Depression and Anger: A Destructive Partnership

Screaming Out my Pain

It took me a long time to understand the connection between depression and anger. One psychiatrist I visited would often ask a simple question toward the end of a session: How’s your anger?

I couldn’t understand why he asked. I hadn’t been talking about anger. Depression was my problem.

I’d usually respond with a puzzled, Fine. I’d leave his office wondering why he had asked about anger but soon put it out of my mind.

He never pressed me to talk about it, and I never asked for an explanation. After a while, though, I put the two together, and found a new way of looking at myself that went deeper than I had gone when focused only on depression.

I knew that irritability was on the list of depressive symptoms used for making a diagnosis. But I separated that in my mind from raw, hot-blooded anger.

Before saying any more, I want to distinguish between ordinary anger and the intense anger that leads to rage. Anger is a basic human emotion that helps defend us from attack. I think of it like pain – a powerful signal that demands a reaction.

You’re being accused unjustly. You’re being verbally or physically abused. You witness an act that violates basic norms of justice and humanity. You get angry, outraged at an attack on your integrity, your body, your loved ones. Anger alerts you to the need to react in order to defend your safety, family, identity, ideals – everything that makes you who you are.

That sort of anger is justified. Feeling and expressing it are inwardly satisfying because you’re standing up for yourself. If you were to stifle it, you’d probably feel ashamed that you let yourself be run over.

The anger that quickly leaps to rage is completely different. It may be triggered by an external provocation, but its causes are usually buried inside you. It’s more of a projection onto the world, a response that is far out of proportion to any cause.

Perhaps the hallmark of this sort of anger, like the intense forms of irritability, fear or despair, is that they perpetuate themselves. After a while, they simply take over. You’re raging, irritable, intensely anxious or despairing for no apparent reason. Or if there is a reason at the beginning, the distorted emotions keep going without letup. They have a life of their own.

Far from being satisfied at the expression of an understandable emotional reaction, I’d feel terrible and full of guilt. I’d try to apologize, but the damage was done.

There had been periods in my life when I had stormed and raged with my unfortunate family for no apparent reason – though at the time I found plenty of things to yell about.

Those “causes” were usually small stuff. The house is a mess – meaning all I could see was a disorder I couldn’t stand, viscerally couldn’t tolerate. The kids had to be controlled better. They were too wild. They were acting too much like … kids!

Sometimes, and I hate to think back on it, I got violent, threw things around, hit my sons. Mostly I mistreated them by yelling down whatever they tried to say. I raged for total obedience. I raged at my wife about anything that rubbed me the wrong way.

It never occurred to me that extreme anger might be related to depression. It amazes me now that I never made a connection. It amazes me even more that I never sought help to deal with the rage – whether or not it was linked to anything else.

Once it started, I couldn’t stop it, no matter how much I tried. I knew the triggers that could set me off as soon as I walked into the house – and it was at home where I raged most often. I could anticipate the problems and knew how crazy it was to start yelling about stupid little things. I couldn’t stand what I was doing. But I couldn’t stop feeling the rage.

Then I read Terrence Real’s I Don’t Want to Talk About It, and everything started to fall into place. Real’s book is about depressed men, in particular, and is based on his long experience with couples and family therapy.

During many an intense session, wall-punching anger rushed out of men who found it impossible to talk about their feelings. Real came to think of this as a covert form of depression because sooner or later a full-blown depressive episode would set in.

Using the anger to probe its origin, he usually found a deep shame that had developed early in life. There was a sense of failure to achieve the ideals of manhood that his client had been expected to meet. Traumatic events had pushed the boy over the brink and led to his sealing emotions away so deeply that he lost touch with them altogether.

Whether or not you agree with this type of explanation, the drama that unfolded in his office brought out a deep connection between the extremes of anger and depression.

I had lived through moments exactly like the scenes Real’s clients described and often acted out in his presence.

Whatever the explanation, I finally felt the relationship between depression and extreme anger. I had been swinging from one mood to another, a period of explosive anger followed by a period of deep depression. From intense but destructive energy to no energy at all.

As I had found so many times, awareness was the first step in healing. I couldn’t stop either the anger or the depression on my own but could see what they were doing to me. That prompted me to get help and start a long process of recovery.

For the first time, I understood the psychiatrist’s question, and my raging anger became part of the discussion from then on.

In a later post, I’ll talk about how I’ve been able to limit and manage this dimension of depression.

Is this form of anger part of your experience of depression?

Image by RTP (Really Terrible Photographer) at Flickr

135 Responses to “Depression and Anger: A Destructive Partnership”

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  1. T says:

    I have been dealing with depressive moods and anger outbursts along with anxiety attacks for the past 8 years (only been angry for the last 3)
    It all started when I was attacked and after that I became a nervous wreck,always overthinking things and determining the worst out of every situation.
    Before the attack I was a happy go lucky,laid back person.One morning,not long after the attack I was lay in bed and the whole room was spinning,I struggled to get out of bed I was so dizzy,something changed in my body and I could feel it.
    After that my moods switched,I wasn’t feeling happy,I didn’t want to wake up anymore!
    I started having frequent anxiety attacks and with that every time I had another anxiety attack I lost track of who I was each day.
    Got with my partner and everything was fine for the first few months but then everything just went dark.
    Any little thing he does,I think he is against me.
    It became more of a drag to be with him because things wasn’t done how I wanted it.
    Stupid little things.
    I’m not a silly woman,I’m strong but with my partner he just irritates me.
    I’m so stubborn that when we have an argument I pack my bags and leave.
    It’s a vicious circle.
    He pushes my buttons,I flip out after telling him to please be quiet.
    My anger goes from 0 to 1000000000 in seconds.
    I don’t hit or punch or bite or kick but I throw things and I hurt him with words.
    In my head I know what’s right and that I should just let it rest and forget about things but by that point I’ve already got a bag packed and want to run away from the situation.
    I hate who I have become!
    I know that positive thoughts attract positive feelings but I just can’t shake them off.
    I’m so good at giving out advice and so easy to know how I need to act but something just takes over.
    I’m such a nice person and I don’t understand who I’ve become or why I have become this way???
    I feel I’m in a dark tunnel and there’s just no light at the end of it
    The person I love in my heart,I can’t love him back because my anger and depression just won’t let me!!!!

  2. kate says:

    Hi,
    I am not sure if I am suffering from depression, but I can surely say there have been 2 instances till now, where I have gone out of control, hurted myself and my husband too and felt like giving up my life.
    I don’t understand why this is happening? Is it the current circumstances that me and my husband are in and its momentary ? or is it that I am in depression?
    My husband is a student and I had been working past 4 years but quit the job since I got married and relocated with him to a new country, with the assurance from my husband that he would help me to find a job via his relatives and friends and that he had lot of contacts so that I could start the job in new country. But since 2 years he has not helped me in anything at all, his studies are not getting over, we both dont have jobs and so we are struggling from financial issues.
    Plus I have been sitting home since 2 years doing all household chores, celebrating all festivals and occasions and also doing all efforts to start my job, applications, free online courses, but I hate it when my husband ignores all the bigger problems of life and concentrates on fighting on smaller things and moreover troubling my family members who are in my home country and never troubling his relatives. The only one time he shared about our fights with his relatives and they put false allegations on me, saying I have been mad and their whole family is scared of me. I have left my house since then and I dont understand why is all this happening and how is all this my fault? He never mentioned to me about his financial condition before getting married or else I would have never quit my job and relocated but would have supported him. He is not frank, straightforward and a person who likes to share everything with his better half but is very secretive.
    Am i really in depression? I came back to my home country and got 2 job offers even after a 2 years gap in my career and freelance projects to do? Am I really mad…why do people put all these false allegations? I don’t understand how to deal with these kind of people, it is too painful! And it really hurts when your husband is not mature enough to understand you.

  3. Shannon says:

    I COMPLETELY understand these feelings. I get ragingly angry on the weekends when our tiny home is filled up with 2 adults a moody teenage boy and two 7 year old girls. I got to the point where I was sleeping until 12-1pm just to escape the claustrophobic atmosphere. We have normal problems like a teenager that has an attitude problem and doesn’t want to do his chores, so I constantly have dishes covering the tiny amount of counter space available. NO ONE helps with laundry so that room looks like an episode of hoarders, the girls who are 7 are constantly saying something, there is NO peace for the ears or the mind. They are climbing me, pulling on me, constantly needing or wanting something, fighting with each other . Sometimes I will stay up until 2am cleaning up because it is quiet and no one is assaulting my ears with whining. On top of that they are always leaving messes and have explosive tempers, so I will work extremely hard all night and then wake up to a ruined house becasue my husbands face is in FB all morning and the kids do what ever they please behind his back. WE also have the issue of the favored child, my husbands son is the teenager, he is from another marriage, he was his “buddy” during the divorce so if he doesn’t do the dishes he basically ignores it, but if our girls don’t do something it is immediately time to scream at them. I’ve talked to him about this, and he says he is working on it, but I know how it feels to NOT be the favorite child and the consequences it can cause (I am an alcoholic) he says he loves them all equally. His actions tell me that the teenage son is the one he loves the most. The constant talking makes my head hurt, the neediness makes me angry, the unfairness of the boy being treated nicer makes me boil, the messes make me crazy- basically by Sunday I am ready to explode if someone looks at me wrong. I don’t know the answer , I feel angry and depressed and sometimes suicidal, even though I know I have the life that millions of people would want.

  4. jj says:

    I’m 42. Male, living with a parent for 6 years, physically ageing fast, been unemployed for 6 years since coming off antidepressants. Have huge anger problems whilst never physically directed at people it sucks to be associated with me. too many life problems to go into here. I suffered massive withdrawals when coming off venlafaxine and still get head zaps. Before the meds I was a bit sad , now I’m either sad or angry and always ready to give up. Im a walking failure when I’m awake ,which isn’t that often.
    I have no wife no kids no friends and no hope. Funnily enough I don’t trust medications and that’s all docs want to do is put me back on them . They even told me the headzaps were a conspiracy theory. I’m at my wits end

    • vic says:

      Hey I don’t know how much I can help but I know I want to try. You are worth much more than u think you are. Throughout all the crazy and emotionally devistating occurances in my life I start to realize that we do everything to ourselves. I went from not caring about anyone and being completely blind to having love smc me in the face. However when I finally learned love I had pushed that person away. For a full 2 years after my epiphany I started wanted to do things I never did. Treat people in a way I nevery did and I didn’t want to be angry. As time passed I felt like a whole new me ready to take on various aspects of life. I rushed into my next relationship and suprisingly I was cheated on for the first time in my life when I treated her better than any way I even thought possible. The main point is I was a lost person until love found me but it also destroyed me. However that 2 year span where I loved life and simply loved to love. It changed me and I was happy, now I feel even more lost than I was before all of this. It’s harder to do than say but just find that love whether u can find it from a mom, a sibling or even a new/old pet. It’s the way we think about things and the way we see things that ruin our lives not anyone else’s actions. Find the true love in u and you will find the real you. Don’t ever give up and always remember it’s not about how you fall but how you ririse when u fall. Hang in there

  5. Dianna says:

    I don’t know what to do anymore I am so angry all the time, Most days I hate my husband. we have 2 kids together and her has 3 from a previous relationship and I can’t handle it. I feel like he is always putting his ex first and given into her every demand no matter what my feelings are and most of the time they are feelings of hurt. My husband also recently lost his job and I am working full time to try and make ends meet and the pressure is un bearing and it makes me so angry to come home and the house is a mess and when I asked him what he did today he say’s went for a run. not looking for a job nothing. I have so much anger towards him for putting us in this situation and he can’t even say he is sorry about it. blame is always put on to someone else (me) he can scream and yell at me and not at his ex, I am always questioning what makes her better than me why does he have to call me names and put me down and not her. this makes me angry and i rage. his only comment to me all the time is let it go… I can’t let it go i live it everyday. If it was not always present then it would be easier to let go. The other day I lost y mind he sent the kids to school with no lunch and when the kids school called his reply to them was do they have a snack feed them that. So they had no lunch and he is at home cuz he has no job and did not get up off his ass to bring it to them at school. if the school would of called me I would of left work to bring them lunch even though i work an hour away from their school he was 10 mins down the road and he asks me why I am angry. Ya he is going through a hard time not having a job and all these people are pity him pity him what about us what about me and the kids, no one asks how we are holding it together. I can tell you i am barely keeping it together. And most of the time I just given it cuz it is whats easy. I cry everyday at some point. I am on anti depressants but it to enough. Christmas is right around the corner and i can’t even figure out how I will by my kids a gift. I don’t make a lot of money and I am struggling now to pay bills and put food on the table. I got a job that I love and I can see myself doing well there and he gets pissed if I am busy and can’t call him every second. if I have lunch with people at work I get bitched at cuz I did not call him instead i took time to eat and most days I don’t take time to eat and most days I don’t eat so we have money. this anger towards him is deep anger because he puts the blame on me for everything

    Help……..

    • Mimi says:

      …I don’t think the problem is you, or that you are depressed. You are OVERWHELMED!!!! If you have a job you love, you are that much ahead of the game, in that you do not depend on his financial support….I ONLY WISH THAT WERE THE CASE IN MY SITUATION…….let me give you a possible outcome, maybe it will help you do something I wish I had done if I had had some guidance when I needed it…….You stay in that situation, your kids get older, and they start resenting YOU, and emulating HIM! Better to live very frugally in a life where you do not have to cater to a big baby, your children are your ONLY babies. You CAN make it on your own with your kids!! Why do you think you need him???? When the time and the situation is right, there will be someone you can love and have a relationship with…

  6. Stacie says:

    Hi, I just need some help. I am 20 years old, my fiancé is 25. We have been living together since I was 18, been together for a long time, getting married next year. (Almost exactly.) I have had long bouts of depression since my Father passed away 11 years ago. Lately they have been getting worse. I am in a strange position in my life. I live close to a college in a small town, so I bike to college every day, while he works on other side of town and takes the car. This leads to me having a lot of alone time at home each day, mutually agreed, I make my half of the bills etc. So, lately my extreme boredom has led me to sink really deep into depression, and the past 4 or 5 months I have been constantly uncontrollably angry like said in this article. We do not have enough money for a therapist or even a doctor’s appointment. Not until after we get a second car (a year at least)! For instance, he is at work, and I just screamed at him over the phone to not come home and that I hate him, (I definitely do not, I never mean it, ever), because he didn’t wake me up early enough today so I could eat breakfast with him before work. Stupid things. I always regret it, he stays with me, doesn’t fight back, just understands, but I really need help. I don’t know where to turn, I hate my life, I won’t kill myself but I can’t lie and say I don’t want to. I just, life is so boring and there is nothing to be happy about, because I keep angering my fiancé and it makes him fearful to even speak to me. Like he is walking on thin ice. :(

    • Charles says:

      Hey, I have more or less the exact same thing going on. Im stay at home dad for the three kids. Ive had bouts of depression and intermittent rage attacks like you describe for the last 15 years or so, since my parents divorce around then anyway. I really know that cycle of rage, guilt, depression that you describe, im sorry i know it is very painful.

      Im really sorry you dont have money to see a doctor or therapist. I can tell you a couple of things my therapist gave me that have helped quite a lot. This wont make the feelings go away, they will come back, but when they do, remember it is not your fault, it is an illness.

      First thing is to get a notebook and write it all out on paper, absolutely no holds barred all the rage and bile and nasty things that might be invading your head, just go for it. Keep going and going unless it stops by itself. This alone has really helped.

      Second thing is to move, make noises, cry, whatever, when you are alone and feel unwatched and uninhibited. I sometimes lie down and have proper tantrums :) It is amazing how much natural movement and expression we repress, thinking we should behave like adults, like grown ups, etc, etc.

      Third thing is to show what you wrote above to your husband and make an understanding between yourselves that you have an illness, the same as if you have broken your leg and couldn´t walk. If you had hurt your leg, you wouldnt guilt on yourself about it. YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG, THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

      It is just the nature of depression and other mental illness that it is largely unacknowledged and not understood. Its very difficult for anyone who just has normal ups and downs to understand.

      I hope you will correspond with me, if you would like.

      Charles

  7. Maggie says:

    …Lately I’ve been getting a niggling thought that my anger is unnaturally intense. Or rather, that my temper’s just getting worse. Like always (I’ve only just come to realize this was common) I just brushed it off and made excuses or it, but for some reason…I’ve just been more aware of it and unable to forget about it, probably because I’m finding myself expressing that anger often. Anyway, a few hours ago my nephew, who is all of 7, woke me up from my desperately needed sleep and I just…raged at him. I remember getting out of bed, walking to the door, and telling myself not to blow off the handle, yet despite this, I ended up doing it anyway. I told myself not to curse at him. I cursed. I told myself not to insult. I insulted. I didn’t yell–small mercy that was–but I’m sure the dangerous hiss I spoke in was no less intimidating. Afterward I crawled into my bed and under my covers and tried to go back to sleep, but alas, the guilt and shame of my actions gnawed at me so insistently that I ended up getting up and googling “the correlation between anger and depression” and found myself here.

    You describe a lot of what I’ve been feeling. I always thought anger was this white hot storm of furious and uncontrollable emotions, something blazing and wild and obvious. I didn’t see myself as being “really angry” because my own anger, I’ve come to realize, is this slow simmer beneath my skin that I’m barely aware of until it just boils over.

    But I AM angry. I’m easily irritated and frustrated and it doesn’t take much to set me off, and despite my aversion to making other people feel bad/hurting them, I keep on lashing out. And then I do and I just feel guilty for my behavior. The only reason I haven’t completed (verbally…maybe) thrashed into someone, I think, is because in addition to depression I have social anxiety and that reigns in my external reactions somewhat.

    I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without making the connection. I mean, I hit myself! When I’m really anxious and feeling upset or guilty I’ve slapped, punched, pinched, and scratched myself. That’s ANGER, focused inwards. However, lately I’ve been hurting myself less and (verbally) hurting others more, and I’m not sure what changed.

    I don’t need to be told to go (back) to therapy. If only I could get out of my house (it’s been 6-7 months since I’ve left it, but a whole year if you dismiss that week I went to my sister’s wedding) and go. If only I could muster the courage to go back to the clinic after I went AWOL. If only, if only, if-freaking-only.

    Anyway, thanks a lot for this article. I really needed this to be put into perspective. Now all I need to do is find the courage to get the help I need.

    • Stacie says:

      I understand completely. :( I am in the same boat.

    • Charles says:

      Yes I hit myself quite regularly, I’m really sorry you feel like that. In fact I have had several identical morning episodes. Sometimes it feels like the only freedom is being asleep and it sets off such huge stress and anger to be denied that.

      Depression and rage are part of the same cycle in my experience and it so vey painful I’m sorry. It is an illness and it is not your fault!

  8. Julia says:

    Hello,
    My name is Julia, I would like to ask for an advise from persons dealing with depression.
    I have recently met a bipolar man and I would like to help him dealing with it. Apparently he is already under treatment, but I would also like to do something and offer him so kind of emotional support.
    I would really appreciate any kind of advice,
    Regards,

  9. Ann-Marie says:

    hi… i cant cry. it takes a lot for me to feel any emotion and when i do, its manly anger and sadness and guilt. My father died when i was two. The police shot him because he was a wanted felon. He stole, sold weed, and more. So i i have P.T.S.D. But about a year ago my mom was a drug user and she beat me. When my grandma didnt believe me i started to act out, to feel some emotion. But my mom and me started to wrestle. social services took us away. I live with my grandma now. And everything is perfect but it feels like rock bottom. So i act out to feel adventure but, i dont.what do i do. im a crazy?

  10. Ryan says:

    My Name Is Ryan And I Have A Serious Problem……. I Have An Unpleasant Past For One And I Feel It Is Wise To Start By Saying That. I Am A Gay Male, I Am Married To My Husband For A Few Months Now. We Moved To California To Take Care Of His Elderly Friend Which Is Who I Now Take Care Of 24/7. I Am By Law Now Obligated To Do Everything For Her Including Things That Are Humiliating For Both Me And Her. Caretaking Is AVery Tiring Stressful Job. I Have Literally 0 Time To Sit Down….. Ever. I Am Also Living With Aids. My Husband Works 5 Mostly 6 Days A Week, He Has 3 Dogs That Constantl Y Demand Things And He Let’s Them Do Whatever They Want……. They Are Just As Dependent On Me As The Elderly Woman . I Left My Career To Do This For My Husband . My Husband Has A Habit Of Looking At Other People He Is Attracted To An D TEnds To Flirt With Them. Often When We Make Love I Sense Him With Someone Else In His Head.IM Trapped In This House 24 Hours A Day , Im In Hell. My Husband Is A Real Estate AEnt And He Has The Freedom To Do Anything He Wants In An 8 Hour Day….. My Worry Is He May Or Has Cheated Which Does Not Help. I Feel Like Crap, I Hate His Dog, I Am Feeling Very Unattractive. It’s So Bad With My Rage Episodes That One Night…… I Broke Almost All The Windows In OUr House, Our Glass Top Kitchen Dining Tv, Our Big Screen Flat Screen LCD, His IPad Air, My Laptop, All Of The Pictures, And Other ThiNgs. He Has AN Obsession With Our Dogs Treating Them Like They AreVictims When Im Cleaning And Shoo Them Away Because I Need To Assist They Elderly One. Then I Have To Make Sure I Cook Dinner And When He Gets Home He Pets Then Dogs And Gets On His IPad On Facebook….. No Thank Yous Or Anything. Recently I Has A Huge Explosion And Attempted Slitting My Wrists.We Have Talked, He Is Trying, He Is Working On They Dogs With ME. Our Agreement Is That I Get Some Help For My MeNtal heAlth. Any Ideas?

    • Ashley says:

      You might consider seeking therapy together. It’s beyond something you can just “work on together.” Trust me, my husband and I have needed help too. It’s a good thing to get what you need.

    • Charles says:

      I’m sorry you feel so bad and down and angry, I know it feels terrible!

      Being in the house like that all day with three kids also makes me feel like that. I often hit myslef and have smashed a lot of stuff.

      I know you feel very low and maybe think this is all your fault but your husbands behaviour seems to be very insensitive and arrogant. I think a lot of your anger and frustration seems perfectly justified, why shouldn’t younstand up for yourself and be treated well?

      That said you have done nothing wrong and I hope you can feel better soon!

  11. Sierra says:

    Hi.. My names Sierra.
    I’m 14 and I need help.
    I’m severely depressed, and get intense anger at the slightest of things, (even with things as little as not being able to find my headphones) I hear voices, and see things that usually I find out aren’t really there. Sometimes when I’m angry I just black out and completely change in the blink of an eye, from then on it’s like I’m a passenger in my own body and I can’t control myself.
    I have anxiety, panic attacks, depression, social phobia and PTSD, from what we know.
    I want to tell my psychologist about the voices, the anger and blacking out.
    But the moment I step foot in his office it’s like in not in control again, but this time it’s usually more of a ‘calm everything a okay’ type attitude.
    it’s like I have different people inside of me who take over.
    I need help!!
    I’m so tired of not knowing what’s going to happen next.
    Help me. Please?!

    • Ann-Marie says:

      i know what you mean…i see things to and hear stuff but, i dont tell anyone. they probly think im nuts.

    • Ashley says:

      I’m glad you’re already seeing a therapist. One thing that helped me was to take notes between therapy sessions so when I went in I could remember what I wanted to say. It looks like this might be helpful for you, too, though you may need to keep a journal that you bring each time. If you choose a brightly colored one that’s too big to hide in your purse or packet, then your psychologist would be able to naturally ask “What’s that?” And you could give it to him. Or ask whomever brings you to make sure they get it and read it. Then you can write what you want to ell your psychologist when you feel able to describe it, rather than hoping you’ll be o.k. when you get there. You might try praying to God too, if you can. That helps me feel like I can make it through, like someone understands and is listening, even if my condition doesn’t instantly improve, I know I can go on.

    • Maggie says:

      Hearing voices? You might have schizophrenia, but I’m not a psychiatrist so I can hardly give you an accurate diagnosis. The good thing is that you’re already seeing a therapist. I would definitely tell them. It’s like withholding information from a doctor–how can they figure out what’s wrong and how to treat it if you’re not forthcoming with your symptoms? Your therapist can’t evaluate you properly if they don’t know, and as it is, you’re just wasting both of your time–not to mention your money.

      Psychologists/psychiatrists/therapists are trained to deal with your mental health problems. It’s their job, and they’ve likely seen and heard it all before. I personally know three people off the top of my hand who claim to hear voices (though all have been diagnosed with schizo.).

      Just think about it, okay? You’re fourteen, which is great because the earlier you get help, the sooner you learn to deal, cope, and adjust.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sierra,

      I’ve just seen your comment, so hopefully by now you have been able to talk about all your symptoms to your therapist. My brother used to hear people talking about him (neighbours, my mum, me), saying horrible things about him, seeing people and things that were not actually there, he would also get angry because he felt he was being attacked by others. It turned out it was not schizophrenia, but “psychotic depression” (I’m translating from Spanish, so I’m not sure if that’s the correct term), which I had never heard about before. He later talked about those days saying that “it was like turning a page and suddenly be inside someone else’s story”. He’s been on meds ever since, and doing fine, working and all, living a normal life. I’m not saying this is your case, but a doctor should have all the information to make a proper diagnosis. I think it would be a relief and a huge step forward to share what you have written here with your therapist. I also think that Ashley’s tips (in her comment above) are really clever.
      You sound like a really intelligent girl… maybe you’ve been through a lot and that made you grow up before your peers. I suffer from depression myself, but your words reminded me of my brother and I wanted to share his story with you, ’cause I’m so glad he’s OK, as I hope I will get to be. And I’m sure you will find the way to your recovery. Wish you all the best!

  12. john says:

    As I sit here seething, I read the post looking for answers to my own anger. I used to be a fun loving guy. However, as time goes on, I realize I have really done nothing with my life. No kids, never been married but have had several long term relationships. I might of well been married. I hate my job, I have no friends that I am close too anymore and now in my 50’s I am experiencing major health issues because I have not taken care of my self. I have been raging off and on for a few years now and know I am stuck. Really stuck. Having read many books on self improvement, I know what to do but can’t do it. Its crazy. Now, having read this post, im curious. Im in the middle of the rage right now and remorse is soon to follow. Just thought I would share and I will be looking at the book you recommend to see where it takes me. Thanks for listening. ..

    • BIGFOOT says:

      Hey John,

      I feel you but………I do not think you are missing much. Believe me, everybody has regrets. See, me for example, I am close to 50. I have suffered from depression since I was sixteen. I got a wife and kids, and she is a crazy borderline with narcissistic issues. She trapped me in a relationship with my son. I am under trained, underemployed, and undermined left and right. Normally am so reclusive such that I really have no friends. I am introvert with a sensitively of a Geiger counter.

      But I do not give up. I discovered that the only monster that I really should be worried about is in me. It is me. So, I got to watch out for me every time. What have I learned about life? If I were given my life back, could there be something I would do differently? Most like, no. Because I would never know what I would be until I became.

      Many times, I feel strongly against my wife, what she did, what she is doing to us ad kids. But, I have learned that the only person you can change is you. Being upset about other people is useless because they do not care, and they do not want you to change them.

      So, we all are caught up in this matrix we created, or we unfortunately made people create in us. But its never too late to be what you could have been, because being, is not something tangible but rather being at peace with yourself, and with God. Especially with God, for its only He who can give you the peace you need. Being at peace with God, requires you to also be at peace with your fellow man.

      So if you have wronged anyone, say you are sorry. Being at peace with people, requires that you serve them. So, help your fellow man, even if he be a stranger.

      Being at peace with people requires that you also be at peace with yourself. So, find something you would like to do, and do it for yourself.

      In conclusion, life is basically very simple, and its because of its simplicity that most of us ignore the things that gives substance to it. We think life is having many friends. But the truth is, those who surround us, are not friends but people who benefits from our company.

      When it comes to having family, there is no guarantee that even if you have had one, you could have been happy. Most of us married folks are pretty miserable because each try to control the other leading to crash of matrix’s. Children can be tiresome, and they are. You hate you job? Most of us do.

      I can assure you that I have read many, many self-help books, but they do not help at all!

      It led me to do my own research, and this research has been a great bonus to me. What you need to understand is what is “The Human Mind”?

      The Human Mind, is a Law differentiated. If you want to know more, just let me know.

    • Charles says:

      Feel the same way! Or similar at least. I finally had enough and quit the stupid self help fluff train a year or so ago. Those books just pile hundreds of to dos and should a into your head until you at expending your entire day following someone’s checklist!

      I feel angry a lot and then guilt and then depressed, maybe you can relate. I’ve found writing journals to be helpful, not as some kind of exercise but just pure expression of whatever is there.

      You have an illness and its not your fault my friend, ever need to talk send me a message!

  13. S says:

    S, 18 year old male. I sometimes get really mad after an argument or sometimes I just get mad for no apparent reason, nobody around me can do any right… Then after it has settled all I feel is an intense sadness at the bleakness of life. I’m not that popular (I was angry through the first 3 years of secondary school, ages 12-14 and did some bad stuff, dunno if that was puberty because I was always mad then) because the damage has already been done, though I still have friends I don’t feel as though they can connect with me or I with them because I’m a closeted bisexual… They say I’m a good friend and I make them laugh but then these….Symptoms… Occur and I feel nothing but emptiness and alone… What can I do I feel so lost and helpless??? :'(

  14. Luke says:

    I need some advice, today we had just finished a family meal while on holiday at Cornwall my mother said to me whilst waiting outside the restaurant “where has your dad gone, last time I seen him was paying the bill then he dispeared” to which I replied “Wow what’s this all about! Last time I seen him he was paying the bill? He’s a 50 year old man you don’t need to constantly track him!” another time is as follows… I’d just woke up the other day and my mum was in my room putting some clothes in my wardrobe I then went in the bathroom to see her taking the dirty laundry out of the bathroom and then said “everywhere I look your there, as soon as I wake up your there standing over me!”. It’s like I feel really angry and annoyed over all small things no matter how small, like walking through a crowded area of town and due to the population density being slowed down to a very slow walk stuck behind someone, it’ll really anger me. It’s not like I’m a bad kid I’ve got good gcse’s Ive got a job I’m polite to everyone most of the time I’m quite popular my mum dad and other family members love Me dearly and haven’t ever been nasty to me. And I hope I haven’t made it sound like this is a daily thing because it’s not but it happens regularlly enough and effects me enough to write all this about it. Also after these little rage episodes I become really defensive and In denial about what my words/actions might of caused. It’s really bothering me because I feel like it’s eating me from the insides out, I’m a really stable person most of the time but one silly comment and I flip out. Another example of my behaviour is when I was staring in to space and my mum said “you look like your in a trance” I then said “how do you mean I’m in a trance (angry voice) I was just looking at the TV! (which I wasn’t)” after a little argument between me and my mum I proceeded to walk into the kitchen and destroy the kitchen towel rolls by punching them. As I say when I’m doing these things I don’t really realise it and I don’t really dwell on them immediately after but now I’m writing this too you its making me see that I can’t carry on behaving in this fashion and that it’s clearly a problem that I need to figure out. But I just don’t know how, should I start just trying to be more aware and controlling myself?

    Sorry about the big story haha its just the restaurant thing happened about 2 hours ago and it’s just left me thinking “what the hell has happened to me?”

    Thanks Luke :)

    • Charles says:

      Hi Luke, I’ve had a lot of episodes like that. I’m sorry it’s really not a nice feeling! People make comments to me in that state and I get so enraged whatever is nearby tends to get wrecked.

      Writing a journal tends to help this. Also in my experience the people around you will not understand what’s going on so it might be a good idea to see a therapist.

      I also found that putting myslef first and doing some fun things I want to do rather than just following everyone’s bloody expectations can also be liberating.

      These extreme feelings are an illness and not your fault!

  15. A Man says:

    I have anger towards my wife more than anything. The way she snaps at our kids. She is to aggressive towards me and the kids. She doesn’t like mess and she always says no one helps her. I always help where it is needed. While I’m home (after work) I look after the kids, while she takes a rest. I never have time to myself. It is always work/home/work/home. My wife only works like 2 days a week. I work 6 days a week.
    The only way I think I can fix this is by divorcing, but I feel sorry for the kids as I believe they need both parents. I tell my wife stop yelling, go outside, get out of here. But the next day it is always the same.

    I have had enough……

    • Sierra says:

      Have you tried talking to her?
      Telling her about this?
      (I’m only 14)
      Maybe she’s going through some things mentally, maybe she doesn’t feel appreciated?
      Not that you aren’t dealing with things either..
      But if she doesn’t know, how are things supposed to get better?
      Maybe, if you haven’t already, you could try having a heart-to-heart with her about it?

      Sorry you’re going through all of this, hope all turns out well.
      Good luck :)

  16. alex says:

    ive been reading here i see things that sound familiar and actions i know i take i dont know if its relates to the way i feel i dont feel depressed in myself well i dont think i am anyway , but i am angry ive listened to people and doctors and well to anything i thought could help me manage the anger but if i am honest with myself about it i dont think ive ever heard anything that i thought was of use in this endeavor
    the more i think about what its is to be depressed the more confused i get about it personally ive always veiwed depression as a sickness born of selfish weakness as we give in to our own sense of self pity and accept that we are unable to address that weakness because it would mean giving up the right to being a victim of it and well i believe that victims are the people who are prepared to admit defeat i guess what i am trying to say is that well ive spent a lifetime trying to find out what i am so angry at without much success but if its a symptom more then the cause it may help explain why it has not really lead me to any answers perhaps im looking in the wrong place

  17. Robert Howe says:

    Ha, I don’t need the book by John, as it’s about couples surviving the issue, and none of my relationships have survived my problem with the issue. Forgive the irony – the book sounds really good, and I wish I had a need for it, if you see what I mean.

  18. Andi says:

    I am sure this has been posted, but can someone talk about what the partner of a depressed man can do to be supportive? Does this include giving space, or forcing discussions? Thanks

    • BIGFOOT says:

      Depressed people most of the time, need peace and quiet. They also need an ear. Most of the time, depression is not brought by a single trauma, thou it can be. Do not force discussions. Do not raise your voice. Act naturally, and do not treat them like they are sick. Keep trying different strategies because, they too, are straggling with it. It cannot be cured by fulfilling a wish. It can be cured, by the person knowing himself/herself, and appreciating themselves even with this sickness. Its a jungle in there.

  19. Jessie says:

    Hello, I’m looking for some advice. My partner of 2 1/2 years has terrible issues with anger and rage. In reading your blog, I finally see what is going on, he’s depressed. When he’s on a rampage, he throws and breaks things, yells and berates me, makes me feel like I’m the cause of all his issues, tries to look for issues with me that don’t exist (like, if I’m cheating on him), and makes me generally feel like I can’t ever get it right (it = cleaning up, communicating, anything at all). You might ask why I’m with someone like this. I see that he is not his anger and that he is a wonderful person (when he’s not on a rage binge). I see that he has low self esteem and projects all his crap on me, so I’m fighting hard not to internalize his crap. I try to be supportive, and maybe I don’t always say the right thing, but his anger is controlling my life. I feel afraid to express myself (and I’m a pretty direct person), and I’m afraid to do anything wrong (because it’ll set him off). The only way he can seem to handle life is to be high. So, here is my question, I’ve been reading “I don’t want to talk about it” and this blog; what is the best way to bring up the conversation that I think he’s depressed? I feel very hopeful that he can find some relief if he can identify the problem. But, I don’t want to get screamed at; he’s impossible to communicate challenging things with. Any help would be great! Thanks.

    • MG says:

      Hi Jessie,

      Reading your post brought me to tears because it’s eerily descriptive of my situation, too. Only, my partner has been diagnosed with depression and we’re very aware of how severe his situation is. I’ve spent the last couple of years learning how to respond to his depressive episodes, as it can be very tricky. But the anger is something I still haven’t been able to grasp.

      I find myself in the same dilemma – everything I do is wrong, I can’t get anything right, I’m not good at communicating, etc. etc. But the arguments always start from something incredibly small and then within a few minutes, escalate to extreme rage. And then he usually disappears for a few days before coming home to “talk.” I’m constantly questioning whether or not I am at fault, or if his depression is. But I do everything in my power to avoid any kind of conflict or argument because of how terrible it is (same as you).

      Just curious – did you find any kind of useful advice or tips in your readings? Thanks!

  20. Janet Linda says:

    I believe that anger is the root of depression. Thank you for your article. Has your psychiatrist published his studies concerning this topic. I would like to have his name, I am a student of psychology. Janet Linda

    • BIGFOOT says:

      Janet, you say that “anger is the root of depression”

      Its not just anger. Rather, “suppressed anger”

      Most depressed people are people who tried to be good, and their goodness was trashed, rebuffed, ridiculed, exploited, manipulated, or ignored.

      Anger in depressed people is like a volcano that just explodes after pressure pails up until breaking point. Its the frustration they feel, because of circumstances that made them what they hated. Suppressed anger leads people to drugs, alcohol, crimes, etc. But they never wanted to be drunkards criminals, or addicts.

      So, when somethings happens which point their weakness, they just explode because their inner personality, and their desired personality is in conflict. And when this conflict is exposed, they react in anger, because they are in denial.

  21. Samir says:

    I know exactly what you describe about that uncontrollable rage. I suffered from moderate depression for well over half my life. Then I found the root cause was actually damaged self-esteem. I thought I had worked a lot of that out and ended up meeting the love of my life. We got married a little over a year ago.

    And what I’ve found is that she can bring that rage out of me when we argue. I can’t control it. I’ve destroyed cell phones, hurt myself, and have felt mental pain that I’ve not had to endure before.

    I never thought about it being linked to my history with depression until right now. Maybe there’s still a lot of work I have left to do and that fact is unfortunately coming out right now.

  22. ScottR says:

    First thanks for managing this website. I have looked and it is unique. I have been dealing with depression since I was in middle school. I never really understood exactly what was happening to me or what it was called until about 10 years ago. I have been diagnosed with dyshtimia, or what I call functional depression.
    Over the years it seems like a constant wave of being content but not truly happy to feeling hopeless.
    I have taken all the meds it seems and none of them really help permanently. It has made relationships very difficult over the years. I was married for 7 years and had constant arguments during that time. Lots of anger. I never really knew why though, I just knew arguments would happen and be drawn out for days and then brought back up days later. Of course we divorced.
    3 years later I met a woman and fell head over heels for her. It seems she understood me and what I was going through, or at least I told myself that. I also began counseling which I still attend.
    I put this girl on a throne, she became my happiness. However the anger came back, arguments began and continued.
    What I discovered was that I wasn’t really angry about anything. I was however hurt and scared like a little kid. Scared that my happiness would be taken, that my connection and love would fall apart, and scared that I wasn’t good enough to make it last.
    Of course I always brought this up and want constant reassurance. Eventually it wore on the relationship, the woman who said she understood suddenly didn’t. All I wanted was for her to react in away that would take the fear and hurt away. Hurt at the things she said and did. Normally things that were not worth or cause for an argument but in my warped way of seeing it, a threat. I just couldn’t understand how I can express all of this to myself and her but I couldn’t stop feeling that way, and she never really could understand. Of course she left.
    So my reason for hope and happiness left, because I had put it on her. I became even more hopeless and lonely.

    No one wants to be around the person that is constantly down. My brother told me he didn’t want to be around me because I bring him down. The story of the relationship above is repeated. It took three years to bring all of that to lite.
    I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, I am not abusive, yet women stay with men suffering those issue but not a man that is just unhappy.
    My kids call me a grump and mean. I don’t feel that way but my face says it all before I even know it.
    I don’t have a reason to be this way. I wasn’t abused, great parents, good childhood, I have a good job, I have good kids, most people would be thrilled to have my life yet I cant find satisfaction in it unless that void of a significant other is filled.

    Of course this is just a part of the things that create the pit (depression).

    Does anyone else have ideas on how to fight these problems? How to build esteem and self security? Especially when your mind fights against you.

    Again thank you for the site, I hope it will become a source of support.

    • Charles says:

      Hey, yep I know exactly where you are coming from.

      Something that helped me is to admit to myself that I have an illness that manifests as rage, depression and all the other things you described. This takes the pressure off, these things are not your fault, if they were under your control would you have done it like that?

      Then you can give yourself a pat on the back and let yourself off the hook. You’ve done nothing wrong mate, something is just a bit broken.

      All the pressures and stresses of life you describe are like giving Dumbbells to a man with a wrecked shoulder, they cause pain other people don’t understand.
      I hope you are doing ok!

  23. Ron says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I see this in my father and have always resented him for it, although it’s not his fault. His father shunned emotions and any man who showed them was lesser than. Both my grandpa and father are the coldest, angriest people I know. Since my father “found God” he has been much tamer but still hard to talk to.

    I noticed this early enough to break the cycle. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and will talk about anything with anyone. Well, almost, when I’m around my father I tense up and withdrawal my personality immensely. My openness has given me a love of life that’s unsurpassable.

    My father and grandpa are stuck in a constant state of alternation between depression and sadness. I’ve seen my grandpa laugh once and my father’s laughs are always seemingly insincere and short lived.

    I’m actually on here because I just had a disagreement with my father that turned into a one sided yelling contest. Anyway just thought I’d throw in my two cents.

    -Rom

  24. Breuana says:

    my name is breuana . im not sure if i have depression , but i have about 3 or 4 synptoms of dysthymia . i read in an article that not having all the symptoms is normal . im 15 so its common in my age group . ive departed from my social life & im constantly angry about anything . i havent talked to my mom , she doesnt care . all she cares about is herself , i feel neglected . & unwanted . so many nights & days i wonder why am i here ? what do i live for ? i want to be away from everybody , i want everyone to disappear . im done with my life .

  25. Lizzy says:

    Hi, my name is Lizzy,

    I suspect I suffer from anger and depression. The symptoms are all there. I do understand this diagnosis in theory, but understanding does not bring any comfort.
    A year ago I miscarried, but my ‘ailment’ has started brewing long before that. Before the miscarriage I was borderring between schizophrenia and münchausen syndrome. I have have faked abuse etc. all for the hope of some sympathy.
    Needless to say I was unsuccessful but I did meet the love of my life and over came my issues and suicidal tenancies. But I had a lingering anger that would never rest. I would fight about anything and everything and I would enjoy the rush.
    I was filled with such malevolence. But we managed and still loved each other very much and decided we wanted to have a little baby.
    I couldnt even do pregnancy right. Our baby was only 9w1d and I was 11w pregnant. D&C later I ran away.
    I broke up with my dear fiancé and ran away with a man more psychotic than me.
    And after that escapade my fiancé came back and saved me. And now my anger has been replaced with everlasting guilt. I hate myself and no one understands.
    I have no idea what to do, and my one fatal flaw is that I am always hiding my problems. I do it so habitously that I dont even notice anymore and then I wonder afterwards why no one cares.
    I am so screwed up.

    • Dina says:

      Your not screwed up. I understand. I hide my problems from everyone too, and then I wonder why no one cares. When they
      don’t know about my problems. I think that todays society is to blame since people are always to busy to talk about each others dilemmas. Everyone goes around pretending that they are fine when their not. It gets to be annoying when day in and day out you talk to people and they ask, “how are you?” and you say, “fine how are you” and then they say “good” when inside you/they probably don’t feel good at all.

  26. Dan says:

    I know I struggle with both anger and depression, but I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t like myself, and that makes it difficult to like other people it seems. I don’t really have any good friends, but lots of acquaintances. My wife tells me all the time to stop blaming myself for everything that happens around me. I tend to internalize everything, but I don’t know why. That leads to depression, and I try to make myself feel better by eating. I’m about 120 lbs overweight now, and middle aged. If I don’t do something soon, I’m afraid of the consequences. I’ve thought about suicide, but haven’t gone through with anything (obviously). I don’t abuse alcohol (yet), but food seems to be my addiction. Needless to say, my self esteem is pretty low. I know this isn’t fair to my wife, my kids, my job, or to God……..I just don’t know where to go from here, and I fear that things are going to come to a head soon. How do I start to get better? Who do I turn to for help when I’m so embarrassed and self conscious? I can’t afford many sessions with a counselor……I really feel trapped. Can anyone help me?

    • Lizzy says:

      I just uploaded my pathetic little story. And all that ever really helps me is a therapy session witj a stranger. Anonymous, online. Just talking about problems and helping each other with struggles.

    • Gracie says:

      Honestly talking to my pastor helps me through a lot. He shows me scripture that really helps and if anything he always there to just listen and let me unload on him.

  27. Marissa says:

    I have problems with anger. I am not even sure what I should do with them. I was dating a guy for 3 years and during the course of those years I noticed myself getting angry with him in ways that I have never gotten with anyone before. I didn’t even recognize who I was. The anger got worse and worse. I would start raising my voice louder and louder. I also wanted to get close to him and physically hurt him. The feeling of physically hurting him is the first time I have ever felt that. I honestly don’t know what to do. Most of this may be linked to depression because I have been going through a depression for a few months but all of my anger episodes before now are unexplained. I don’t want it to get any worse. My ex is the only person I have ever done this with but I don’t want to have it spread into other areas of my life. Why does it keep getting worse? Why do I feel that I am never in control? What steps have some of you taken to get away from this point?

  28. Brian says:

    I’m so tired and sickened with life. I have so much but so little to live for, im so confused….help me. Help my loved and hated ones….

    • BIGFOOT says:

      Hey Brian, hope you still there.

      Life can really be messy, but not necessarily a mess. There is always hope you can turn it around. One way is by reading books of people who went through worse, much worse and survived to tell it.

      I recommend “The Doctor and the Damned.
      “Mao’s Prisoner”
      “You die Alone”

  29. Grant says:

    Hello,

    At least I know that I’m not alone here. Not quite three weeks ago, I made a rather weak attempt at suicide by a medication overdose. Fortunately, my ignorance saved me as I didn’t “take enough” meds. But it didn’t take too long for me to notice that my attempt was a result of my anger. I had my feelings hurt terribly and being that I didn’t want to take it out on others, I took it out on myself. I’m prone to rages. For a long time, I went through a string of DVD players. When they didn’t work the way I wanted them to, I would calmly unplug them, smash them to pieces, then throw them away. One night in October 2011, I had a setback with my brand new computer and I smashed a chair. I’m in the process of trying to get help but given where I live, however, help is slow in coming. I took a two week leave of absence from work after my suicide attempt. I’ve since returned, but I’m afraid that it was too soon. At times, my anguish returns and it seems overwhelming. There are positive changes coming my way. I’m buying a house and I have a transfer in to work in the town I’ll be living in. I work in corrections and I’ve worked a lot of overtime at my job, but given my current mental health (I worked over 30 hours overtime in March alone), a single minute of overtime right now I fear, would push me over the edge. Did I return to work too early? I live in Wyoming and simply put, it’s not a state known for easy access for mental health services. I’m a veteran but since my problems aren’t service related, I fear I shall be turned down by the VA. But what terrifies me the most is that I’ll do something terrible just before these wonderful things (the move, my transfer) will happen.

    If anyone has suggestions, I’m all eyes.

    Grant

    • Nora says:

      Grant:

      How do you know that your condition isn’t service-related? Consider contacting the V.A. The number for the crisis line is 800-273-8255.

    • BIGFOOT says:

      Hey Grant,

      I can only tell what I told another Veteran “Kays” Since I do not know if you will read his post, let me report here for you.

      You said; I’m a veteran

      What I got to let you know is that this effect is both from training, and biological.

      Militarily training is a training in different tactics of using violence. Military does not train men and women how to use logic, and diplomacy. By training them over and over again these tactics, these become internalized behavioral tendencies. So, when this trained person is exposed to a conflict situation, these tendencies become automatic in his behavior.

      But given that men are logically reasoning beings, these people are prone to reflect on this behavior, and they get disgusted by what they did, or were about to do. Their craving to be accepted as decent people conflict with the internalized behavioral violent tendency. It can lead to depression or worse.

      Secondary, these people are under another devastating evolutionary behavioral tendency. In the olden days, when men were still primitive, they reacted o danger pretty much like every other animal. Animal evolution has created a self-preservation reaction in the animals, including men.

      In human biology, you find that the brain of a human being has three distinct chambers. You have the The Neo-Cortex, the The Limbic System and The Reptilian Brain. The Neo-cortex is the reasoning brain. The lymbic system is the emotional bran. And the reptilian brain is the reactive brain. Only human beings have all three. Mammals have two.(lymbic system and reptilian brain) Reptile have only one, the reptilian brain. Reptiles have no emotions. But all mammals have emotions.

      The reptilian brain reacts unconsciously, and spontaneously. It governs the self-preservation. Its the one that helps you duck, or avoid danger without knowing. It does not think. It just reacts. It also governs operations of the body which you are not conscious of. like heart beat, breathing, eyelid movement bile secretion, blood sugar, etc.

      Now, our reactions are preconditioned also by our thoughts and emotions. Thoughts, first are entertained in the cerebrum, or neo-cotex. These thoughts, when entertained receptively, and agreeably, become subjective, and emotive. In their emotive nature, they are governed by the lymbic system. The lymbic system translate these thoughts into impulses and are written in the reptilian brain, and become spontaneously manifesting behavioral tendency.

      That means that we constantly are creating our nature, and character, or allowing other people to do it in us. Problem with militarily training is that in makes a person internalize combative tendencies and deny them the use of logic and reason.

      The other thing is that the problems we face today, do not require either “fight or flight” reactions. However, the reptilian brain still make use react as if our problems require there reactions.

      So, if the normal person is so susceptible to reptilian reaction, twice as much, will be the military guy. When ever we face conflicting situations, the self-presentation instincts take over, and the body is prepared for fight or flight. When it does not come, the acids, and sugars secreted become poisonous to the body.

      To cut the long story short, constantly train the body these excess sugars through daily exercise. take long walks, listen to quieting music, meditate, use humor, and generally take it easy.

  30. Kayla says:

    Hi my name is Kayla. I recently noticed I feel angry and depressed all the time. I am currently married with 2 beautiful children, one 3 almost 4 and one 10 months. My first daughter is by a different father who is active in her life. My husband and I have been together since my 3 year old was 8 months old. We are currently living with his mom. Alot of my anger/depression seems to be taken out when my 3 year old says things over &over over and doesn’t listen to me I get really angry and yell. My mother in law also sets me off because we pay half the bills and she always wants her boyfriend staying and doesn’t want to help me around the house. It ticks me off..another major set off to my anger would be when my husband wants to leave and go do something, I can’t explain why I get mad bc I don’t understand it myself I just feel like he should spend all his time with me since I work 5 days a week and he works alot too..I’m not sure how to control this and I’m considering seeing a doctor before I push everyone away..any suggestions?

    • Been There says:

      Hi Kayla,
      I am very sorry to hear about the struggles you are having with anger. It is great that you have recognized it before pushing people away. A lot of times we hold a feeling inside us that we are entitled to some form of support from others and when we feel that support is not there we tend to lash out. First step is to let go of this and realize that you have within you the ability to do all the things and also acknowledge that others are helping in some way or other.

      I really know what you mean about the 3 year old asking repeatedly for things leading to us lashing out at them. I have done that too when my life was extremely stressful. Things were spiraling out of control with my husband and I lashed out at my child. The thing that truly kicked me in the gut was the fear I saw in her eyes. I lost the love of my husband and it was replaced with that same fear. Knowing that I do not want my child to fear me made me realize how selfish I was behaving. It is time to take the focus out of oneself and realize that we owe it to our children to be the mature, calm and loving person that we all are inside. Meditation really helped me calm myself. yes- it is hard to take time in a busy day to meditate but it is truly effective. I went for an art of living course and it helped me considerably.

      • beenthere says:

        Our names and our stories are very similar. My anger took control of me to a point where I finally had to leave my partner. Not for fear of hurting anyone but of the shame one felt for what they were doing. I hated myself for all the angry moments, I did not know why I had anger until it was all too late. Until I came across this web site. I love my lovely partner as I being the depressed one ran away. I didn’t know why I left at the time….I just felt empty inside and whole lot of shame. I felt I wasn’t living up to what the male partner was supposed to do. I too now meditate for calmness. I am glad to see you focus now on your child, I miss my partners daughter so much. Because of this illness I will not get to see this beautiful child grow and mature and blossom into what I know will be a beautiful person, nor will I get to hold and love my partner who I know was “the one” What an illness this is and what a toll it takes on families. I hope you take care of yourself and create calmness with you and you child. You still have that.

        • BIGFOOT says:

          Been there,Kayla

          What you need to understand is that you are not alone. Many of us sometimes walk on the edge of the cliff and many time, one may think that its over now.

          What I normally tell myself is that “Its a feeling…….it will go” Most of the time, it do not. The other thing, you cannot tell exactly what started it, and you cannot tell, what will provoke it. Every day, is a struggle.

          Mine was hard to take until I learned that is could be hereditary. But is it curable?

          I think you can only manage it, because the only way to cure it, is to stop thinking. But you can neither stop thinking, nor can you help thinking, because thoughts are a Law.

          Think about this; What is the language of thought? Do you think in your “mother tongue” or official language? Do you think in images, picture, or visions?

          If you think that you think in a certain language, which language do the deaf and dumb us? Or would you like us to believe that they do no think?

          Thoughts have no language! Thoughts, are a conscious law that create language to express itself! THOUGHTS CREATE LANGUAGE. They have no language. They are a law.

  31. kyle Frank says:

    My name is Kyle, i dont really know how to talk about this, i never really have talked about it before. I guess i could start with the whole reason im even here in the first place. I’m afraid, afraid of myself and what im capable of doing to others, particularly my wife and little 6 year old girl.

    I drive trucks for a living, before that i was in college for graphic arts and webpage development, i also served in the millitary with 2 toures to iraq and graduated HS with a 3.8 GPA. i had wonderful parrents and good friends. So for the life of me i cant figure out why i get so angry at times that i literaly loose houres of my day thinking about the different ways to kill, dismember, tourcher, and mame people that cross my path the wrong way or say the wrong things. Because of my training in the millitary and 12 years of compatition martal art training, i know i know more then the average person to be able to protect myself, therefore, i know a great deal of different ways to hurt people. This only adds fuel to my fire cause i know i can do these things i think about doing.

    Today at a drop-n-hook stop at a shipyard, the trailer inspecter turned my trailer down and said it wasnt up to ” there standards” and told me to drop it somewere else. This initaly got me so angry i couldnt even talk. i was frozen right were i stood with quite terrifing thots going thru my head about what i could do to her. Things that ranged from simply scaring her into approving the paperwork, to completly flipping my lid and useing everything i know at my disposal to completly destroy any remenance of knowing who she could have been (beating her beyond reconition). When i got in my truck i started yelling at my stearing wheel at the top of my lungs all kinds of curse words and things i wanted to say to her. The only reason i didnt was cause of what the reprocussions of my actions would do to my wife, our unbourn child, and my little girl. I am everything they rely on for support and a good life, so i bottled it up called my dispacher, and told him about my situation. At first i was able to calm myself down, but then 2 hrs went by, then 3 then 4hrs. I called to get an update and he told me he was still looking. I could feel the rage slowly building. To make a long story short, 11 hrs went by and i called numorous times. I was raging so bad i started crying. I cant even remember the last time i cryed, i didnt even cry when i got shot in my shoulder during my last tour in iraq, or when i litteraly shattered every single medacarple in my right hand when i raged and killed my fridge. Iv never felt anger that intence, and i was seriously thinking about doing things i would regret for the rest of my life. I was so serious about it i made the decission to call my wife and talk about it. After about an hr of talking/yelling about this woman, she was able to calm me down so i could think straight. I told her i loved her and hung up the phone.

    I sat down in my truck for a wile and thought about all that had happened today and how i was reacting to it all. Iv always known iv had an anger problem but today was different, i really felt like i was going insaine, i couldnt control myself no matter how or what i tryed. I realize my problem may be bigger then i can handle. So i started looking online to see if others have this similar problem and well, here i am, typin all this up, venting to people i dont even know. If anyone reads this and has a simular problem please tell me how you deal wiith your issues if you have any. Even some outside oppinions would be great. I want to be a good provider for my family and my anger almost got in the way of that responsablility today, pease help.

    • KCL says:

      Kyle Frank, it sounds to me like you handled, controlled your anger very well considering you could have completely took everything out on that inspector. I feel like your trigger was the disrespect and harsh rejection of the inspector. Having to wait and waste your valuable time. Time you could have spent with your family instead. You’re also very lucky to have such a nice wife who was able to calm you down so easily. The next time you get upset…. find out what triggers this anger… Once you discover what it is exactly… you’ll free the hold it has on you.

    • Pam says:

      Kyle,
      You taking the initiative to look for help in this way is a great first step. We can’t change what we can’t recognize in ourselves. I am no expert, just someone suffering from depression and working my way out through a lot of hard work. My reactions to anger is to stuff it and not show anger, because it scares me.

      Reaching out for help has always been difficult for me. I see you reaching out on this blog and to your beloved wife, this shows me you are open to shedding light on what appears to be tormenting you.

      I am 58 years old and have lived with the wrath of extreme anger imposed on me by my mother. I tried to fill her void and love her all my years until finally she tried to run the car I was riding in with her as a driver, off a bridge.

      I wish my mother had it in her to look inside and try to get help, but from my experience with her, she may never have what it takes to take responsibility for her anger and have some empathy for her victims. who have tried to love her all these years.

      When I read your post, I believe you are on your way to healing whatever is causing your outbursts and thoughts. I admire you for looking for root causes so you can heal. If we all had the luxury of time to explore these things and deal with the depression not fearing it leading into the inability to function and in your case not being able to providing for your family, this work would be easier.

      Therapy takes time, soul searching and looking at your childhood takes time. I believe you could have learned your behaviors from something in your past, a reaction to abuse, or what you endured in the service of your country. I also believe sometimes our brains just get wired differently.

      I am working a program at http://www.cure-your-depression.com. It is a free 6 step program designed to be worked one step at a time. I had improvement with my depression after 3 days. I am not cured, but I am working the steps and see longer periods of non depressive thoughts. Since my depression has physical symptoms, I can measure how well I am doing by my physical pain.

      Just the fact you came to this web sight looking for answers deserves a deep appreciation of yourself. I hope you feel proud knowing you are doing all you can do. Some days all we can do is revert to the ways we know, but when we know better, we do better. If you have just a little improvement you should be proud knowing you are searching for answers. I have always heard if you look for the answers, the teachers will come. Sometimes they come in the strangest forms, but when you connect to something you need, you know it was given because you asked the questions.

      Keep asking the questions, dig deep for answers and take advice from others if it is the advice you need at that particular time. I have faith in your recovery from anger because I see the frustrations it is causing you.

      Your love for your family should be the driving force. Take it from someone who knows, living with angry people damages you. I don’t want this for your children, or they too will be writing a blog such as this. I believe parents have the ability to make the world better through the way they raise their children. Angry parents don’t make the best caregivers.
      Getting down to forgiving yourself, loving yourself, and working through the anger will most likely be the only way to heal.

      I hope the best for you,
      Pam

    • Lainey says:

      Kyle Frank–

      Sorry to hear you are going thru such a rough time. I know exactly how you feel because I am wired the exact same way! I grew up with a mother who was easily angered and would throw raging fits–although not to the point that she wanted to drive me or my siblings off a bridge.

      My anger and rage improved 100% when I started taking anti-anxiety meds..I take the lowest dose of Celexa…you can try that.

      My anger has escalated at times to crying and rage. When that happens I try a number of things; such as
      1) getting away immediately from wherever I am
      2) taking a hot bath
      3) or sit in a dark room
      4) exercise
      5) get a massage
      6) telling my husband that I just want him to listen while I explode
      7) or sometimes when I know I’m going to go over the edge I just tell whoever is irritating me that “I’m about to BLOW up and they need to leave me alone”…I usually say this while I’m holding my palm out.

      Good luck to you and your family!

    • BIGFOOT says:

      Key you said” i also served in the military”

      That got me thinking.

      I got brothers in the military …
      Anyway, its not that you have a big problem. What I got to let you know is that this effect is both from training, and biological.

      Militarily training is a training in different tactics of using violence. Military does not train men and women how to use logic, and diplomacy. By training them over and over again these tactics, these become internalized behavioral tendencies. So, when this trained person is exposed to a conflict situation, these tendencies become automatic in his behavior.

      But given that men are logically reasoning beings, these people are prone to reflect on this behavior, and they get disgusted by what they did, or were about to do. Their craving to be accepted as decent people conflict with the internalized behavioral violent tendency. It can lead to depression or worse.

      Secondary, these people are under another devastating evolutionary behavioral tendency. In the olden days, when men were still primitive, they reacted o danger pretty much like every other animal. Animal evolution has created a self-preservation reaction in the animals, including men.

      In human biology, you find that the brain of a human being has three distinct chambers. You have the The Neo-Cortex, the The Limbic System and The Reptilian Brain. The Neo-cortex is the reasoning brain. The lymbic system is the emotional bran. And the reptilian brain is the reactive brain. Only human beings have all three. Mammals have two.(lymbic system and reptilian brain) Reptile have only one, the reptilian brain. Reptiles have no emotions. But all mammals have emotions.

      The reptilian brain reacts unconsciously, and spontaneously. It governs the self-preservation. Its the one that helps you duck, or avoid danger without knowing. It does not think. It just reacts. It also governs operations of the body which you are not conscious of. like heart beat, breathing, eyelid movement bile secretion, blood sugar, etc.

      Now, our reactions are preconditioned also by our thoughts and emotions. Thoughts, first are entertained in the cerebrum, or neo-cotex. These thoughts, when entertained receptively, and agreeably, become subjective, and emotive. In their emotive nature, they are governed by the lymbic system. The lymbic system translate these thoughts into impulses and are written in the reptilian brain, and become spontaneously manifesting behavioral tendency.

      That means that we constantly are creating our nature, and character, or allowing other people to do it in us. Problem with militarily training is that in makes a person internalize combative tendencies and deny them the use of logic and reason.

      The other thing is that the problems we face today, do not require either “fight or flight” reactions. However, the reptilian brain still make use react as if our problems require there reactions.

      So, if the normal person is so susceptible to reptilian reaction, twice as much, will be the military guy. When ever we face conflicting situations, the self-presentation instincts take over, and the body is prepared for fight or flight. When it does not come, the acids, and sugars secreted become poisonous to the body.

      To cut the long story short, constantly train the body these excess sugars through daily exercise. take long walks, listen to quieting music, meditate, use humor, and generally take it easy.

  32. Melb says:

    I found this website while trying to figure out how to heal my husband and myself. First let me say that I have lied to my husband and done some bad things but my husband can not forgive and tells me I don’t love him and constantly is like a black hole that you try to fill. He has terrible anger and will tell my daughter and I how terrible we are and that we are the reason that he rages. If you just did this and that he would not get mad. But he hates everyone and everything and everyone is out to screw us. I have asked him to go to counseling he refuses and tells me why should I go because if you just did what I asked we would be fine. We hide things from him because we fear his reaction. I know that is wrong but I just want some peace in my life. Help!

    • KCL says:

      MelB – forget trying to make him get counseling – get yourself some help. You need some support too. Maybe figure out how you can get out of this situation if there is violence and verbal abuse. No one likes to live on eggshells. Good luck.

  33. Katie says:

    Reading your post really has put a lot into perspective. I feel so angry… even today, after work, I have come home angry because of the stupid decisions being made by stupid people who only care about money. The more I realize this is the hierarchy of the bureaucracy, the more enraged I become. My mother died last year in April a week before my birthday, and a week later I received a rejection letter from a school I was trying to get into for a long time. I have always been angry due to a bad childhood, but it feels like it is getting worse. Sometimes I get so mad at my boyfriend who has shown me the utmost unconditional love and I take the rage out on him. Sometimes I even become violent.

    I hate myself and everyone else. Sometimes I wish I were dead. I’m so angry and when I’m not angry, I’m sad. I’m only 22 and I feel so trapped and helpless. I have no family as my mother died and my father killed himself 12 years ago. I don’t know what to do. I’m so mad but there’s nothing I can do. This world is cruel. I struggle to think there are good people out there. I know there are, but I am not one of them. I’m so ashamed. Of what, I do not know.

    • Allie says:

      Kate, I want you to know your not alone. It’s like you are me because I’ve never met someone who could know just what I’m going through and knows how comsuming the anger is. For once I don’t feel so alone

    • Hannah says:

      Dear Katie,

      I hope you don’t feel alone as reading your comment explained my situation too. I’m 23, my lovely wonderful mum died 2 years ago. I have a long term boyfriend who I fear I’m losing. He has been with me through it all but I get so depressed, hate my appearance to the point of wanting to kill myself and get in rages that are about stupid things like tidying up. Sometimes I am violent. I can’t stop myself and I don’t know who to turn to. My friends see me as fun and playful but a liability after a drink.

      I hope there is some kind of peace out there for young women like us xxx

  34. Jessica says:

    Hi, I’m looking for advise, I need help and I don’t know where to start, I’m 20 years old, almost 21. I have a nearly 10 month old baby, and although I’m not with his biological father my partner of almost a year has been his dad since he was born. For as long as I can remember I have suffered with some form of depression, I grew up in a very unhappy family, my mother and father are divorced have been since I was 10, my older brother has ADHD and my younger brother has Autism. I was sexually abused as a child and have only told the closest people too me including my partner, since I gave birth my rage has become unbearable it has gotten to the point where my partner has gone back to live with his mum until I fix it in some way because he can’t take it anymore, he has stood by me this whole time and we honest to god love each other so much, but this is destroying us and I need to fix it before I loose him for good, I try to talk to him about why my anger and rage comes out so bad but find myself not actually knowing. I wish understood why I get this way, but I honestly don’t, I’m currently on medication for depression but that doesn’t seem to be helping

    • Susan says:

      Let me guess. The most common phrase you hear is, “Just relax and enjoy your baby”, followed closely by, “OF COURSE YOU’RE DEPRESSED. Look how difficult your life is!” I remember being angry at the little, wailing parasite that controlled my life. Okay, I’m still angry at the baby, but the teen pulls her weight. She knows just how to make me laugh. She knows the perfect words of encouragement and when to say them. I started liking her about the time she turned 4. That was when we moved to a new state and a new pediatrician. Turns out I had postpartum depression. It’s different from ordinary depression because of the hormonal influence. Also, the drugs that were effective before your child was born may no longer work.

      I don’t know if you have postpartum depression or not, but if you do, please remember 2 things:
      1. You are not the first parent to hate their baby and their new life, and
      2. Your PEDIATRICIAN is a good place to look for help.

  35. Krista says:

    Hi, everyone. I am concerned that what I’m about to say might come across arrogantly. Please don’t take it that way. This is directed towards people who are on the other end of the rage. My comment is inspired by Janie who asks if it is normal for a depressed person to become violent towards someone because they claim the person does not understand them or listen, etc.

    Normal? No. Common? Yes. Violence can be verbal abuse or physical abuse. Both forms of violence are emotionally abusive. I have both been a “rager” and one who has been severely abused by someone who suffered extreme depression and episodes of violent rage. I say that it might seem arrogant because I have been forgiven for my outbursts and want to show forgiveness to others as well. But forgiveness has to do with self. It is not something that you bestow on others. So, you can actually permanently separate from someone and forgive them at the same time. Forgiveness doesn’t really have anything to do with staying with someone in a partner-ship; at least not fundamentally.

    Let me put it to you really straight: If there is anyone on this board who thinks that they can somehow take responsibility for someone who has a rage issue – let’s by blunt, an ABUSER – you are naive for thinking so. If you think that “loving” them more will make them stop, you are wrong. If you think that trying to understand and to listen more and more will help them, you are wrong. People do what they want to do. And there is nothing in this world that can stop them. We are all like that. We do what we want to do, and nothing else.

    A person who abuses you may be sad or depressed or may have come from an abusive and unloving background. This is reality. There are hundreds of millions suffering from the human condition of unhealed emotional wounds. Staying with them will not make their wounds heal. In fact, sadly enough, it will usually make them keep bleeding. They were attracted to you for a reason. They had these issues when they met you. You did not cause them. The type of person with these issues will seek out (albeit not consciously most of the time) someone that they can engage like that with; just as the person who receives the violent abuse is attracted to the person with these issues. They don’t have to display them right away. There are so many other traits that people have that are common to people who possess this trait as well.

    You are helpless and useless in trying to make them get help, to make them stop abusing you, to make them stop feeling like they are unloved, to make them stop feeling like you don’t care of listen, to make them feel good about themselves, to make them “see the light,” to make them understand why they have emotional problems, and the list goes on. Is anyone going to MAKE you leave an abuser? Nope. Logic dictates that no one – not even you – is going to MAKE them do anything.

    As someone who has been on both sides, let me make one thing very clear: People who lash out in abusive and violent ways have no respect for you. This is why they can go to work, go to the store, walk down the sidewalk, and not get violent (usually). There is a reason that they feel that they can do this with you. People eventually begin to despise people whom they cannot respect. They watch you be beaten down over and over and over again as your life unravels and your identity fades and they know that you just… take it? They don’t view you as a loving martyr. You’re the only one who views yourself as some kind of “sacrificial lamb” or martyr for the betterment of this person you love. They view you as someone who will put up with their s**t. The people who rage and lash out can say whatever they want but they know, deep down, that they are like young children throwing tantrums, and they hate themselves for it, too. Do NOT help them along in this process. If you love them, you will force them to either be on their own, an independent grown adult who has consequences and then perhaps they will make the choice to seek help, or go do what they’re doing with you with someone else.

    If you are in a position where you believe you cannot leave at the moment, ignore them. Deprive them of their need to engage in violence or explode in rage. Ignore them like you would ignore a child throwing a hissy-fit in the corner, pining to get out. They will disengage. They will probably lash out with a slew of venomous statements that I wouldn’t even say to a pile of garbage on my curb, but ignore this, too. If they hit you, call the police, press charges, and leave. How dare you allow yourself to be abused. And if you have children, remember this: Your feelings about the rager/abuser DO NOT MATTER. The children’s well-being matters. No one ever said to stop loving them or caring about them. Who ever said you have to “feel” like doing something to do it?

    The person who has violent rages isn’t the only one who is sick. The person who stays with an abuser is sick. Don’t paint yourself as a victim. You’re not. You’re sick and need help. Staying in a life-threatening situation, whether it’s life-threatening in the sense that your mind and heart are being systematically destroyed or your literal physical life is on the line, are not “normal.” We are born with instincts to protect ourselves. What is it in you that is making you do this? Fear that if you leave them they will quickly find someone else thus deeming you replaceable and not special at all? Fear that you will be alone? Fear that you are not really loved? Stop living in fear and force yourself to take responsibility for yourself and don’t help an abuser along by playing the only role they truly need someone to play in life for them. They chose you for a reason. Anyone who tries this childish idiocy out on someone who won’t put up with them has leaned first hand what I mean. Don’t be prey.

    There will come a point when, whether you are the abuser or the abused, you get help and you begin to heal and you will look back at your former life and feel disgust. You will shake your head in awe at how you ever lived that way.

    This may sound cold, but it is a reality: Sometimes we have to cut things out of ourselves like they are a cancer. Sometimes we have to cut people off even when it feels like we are losing an arm. Remember the scripture where Jesus said that if your eye makes you stumble, tear it out? Why do you think He used a body part in that illustration? Because it hurts and to do it yourself seems almost impossible. But it is possible. If you are being abused, make yourself cold enough for a time to leave. Then go get help. If you are an abuser, stop selling yourself short in life. Go get help. You deserve better. You look like a coward anyway, only picking on people that won’t fight back. Go face yourself. It’s the most formidable opponent you will ever contend with. That goes for both sides. Stop depending on each other for things that you should be depending on yourself for. You won’t DIE, even if you feel like you will. You will survive. Life is painful. Do what you have to do.

    I would say “Good luck” but when it comes to this there is no such thing. I will say, fight the fine fight.

    • Sam says:

      Hi Krista,
      I have these symptoms of irritability with my girlfriend who has been more than willing to stick by me. I would admit to her that I was insecure but I never really understood the situation until I read this and then I read what you wrote and it made me cry.
      I love her and never realized that she would see herself as a martyr out of love and with stood all the verbal attacks from me. Today I said some pretty mean stuff. It’s such a circular emotion process because I get depressed because I got angry and lost control but its because I’m depressed that I get angry. Worst is I know all this is slowly pushing her away and ruining our relationship. And while I try not to get angry, when it’s happening I lose control. I feel like the Incredible Hulk without the physical violence because I’m so blinded by it.
      I will try and seek help. I will do it whichever way I can. I just started working and I don’t know if insurance will cover a visit to a professional and I don’t make that much. But I will try my hardest for myself. Thank you!!!!!!

      • Brent says:

        Sam I am glad you are able to see the problem and are wanting to seek help. For me I came across this website too late, the damage had already been done before I realized what what was taking place with me and why. We had already separated. I wish you luck. There are community counselling that charges based on your pay scale. You may want to look into that.

    • Susan says:

      Krista,

      I find your comments rude and insulting. I am a rager, who has been trying to get help. I am also getting diagnosed with bipolar. To say that a person has control over all their emotions is false and lacks education on your part. I do not disrespect my husband in anyway. I honestly respect him which is why i am so open with my feelings with him. It is the exact opposite of what you said. just because you had a bad experience in life with this does not give you the right to judge other people. Maybe if you had a little more understanding of your husband and sought counseling yourself to fix problems together instead of apart you would have a different view. For now I just feel sorry for you ever you unjustly judged.

      • Lisa says:

        I actually agree with Krista… I got physically and emotionally abused as a child, and every significant relationship that I’ve been in has led to the other person destroying me before they cheat and I leave them.

        What I don’t understand is how these people can be so appealing to me in the beginning and without fail, end up being abusers within a couple of years. How come every man I’ve been with in 11 years has been emotionally abusive? Am I the only who makes them abusive, or am I just attracted to people with major (unknown at the time) issues?

        • jabe says:

          I see where Krista is coming from but I think the problem is she doesn’t understand depression, she used it as a synonym for sad. Depression isn’t an emotion it’s so much deeper and more complicated then that. Being abusive and being depressed aren’t the same thing though they can be symptoms of each other. Assuming that someone who suffers from depression has no respect for others, isn’t capable of getting help until they are abandoned, and has complete control of their emotions is insulting and wrong. For example, that post put all people in one boat as if every situation is the same. But people have different and varying experiences like Susan. Some people may agree with Krista but not all. So yes, I can see why Krista posted she might sound arrogant. Its probably because she realizes to some extent that her experience is just that, her experience. Also not all people who suffer from depression have an abusive or unloving background. It’s not just environmental factors you have to take in account but mental health which play a major part, which Krista did not acknowledge. And yes, unconditional love can help a person who suffers, but unfortunately as there always is, theres another side to this story. There are situations where the “victim” actually causes as much pain if not more, as the sufferer. A person can’t hurt and disrespect, and yell at someone suffering from depression and see themselves as innocent when the sufferer lashes out. People who are depressed aren’t in a healthy state of mind. You have to be patient and understanding with them and yes, you actually should stick by and help them, because they are not just “ABUSERS”. They are people who need help. You don’t just abandon people who need help, but of course you should take precautions, cause its tough helping someone battle something neither of you understand.

    • Lori says:

      Bravo, Krista. Wise and beautifully put.

  36. Andrew's partner says:

    Yet another moment of pain

  37. Andrew's partner says:

    Andrew,

    I can see now the way you think things are.

    Here are some very important facts that you left out.

    I was abused as a young girl and despite of all that made it thru , never turned to drugs nor alcohol but worked hard to be who I’m today. I have had trust issue since although I gave a change to my long term relationship before only to be cheated on and beaten for no reason and even then I made it thru without turning to bad stuff and consulting a therapist. I asked God every day to let me open my heart to someone that loves me for me and all I wanted was love and respect. When I met you I thought that everything that I asked for God provided me with and only in very short weeks I found out that might not be the case but hoping that was all in the past things will work out. Shortly after you met me you started telling me about your sex adventures , how you had a friend that you use to share women with and how you bought roses only when you wanted to sleep with someone, these are only some examples of your descriptive stories of yours . I then noticed that you woud look at everyones ass and butt that God created and that you would even foget that I was present . When I came to a realisation of this it was to late and i was pregnant. I went to my house in the States and your mom visited me. She confirmed my worries by saying that you were a player . I did not want to return to you again but I did thinking that maybe just maybe I’m reading to much into this not realizing that in fact that has taken a toll on me. I returned to you and then started to feel so bad about how I look since there was no time that you did not want me to color my hair do a breast surgery have a nose ring , belly ring and all the above. I started to hate by self and body image issues got deeper and deeper to the point that I don’t want to look at myself any longer . After loosing a baby I dealt with so much pain on my own because you are not easy to talk to and when I did cry on your arms I was blamed for being depresed . Then I got pregnet shortly after and that was the happiest day of my life but even than I felt alone. After our baby was born early and I was alone in us and you deployeed I dealt with C- section massive pain, high blood pressure without any family member to help and a baby in the NICU for weeks before you got home- With C-section I drove three days later to deliver ilk and be with her many times a day. When you called you were busy talking about how you have a flu a without considering just how bad things were at home. Upon coming hope you asked God for your daughter to be blond and to look thin and tall like a croatian and stared at everyone that had big boobs or butt. Upon coming overseas I was brought to a building were that partner that you shared women with and one that went on women hunt was at, you even dared to take me to his place. I’m sorry but that made me feel disgusting as it would make anyone else feel the same and I just never felt more dirty. I was then faced to everyday possibly see this person and if I had listened to you be nice to him. It is not his fault by any means none of the matter so it is not right that I called him names , you just don’t respect me and in your mind you do but anyone that reads this will be a judge of that . I’m so tired of being treated like this, you never touch me , never kiss me never even want to make love to me. every single day I have to stay up for my daughter because once the night come you fall asleep so deeply that alarm clock can’t wake you to fed her, because there were cases that you fell asleep holding her or missing her meals and because of the fact she weights so little I have to push myself with every strenght left to stay up every nights that God gives. I’m so tired , so stressed not knowing what is wrong with her that I snap. You failed to mention that once you almost roke my leg and yesterday you almost broke my back.

    • Niom says:

      You should leave him.It is absurd what you went thru and reading his email makes me angry.He is a blind man covered in shame that can’t run away from his character although he is trying to change.I’m really sorry that you are tolerating such abuse.Run.

  38. Andrew says:

    Hi,
    I am writing on here because I do not have any family or friends that I can talk to about the situation that I am in currently. I have been with my fiancee for 1 1/2 years and we have a 6 month old baby girl together. The baby was born 2 months prematurely so she has added a lot of stress to both of our lives since the moment we found out my fiancee was pregnant. Things between the two of us have ranged from the perfect relationship to the most toxic relationship. My fiancee has frequent outbursts of anger where she belittles me to no end. Most of the time I say nothing or walk away and leave our apartment to cool off so that I dont end up saying something stupid back to her. Our daughter’s constant sicknesses and feeding her at night have made both of us completely drained by now. My fiancee refuses to sleep during the day ever to catch up on sleep. She insists on staying up at night saying that she has no confidence in me that I will not fall asleep if I stay up to feed our daughter after this happened maybe twice when we were both suffering from extreme exhaustion. Over the course of our relationship, my wife has treated me incredibly unjustly constantly bringing up things from my past and throwing them in my face despite numerous attempts at reassuring her that I will never cheat on her and love her. In the past 2 months however things have turned from toxic arguments to physical violence. One incident my fiancee attacked me so badly by clawing at me and slamming me to the floor that I could not go to work for a week as the marks were on my neck and face and impossible to conceal. Another incident I woke up after hiding under the covers during one of her rages she had ripped the cover off of me and smashed the pillow so hard against one of my eyes that I could not see. I jumped out of bed and hit her with the same pillow numerous times. Later she denied the incident saying she never hit me. Recently there was an incident where she clawed at me numerous times and spat in my face saying I was a liar and cursing me for no reason. I took it, took it, took it until I couldnt any more and charged at her while she was lying down in bed and screamed in her face asking her if I lied to her and she said no and begged me not to hurt her at which point I left. There was another incident where I was hiding in bed under the covers again (when I have no where to go in our apartment and its the middle of the night and freezing cold outside here in Germany its my only spot to retreat to) while for 30 minutes she called me every name in the book and violently splashed around in the bath tub as she bathed. I took it took it took it until I couldnt any more and got dressed in a hurry and was almost out the door until she walked out of the bathroom as if to prevent me from leaving and said some things that infuriated me while I had the door open. I closed the door and charged toward her and got in her face on the couch. I left and she apologized later and swore that she would never fight with me again. Recently it was new years and of course on new years eve we were fighting but this time it was minor-just verbal bickering- and she resolved to not fight again. I told her that I didnt believe her and that I would only believe it when I saw it. She vowed that 2013 would be a different year and swore and swore that she would never fight with me. Less than a day later we were fighting again. This time it was the worst abuse that she has put me through. She constantly belittles me at the end of the night when I get tired and lay down on the floor though our sofa is uncomfortable to lie down on. She dominates the computer, rarely lets me do anything I want to on the computer and if I am on it she is always right next to me. She makes me shower with her, never lets me go to work, if I am out of her sight she is calling me non stop to check in on me. Its not that I want space to sneak around but it becomes suffocating after a while. Tonight as always when she fights with me I shut down and since she told me to go to bed like a looser, thats precisely what I did. It is hard to overcome depression and feelings of worthlessness when they are reinforced daily and though not being particularly tired or wanting to go to sleep sometimes, the way she treats me sends me into an instant sleep that I dont want to get up from. The floor of the living room is not the most comfortable place to sleep, especially with no pillow and a blanket that doesnt fit me so needless to say I didnt sleep well. So for the next four hours I stayed awake listening to her cursing me over and over again. She was becoming aggressive with our 6 month baby who is having difficulty drinking milk and the reason why we are in and out of hospitals every week and with a lot of stress and never able to live a “normal life” or able to enjoy watching her grow, and she aggressively put our daughter to sleep after her not wanting to drink. At one point she said “Im not even going to change you because I dont even give a shit anymore.” Throughout the night while I was laying there my fiancee tried to get my attention, taunted me, threw an entire pile of laundry on my body as I laid there, she kicked me, she threw water on my face, all the time stomping around the apartment. She would pick up clothes that she had already thrown on me and throw them on me. Let me just say that this began at 2100 and ended at 0300. FInally I snapped when she whipped me in the eye with a towel. She probably didnt realize she had hit me there but waking up to that isnt fun. I got up and saw it still in her hand and tackled her. I want to know what is wrong with her and me and if there is any possibility for hope for the future. Thank you for any advice.

    • Jen says:

      She needs help. She may get so angry that she hurts the baby. Beg her to go with you to see someone, if not for you for the baby. Sounds like the stress is getting to her. I have a daughter who was born 17 weeks early so I know how stressful that can be, please seek help.

      • Andrew's partner says:

        jen,

        You know that having a baby come early causes alot of stress so I thank you for understanding. At no point have a been mean on possibly want to hurt a baby . I’m as gentle as it gets with her. I’m shocked that Andi tends to lie even about this when in fact he thrown her around and I was the one to make him snap out of it .

  39. Brent says:

    This does explain my situation exactly. However for me it is too late, my relationship was ruined. It was I that walked away from it. We moved to a new city and for 2 years I had not met very many people or friends. My girlfriend..she prefered the term partner… was the professional and the bread winner, I was looking or new work. I eventually left her telling her that I felt like I was dieing there when in reality it was my depression that was killing me. I had anger that I blamed on her, I now know different, and yes it would turn into rage occasionally. I often thought it was the nicotine as I would try not to smoke around her but the more iread the more I believe it was depression. We tried for another year apart to get back together. She tried so hard, but time after time I would get angry for absolutely no reason. What a fool I was. We would argue and her daughter would come downstairs and tell me to just leave already. Her daughter now has depression and cuts. She asked for us to see a counsellor and I refused that as well. And so now the guilt eats me alive everyday. The workaholic…everything fits me to a tee. It is only now that I know she is gone for ever that I have become so depressed that I started reading about the condition. I also now deal with anxiety. For myself, my life will never be the same as she as the one I was to marry and spend the rest of my life with….and now she is gone.

    • Richard says:

      Brent- I too battle every day with depression, rage, and anxiety. I feel
      trapped and go into rages many times. I am married with 3 children and scare myself at times. It affects my work, my marriage, my relationship with my children, relatives, etc. I feel like I’m spinning out of control. Some days I’ll be fine, upbeat, positive, other days little things will set me off (workload at work, people pissing me off at work, in public, kids not listening to me, wife not listening to me). I go into hate and anger episodes, feel totally worn out, and then feel worse after that.
      You and I are both ill. We have to accept that. If you are a religious man, I beg you to pray daily, pray the rosary if you’re catholic by chance and if not pray and have faith to overcome this terrible, terrible disease. It’s the only thing that has kept me going at this point.
      Seek counseling, get well and maybe it can work out again with you and her. I’m not saying right now but get help as I’m going to do again for myself. Go to the gym regularly and get a good counselor that provides anger management and depression services (even if youve failed with one before, get up off the ground again and again). I believe in you Brent and you can turn it around.

      Richard

  40. George says:

    Hello everyone and Merry Christmas!

    I just wanted to say that you all have opened my eyes, just hope it is not too late. To many physical pain problems to go into it all but you guys made me realize a few things and god speed to everyone. Dr. Phil is not the answer for me but a good pastor would be, as a good friend. :)

  41. Tina Cauldwell says:

    Unfortunately I had to leave my fiancé about two months ago due to his anger and depression. I just could not handle him yelling and screaming at me over every little thing any longer . I myself was starting to get depressed when I have always been an upbeat positive person. I got to the point I didn’t want to come home after work .. I would literally have panic attacks daily . He never became physical but I felt it was coming when he began throwing things at me. He had a very hard childhood and a mother who didn’t raise him or his siblings. I made more money than him and was very close to my family which I’m sure he envied in the worst way. I really wanted to hang in there and help but he Insisted it was Me with the problem because I didn’t do the dishes in a timely manner or finish the laundry as quick as he would like… He would put me down constantly and the cup was not only half empty.. It was completely DRY..negative all the time. We lived together 4 months before I had to ask him to leave.. I just could not take it anymore . I’m very sad and I hope he gets some help. He also suffered a heart attack ( he’s 35) after one of his rages against me.. But of course made that my fault too. I really really loved him but not at the cost of my own mental health. Thanks for listening

  42. lisa says:

    i can relate to the anger issue. I do know the feeling of uncrontrollable rage and the utter devestation it wreaks. It has destroyed my relationship (many good times but the bad were awful) . I have only just begun to accept i have an anger problem and i had never really linked it to my depression but it makes sense to me on many levels. Depression is almost the absense of feeling and anger is the re emergence of feeling, tainted with a real sense of utter horror when you suddently regain a perspective and see that while you were in self iimposed isolation, the world moved on without you. I used to have a good social life and really do miss being able to just engage with things, i have hope that i will again but i feel reassured that maybe my problems can be overcome, even though i am now 35 and have created something of a wasteland for a life. This site is v insighlful, thankyou and stay well :)

    • Robyn says:

      Hi Lisa

      I have also discovered my anger is closely linked to my depression. I’m so affriad of destroying my own life, and I can see it happening all around me.

      The logical side of myself berates my behaviour and how horrible and selfish I am to everyone, especially my husband, who is directly in my line of fire. It makes me want to leave and isolate myself more. It leaves me feeling helpless.

      What have you found has helped you the most, if anything. I’m 25 right now and don’t want to end up 40, an alcholic, alone and misrable.

  43. Lynn says:

    I feel this rage every day. I have for years. I am destroying relationships left right and center because of it. My husband shared this blog with me to show me I am not alone and I can get through this. Thank you for sharing.

  44. Stacy says:

    John–thank you for writing the above blog. I suffer from depression and even though I am a woman I too go through the type of anger you described. I have been going through this for years. I gage these outbursts as indicators that I need to have my meds increased. As you stated the damage is already done and I’ve single-handedly destroyed my relationship with my boyfriend and teenage sons. I go to therapy but rarely talk about my anger because once the rage is gone I forget or more often than not I don’t even remember why I raged. Thank you for letting me know that I’m not the only one who suffers from this behavior in connection to their depression.

    • SandraG says:

      The best thing you can do is talk about your anger with your therapist. I know it will be hard. I have been in therapy for a year and a half. I didn’t open up about my anger until about a year after therapy. I didn’t want my therapist to know how bad my anger issue was. No way. How embarrassing. I wanted my therapist to keep me on the top of their thoughts. I never wanted anyone to look down on me, no way, not my therapist.

      I have noticed in my life that medications is not the only thing I need to help me in my anger. Since starting therapy I have gained new coping skills. Once of which is a soccer ball that I use to kick around and take to the baseball diamond near where I live. There is a large wall that I use and I kick the ball against it. (I had to be careful 3 weeks post op, I got so mad at someone I think I hurt my belly with kicking the ball so hard so many times). I also paint when I’m in pain. Pain is under the anger. Many emotions are under the anger. Could be fear, could be jealously, could be guilt or even shame. I don’t read as much as I used to, it seems that I got burnt out on reading. Perhaps I just need to pick up a new topic to read about since I was reading so much of the same thing over and over again (I tend to do this often with cycles of reading ONE topic for 2 years). Find some good coping skills to add to your medication. I wish I had known about painting and kicking a soccer ball back 9 years ago. It would have saved me a lot of time, my old job and high blood pressure!

  45. Sandra Gregston says:

    Must be nice to have a “partner”. When you do, the world can see more hopeful and happy. And women are EXPECT to freaking MARRY once they are 21 years old. I’m depressed and angry at the world for being unemployed for 5 years. If I was married, I’d have a man to take care of my needs. It’s not right and I’m 37 and living with my 60 year old mother. I’m trapped and I guess I’ll just live with my mommy for the rest of my sorry life. Anger issues. Oh yes, I know them well. Right now, I’m not sad. I feel HOPELESS. I see others get jobs around me, but not me. I’m the one with the education and the degrees and I’m the one that feel hopeless. May be I shouldn’t even get out of bed each day. Why? I see others that seem to look worse off than me (less coping skills) and they get jobs! Amazing. I have no hope of ever finding a job again. My insomnia is BACK and I can’t sleep worth a damn at night. I nap for 3 hours during the day. I look for work and I’m an empty basket on the computer. I just look for work with no real expectation that ANYTHING will EVER CHANGE. I’ve been waiting and waiting for change for 5 years and I’ve been doing all that I can. volunteer, yep. DOR client? Yep. Am I disabled and can I get SSDI? Nope. Have a new updated resume? Yep. I’ve done it ALL, including networking. NOTHING IS WORKING and this is why I am hopeless. So much for life. I’ll just end up homeless when my mom dies. I mean, she IS 60 and who am I kidding ? She may have 20 more years left, but she’s not going to have another 50 years left. I don’t want to be married, I just want a freaking job. Anyone want to hire a girl that can work and answer your phones for $24K a year? It will help me greatly and working for you will help me get out of this stupid depression. I’ll have a PURPOSE if I have a job. Right now, I have no purpose. I dont want to DIE, I want A JOB!

    • wil says:

      Don’t be so hard on yourself..

    • Mark says:

      This seems a very unfortunate situation you have found yourself to be in. Though to me it would seem you are focusing on all the negatives. Although it may be hard, I might suggest trying to focus on some positives.

      Also, have you considered trying taking walks during the day, reading, studying.

      Exercise of the mind and body can do wonderful things. Especially during the sunlight of day.

      Although these things may seem difficult, give them a try, set yourself a goal of for example to do an hour a day over a month as a start. once you have changed your mindset and have a positive outset, you will attract positive people and find yourself a much happier person.

      I hope this finds more helpful to you than the other comment posted.

    • SandraG says:

      Funny. I got a phone call for an interview about 10 days after this comment and then I had to go into surgery on Oct 18th and I didn’t even find out the day of my surgery until Oct 10h! This interview at this time mest a LOT of things up. They wanted me to start work 3 days before surgery, and they wanted me to get a TB test Monday the 15th. I’d have to get the TB test read on Thursday. Thursday was the day of my surgery!!! And they wanted me to go down to another city to get it read. How can you do that when you are in another city in surgery? You can’t do it.

      So now I know that it is not all hopeless. Jobs are out there. I also know to not expect people to fully understand your predicament if you need surgery. You need to go into many details so they understand fully. (I told them that I needed surgery, I just didn’t know what date it would be. The interview happened about 12 days before I found out and 20 days before surgery and I did inform them I need surgery. Of course they were only looking to fill the position “Fast”. they were not looking at what I needed to do with my body and my health. Any employer would do this).

      I also know now to not expect any new job to be ‘organized’. When you have been out of the work force for 5 years looking for work, you forget what it is like being the “new” employee. Of course you don’t know anything about the job – you are new. That is to be expected. It will be stressful.

      Oh and one other thing. I found out this employer assumed I owned a cell phone and I didn’t. So now I know, always ASK “Is a cell phone needed for this job and if yes, how do you plan on going about getting me one before my first pay check?” (12% of Americans do not own one, so you can’t assume “everyone” has one).

      Not nearly as angry as I was. After surgery, something happened to me. It seems that when I woke up, I was just thankful I was alive and had a completely new outlook on life. I’m glad my anger has shifted. And having a new outlook on life helps so much. You don’t see red anymore. You don’t think things are all bad and negative.

      Of course I’m very disappointed that the job offer opened up when it did and the circumstances around that were not good (many details I can’t go into here, not only my surgery) but there is nothing I could do about that. Those things were totally out of my control and that is key. When you can’t do anything about a situation and other people have things they need to do – you need to let it go. But I can promise you, there are other jobs, there will be times when others come to ME and ask me If I’d like to work for them and I’m just thankful I’m alive even if I do earn less than $150 a month.

  46. Donna Rewald says:

    Hi, I’ve been online researching depression and anger all morning…my 33 year old son is suffering with this. He has met the love of his life, just very recently moved in together and got engaged, and he’s miserable! He has everything in life that he’s wanted finally but he’s angry all the time lately, lashing out as his fiancee that I know he is so in love with! I know he doesn’t feel worthy of her either he’s currently a general laborer very unhappy with his work but has a goal for better career, and she has a very good career and I know this bothers him with his pride and ego.
    Even though they haven’t been together long she refuses to give up on him or leave him even when he’s verbally abusive etc., he said he would get help but he’s not. When he is in a calm state like yourself he apologizes for what he’s said/done (he throws things sometimes as well) and yes that he’ll get help etc. We now as a family are realizing that he has a more serious problem, that he has an illness which is why I am doing all this research trying to find help on how to cope with him for my future daughter-in-law and us, she can’t do this at home on her own as he questions everything, is untrusting.

    Any suggestions you can give us would be so very much appreciated with you having been there at the worse of times. Thanks for sharing your life with us :)

    • SandraG says:

      I suggest finding an anger management class that he can go to. He may need to talk to someone about his anger. He may feel comfortable in a support group of other people that are very angry.

      Try also to research up on the underlining stuff under anger. Anger is a surface emotion. Ask him what he is upset about. What is he in pain about? Under anger is jealous feelings, being hurt by someone, having fear of someone or something, may be judging himself too hard? Pain, shame and guilt are also under anger. There are books on this you can get as well. The center for Non Violent Communication is a wonderful place to start (online) as well as the Institute of HeartMath (also online).

      Another option is one-on-one therapy. I like holistic therapy where a person is looked at as *a person** and it incorporates mind, body and spirit into the person – not just the pathology of the “diagnosis” (such as “let’s fix the Bipolar Disorder and the racing thoughts). CULTURE is a huge part of a person and how they were raised, who raised them, what country they live in, the beliefs they hold about life/sex/relationships, etc. Religion plays a huge part in our development and education level as well.

      This is why I enjoy holistic therapy since it takes into account everything a person goes through and all parts of life. When you look at a person as a complete set of things and see how much stuff goes into the making of a person, his or her personal experience of whatever he/she went through, past jobs, hobbies, past relationships (if any) and may be even past trauma – you can see everything a little more clear. It helps to put things into perspective!

      People are amazing and all you have to do is ask him to talk to you and open up. But give it time. Opening up is hard and if you are his mother – he may not feel “right” about opening up to YOU. (given that he is 33, I don’t know how a man would feel about opening up to a parent. I know teenagers would probably NEVER open up to anyone but friends!) May be he was expecting something “more” out of marriage? I don’t know. I’m just pulling at straws. Could be his job or a past job he had.

      I also have incorporated some good coping skills for my anger. I started painting before I was 27. I have stencils upstairs I forgot about from 10 years ago. I put it of my art away after leaving the junior college I had attended. I started painting again when I was 35. I have a love of painting and I’m not a professional by any means. I notice I paint more during winter months. I enjoy reading about my special interest topics and I also have tennis balls, a racket ball racket, and a soccer ball. I use them when I need to get energy out. (I can tell when I have too much negative energy inside of me. Meditation has helped me become aware of this feeling inside). And for me, if I don’t let the energy out, it WILL come out in a form that will hurt me, my mom or my computer! I don’t want that!
      Many tools out there for both you and your son. I hope this has helped.

  47. DS says:

    Hi, John:

    Thanks so much for this post; this is ME, and I have caused a lot of damage with Depression-Anger problems. I had a rage episode on 09-28-12, and my marriage (as well as my relationship with all of my kids) is now on the line. I’m 63 years old (male) have been taking antidepressant medications off-and-on for years, but don’t care for the side effects and usually quit after a while. Most recently, the medication I was religiously taking went generic, and I immediately noticed that it seemed to lose its effectiveness. Also, and this might be a caution for others, about a year-and-a- half ago, my doctor said that I had “low-T,” and that some testosterone injections on a once-every-three-week basis would help with my mood and general sense of well-being (i.e., Depression). He assured me that I would feel better all around. It has been during this time that I have become physical with my anger. Part of me appreciated the sense of being “alive” that the injections gave me, but clearly, I have been horribly unsuccessful at controlling my anger. While I have only myself to blame for my behavior, I question the link between a man with Depression and Anger, and the possible effects of an infusion of testosterone. It is off limits for me now, and I can already feel the burn inside beginning to subside. I am on new meds now (at a high dosage), so I’m hoping to get my life in order. Also, I’m in an anger management group, getting back into some spiritual work, in counseling on a weekly basis, etc., etc. This is a place to where I can never return, so it is an all-out effort to get it together for the ones that I love as well as for myself.

    Thanks for your work.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, DS –

      Thanks for this comment – I really appreciate your honesty about anger and depression. There just are not many men willing to speak up about the problem. I sure hope you get a second opinion or just start over with a new doctor, hopefully psychiatrist. Any treatment that backfires as the testosterone treatment did and intensifies anger and rage is just plain dangerous. It’s also important to get another opinion about the diagnosis. I understand that bipolar II can express itself in anger-rage episodes, not just the usual hypomania – I used to wonder about that in my own case, and if the general failure of antidepressants to help might be due to misdiagnosis. Turned out not to be true for me, but I keep reading that there is a lot of misdiagnosis. I’m certainly no judge of this, but it’s definitely worth getting an evaluation from another doctor. On the subject of anger management, have you read Ronald and Patricia Potter-Efron’s books, such as Letting Go of Anger? They have a new one called The Angry Brain that explores the neuroscience of anger pretty well. – I hope your spiritual work is helpful – that’s been a big part of my own turnaround.

      My best wishes to you — John

    • SandraG says:

      It takes a lot of work on the self and time. I thought I’d never get the help I needed. I remember flipping people off in the car if they’d cut me off (and sometimes people didn’t even see me since I drove a 1977 Dodge Colt, those things are small like an MG). I mean, come on. Flipping people off? I could get killed for doing stuff like that! And I was 20 years old doing that kind of stuff. It got worse and worse. My mom told me back in 2004 or so that I needed help since I had an anger management problem. I didn’t want to hear that. Stigma! No way, me? Anger? Naaa. YES. She was right. Read my other comment above in reply to the lady with her son. What I have there may help you. remember that medication alone may not be enough. People also need coping skills. Find several that work for you. Some people box (I know I’d love to purchase boxing equipment and tone my arms up). Some people ride bikes, swim, read, throw darts or throw knives (It is a sport!) or shoot guns even at a shooting range.

      remember anger is depression turned outward! And pain is below anger. Find out what you have pain about . . .it may take some time. But the root cause is what is causing the anger. I know for me, not getting my basic needs meet was making me really angry. If you need money to eat/survive and you are not getting that, you will get angry.

      What about a landlord that is not understanding that you can’t pay $600 this month for rent since your unemployment claim ran out and now you need a new claim – and opps . . .guess what? You start a new claim in September. You are not paid for 1 week. So instead of getting a check each week in September, you only get paid for 3 weeks. You get $250 a week (*4 is $1k a mont, but *3 weeks is only $750 for that month). You find out your benefits are lowered to $210 a week since you haven’t worked in over 8 months!
      You can’t go without car insurance since you are looking for work! That is $75 a month. You must pay the phone bill which is $50 a month. You can’t afford to not pay it since employers can call you for an interview on your phone. We haven’t touched utilities at $100 a month, your cheap county medical insurance at $10 a month. You are on foodstamps of $50 a month since you have unemployment, but you need to spend $100 cash for food each month. You also need to put $20 in the gas tank each week for your interviews you get. (Kids, oh I didn’t add that extra expense in!) Opps. Which one goes? Phone bill? Food? Your landlord doesn’t care. He is mean. Your needs are not getting meet = Anger and rage. You don’t feel validated by your landlord. This happens in all kinds of relationships!

      not getting recognized was making me pissed off too. I hated working for this one place and they never said “Thank you” and they wanted me to do more and more without even one “thank you for coming in and working late hours”. That really made me mad. (At first I was gung ho, worked all fast, but after 4 months of realizing they didn’t care, I worked slower and slower and this is common . . . .low morale on the job. People just want recognition on the job many times more than a raise).

      Find out the root of anger and nip anger it the bud!

  48. FI says:

    Hi John,

    You’ve just described my husband. We’ve just had the worst weekend ever. He had a complete melt down on Saturday over an item of food which I hadn’t bought. He went beserk and wouldn’t speak to me for the rest of the day, he still wasn’t talking to me on Sunday morning. Have to admit that I was being very careful about what I said and did in fear of another upset. I then managed to dent his car, I honestly have never seen anyone so angry in my life I thought he was going to hit me, thankfully he didn’t he just told me exactly what he thought of me and how useless I am at everything. My teenage kids were both in the house at the time and heard everything. He did eventually come and apologise to me and the kids, but I can tell he is trying to keep calm and suspect there will be another blow up soon.

    He has said that he thinks he is suffering from depression but will not go and see anyone about it as he sees it as being a complete failure, which of course it isn’t. He says its up to me to sort it out and help him get better, which I will do if I can but I think it is now way past anything I can sort.

    What do I do? I don’t have the expertise to deal with this. I cannot bear it when he gets so angry I feel so inadequate and frightened, I also hate the feeling that I have to continually walk on egg shells each day. I just want us to live a normal family life, with the usual ups and downs not these extremes

    Can you help me?

    • SandraG says:

      Go with him to the doctor. Let him know if he goes to a doctor or a therapist that he is BRAVE, not weak or shallow. Support him! let him know he is not a failure. I seems like he knows he needs help. That is a good first step. let him know you are there for him and you will not judge him. I know it is hard if you thought he was going to hit you, but you have to be strong for him.

  49. Kate says:

    I am so relieved to have found this site. Unlike many it is informative and supportive. I have been with my partner for approx 18 months and most of the time we are happy but I know he is depressed and I seem to get the brunt of his anger and irritation. Just 2 nights ago we had a huge row and he even went as far as smashing his mobile phone. At that point I called a taxi and went to my house as I will not tolerate him being raged at. The problem is that he always feels remorseful and apologises but he won’t open up and communicate his feelings. He just wants to say sorry, make up and everything goes back to how it was – although it doesn’t because I am then resentful and I just can’t get him to share his feelings or open up to any discussion re depression. I have also had depression and anxiety in the past and take anti-sepressants but I don’t recall ever raging at people when I was depressed. Any ideas how I could get him to open up?

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Kate –

      I know too well that feeling he seems to have that all is well because he’s better – but he’s not better. Good for you to set out a boundary about not being raged at – that’s so important for your well-being. Perhaps anger is more characteristic of men – it is all too common. It may be that a couples therapist could help you get out the resentment in a way he can hear and also help him open up – or get in touch with – his own feelings. Everything depends on finding the right therapist, hopefully one experienced in dealing with the effects of depression specifically and perhaps versed in relational or emotion-focused methods.

      John

  50. Ann says:

    Dear John

    I stumbled upon your website and I’m delighted to have found it.
    I have been searching for a place like this and have to commend you on your input into others and making it a welcome place to visit.

    I’d like to tell you about my story.

    I’ve been married for 26 years and during that time my Husband has left me 4 times . I never ever seen it coming . He would just say I don’t love you anymore and leave. He was a workoholic , always obsessive about
    things . He would feel so low at times and on two occasions the Doctor prescribed Antidepressents.

    Just over a year and a half ago my world came crashing down due to my husbands behaviour. His Dad died , he was stressed at work, our dog dad and he felt low. Well John unknown to me he was chatting to people on friends reunited,Facebook and I then found sexy texts and emails he had sent to two female colleueges . He lost his job because of this and after it all came out he was devastated and overcome with guilt which resulted in him having a nervous breakdown . All this was so out of character for him and he can’t Beleive he acted in such a way.

    I did loads of research trying to figure out what could cause all this. Ehaviour and looking back we can both see that on & off he’s felt depressed since he’s been 18.

    I’ve looked up depression, Bipolar , Stress and then I came across your website.
    Our GP explained to us that my husband used texting as a release and it became his fantasy world and it made reality more bearable.

    We are staying together and working hard to repair the damage that’s been done.
    My husband is a lovely man and feels terrible remorse & guilt for his actions.
    We are communicating all the time . He has a new job and says he feels in a great place now . He says he’s so happy that I’m giving him a second chance and wants to spend the rest of his life making it up to me.

    John have you heard of this before that people with depression can use sex text as a release. He can’t even remover most of the texts he sent he said its all a blur.

    I look forward to hearing from you

    Kind regards
    Ann

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Ann –

      Many depressed men use “sexting,” as it’s often called these days. And they go a lot farther into pornography and affairs. Or they can just lose themselves in fantasies of other women, whether or not they take it beyond their imaginations. There’s a vast number of possibilities for escape into fantasy. The point is to avoid dealing with pain by getting a release in the immediate excitement of doing something else.

      It’s wonderful that you are both working on staying together. Congratulations to both of you! The fact that he left a trail of mistakes behind is a consequence you can’t avoid, but I hope as he gets better he’ll learn not to obsess about past mistakes.

      My best to you both.

      John

  51. Josh says:

    I am 15 year old teenage guy and you described it so well its like an out of control anger that you cant control I know for me that its usually some little thing that just irritates me and I flip out because I am un-happy with my self and frustrated and hopeless on the inside so I take it out on the world around. I think I got also have sort of anxiety problem because whenever I walk into a room or a building I tense up and immediately start accessing and analyzing people and putting them on a risk factor scale in my mind its the weirdest feeling ever. I never used to be like this before, before I was depressed(still am but get angry now) but I would try and mask it and keep it away from people cause I didnt wanna hurt people especially my mother but now I dont care at all about anything and anybody nothing bothers me and I am starting to lose all interest in everything. Do you have any advice for me or what I should do?

    • janie says:

      hi josh you are very young and im not an expert, i’v gone through alot with my ex partner who suffers from depression, and i have in the past suffered from depression and quite bad anxiety, i never had an anger problem though, i do know its hard not to feel in control though, so maybe this is were the anger issue comes into it? i think you should try to talk to someone you trust the most, it doesn’t have to be your mum but maybe a teacher or a close relative? if you struggle to explain to them how you feel you could maybe write it down? i do think you need to speak to someone as soon as you can, i think you could try writing things down anyway this may ease your anxiety because you can look back at it, that way it’s easier to see what your anxious about and it mite not seem as scary, otherwise its all stuck in your head getting jumbled up, if you take it from your head and write it down then your thoughts and mind mite clear a little bit,but like i say i’m not an expert and you should speak to someone you trust, and take care dont give up.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Josh –

      I think you should try to talk about what your feeling with your mother when you’re not angry or anxious and see if you can get some help. Depression like this can get very serious and rarely gets better by itself. Even if this current episode were to go away without intervention, you would very likely experience the same thing again before long, so it’s important to see a doctor and explain exactly what you’ve been feeling and thinking. These days, it’s not a big deal to get treatment for depression – millions of people talk to their doctors about it. It’s especially important to have some treatment when you’re young and experiencing this for the first time. That’s the best opportunity for preventing it from coming back. If you try to tough it out, you just increase the likelihood of repeated episodes that will later plague your life – believe me, I’ve been there.

      All my best to you — John

  52. janie says:

    please can anyone tell me is it normal for a depressed partner to be violent towards you because they think you dont understand them or listen to them, or feel you support them in the right way or if you dont agree with them? im desperate for advise.

    • Judy says:

      Janie, it’s never “normal” for a person to be violent, depressed or not. If you’re feeling in danger in any way, you need to get out and get help, especially if you’re talking about physical violence. Your partner, of course, is in great need of help, as well, but I’m guessing he’s not getting any. You don’t have to live with this. Talk to a mental health professional who can help you evaluate the situation and help you be safe. Even if he never hurts you physically, you are being hurt emotionally. I wish you all the best.

      Judy

  53. RC says:

    “You’re raging, irritable, intensely anxious or despairing for no apparent reason.”

    I can’t tell you how accurate this describes me. My anxiety feels like an overpowering dread with no apparent source, and physically it feels like I’m wearing a diving bell on my head: all meaning, interest, feeling and spirit cut off from the world. The despair? It’s just as you say: this overwhelming feeling of hopelessness for NO apparent reason. It’s like waking up one morning to find you’re missing an arm. No idea why. It just is.

    As far as rage, for me I am full of rage at having to feel all this awful stuff while everyone around me seems relatively healthy and can engage in life normally. So I feel like a total freak in addition to feeling rageful, despairing and pinned to the ground with anxiety. I feel like I’ve lost my mind.

    I don’t know if you also have this aspect to your experience, but for me, I just have this feeling/belief that nothing is going to help. That I’m so totally and permanently broken in some way that any and all suggestions and attempts to help seem pointless. This is perhaps the worst part of the whole nightmare.

    I guess you’d call being angry at myself for feeling awful a kind of self hate. That’s sure what it feels like. I feel like if I could just get to the REAL cause of the anger, all the symptoms would disappear and I could lead a normal life. Maybe that’s a fantasy, but at least I know there’s other men out there with similar experience.

    I will check out the book you recommend. Thanks for this post.

    RC

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, RC –

      The feeling that nothing will help is part of the depression-anxiety-rage complex – just calling it depression doesn’t seem to capture the breadth and depth of it. For many of us, there are traumatic experiences earlier in life that helped bring on this condition, and that’s worth exploring in therapy. Trauma doesn’t necessarily mean isolated horrific incidents. I sometimes think it’s the repetition of injury that burns the deepest, and that can include the withholding of parental feeling as well as aggressive forms of abuse.

      I hope you can make some headway soon – there’s always a lot of disappointment and apparent failure, but there are ways to recover.

      John

      • RC says:

        Hi John,

        Thanks for the reply. I agree with your about trauma not having to be some flagrant, obvious injury. For me, I believe it was the trauma of having a rejecting, emotionally absent, sneering father and a mother who cow-towed to him.

        Thanks again.
        Russ

  54. ircurts says:

    I have noticed much the same when I wasn’t seeking any kind of mental health recovery. I have suffered from major depression since childhood. I suffer from PTSD from an experience in childhood and some young adult prison experiences. I suffer from anxiety in a very big way as well.

    I relate to what you said about the book, “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”. For me the depression, anxiety and PTSD all kind of add up to a lot of rage episodes. Looking back at some of my rage episodes I could easily see how they were very much part of the mental illnesses.

    Now when I feel some of that rage coming I just go for a fast walk of about 20 to 30 minutes and when I get back much of the energy has dissipated. I then sit and write in my journal about what drove me to that point and of some of the mess that went on in my head as I walked. Usually this helps a lot to not only avoid doing harm to myself, pets, wife or our possessions but it also helps me to recognize where this comes from.

    Just yesterday I went to spend a couple hours with a psychiatrist for an updated diagnosis (last diagnosis was 20 minute conversation with psych doctor about 16 years ago) and he mentioned something that really hit home. This relates more to the PTSD but also the depression. He said that often we feel the stages of grief but really don’t understand it or why we feel this. I plan to follow up with this idea of grief and how it fits in my past, present and future.

    Thanks for a great post.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, ircurts –

      That’s an excellent method you’ve worked out for dealing with rage. Physical activity has always been necessary for handling my own anger – sometimes I have to work myself to exhaustion. There’s a feeling like frenzy that I have to purge at the worst times. And writing is always important. Hurting those we love is the worst, and anything we can do to prevent that is critical. I see you have a blog and I very much look forward to reading it.

      Thanks for commenting.

      John

  55. MJ says:

    Wow, this is great. This explains me very well – though I’m female (but was demanded to be perfect, be a great “success” and “winner” in men’s work and make the family look good, and you can imagine the shame I’ve felt my whole life because I’ve never been good enough to satisfy my parents). It also explains my mother very well – a very frustrated person with no ability to communicate feelings beyond screaming, bellowing, ranting and smashing dishes. Yes, a wonderful family to grow up in.

    I’ll have to read Real’s book and see how well it fits my two periods of rage – when locked down and partially repressed, and later when it boiled up and I realized how much I hated my family for imposing the impossible expectations that they did. I’m in my 40s now and finally over most of it.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, MJ –

      I’m glad you’re over most of the long influence of family expectations. I stayed with those half-expressed, much distorted feelings for another decade or so past your age. I know we’re all the product of so many influences as well as our own unique way of mixing it all together – but why does it take so long to feel comfortable and grounded as the people we are?

      John

  56. Timmy says:

    John,

    Wow, I set down and typed in help. I then found your blog. You would have thought I wrote this. I feel the rage and now I see maybe it isn’t something I can’t control on my own. That it is part of the despair I feel at times. Maybe it is time to accept I need help. Thanks.

  57. carina says:

    Great post! My partner is experiencing the same frustrations and it was great to read a positive post (especially after my research into anger and depression had led me to many sites that gave therapeutic suggestions but very little real life hope). We sat and had a chat halfway through me reading it and he confessed that a lot of his anger comes from not being his ideal and that he’s just realised that he needs to get to know himself and not his ideal. And then the next line I read was “There was a sense of failure to achieve the ideals of manhood that his client had been expected to meet”. Wow!

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Carina –

      It’s great to hear that you and your partner can talk freely about these issues. Getting my feelings out in the open has always been the hardest part for me – but also the most important thing my wife needs from me. I think it’s half the battle in keeping depression from damaging a relationship.

      John

  58. Andrew says:

    Now I understand what is happening with many of my relationships. But I am still not sure why I desire to drive people away. I have significant anger problems. I have experience physical abuse when I was young. There was no recognition of this by the people who inflicted the pain, unfortunately I shared my pain with others, and continue to create my own. I try sceam therapy, which helps. I have forgiven myself and others as much as I can in the present moment. Thankyouvery much for this blog. It is very educational. I just hope to lessen the deporesiion and mood swings.

    Bless you all

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Andrew –

      I’ve had that same problem of driving people away, and the anger that often comes with depression seems to have been the problem for me. Often the anger came out of my holding it all in, especially when I was a kid. The habit of presenting a false calm and hiding anything negative can sometimes lead to anger forcing itself out at the wrong times against the wrong people.

      I wish you the best in lessening the impact of depression in your life.

      John

  59. Judy says:

    Hi, John. Wow, the picture with this reminds of how I used to see my dad, literally – him hovering over me, screaming. I commend you for trying hard enough to figure out what triggered your rage to be able to find the answers and then to keep going with getting help. I also read Real’s book and found it very revealing. In a way, it makes sense to me that it would be hard to connect anger with depression because usually, our experience of depression is that of lacking energy and motivation and we can maybe attribute “irritability” to being so tired all the time. But for sure, not understanding the anger can make it so frustrating, wondering what’s wrong with us. I’ve had my moments, too, where I’ve done things to hurt people that I regret because I just “snapped.” Fear of my dad’s anger has made it difficult for me to express mine without the terror of becoming just like him, but avoiding it isn’t the answer, either.

    Thanks for sharing this – you have a real knack for explaining what’s going on in a way that makes sense to those of us dealing with this.

    • Hi, Judy –

      Getting such rage from your father must have been terrifying. A lot of my trouble expressing emotion also came from holding back feelings. I was afraid they would erupt violently in the way they often did in my early home life.

      John

  60. Donna-1 says:

    You kind of sound like a scary person to live with…back then. But you are so articulate and intellectually focused on the all aspects and realities of depression, it is difficult to see how the rage and the perspective you have gained can reside in the same person. Do you still have the out-of-control rage at times? I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever felt it. I have felt outrage at being mistreated, yes, but not rage at the ordinary circumstances of life.

    • Hi, Donna –

      That’s right, I wasn’t too pleasant to be around in that state, but fortunately it was balanced out by a lot of good times. I do still have the tendency to get that way, but now I know better than to take it out on anyone. Wearing myself out physically is a much better way of getting rid of the evil energy.

      Lucky you not to have lived with this problem. According to a lot of psychiatric conventional wisdom, it’s supposed to be more of a guy thing. But I don’t like to talk in gender terms.

      John

  61. cody says:

    my names cody im just turning 18 and i have these problems but little things set me off and it seems like a different personality comes out when i get mad and i like it, and the more i think of how mad i am the angrier i get it scares me cause all i can think about when im like that is hurting people. i dont want any thing to happen because im 6 foot 3 inches and i could really hurt someone if i got a hold of them i’ve never taken any type of drugs accept for doctor prescribed abilify and that didnt help me, i need help bad

Trackbacks

  1. […] First link – this is me. Truly. This helped me understand myself a little more. Besides me having a son (yet…?) but I don’t want it to go that far. That’s why I am taking the steps to fix it. I want a loving family, I didn’t always have that, and I wouldn’t wish that life on ANYONE. Happy is healthy. http://www.storiedmind.com/anger/depression-anger-destructive-partnership/ […]



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