×
Do You Find Yourself Being Angry Or Irritable All The Time? You Could Be Depressed

Do You Find Yourself Being Angry Or Irritable All The Time? You Could Be Depressed

Surprisingly, anger has never been listed as one of the core symptoms of major depression in adults according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Mental illness is as severe as physical illness, and it is something that most of us ignore because we fear what people will have to say about it. What people fail to understand is that depression doesn't mean that someone is attention-seeking, or that it means that someone who wants to take their own lives is the only ones that are depressed. It does not work that way. You never know what someone is going through just by looking at them. Depression can strike in any form, and the lack of education and knowledge on the topic is what leads to the worst at times. According to National Public Radio, a registered nurse named Ebony Monroe from Houston recently went through a phase where she found herself very angry at even the smallest of things.  


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Project UROK - You Are OK (@projecturok) on


 

Little did she know what it meant for her mental health.  Monroe says, "If you had told me in the beginning that my irritability was related to depression, I would probably be livid. I did not think irritability aligned with depression." Surprisingly, she's not alone on this one. Most people associate depression with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of motivation or concentration, but surprisingly not anger. Researchers believe this to be a problem as there is a significant link between irritability and depression.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by myartonmysleeve (@myartonmysleeve) on


 

While the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists the major symptoms for major depression, it doesn't include anger. Dr. Maurizio Fava, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School says, "It's not included at all in the adult classification of depression."  He, however, added that irritability is added in the list of core symptoms of depression, but only in children and adolescents. Dr. Fava has never understood why the same wasn't the same for adults. 


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Heralexander (@s_hera_lexis) on


 

He questions, "Why would someone who happens to be irritable and angry when depressed as an adolescent suddenly stop being angry at age 18?" Anger while being an emotional feeling can turn physical if they find a person to be annoying or irritating. This can be in the form of warnings, threats or even attacking another being.  A person who is depressed and is filled with anger is often seen as having a bipolar or personality disorder.  Dr. Fava states, "We see in our clinics' patients who are labeled as having other diagnoses because people think, 'Well, you shouldn't be so angry if you are depressed.'" As a practicing doctor, he was taught that depressed people felt anger but it was directed towards themselves. But what he noticed that it was different in most of his patients. 


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by 💔 life sucks 💔 (@broken.genderqueer) on


 

"I would say 1 in 3 patients would report to me that they would lose their temper, they would get angry, they would throw things or yell and scream or slam the door," says Dr. Fava. Later, they would feel remorseful. He also added that these 'anger attacks' were similar to 'panic attacks'. A careful study on how anxiety and depressed moods patients experience have been done, but he adds that anger was more or less neglected.  "I don't think that we have really examined all the variables and all the levels of anger dysregulation that people experience," he says.  Dr. Mark Zimmerman, a professor of psychiatry at Brown University echoes his sentiment. "The field has not sufficiently attended to problems with anger," whilst adding "The most frequently used scales to evaluate whether or not medications work for treating depression don't have any anger-specific items."


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by DeviantArt (@deviantart) on


 

But Zimmerman adds it has been observed that most people who come to the doctors for help have increased anger levels. "Irritability is not that much less frequent than sadness and anxiety in patients who are presenting for psychiatric treatment," he says. Zimmerman and a few of his colleagues did a survey on thousands of patients who were making their first visit to the Rhode Island Hospital's outpatient psychiatric practice. The patients were asked about the level of anger they experienced or felt during the past week. He says, "Two-thirds of individuals reported notable irritability and anger. And approximately half reported it at a moderate or severe level." Another study by a different group looked at 500 people who were diagnosed with clinical depression and they found that more than half showed "overt irritability/anger." This anger and irritability were seen with people suffering from more severe, chronic depression. 


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by CONTROVERSO (@controverso.dizionario) on


 

Luckily for nurse Monroe, a friend gently persuaded her to talk to someone about her anger issues, and she's glad she did. "The way that she approached me decreased that wall of anger and anxiety and that's when I decided to seek the help," she says. Doing so, helped her pinpoint the exact cause of her anger. It was because of some traumatic childhood events that were the main cause of her unresolved anger. Having no outlet to release all this pent up anger, she began lashing out at her family. She says, "So they caught the back end of my irritability when, in fact, they had nothing to do with the source of it." 


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by David Rendall (@surrealist_ink_) on


 

But people still have a very hard time to identify anger as a cause of depression.  Kevin Einbinder, the communications person for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance said, "I'm sure somebody else certainly deals with anger, but I don't have anger issues associated with depression."  But when he looked back on his life with depression over the last 30 years, he realized that the common thread that ran between the people he interacted with right from his family to employers and doctors, was that anger was an underlying factor.  


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jamila_LaKry (@jamila_lakry) on


 

He adds that his caregivers and he never really focused on anger as the issue, though he wishes they did. "I think that would have provided a tremendous amount of context for what's adding to my depression and in helping me, early on in my life, with more effective coping mechanisms," Einbinder says. He also hopes that sharing his story will help people understand that "they're not alone there are loads of resources out there," if they are dealing with depression and anger.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Roshawn Stephenson (@roshi_01) on


 

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Recommended for you