depressed.
In Harvard studies, scientists have found that angry feelings in a control group of non-depressed, ‘normal’ people are usually cooled by activity in the frontal cortex. This is part of the brain responsible for thinking/reasoning. However, in some severely depressed people, a lack of both recognition and control of anger can lead to episodes of rage, sometimes violent. Another group of those with major depression, who are free of anger attacks, show a lack of activity in both brain areas both their feelings and reasoning about anger are deadened.
The results of these studies estimate that about 1/3 of those with severe depression in the United States also suffer bouts of anger. Depression follows on from episodes in which people feel irritable, and when the depression is properly treated the anger subsides. It’s a chicken or the egg thing, though. They don’t yet know which causes which, only that they seem to go hand in hand for a significant proportion of those with depression. Raises questions, plenty of them.
Control Your Anger: Anger Management Tips And Techniques
Anger is an innate human emotion that is a result of a perceived threat, extreme grievance or emotion. Anger is a healthy emotion! It helps release frustration and returns an individual to a baseline mood. Its normal to get angry.
Emotions shouldnt take over your health. Similarly, to anger, sadness shouldnt rule your life or cause difficulties for you. Everything is healthy in moderation emotions included.
Everybody feels anger However, coping methods and reaction to this emotion can vary. For some people, the reaction to anger and stress levels can result in the worst case scenario of lashing out with aggression or violence.
There should be an intervention if anger is leading to negative consequences such as:
- Poor relationships
- Damaged property
- Poorly effecting day-to-day life
A therapist may use anger management as a tool for people who have an extreme reaction to anger. Anger management techniques can help the you: stay calm, lower health issues, improve self-esteem and provide a time-out.
An appropriate response to angry feelings helps with personal mental health and wellbeing. But without an appropriate response severe anger issues can lead to further mental health problems.
Anger management can be a long process. You have to retrain your brain and improve your behavior. However, theres hope if you are struggling.
Read below for a working definition on anger management and tips on anger management.
How Are Anxiety And Anger Connected
Anger and anxiety are both defensive mechanisms with a bidirectional relationship, meaning anger can make anxiety worse, and vice versa. These high-arousal emotions trigger a chain of automatic physiological reactions that our body uses to defend and preserve us. If left untreated, they can both worsen over time, causing harmful effects to both physical and mental health.2
How Can I Better Cope With Emotional Stress
There are many techniques that can be tried to help you better manage your emotional stress. Try one or more of the following:
Take some time to relax: Take some time to care for yourself. Even if you can devote only five to 15 minutes a few times a day to relax, take a break from reality. What activity helps you relax? Some ideas include:
- Read a book.
- Take a walk. Practice yoga.
- Listen to music, sing along to a song or dance to music.
- Enjoy a soothing bath.
- Sit in silence with your eyes closed.
- Light a scented candle.
Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is learning how to focus your attention and become more aware. You can learn to feel the physical changes in your body that happen in response to your changing emotions. Understanding this mind-body connection is the first step in learning how to better manage your stress and how emotions affect your body. Mindfulness can also help you focus your mind on the immediate what can I do to bring my mind and body to a place of calmness. If you can figure out what helps you feel more calm and relaxed in that moment, you know youve figured out one of your stress triggers and what works to manage it.
Distract your mind and focus on something else: Focus your mind on something other than whats causing your stress. Do something fun. Watch a funny movie, play a game, engage in a favorite hobby . Volunteer for an activity to help others. Do something with people you enjoy.
Do You Need Counseling
If you feel that your anger is really out of control, if it is having an impact on your relationships and on important parts of your life, you might consider counseling to learn how to handle it better. A psychologist or other licensed mental health professional can work with you in developing a range of techniques for changing your thinking and your behavior.
When you talk to a prospective therapist, tell her or him that you have problems with anger that you want to work on, and ask about his or her approach to anger management. Make sure this isn’t only a course of action designed to “put you in touch with your feelings and express them”that may be precisely what your problem is. With counseling, psychologists say, a highly angry person can move closer to a middle range of anger in about 8 to 10 weeks, depending on the circumstances and the techniques used.
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Luxury Anger Management Facilities
Inpatient treatment doesnt have to mean sterile, inhuman conditions. Many luxury facilities exist and are dedicated to inpatient anger management therapy. Comfortable and serene accommodations have a positive effect on mental health and mood, so its wise to consider treatment facilities carefully.
If you want to learn more about what to look for in a treatment facility, contact us at .
Does Anger Cause Depression
An older article in the journal BJPsych Advances linked feeling angry with the development of depression.
The authors of the article suggest that this anger stems from narcissistic vulnerability, which is when a person is extremely sensitive to any perceived rejection or loss.
Experiencing rejection may cause feelings of anger, which can lead to a person fearing that their anger will damage their relationships.
They may then turn this anger toward themselves, which can lead to low self-esteem and depression.
However, there is little research available to support this theory or show that anger can cause depression.
People who experience anger and depression may have some of the following symptoms:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors : These include fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, paroxetine, and escitalopram.
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors : These include venlafaxine, duloxetine, and desvenlafaxine.
According to a 2019 systematic review , sertraline can be effective in treating both depression and anger.
The majority of the studies concluded that many of the individuals who experienced high levels of irritability and anger responded well to sertraline. After roughly 2 weeks, the sertraline appeared to have improved their mood and reduced their feelings of anger.
However, the authors note that not all of the participants responded to this treatment.
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Some Other Tips For Easing Up On Yourself
Timing: If you and your spouse tend to fight when you discuss things at nightperhaps you’re tired, or distracted, or maybe it’s just habittry changing the times when you talk about important matters so these talks don’t turn into arguments.
Avoidance: If your child’s chaotic room makes you furious every time you walk by it, shut the door. Don’t make yourself look at what infuriates you. Don’t say, “well, my child should clean up the room so I won’t have to be angry!” That’s not the point. The point is to keep yourself calm.
Finding alternatives: If your daily commute through traffic leaves you in a state of rage and frustration, give yourself a projectlearn or map out a different route, one that’s less congested or more scenic. Or find another alternative, such as a bus or commuter train.
Mindfulness Helps Improve The Physical Health Of An Individual By Helping Relieve Stress Treat Various Heart Diseases Lower Blood Pressure Improve Sleep And Reduce Chronic Diseases
Mindfulness is also beneficial since it helps improve mental health and for this reason most psychotherapist use mindfulness meditation in treatment of various mental problems like eating disorders, obsessive – compulsive disorders and anxiety disorders.
It is also important in schools as it helps learners have positive outcomes in reducing anxiety, distress and also in improving their behaviours. Students who use mindfulness meditations frequently report higher well-being and lower stress scores. Mindfulness is greatly being used in schools to help students to overcome bullying as well as enable them to learn and concentrate better. Mindfulness is used in criminal justice systems where it has seen to it that there are improvements in hostility, self-esteem and mood disturbances after inmates are exposed to mindfulness meditations.
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Dealing With Anger And Depression
Lifestyle changes can also help in lessening or eliminating symptoms of anger and depression. Consider reflecting on your daily routine. Do you take adequate time to care for your physical and emotional well-being? Are you getting enough sleep and exercising regularly? If not, focusing on optimizing your routine may be the first step.
And Thats A Major Key In Dissolving The Anger From Your Life And Stopping It From Driving You Into Depression
Understanding that anger is simply an emotional energy that passes through you, from time to time.
Theres nothing wrong with you. You are notmental. You are not an angry person, yes, you may have anger to process right now but thats not who you are as a person. Its not your identity!
Once you accept that anger is atemporary emotion that we all experience, youll begin to lose the fear, judgement or animosity that usually surrounds anger.
As a result, instead of wanting to avoid or suppress anger, you can begin to fearlessly approach anger, rapidly transform it and finally put a stop to it driving you into depression.
Now, there are many proven processes to tackle anger and frustration from the roots but today, Im going to share one of my personal favourites when it comes to dealing with anger in depression.
Here it is.
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How To Manage Anger And Stress
Anger management and stress management work in similar ways. One reason for this is because anger and stress both have a psychological component so they can be managed psychologically. Both emotions can affect us in very negative ways, mainly if left unmanaged, and that it is why it is essential to understand their relationship.
A Stop Sign Or Imagine Your Anger As A Passing Wave
Picturing a stop sign is another healthy avenue to release yourself of your negative emotions.
This has been a tried-and-true psychologist tip for decades. Close your eyes and picture the stop sign as a symbolic notion.
Similarly, imagine your feeling as a wave. Youre standing in the ocean and you get hit by it. Feel it wash up over your body. Sometimes we get hit by big waves that last for a long time and sometimes it is short and intense ones that dissipate as quickly as they raise. The key here is to brace yourself and remind yourself that you can handle this wave. Acknowledge what size it is and remind yourself that it will end. Sometimes I tell myself, my word, this ones gonna hurt and I stand strong and confident and ready for it.
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Benefits Of Regular Exercise In Mood Management
People who are stressed are more likely to experience anger. Numerous worldwide studies have documented that regular exercise can improve mood and reduce stress levels. This may be because physical exertion burns up stress chemicals, and it also boosts production of mood-regulating neurotransmitters in the brain, including endorphins and catecholamines.
Dont Be Afraid To Ask For Help
If you are struggling, you can always seek help. Friends, family or professionals the average person has more support than they think they do.
As we said elsewhere, sitting on your emotions can lead to all manner of psychological and physical ailments, some of which take years to cure and others once manifested, will simply never get better.
Your emotional wellbeing is extremely important, not just to you, but also to the people around you whatever else you do, never forget that.
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Can Anxiety Cause Anger
Evidence shows that levels of anger are elevated across people with all types of anxiety disorders.1,2 A person who suffers from chronic anxiety has excessive preoccupations with stressors that can affect their sleep, causing them to become physically and emotionally depleted and more irritable than usual. Anger may become more severe when there is long-standing anxiety.
Also, anxiety may be a core emotional state underlying someones expression of anger. Unaddressed anxiety can increase feelings of frustration with oneself, which can then be expressed in a hostile, aggressive manner. Likewise, ignoring or suppressing anger can increase anxiety.
What Do Depression And Anger Outbursts Look Like
The anger outbursts linked to depression can seem very odd and unexpected. Often, they come without warning and can involve a mix of feelings and emotions.
Angry depression outbursts could look like:
- Short but intense anger
- Jumping to conclusions that do not make sense
- Displays of anger mixed with or followed by sadness, shame, or guilt
- Blaming another person or a group of people for the feelings or situation
- Lack of insight regarding the source of anger
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How Do We Finally Put A Stop To The Frustration And Anger That Arises Within Us When Were In A State Of Depression
Because, heres the deal
If we dont get rid of this anger once and for all If we dont stop lashing out at others
This is whats going to continue to happen:
Were struggling in depression, anger arises, we lash out at loved ones, then we feel ashamed, guilty and bad about lashing out, which drives us deeper into depression.
Then, our anger rises once again, we lash out, then we feel awful and this never-ending cycle of depression and anger / anger and depression continues.
So, we must put a stop to it, once and for all!
Just Observe The Energy With Total Awareness
Dont be tempted to instantly reject this simple, yet deeply-transformative technique without trying it for yourself.
Because, if you look, youll see that what were doing in this highly-transformative technique, is were taking all that energy thats typically wasted on judging, condemning or suppressing anger and were turning it all inwards and focusing it solely on the energy of anger itself.
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Take A Walk In Nature
You dont have to drive to a mountain resort to feel the stress-relieving benefits of nature. To start coping with stress, find any green space, like:
- a park
- a bench under a tree
- a friends backyard
A study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that spending just 20 minutes outdoors is associated with the biggest drop in cortisol levels when compared with other stress-reducing initiatives.
Presuming you have to walk to your nature destination, getting outside also has the stress-reducing bonus of some light exercise to help stabilize your sympathetic nervous system.
What The Expert Says
A depressed person is compromised in dealing with problematic situations, says Stacey Stickley, a licensed professional counselor practicing in Ashburn, Virginia. When a person is dealing with depression, things may seem more negative than they really are. Events that would have been taken in stride may seem more problematic or impossible to handle. The idea of taking action on things may require more of a persons resources, resources that are already compromised due to the depression.
Talk to your doctor about pharmacological options, or go talk to a counselor about evaluating and managing your symptoms, she says. Dont wait. Being proactive is important so you can maybe stop the downward slide sooner. Its easier to climb out of a shallow hole than one you have been slowly digging and tunneling into for several months.
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How Is Mindfulness Beneficial
Mindfulness makes people subjective in all their dealings and also influences people based on their state of emotions. Mindfulness affects how the brain works and its structure. People who have mindfulness in place do not have insecurities and fears regarding the past and future since this can make them not to enjoy the present. Mindfulness is a process that helps individuals to have control over their destructive feelings and they frequently capture positive memories.
On the other hand, mindfulness helps change the body of an individual by bringing about relaxation. The relaxation brought about in the body due to mindfulness is due to the engagement of parasympathetic the nervous system which restores the body by calming it down by lowering of heart and respiratory rate.
What Are The Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Emotional Stress
Symptoms of emotional stress can be both physical, mental and behavioral.
Physical symptoms include:
- Heaviness in your chest, increased heart rate or chest pain.
- Shoulder, neck or back pain general body aches and pains.
- Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw.
- Shortness of breath.
- Losing or gaining weight changes in your eating habits.
- Sleeping more or less than usual.
- Gastrointestinal problems including upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation.
- Sexual difficulties.
Mental or behavioral symptoms include:
- Being more emotional than usual.
- Feeling overwhelmed or on edge.
- Trouble keeping track of things or remembering.
- Trouble making decisions, solving problems, concentrating, getting your work done.
- Using alcohol or drugs to relieve your emotional stress.
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