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I read that Depression is anger turned inward, and that we have to forgive and have compassion for ourselves to get the healing process moving.,

What do you guys thinK? Being a BP, I think that my depression is fueled at least in part by unreached and unheeded anger, but it is a biological thing.

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I don't stop at anger. Depression is anger, anger is about something hurting that I can't fix. For me, that's usually fear--fear of disappearing, fear of being alone, fear of being sick forever. I have to look at the fear directly to deal with the anger.

I can't forgive until I let myself feel the feeling that's underneath the anger. Then I can see what's wrong and forgive myself, and then forgive the world because I see that it's not the world that's the problem. Sure, I've been harmed, but noone's holding a gun to my head now; it's my choice whether I work at changing things in my head so I can take care of myself well enough to allay my fears.

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Great response, NARS.

I also am sure that whatever's wrong in my head has a chemical component which is why I love my crazy meds, but to leave the chemical changes out of the discussion for the moment, I too have been told that depression is related to anger. One tdoc said that I would be surprised at the amount of rage I would find lurking behind my depression and also my binge eating.

I haven't gotten to that place where all the anger is stored yet, first to even find it, much less to be able to release it so that I'm not carrying it around with me all the time. I think there's truth to the anger connection, though, because when I do try to open up my mind and peer inside, I know that on some level it does piss me off when I think of all the people who made me feel bad and less than everyone else.

My tdoc thought that going way out in the woods and screaming my head off would be very helpful in releasing some of the anger that's buried inside me. I know the times that I screamed and cried at the top of my lungs in the car so no one can hear me always do make me feel better, even if I do have to go home and have hot tea to try to recover my voice afterwards.

I am lucky to find great peace in nature and even though I might not be together enough to find the anger inside me or define it, being out in woods always calms my spirit. I don't have the exact quote handy, but in Richard Llewellyn's book "How Green Was My Valley", either Huw's dad or Mr. Gryffyd, the pastor, is out walking on the mountain one day with him and says that god gave us water to wash our bodies and air to wash our minds. I think it's a good thought to keep close to me, and makes as much sense as any other in terms of how to make myself feel better.

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Catnapper, how's about a screaming party in the woods? CB outing?

O I am finding out how much buried agression and anger I have acummulated over the years, squashed down and zoned out of.....O and by Crunchie, it is huge...and scary...and Big Big Big... (think big bad wolf and nightmares and shadows...)

am just doing my best to release it and feel it safely..

and I hope I'll be less depressed and more whole when that is accomplished....

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it makes a lot of sense to me. i have towering anger issues. i regard myself as an angerberg, with just the tiniest amount visible on the surface while the vast bulk lies beneath.

there are times i feel almost drunk with anger. but i never lash out physically at people. and i try not to lash out with words either. i direct mine at inanimate objects. and myself of course. i hurt myself by getting myself fat. by eating to much. by drinking at night. i do it because i have anger i think and want to hurt myself. fortunately physical SI has not had much of a role in my life thus far.

it is when i think about my anger that i truly realise i am MI. i am just not normal.

grouse.

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I can totally believe it. I can't remember a time when my thoughts, dreams, and even daydreams haven't been malicious and anger centered. I dream about the apocalypse like people dream about trips to the country. Dreams about the angels of death coming to destroy the earth literally lull me into a sense of complacency.Heinous widespread death and destruction calm me. I can so believe that.

Lilie

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I don't get angry when I'm depressed. *shrug* I get angry when I'm mixed. But not all that often at others, just in response to a few issues that push my buttons. Fairly often at myself, but again, not when I'm just depressed.

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Catnapper, how's about a screaming party in the woods? CB outing?

What an excellent idea!!! Then we could have a campfire in the evening and keep a teapot and coffeepot on the coals while we sit around in the (suddenly quiet!) forest and recover.

it is when i think about my anger that i truly realise i am MI. i am just not normal.

And that's why we love to have you around here, grouse.

There are probably lots of wonderful places in Canada to have screaming parties in the woods. I'd suggest one of those lakes that can only be reached by plane, but imagine if they dropped all the CB folks off, and we were stuck together till the plane came back!

Maybe we should suggest it as an internship for young pdocs and tdocs to come with us, and we can all get a free vacation out of the trip.

Maybe I have a future as a travel planner......

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I read that Depression is anger turned inward, and that we have to forgive and have compassion for ourselves to get the healing process moving.,

This has been coming up quite a bit lately, the link between depression and anger, so I've been putting more thought into it. Depression and anger are both stages of grief. I think I read that they are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, but that anger, bargaining, and depression can happen in any order and even repeat. I think that depression is unresolved grief. Something upsetting happens and certain people go through the stages easily while others get stuck. It doesn't seem to matter what the triggering issue was, it could be anything from getting teased to losing a pet to something truly appalling. Different people just react differently. I think saying that depression is anger turned inward could be accurate, but not always. I don't know if everybody who feels depression or constant anger are grieving something, but I suspect most are.

Forgive and have compassion for myself? I think those are very important and certainly can get the healing process started but they aren't necessarily the healing solution. I've been searching my soul for decades, forgiven myself, stood up for myself, walked away from unhealthy relationships, but the anger had made a nest in my head. My brain had become wired to over react explosively. I didn't even consider that I was "depressed". I had just accepted that I was an angry punk-ass bitch sometimes, and a gentle sweety at other times. It wasn't until I started an antidepressant (after much pressure from my pdoc to try it) that I got any relief from the rage. But I don't think just popping meds is the answer, either. For me it was the combination of inner work and medication.

So in answer to your question, I think depresssion is more than just anger turned inwards but loving yourself (forgiving yourself, having compassion, taking care of yourself by eating and sleeping properly, etc.) is a vital part of recovery.

there are times i feel almost drunk with anger.

This is such an accurate description that I just had to quote it. I was drunk on anger but meds helped sober me up.

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I don't necessarily think it's caused by anger, but I think that it IS how my head reacts to stress. Of any kind. including anger. When the happy meds started working, I was surprised to find myself like...learning to do the angry thing. (I wouldn't go so far as to say "rage", and I'm not screaming at my friends or anything, but it's literally not an EMOTIONAL reaction I'm all too familiar with). So..I think they're connected, but I think I have a slightly different perspective on that connection.

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I've never been able to make the connection of anger turned inward towards myself causing depression. Maybe I just can't see it. I know much of it is chemical in nature.

I'm reading the book Following Jesus by N.T. Wright (stay with me here) and he says:

"Depression is what happens when a particular little clutch of fears get together in a circle, and it forces us to go round and round the circle, worrying about one thing, which leads us to blame ourselves for the next thing, which leads us to be anxious about the third thing, which takes us conveniently back to the start of the circle, and round we go again. And one of the key features of depression is that we put ourselves on trial, produce lots of evidence for the prosecution and none for the defence, find ourselves guilty, and pronounce sentence."

I thought that was a great description. Maybe you could call that anger towards self in a roundabout way.

Strange thing is, these things can almost disappear when the brain chemicals are balanced, or even inbalanced toward mania. (I don't know what balanced feels like.)

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This has been my biggest surprise with my issue. I get angry when my depression kicks in. Like many of you have mentioned, I don't lash out at work, I lash out at home. It sucks really. Am waiting now for my new meds to kick in...just thought i would pipe in.

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  • 1 year later...

i, myself, have never really felt angry when i'm depressed. but friends & family say that it's the lack of anger from me that's so noticable. obviously i'm not sad, but i'm also not mean or angry. i never feel angry, but... people have told me that i'm kind of a bitch when i'm depressed, and that i get really frustrated with people.

i feel more like anger comes after the depression: i'm angry because i feel awful. i'm angry because no one can fix me. i'm angry because of all the things i do to people when i'm depressed. i'm angry because i'm angry. depression distorts feelings and thoughts and emotions, and i think anger just gets tied up in there, along with fear and frustration.

although i suppose that starving myself and cutting might have been a release of anger upon myself. it's interesting to think about...

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I have heard this before and I believe it. Its like being really angry at yourself......which I know I am. I have so much anger inside of me that has been piling up all my life.....thats 52 years of crap. I have never really known how to release it. Every time something new happens, it just gets piled onto the rest and its a over-loaded mess. I think my inner anger is so intense that it actually scares me. I am afraid that if I really let it go, I'll somehow go over the edge or do something really drastic. Its too much. So, I try to hold it inside and every once in a while I "blow" and let off some pressure, but then its back to stuffing it again. I hate myself when I show my anger. It makes me feel very out of control.

My tdoc does EMDR. We have been talking first over all my life history.....so much to get out that way. Hopefully, soon we will be able to get to the EMDR part and I sure hope it will finally get all this poison out of me. And, yes, I do think its poisonous.

I also think that there is a biological component.....in that I am a very sensitive person...living a life of so much crap.....it hurts so much and makes me feel so hateful inside of myself and others. I do think that many of us are pre-wired biologically/chemicaly to have more problems with it than others..........Nature vs Nurture.......its both....and does it really matter? Its there and we have to find a way to deal with it and get beyond it.....I don't want to go through my entire life trying to medicate it. Thats like putting a bandaid over cancer and doesn't really make a difference. And I do believe that anger is like an inner cancer that eats away at your soul and torments your mind.

Ok, thats my point of view.

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this topic is a year old.

the "depression is anger turned inward" thing is has about as much to back it up as mental illness being caused by demonic possession.

But someone who's mentally ill may act or feel like he's possessed by demons - so it may be a simple matter of the symptom being confused with the cause. On an unrelated topic, that might be a better test for psychosis severity than "reality testing." (Substitute spirits, aliens, the Government, etc. as needed)

"depression is anger turned inward" - mostly crap for anyone with some of the "atypical" depression styles, where anger would be a step up - might better be stated and treated as "depression can turn anger inward - badly"

Adding neuroreceptor sensitization/adaptation to the mix almost validates the pop-psych view. A brain adapted to a dysfunctional environment may not function well in a functional environment.

Before you go batshit crazy:

"anger turned inward" = additional risk of developing depression

Once you've lost it:

"anger turned inward" = symptom, not definition of major depression.

Like any other complex system, one has to back out the last change committed (neurochemical depression) before getting to the earlier screwups. Repeating any earlier mistakes just makes it that much harder to fix things (Hm. "kindling" theory as applied to depression - substituting "major depressive episode" for "manic phase" or for "seizure")

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've read that too and contemplated it over many years. It may be a cause for some people, I dunno. I don't think so for me. I've worked hard on any anger issues and normally deal with anger in healthy ways. When the Big Book was written, less was understood about mental illness.

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I read that Depression is anger turned inward, and that we have to forgive and have compassion for ourselves to get the healing process moving.,

Ok... so I'll turn my anger outward towards those that try pile a guilt trip about feeling shitty on top of feeling shitty.

Just who was this %$#@ author so I can rant a little at him? :-[

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I know that my depression can be chemical and inevitable at times. But I have noticed that since I found a way to express anger in a healthy way, I have felt less frustrated and depressed.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've read that too and contemplated it over many years. It may be a cause for some people, I dunno. I don't think so for me. I've worked hard on any anger issues and normally deal with anger in healthy ways. When the Big Book was written, less was understood about mental illness.

In therapy I identified much of my recurrent depression is toxic shame based stuff, also anger at myself because I cannot shake it...deep embedded stuff from childhood that just doesn't go away. I still get flashbacks. Now, I've had a recent head injury, which really complicates things.. and has led to my most recent relapse into depression. its also added some other interesting symptoms. ;)

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