Anger and depression are so closely tied that it’s sometimes hard to differentiate which you’re actually feeling. Psychiatrist Judith Eve Lipton nailed it when she said that they “go together like peanut butter and jelly.” We all feel angry and depressed at times. Both can be harmful to your health, so it’s important to recognize the signs and figure out how to deal with any issues. Here’s how to know that you’re dealing with anger.
It’s usually temporary
When you’re depressed, you experience lingering sadness that usually intensifies over time. Anger tends to dissipate more quickly. It might stick around for a little while, but anger falls away once you’ve had a chance to calm down, process the situation, and take action.
When you have pent up anger, it doesn’t take much to trigger your emotions. You might cry at the drop of a hat or fly into a rage over something as minor as someone cutting you off in traffic. Depression changes your mood, but anger can cause you to lash out over any small incident or perceived slight.
Clenching and grinding
When you get really angry you might find that you clench your jaw and grind your teeth. This can cause headaches and other physical symptoms that won’t make you any happier.
Depression tends to make you feel sad and removed from your environment. But anger often causes intense feelings of resentment. You might resent your boss because you didn’t get promoted when you know you deserved it. When you stop and think about why you’re feeling that way, you usually identify the source of the resentment and realize that you’re plain angry.
Even the most mild-mannered people can become hot enough under the collar that they feel an urge to punch a wall or break a glass. Physical or violent behavior is never appropriate, but if you find yourself even feeling the urge, you are experiencing anger.
It’s important to recognize when you’re angry. Anger affects your physical and mental well-being – whether it’s tied to depression or not. It increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. It causes you pain. But when you’re able to identify that anger is the culprit, you can address it and get relief. Exercise, meditation, and venting to your tribe (or a professional if necessary) go a long way in resolving anger-causing issues and getting you back to a place of peace and calm.
Remember to make healthy living a part of every day!
The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste. – Dr. Nandi
My prescriptions for dealing with anger:
- Be aware. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and any changes in your mood or personality.
- Count on your tribe. Ask your tribe mates if they’ve noticed anything different about you. It’s not always easy to recognize changes in yourself. Be open to their comments and advice.
- Seek resolution. Remember that holding onto anger is detrimental to your health. Make your health a priority by doing all you can to resolve any issues that are causing you anger and pain.