Are Anger, Anxiety, and Depression Related?
Depression and anxiety disorders are the two most common types of mental health illnesses in the country. Each year, 40 million adults in the United States live with anxiety disorders and 16.2 million adults in the country experience depression. Many children and teens also suffer from these disorders each year.
Despite the relative prevalence of each of depression and anxiety, many myths persist about how people with these disorders can act. For example, people often believe that people with depression only feed sad or hopeless and those with anxiety only experience panic as a result of their disorders. However, both of these disorders can result in uncontrolled anger.
Anger is considered a secondary emotion, which means that it is a reaction to other emotions. For example, when someone feels afraid and panicked consistently over a long period of time, that person may start feeling frustrated with that feeling.
In that frustration, the person may lash out in response to seemingly insignificant events. To others, it looks like the patient has anger issues alone. However, anxiety is the real culprit.
Does Depression Cause Anger?
Anger is sometimes a perfectly healthy response. For example, if you exclaim, “Oh, come on!” when someone cuts you off in traffic, your frustration is probably not anything to worry about. However, if the same event sends you on a spiral of anger that ruins your day or if it makes you want to put others in danger, there may be a deeper problem at work.
Depression and anxiety can both cause people to experience unhealthy anger. People with these disorders are often very critical of themselves. These automatic, mean-spirited thoughts add up over time. After a while, the person feels frustrated with thoughts they believe they cannot control. This rage stays right beneath the surface and can bubble over with slight triggers.
Not all depression causes anger. Some people have more “classic” depression symptoms such as a loss of interest in activities, exhaustion, and trouble sleeping. Likewise, people with anxiety may not have anger but may have panic attacks instead. Only a trained professional can make these diagnoses.
How to Overcome Anger and Depression
If you live with depression and anger, help is available. The professionals at FLBH offer the several helpful treatments including psychotherapy, group therapy, medication management, and more.
In these individual therapy sessions, patients work with licensed counselors to find healthier coping mechanisms for anger and depression. Therapists may use techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that patients can use outside the office.
People who struggle with uncontrolled anger come together to discuss their struggles with one another in group therapy. A trained therapist leads the interactions and may offer advice for what patients can do in future interactions.
Managed Medication Treatments
Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help treat the underlying causes of uncontrolled anger in some patients. When chemical imbalances cause anxiety and depression, medication is often necessary for the best possible treatment. FLBH also offers medication management to keep patients on track.
While these treatments can help long-term, you may need a few techniques to help until you can get in to see a professional. You can try some of these proven methods of reducing depression, anxiety, and anger:
- Identify the source of the anger. Is it from depression or anxiety, or is it justified?
- Find a safe way to let steam off. Try a boxing class, scream into a pillow, or vent to someone you trust.
- If anger persists, try mindfulness techniques like meditation or tapping.
You don’t have to fight depression, anxiety, and anger alone. Contact FLBH today to get in touch with compassionate professionals who can help.