Quote by Gloria Steinem: “I myself cried when I got angry, then became un...”
What happens when depression is turned inward?
As a young, stay-at-home mother of three small children, Sue went through periods when her patience seemed to be paper-thin. At those times, she would find herself screaming at her kids way too often, only to feel remorse when the rage passed. Once, she remembers, she got so furious she flung a wooden spoon she happened to be holding across the kitchen. It began to make more sense when she was diagnosed with depression three years ago. The sudden spells of fury often include physical sensations like a racing heart, tight chest, sweating skin, and hot flashes.
About 8 years ago, during my last major depression, I was told that depression was anger turned inward and that if I did not get rid of my anger, I would not get better. This baffled me because at the time I felt nothing but hopelessness. I had emotionally flatlined. I felt exhausted. However, the people who told me this — my psych nurse and therapist — knew what they were talking about. They had spent decades treating people with depression. If they said I would not get well until I got rid of my anger, then I would get rid of my anger.
Frequently Asked Questions
This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative.
Right now, about 3 to 5 percent of Americans are suffering from depression. It could be your friend who confides in you she's been feeling blue. Your elderly mother. Your partner or child. There are mild to severe forms of the disease, and the risk for any one of us suffering a depressive episode in a lifetime is just about one in 10 [source: Dryden-Edwards ].
Frustrated maybe, anxious often, but it is so rare that I feel that bubbling, swelling sensation of anger. When I was in DBT dialectical behavioral therapy , I had to keep a log of my emotions including how often and how acutely I felt anger. Every day I rated high levels of depression, anxiety and shame with only handful of days where I logged feeling joy. But every week when I went back to therapy, the anger column would be left blank. For some reason I could just never feel it. My brain convinces me I should resort to harmful things as punishment. I recently wrote down these thoughts and read them back to myself the next day.