Repressing anger has serious consequences for the self
Anger needs expression. When it is not permitted it will find a way out, be it harmful or not. When depression sinks in and proper and healthy expression becomes seriously impaired, the anger turns against the person through the conscience and the unconscious.
Children often express anger when they do not get their way, but their disappointment is often expressed in the form of crying or throwing a tantrum, etc. For adults, however, public displays of negative emotions are considered embarrassing and people tend to suppress and hide these emotions. These start piling on at the subconscious level and when the body cannot take anymore of them, they will manifest in various forms. One such form of suppressed anger is depression; this is probably not a very obvious anger and depression connection.*
Over time the cumulative hurts reach breaking point and precipitates an episode of depression. At this time the anger turns so far inwards against the person and their own personality that words and thoughts of continuous condemnation are spoken externally or internally. At this point the anger has turned into narcissistic rage.
Anger is unavoidable and is part of the human condition
Like our article on loneliness, anger is an inescapable part of the human condition. You can’t avoid it. You can try to suppress it or run away from it, but it will always cause you more problems if you do. It’s ok to be angry. There’s no need to suppress it, you are permitted to experience anger and work out how to release it in a healthy manner.
How to Beat Depression by releasing anger in a healthy and appropriate way
This is one of the hardest things to practice. It takes time and patience to cultivate healthy assertiveness. The impulse when angry is to inflict pain and hurt on others. Instead you want to defend yourself in a firm and measured way. Better Health Victoria has quite a good article on practicing assertiveness. Using ‘I’ statement are key in asserting yourself in a healthy way.
Exercise is one of the best outlets for anger, as it channels the emotion into physical activity. Find out what sort of exercise is best for you and stick to it. It could be anything from football to karate to yoga.
Meditation is often noted as a great way to release anger by focusing the mind. Even twenty minutes a day can create a calm mind. We encourage you to explore all avenues and find out what type of meditation suits you.
Speak up against people and situations that are unfair and unjust. Sometimes this is very scary and seemingly impossible. It takes guts and perseverance to beat depression and sometimes a stand must be made.
References and further reading
Featured image by furryscaly on flickr
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