What Is the Connection between Depression and Anger?

The connection between depression and anger is two-fold. In some cases, unresolved anger can lead to depression, but on the other hand, depression can manifest itself in anger and hostility. Depression is a complex condition, affecting a wide range of people, from adult men and women, to teenagers, retirees, and even children.

The symptoms of depression are typically stereotyped as fatigue, inability to complete daily tasks, and feeling sad. In reality, many people suffering from depression may find that they feel angry and irritable a great deal of the time. Some even manage to keep up the facade of a normal life by performing daily tasks and carrying on with normal social interactions. These individuals may even try to convince themselves that nothing is wrong, even while they battle with inward emotional trauma.

Anger is especially apparent in men suffering from depression. Men and women react to situations differently, and for many men, responses come out through active behaviors. Along with depression and anger, symptoms of male depression include irritability, causing conflict, and indulging in reckless activity. The basic need for men to act in situations, either by fixing or eliminating problems, manifests itself in action. There made be a connection for this need to act and the rate of suicide among depressed men, which is substantially higher than that for depressed women.


Although depression can be linked to biochemical imbalances, it may also stem from environmental factors. Loss and stress are two main contributing forces leading to depression. Types of loss include the death of a loved one, loss of occupation through a firing or disability, divorce, and the inability to reach important life goals. Stress can come from work, financial troubles, or family and friends if relationships are strained.

In many cases, loss and stress simultaneously cause depression and anger. For example, if a death was unexpected, an individual may feel angry at God, angry at someone they blame for the death, or angry at themselves. Similarly, stress can cause anger, especially if the stress comes from a person who is supposed to be supportive and caring, like a spouse, family member, or close friend.

To some degree, anger can actually cause depression. In this case, depression and anger feed each other. If anger is chronic and unresolved, it typically leaves the individual in a state of imbalance. Many sources of anger cannot be fixed in a way that is satisfactory to the individual. For instance, if someone won't apologize or if an ex-spouse has remarried. In this case, only forgiveness of the wrong and moving on emotionally can cure the anger and depression, which can be the most difficult solution of all.



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