What If Their Behaviour Is Abusive Or Violent
Just because someone seems very angry, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will become violent or abusive. But if this does happen, the most important thing is to make sure that you are safe.
I need my family to speak to me honestly but remain understanding. We have code words that we all can use when I’m either being unreasonable or when I feel like I might lash out.
Give Your Anger A Healthy Outlet
When youre body gets amped up, it needs a place to let the tension out. Snapping at someone or picking a fight is not going to help.
If you feel yourself getting worked up, try giving your tension a positive outlet like going for a walk or jog, doing some stairs, lifting weights, shooting a basketball, or kicking a soccer ball around. Learn what works best for you.
Tips On Managing Stress
Stress Management Techniques Are Useful In Coping With Depression. Stress Relief Can Also Help Prevent Depressive Symptoms From Developing. Some Helpful Stress Management Techniques Include:
- 1. Getting Enough Sleep
- 2. Eating A Healthy Diet
- 3. Finding A Relaxing Hobby, Such As Gardening Or Woodworking
- 4. Doing Breathing Exercises To Lower Your Heart Rate
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How Can I Help A Loved One Who Is Depressed
If someone you know has depression, help them see a health care provider or mental health professional. You also can:
- Offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
- Invite them out for walks, outings, and other activities.
- Help them stick to their treatment plan, such as setting reminders to take prescribed medications.
- Make sure they have transportation to therapy appointments.
- Remind them that, with time and treatment, the depression will lift.
Take comments about suicide seriously, and report them to your loved ones health care provider or therapist. If they are in immediate distress or thinking about hurting themselves, call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
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Depression Makes Us Different
When depression is at its peak, we may not be participating in the things we normally love to do. Lack of sleep, irritability, and general feelings of disinterest can rob us of the joy that activities usually bring us.
Things that used to be exciting and fun such as going on dates with your partner, hanging out with your friends, or going out to dinner may have a grey, rainy cloud over them. It can be challenging to do even the most simple of tasks, such as grocery shopping, when depression has us in its grasp.
This works to aggravate our anger in a couple of ways. First, it can start to get very aggravating to continue to have to decline when you are invited out, and you may begin to grow a sense of disappointment or even hatred toward yourself because of it. This can cause you to be feel chaotic inside, which will more than likely lead to an outburst as these feelings cannot be held inside forever.
Secondly, if you let this go on too long, you may look back and see how much you missed while you were buried in your depression. This can make your current problem even worse, especially if significant milestones such as a child’s graduation or birthday, or a family member’s wedding are missed. This can lead to extreme animosity toward your condition and yourself.
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How We React To Anger
How you react to feeling angry depends on lots of things, including:
- the situation you are in at the moment if you’re dealing with lots of problems or stress in your life, you may find it harder to control your anger
- your family history you may have learned unhelpful ways of dealing with anger from the adults around you when you were a child
- events in your past if you have experienced events that made you angry but felt you couldn’t express your anger, you may still be coping with those angry feelings
Some people express anger verbally, by shouting. Sometimes this can be aggressive, involving swearing, threats or name-calling.
Some people react violently and lash out physically, hitting other people, pushing them or breaking things. This can be particularly damaging and frightening for other people.
Some of us show anger is passive ways, for example, by ignoring people or sulking.
Other people may hide their anger or turn it against themselves. They can be very angry on the inside but feel unable to let it out.
People who tend to turn anger inwards may harm themselves as a way of coping with the intense feelings they have. Young people are most likely to self harm.
How Common Are Anger Problems
In a survey by the Mental Health Foundation, 32% of people said they had a close friend or family member who had trouble controlling their anger and 28% of people said they worry about how angry they sometimes feel.
Even though anger problems can have such a harmful effect on our family, work and social lives, most people who have them don’t ask for help. In the same survey by the Mental Health Foundation, 58% of people said they didn’t know where to seek help.
Sometimes people don’t recognise that their anger is a problem for themselves and for other people. They may see other people or things as the problem instead.
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Why May Depression Present As Anger
The use of ineffective or inappropriate emotional regulation strategies as well an impaired ability to process negative information may play a role in developing depression. Authors of a review published in Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology noted that these behaviors can result in:
Rumination: repetitive, unwanted, past-oriented negatively inclined thoughts. Individuals who ruminate may mentally rehearse past stressful events and worry about future events.
Impaired cognitive reappraisal: inability to reframe ones thoughts about emotion-eliciting occurrences to change their effects.
Increased expressive suppression: attempts to hide, inhibit or reduce ongoing emotion-expressive behavior.
But how does that relate to anger? A separate study in the Asian Journal of Psychiatry sought to explain the mediating role of emotional regulation and anger rumination on the relation between anger and major depressive disorder. Researchers ultimately found that people with depression were more likely to experience anger and irritability if they lacked the ability to emotionally regulate and ruminated on negative events.
Similarly, a study in the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research indicates that African American patients with depression may culturally express the mood disorder as irritability, increased agitation, increased hostility and internalized anger. They may also be less likely to verbalize feelings of depression.
You Feel Angry Because Youre Afraid
Im always quoting author Celeste Ng who said, Anger is the bodyguard of fear. When youre feeling anger or resentment, ask yourself these two questions:
- What else am I feeling right now? Whats below this anger?
- What am I really afraid of?
Were afraid of all kinds of things but they generally boil down to our fear of abandonment and rejection, which are age-old hard-wired fears that we need to identify so we can stop reacting to them. Were ultimately afraid that our partners are going to leave us and that well be alone.
When youre angry at something, youre really saying you fear it or your reaction to it. If you hate your ex, youre saying you fear them or your reaction to them.
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Coping With Extreme Anger As A Symptom Of Depression
I have recently been forced to cope with extreme anger as a symptom of depression. Not crabbiness or grumpiness or irritation–anger. Bitter rage intoxicates my brain and makes it impossible to care about anything . I am indifferent, and Ive never been indifferent. I cannot find enjoyment in anything, and I have always tried to find little joys. Laughter feels foreign and serenity seems like a figment of my imagination. The most infuriating part is that I have no idea why I am so angry, and the anger has created a setback in my process of coping with depression.
Dont Forget To Take Care Of Yourself
To be an effective support person, you need to prioritize your well-being. You are not their therapist nor can you be emotionally available 24/7, especially if you feel burnt out or unsafe.
Take time to tend to your own needs. Practice self-care by enforcing boundaries and voicing your opinions. Reinvest time into friends, family, and interests outside of them.
Physical and/or verbal abuse is never okay, even if the person is unwell. If their behavior has greatly affected your mental health or resulted in domestic violence, its time to step away. Consider reaching out to the helplines listed here for additional support.
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Moving From Maladaptive Anger To Adaptive Emotions
Emotionally focused therapy transforms your maladaptive emotions by addressing their root cause. One way is by verbalizing your critical inner voice. For example, in the case of gaining weight, the critical inner voice might sound something like this:
“Look at how much weight you’ve gained. You have no self-control, and you’ll never be able to lose it now. You might as well accept that it’s hopeless and you’ll be overweight forever. Nothing you try ever works. You just don’t have any willpower.”
The idea is to give the critical inner voice some words, as though someone else is speaking them. This involves expressing feelings behind thoughts and using “you” statements, allowing you to separate yourself from those thoughts.
Once you step outside your thoughts and view them as an external critical voice, the next step is to develop insights into where that critical voice might have developed. This is the process of transforming the maladaptive emotion.
The next step involves responding to the critical inner voice and answering back against the criticisms. In this way, you are essentially “taking your own side.”
For example, in the case of the critical inner voice that talks about your weight gain, you might respond to that voice in the following ways.
“I know that I’ve gained weight, but it’s not the end of the world. I have self-control, but I’ve been through a really hard time. It’s not impossible for me to lose weight, I just need to adopt some healthy habits.
Suppressing The Immune System
The immune system is a very important part of our body. It helps us fight against diseases and infections. When we are stressed, our immune system may be suppressed. This can make us more susceptible to illnesses and infections.
Stress can also cause inflammation, which is a natural response of the immune system. However, when we are constantly stressed, our bodies may be in a state of chronic inflammation. This state can weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to illness.
Moreover, when we are stressed, our bodies may produce more white blood cells. While this may sound like a good thing, it can actually weaken our immune system. This is because white blood cells can attack healthy cells, which can lead to inflammation.
Having constant attacks and inflammation can lead to a number of health problems, such as autoimmune diseases, allergies, and even cancer.
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What Are The Potential Threats
Now that we know all the reasons that explain how stress can cause sickness, it is important to be proactive about managing our stress. Chronic or long-term stress can lead to some serious health problems, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Acute stress disorder
It is important to note that this is a chicken-and-egg situation. In other words, it is not always clear whether a health problem is caused by stress or if the stress is caused by the health problem.
For example, someone who is obese may be more likely to suffer from stress because of the discrimination they face. Or, someone with a heart condition may be more likely to suffer from stress because they are worried about their health.
In any case, it is important to be proactive about managing our stress in order to avoid these potential threats. There are many different ways to do this, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Worsening Chronic Health Conditions
Lastly, the mind and body are interconnected. So, when we are stressed, it can worsen existing chronic health conditions. For instance, if you have diabetes, stress can cause your blood sugar levels to become erratic.
Or, if you have hypertension, stress can cause your blood pressure to spike. In extreme cases, this could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Something that may come as a surprise is that stress not only influences physiological conditions. There is also a connection with mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.
When we are stressed, it can worsen existing psychological conditions or even trigger the onset of new ones.
So, these are some of the ways in which stress can cause sickness. It is important to be aware of these dangers and try to manage our stress levels. Turning a blind eye to stress can have serious consequences for our health.
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Make The Food And Mood Connection
âDiet and nutrition are very important,â says Nelson, and cites omega-3 fatty acids as an example. Some studies have shown that a higher daily intake of omega-3s, which you can get in fish like salmon or through fish oil supplements, can improve mood. There are many connections between elements of diet and good nutrition and depression, adds Nelson. Eating a healthy diet can make you feel healthy, fit, and attractive, which improves self-esteem, while feeling unhealthy can worsen depression and play into negative self-perception, he says.
Can Stress Cause Mental Illness
When stress becomes overwhelming and prolonged, the risks for mental health problems and medical problems increase. Long-term stress increases the risk of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, substance use problems, sleep problems, pain and bodily complaints such as muscle tension.
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How To Change Negative Thought Patterns
No matter what the cause of your persistent negative thinking, you can learn to challenge your negative thought patterns by refuting the cognitive distortions as they arise. This involves identifying negative thoughts as they enter your brain and offering another perspective to shut them down. Frances McIntosh from Intentional Coaching LLC advocates literally talking to your negative thoughts to counteract them:
Let your internal voice say, Im recognizing a negative thought its a story Im telling myself, and its not true.
If you are able to find a quiet spot, it can be useful to meditate on these words with your eyes closed for a few minutes to let them sink in. Although repeating these words may feel silly, know that you are working hard to challenge the automatic thoughts youve spent a long time going over.
What About Assertiveness Training
Its true that angry people need to learn to become assertive , but most books and courses on developing assertiveness are aimed at people who dont feel enough anger. These people are more passive and acquiescent than the average person they tend to let others walk all over them. That isnt something that most angry people do. Still, these books can contain some useful tactics to use in frustrating situations.
Remember, you cant eliminate angerand it wouldnt be a good idea if you could. In spite of all your efforts, things will happen that will cause you anger and sometimes it will be justifiable anger. Life will be filled with frustration, pain, loss, and the unpredictable actions of others. You cant change that but you can change the way you let such events affect you. Controlling your angry responses can keep them from making you even more unhappy in the long run.
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What Else Can I Do To Deal With My Anger In A Healthy Way
If you believe that your anger is out of control and is having a negative effect on your life and relationships, seek the help of a mental health professional. A psychologist or other licensed mental health professional can work with you to better understand the causes behind anger and develop techniques for changing your thinking and your behavior. A professional can help you to deal with your anger in an appropriate way. Choose your therapist carefully and make sure to seek treatment from a professional who is trained to teach anger management and assertiveness skills.
What Are The Dangers Of Suppressed Anger
Suppressed, unexpressed anger can be an underlying cause of anxiety and depression. Anger that is not appropriately expressed can disrupt relationships, affect thinking and behavior patterns, and create a variety of physical problems. Chronic anger has been linked to health issues such as high blood pressure, heart problems, headaches, skin disorders, and digestive problems. In addition, poorly managed anger can be linked to problems such as alcohol and substance abuse, crime, emotional and physical abuse, and other violent behavior.
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How To Cope With Anger As A Depression Symptom
I know that its important and helpful to identify triggers of any negative feelings because they are cause for change. My problem, though, is that I dont know whats triggering my anger, and it feels uncontrollable. I need to work harder to understand why Im angry so that I can better manage my anger. Anger management takes many forms and there are plenty of suggestions regarding how to keep your temper under control. Methods include just about everything from exercising to throwing eggs into your bathtub. I know that I will not always be angry. The hopelessness and despair I feel regarding my anger is reasonable, but I will be able to sort it out and move forward with coping with my depression. And though it feels silly to be angry about being angry, I imagine that if I get angry enough, change will burst into being right in front of me. Its a comforting image at the very least.