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If you have depression, you can add anger to your list of symptoms. Anger is a normal emotion to feel when you’re under stress or anxious. But the anger in depression is a more vague, self focused emotion. Your anger doesn’t always seem to have a reason. It just exists. How you deal with anger in depression is as important as how you deal with the sadness in depression.

Anger is a cover-up

Anger can be a cover-up for other emotions when you’re depressed. While sadness and anxiety are in your face emotions, there are other emotions lurking beneath the surface. Guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear, a sense of vulnerability and hurt. Your temper might be covering up these other emotions that are battling to be heard.

Instead of dealing with the issues that cause these emotions, your psyche may be protecting you from emotional overload by muting them and replacing them with anger. If you’ve faced trauma, anger is covering up an ocean of pain and issues that need individual attention and healing.

Be aware of your anger warnings and triggers

Your body tries to warn you before you explode in anger or rage. But depression keeps you unfocused, too tired, and overwhelmed so you won’t pay attention to any other emotion. If you’re a man, anger can help you seem masculine because the emotional explosion makes sure you won’t have to explain how you feel.

Pay attention to your body

Listen to your body:

  • knots in your stomach
  • clenching your hands or jaws
  • feeling clammy or flushed
  • breathing faster
  • headaches
  • pacing or needing to walk around
  • seeing ‘red’
  • trouble concentrating
  • tense shoulders

Depression doesn’t excuse anger, but understanding how depression affects you can help you take control of your environment and avoid unnecessary aggravation. Look at your regular routine and try to identify activities, times of day, people, places, or situations that trigger irritable or angry feelings. Maybe there’s a certain time of the day that seems to bother you. Maybe you get into a fight every time you go out for drinks with a certain group of friends. Or maybe the traffic on your daily commute drives you crazy. Then think about ways to avoid these triggers or view the situation differently so it doesn’t make your blood boil.

* Click here to find out more about Terezia Farkas and Depression Help

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