What Is the Relationship Between Anger and Depression?

Addiction Recovery Publishing Luxury rehab September 12, 2023

What Is the Relationship Between Anger and Depression?

When people initially think about depression, thoughts that often come to mind are feelings of sadness, low moods, and unhappiness. However, depression is far more complex and can present a wide variety of different symptoms and be associated with other mental health and substance use disorders (SUDs). What often goes unrecognized and not commonly talked about is the link between anger and depression. This article will go into the relationship between anger and depression, how to identify the signs of depression, and how to find help.

Working with licensed professionals can help you get to the core root cause of your problems. At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we help individuals find true healing by providing a personalized approach to treatment for mental health and SUDs.

What Is the Role of Serotonin in Anger and Depression?

Serotonin is often referred to as the “feel-good” chemical. It is a neurotransmitter, also acts as a hormone, and plays an important role in functions such as mood, learning, memory, happiness, sleep, digestion, and much more. Low levels of serotonin are believed to be associated with mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

When serotonin is at a balanced level, you likely feel more calm, focused, happy, and emotionally stable. If serotonin levels are too low, it can lead to physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. It can be hard to concentrate. A person may also experience sleep problems or be more easily irritated or angered than normal.

Addressing the underlying cause of your challenges, whether it be anger, depression, or both, can help you find healing at the core root level. If a person is experiencing symptoms of anger and depression, it is helpful to try to understand any imbalances in the brain, body, or spirit and address them.

A person with low serotonin levels may find help in healthy and mindful eating, exercise, bodywork, supplements, and exposure to nature and sunlight. At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we believe in healing at the core root level. That is why we have experts who truly care about what they do, from MDs, naturopathic doctors, therapists, dietitians, nurses, and much more. Our staff is here to work together with you on your path toward true healing.

What Is Depression?

Depression, also referred to as major depressive disorder, major depression, or clinical depression, is a serious yet common mood disorder. It can affect a person’s daily life and the way they feel, think, and act. There are various types of depression, including:

  • Major depression
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Perinatal or postpartum depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Depression with symptoms of psychosis

Individuals with bipolar disorder may also experience depressive episodes followed by manic episodes. Depression can impact people of all ages, races, genders, and groups.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Depression?

Common signs and symptoms of depression can include:

  • Persistent moods of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Irritability or frustration
  • Anger
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased energy
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Becoming withdrawn or detached from the world around you
  • Increased impulsivity
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Difficulty with memory, concentrating, or focusing
  • Sleeping problems
  • Unexplainable physical pains or aches
  • Changes in appetite or eating habits
  • Increased substance use
  • Suicidal ideation or suicidal thoughts

If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or call 911.

What Symptoms Can Be Related to Anger?

Anger can affect both the brain and the body. Some common physical signs and symptoms associated with anger can include increased heart rate and blood pressure, tingling sensations, and muscle tension. Other emotions that can come with anger can include anxiety, irritability, rage, guilt, sadness, stress, frustration, and overwhelming feelings.

How Does Anger Affect the Mind?

People may experience anger in different ways. For many, anger can cause a person to feel tense, nervous, or have a hard time relaxing. They might feel guilty about the way they feel, for things that have happened or things that they have said. A person could feel resentful, whether it be towards people or situations. They may feel irritated, overwhelmed, or even humiliated at times. Sometimes, anger can make a person feel like they cannot control themselves or their emotions.

What Are 3 Different Types of Anger?

Everyone expresses anger in different ways. Many fall under three different categories:

  • Outward aggression: Some people may turn their anger outward toward those around them. Common examples of outward aggression can be when a person shouts, swears, hits, throws things, is verbally abusive, or becomes violent. This kind of expression of anger can lead to problems in both your personal relationships and your professional life.
  • Inward aggression: Some people may turn their aggression inward. They suppress their anger and turn it towards themselves. This may be shown in ways such as feeling hate towards themselves, isolating themselves, denying themselves basic needs, or self-harming. Turning anger inward can worsen the symptoms of depression and make it very hard to make time and do things that could help you find relief from depression.
  • Passive aggression: With passive aggression, a person indirectly expresses their feelings instead of addressing them directly. This could include ignoring certain people, intentionally doing things poorly, or saying sarcastic or condescending things. When being passive-aggressive, it can harm your relationships because there is a lack of open communication, and you often will never get your needs met if you don’t talk about it.

What Can Anger and Depression Look Like?

Anger from depression can manifest itself in many different ways. Some people may become angry at themselves, others angry at the world, and some may be angry about things that have happened in their lives. Anger can look different in everyone. Some people might struggle with angry feelings but suppress them, while others may experience angry outbursts more often.

A person may become more irritable if they have depression. Anger may show in how a person responds to others or has difficulty controlling their reactions to everyday situations. Individuals who are experiencing depression may also become hostile toward others. They may push people away and have a hard time maintaining interpersonal relationships. Individuals may also experience anger attacks, which are sudden bursts of anger that may be triggered by even minor events and can be surprising to the other party.

What Is the Difference Between Anger and Depression?

Depression is a mental health disorder that is more than just sadness or low moods. Anger, on the other hand, is not a mental health disorder that is diagnosed, but rather, an emotion that many people experience. However, anger that may be difficult to manage, uncontrollable, or unhealthy can be a sign of an underlying problem, including depression.

What Mental Health Disorders Can Anger Be a Symptom Of?

Anger is a common emotion that is completely normal. However, when a person becomes angry very easily, often, or seemingly out of nowhere, it could be a sign of an underlying problem. Anger can be a symptom of various mental health disorders. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), anger is a “key criterion” in five diagnoses, including intermittent explosive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, borderline personality disorder (BPD), and bipolar disorder.

However, many other mental health conditions can be associated with symptoms of anger. These can include depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or SUD.

Why Do People Experience Anger When They Are Depressed?

There can be many different reasons why a person experiences symptoms of anger when they are depressed. Depression can cause low moods and negative feelings and emotions that can be very difficult to control. These emotions can make a person feel angry about themselves or about the world around them.

Individuals with depression may experience negative feelings about themselves, including low self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence. Depression can impact many aspects of a person’s life, including their relationships. Sometimes, experiencing these difficulties can make a person feel anger towards themselves.

Additionally, traumatic events can play a role in the development of depressive disorders. These traumatic events can cause a person to feel angry towards the world, towards their life, or towards others around them. A person may experience symptoms of anger for many different reasons. Getting to the core root cause of the anger can help a person identify the true underlying problem and work towards healing.

How to Cope With Anger and Depression

Reaching out for help is a huge and important step in working towards healing and prioritizing your health and well-being. While it is important to get professional help, there are ways you can cope with anger and depression in your daily life, which can include:

  • Identifying and managing your triggers
  • Practicing breathing exercises and techniques
  • Building a strong support system
  • Practicing mindfulness and meditation
  • Learning to be patient and compassionate toward yourself
  • Journaling
  • Going to therapy

How Does Your Environment Impact Symptoms of Anger and Depression?

Your environment can have a significant impact on the way you feel and affect your mental health. Environmental factors can trigger symptoms of depression in many people. For example, a stressful environment that can be triggering can include living in conflict with family members, a disorganized or messy home, or even limited exposure to bright light.

To help manage some symptoms of depression, individuals can work on creating a healthy, functional, and comfortable environment that helps them focus on their mental health without worrying about environmental factors. This may include tidying up your space, getting more sunlight or bright light throughout the day, or even just making little changes in your environment.

When it comes to your social environment, prioritizing your mental health could mean that you distance yourself from toxic relationships, spend time with people you love, enjoy time with yourself, or take time to build trust and closeness in relationships. When reaching out for professional help for depression, substance use, or other mental health disorders, it can be helpful to consider the environment you would be getting help in.

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we are proud to provide a private and serene environment where individuals can become connected to nature and find true healing. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, with views of mountains, ocean, and greenery surrounding, we provide a calming and healing environment where you can truly focus on yourself. Although the environment may be very different than what you are familiar with back home, we strive to help you pave your own path to healing and make sure you are ready to transition back to home life as you heal within.

How Does Anger and Depression Connect With Substance Abuse?

Individuals may turn to substances as a way to self-medicate or cope with their symptoms of depression. However, this unhealthy coping mechanism only ends up making matters worse, leading to unhealthy and destructive cycles. Additionally, the use of substances can cause imbalances in the brain and body, worsening symptoms of depression and contributing to other mental health disorders.

Now, substance use and alcohol addiction can also be a way people cope with feelings of anger. Substance use can make a person suppress their anger as they use it as an unhealthy coping mechanism.

What Is the Stigma Around Anger and Depression?

Everyone expresses their emotions in different ways. Often, we learn healthier ways to express anger over time, although it can still be very difficult. Sometimes, people feel judged after they express their anger or are treated differently when they do. This can lead a person to suppress their feelings, often left to deal with their problems on their own. Doing this can become very overwhelming, frustrating, and isolating to a person. Anger and depression can impact their daily life, like their performance at work or school, their responsibilities, or their relationships.

It is important to remind yourself that your feelings are valid. That you deserve help and support. Reaching out to someone you trust or directly to professional help can get you the care and support you need in finding true healing.

How Do I Help a Loved One That May Be Angry and Depressed?

If you believe a loved one may be depressed or notice that they become angry more easily or often than normal, start a conversation with them. You may ask how they are feeling, if they are okay, or if they want to talk about anything. Providing a safe space for them to come to someone they trust can help them connect to professional help too.

Learning and understanding the symptoms of depression and other mental health disorders can help you better understand why people may feel the way they feel and ways you can help. Respecting a person’s space and boundaries is also important in making others feel like they can open up to you when they are ready.

Spending quality time together or going outside, exercising, and trying new hobbies can help someone find healthy ways to cope with the symptoms of depression and find healing in their everyday life.

How Can Exclusive Hawaii Rehab Help Individuals Find Healing?

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we are focused on healing at the core root level. Our luxury, private, and exclusive rehab program is centered around a holistic approach to healing with a medical background. Here, our experts truly care about the care and support we provide and are here to act as your partner throughout your healing journey.

We offer a personalized program that caters to the needs of each unique individual. Our wide range of treatment methods and therapeutic approaches include methods such as non-12-Step therapy, nutritional therapy, nature immersion, bodywork, yoga, mindfulness techniques, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.

Common stereotypes surrounding depression suggest that it is a constant state of sadness. However, depression is a complex mental health disorder that can involve a wide range of symptoms that are different from person to person. Anger can be correlated to depression, yet this often goes unaddressed. Depression can lead to symptoms of increased sadness, irritability, frustration, and anger that can impact the way a person feels, thinks, and acts. Anger and depression can have an impact on a person’s daily life and their relationships. True healing means getting to the core root cause of anger and depression. At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we offer personalized treatment programs for individuals looking for serenity, luxury, and true healing. Call (808) 775-0200.