Managing Anger And Depression
Its not uncommon for men to also struggle with issues around managing anger when theyre fighting depression. Here are some tips to help.
Medically reviewed by Dr. John Ogrodniczuk, PhD Written by the HeadsUpGuys Team.
“Sadness isnt the only symptom of depression – anger and irritability can also be signals that something more serious is going on.”
While feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and guilt are typical symptoms of depression, there are other signs as well. Its not uncommon for men to also struggle with anger and irritability when theyre fighting depression.
Anger and irritability can show up in a lot of different ways. For example, a guy may become overly sensitive to criticism, highly critical of himself or others, lose his sense of humour, experience frequent road rage, have a short temper, be controlling, or be verbally or physically abusive toward others.
Because these symptoms arent typically associated with depression, men may not realize that depression could be the underlying cause.
Here are some tips on how to manage issues with anger and depression.
When Should I Seek Help
If your symptoms of depression are causing problems with relationships, work, or your family — and there isn’t a clear solution — you should see a professional.
Talking with a mental health counselor or doctor can help prevent things from getting worse, especially if your symptoms stay for any length of time.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, get help right away.
It’s important to understand that feeling depressed doesn’t mean you have depression. That condition involves not only changes in mood, but also changes in sleep, energy, appetite, concentration, and motivation.
If you have physical symptoms like these and find yourself feeling depressed much of the time for days or weeks, see your doctor.
Whats The Difference Between Grief And Depression
Given that the primary symptom associated with depression is sadness, it can be easy to think of grief or bereavement as depression. But grief is a natural response to specific experiences, such as the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one. While you might feel regret or remorse, and you might withdraw from usual activities if you are experiencing grief, youre unlikely to feel the overwhelming sense of worthlessness, thoughts of self-harm or suicide, and other symptoms of depression. Another important difference is that in grief, painful feelings usually come in waves and are often mixed with positive memories.
In some cases, however, grief and depression do coexist, or grief can trigger depression, according to experts writing in the journal American Family Physician. Having a mental health professional help you distinguish between them can ensure you get the support you need.
Recommended Reading: How Can You Heal Depression
Make A List Of The Things Youre Grateful For
Making a list of the things youre grateful for is a powerful tool to help you put things into perspective. At times, we get overwhelmed by the bad things around us that we tend to forget the blessings we have to be grateful for. Making a gratitude list will remind you that youre doing right in your life, and there many reasons to be happy.
Be thankful for what you have because other people are the blessings you miss out to recognize. Be grateful for the roof over your head, the gift of family, good health, and having a job. You have things to be thankful for and do not take things for granted.
Connect With Friends And Family
This can be one of the hardest things to do when feeling depressed, but it is one of the most rewarding activities. Isolating oneself from others may seem like a good idea, but put a limit on it and then get out there again.
Confiding in friends and family members can have a huge positive effect on your mood.
Also Check: Homeopathy For Anxiety And Depression
What Are The Different Antidepressants And How Do They Work
The most commonly prescribed cause changes in brain chemistry that affect how neurons communicate. Exactly how this improves mood remains somewhat of a mystery, but the fact that they do often work is well-established.
- SSRIs This category of drug includes Prozac , Celexa , and Zoloft and targets , a neurotransmitter that helps control mood, appetite, and sleep.
- SNRIs SNRIs include drugs like Cymbalta , Pristiq , and Effexor XR , which block the reabsorption of both serotonin and another neurotransmitter, .
- NDRIs This class of medications includes bupropion.
- TCAs include such drugs as Tofranil and Pamelor . These drugs were among the earliest antidepressants to come on the market. These days, doctors generally only turn to them when treatment with SSRIs, SNRIs, and NDRIs has failed.
- MAOIs MAOIs, including Nardil and , were the first antidepressants developed. Theyre rarely used today, in part because people who take them require careful monitoring to prevent negative interactions with certain foods and other medications.
All antidepressants can have side effects, but some may be more problematic than others. You may need to try several different medications, or a combination, guided by your doctor, before you find what works best for you.
Researchers At The National Institute Of Mental Health And Across The Country Are Dedicated To Womens Mental Health Research
Researchers continue to study depression to improve the way this medical condition is diagnosed and treated. For example, NIMH researchers are currently working to understand how and why changes in reproductive hormones trigger mood disorders, including postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopausal depression.
NIMH scientists are conducting a large number of research studies with patients and healthy volunteers to better understand why some women are at higher risk than others, and how they can translate these findings into new treatments or new uses of existing treatments.
Recommended Reading: Vitamin D Dosage For Depression
How Common Is Seasonal Affective Disorder
About 5% of adults in the United States experience SAD. It tends to start in young adulthood. SAD affects women more than men, though researchers arent sure why. About 75% of people who get seasonal affective disorder are women.
About 10% to 20% of people in America may get a milder form of the winter blues.
Do Something You Enjoy
Depression can push you to give into your fatigue. It may feel more powerful than happy emotions.
Try to push back and do something you love something thats relaxing, but energizing. It could be playing an instrument, painting, hiking, or biking.
These activities can provide subtle lifts in your mood and energy, which may help you overcome your symptoms.
Research suggests people who spend time in nature have improved mental health.
Exposure to sunlight may offer some of the same benefits. It can increase your serotonin levels, which can provide a temporary mood boost .
Consider taking a walk at lunch among the trees or spending some time in your local park. Or plan a weekend hike. These activities can help you reconnect with nature and soak in some rays at the same time.
Read Also: How To Get Through Depression And Anxiety
When To Call Your Doctor
Know that you are not alone if you are experiencing some of the symptoms above.
If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of sadness or depression for longer than a few weeks, consider reaching out to your doctor to determine the cause and what you can do about it.
Sometimes feeling depression is not a result of mental illness. It could be a medical condition, like hypothyroidism, for example, that can be causing symptoms of depression.
Once your doctor rules out any potential medical causes, they will be able to provide other options for your depression or refer you to a psychiatrist or therapist who can help you.
Depression Discussion Guide
What Is Clinical Depression
Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is much more severe than the feelings of sadness many of us experience at times and may lead to suicidal thoughts or actions. This type of depression often manifests as persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, lethargy, exhaustion, inability to concentrate, and severe irritability.
A person with depression may be unable to cope with the everyday activities of living. They may experience challenges with sleep and appetite, have unexplained pain, and experience problems with personal relationships, work or school, and social interaction. Those with depression may have lost interest in activities they once enjoyed.
Once believed to be caused by a chemical imbalance, recent studies have found that a combination of factors likely leads to depression. A Harvard Medical School study, updated in 2019, identified such factors as genetics, medications, stressful or traumatic events, medical issues, or dysfunctional mood regulation as contributing to depression. Multiple studies agree with this conclusion.
Don’t Miss: What To Do When You Have Severe Depression
Allow A Flexible Schedule
For many companies, a normal work schedule implies being in the office from nine to five. However, an employee suffering from depression may come to you and ask to come into the office later in the day. Sleep problems are common in depression and can involve oversleeping as well as difficulties falling or staying asleep. Helping an employee with a work schedule is therefore a reasonable accommodation and is supported by research.
Research from the 1980s through today suggests that flexible work hours actually increase productivity, commitment to the organization, and retention.
However, if you allow flexible hours, research suggests two recommendations. First, if needed, set a window of core hours or core days in which all team members must be at the office. People dealing with depression benefit from structure but often find it difficult to create structure for themselves. You can help by facilitating this in a sensitive and responsive manner. Second, dont let employees with depression stop interacting with you or other team members. Be on the lookout for avoidance on the part of your employee. Withdrawal only exacerbates the sense of isolation that depressed employees already feel.
What Anger Looks Like
Everyone has their own ways of expressing anger. While one person might direct anger outward in a physical way, another may avoid confrontation entirely, turning the anger inward. Maybe youre someone who gets over a conflict quickly, or you might be more likely to ruminate and hold a grudge.
The way you express anger not only impacts the relationships you have with the people in your lifebut can affect your relationship with anger itself.
If youre prone to outbursts, for example, you may feel so much shame afterward that you become afraid of expressing anger in the future. Ironically, this can lead to a bottling up effect that actually disposes you to lose control again.
Conversely, if you feel guilty about your anger, to begin with, you might look for ways youre at fault, turning anger into self-criticism and redirecting it towards yourself.
You May Like: Vitamin D For Seasonal Depression
Learn About The Disorder
It would be easy to think that an employee with depression will first speak with HR staff about work accommodations, but it is likely that your team member will speak with you first.
Because an employee may come to you without warning, you need to prepare ahead of time and learn about depression and its symptoms. These include loss of interest, decreased energy, feelings of low self-esteem or control, disturbed sleep, and poor concentration.
If you understand the symptoms of depression, then you will be able to anticipate work performance issues and the types of accommodations an employee might request.
Favorite Apps Products And Gadgets
If youre feeling sad, lonely, or stressed, the 7 Cups app could provide you with online therapy and emotional support. With180 professional therapists and more than 300,000 trained listeners and licensed therapists, youll be able to speak to someone 24/7 in a confidential setting.
This app offers activities and games to overcome negative thoughts. Youll receive a happiness score that you can improve each time you play. Its based on effective, evidence-based psychological strategies. The company says 86 percent of those who use the app report feeling better about their lives after just two months.
If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder , bright light therapy may help improve your symptoms. We like the Verilux HappyLight Lucent 10,000 Lux LED Bright White Light Therapy Lamp. Its compact and portable, so you can use it on the go. And it received an average of 4.5 stars on Amazon reviews. The cost is around $45.
Recommended Reading: What To Do If Teenager Is Depressed
Small Steps Big Impact
Depression can drain your energy, leaving you feeling empty and fatigued. This can make it difficult to muster the strength or desire to seek treatment.
However, there are small steps you can take to help you feel more in control and improve your overall sense of well-being.
Read on to learn how to incorporate these strategies in a way that makes sense for you.
Signs And Symptoms Of Teen Depression
It can be hard to put into words exactly how depression feelsand we dont all experience it the same way. For some teens, depression is characterized by feelings of bleakness and despair. For others, its a persistent anger or agitation, or simply an overwhelming sense of emptiness. However depression affects you, though, there are some common symptoms that you may experience:
- You constantly feel irritable, sad, or angry.
- Nothing seems fun anymoreeven the activities you used to loveand you just dont see the point of forcing yourself to do them.
- You feel bad about yourselfworthless, guilty, or just wrong in some way.
- You sleep too much or not enough.
- Youve turned to alcohol or drugs to try to change the way you feel.
- You have frequent, unexplained headaches or other physical pains or problems.
- Anything and everything makes you cry.
- Youre extremely sensitive to criticism.
- Youve gained or lost weight without consciously trying to.
- Youre having trouble concentrating, thinking straight, or remembering things. Your grades may be plummeting because of it.
- You feel helpless and hopeless.
- Youre thinking about death or suicide.
Also Check: What To Do When Stressed Out And Depressed
Here Are 12 Ways To Undo Deflate And Reduce Sadness To Get Your Life Back
What is sadness?
Sadness is defined as having grief, sorrow, or unhappiness. Sad feelings are also a part of depression and related to other parts of depression including poor self-worth, poor sleep, and difficulty enjoying things.
Although we can sometimes get caught in our sad feelings, we don’t have to. We can undo sadness and start growing our happiness and well-being . Here are some ways to deal with sad feelings.
How To Manage An Employee With Depression
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Yet despite its enormous and growing toll, many employers take an ad hoc approach to handling depression among employees. Many managers become aware of mental health issues only when they investigate why a team member is performing poorly. A better scenario would be if employees felt empowered to report a mental health problem and ask for a reasonable accommodation so that their manager can intervene to minimize the damage to the organization and help the employees return as quickly as possible to full health. A first step for managers is to educate themselves about the disorder. Other interventions, such as allowing a flexible work schedule, simplifying work demands, and minimizing negative criticism can help depressed employees manager the disorder and return to full mental health more quickly.
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. One in five Americans are affected by mental health issues, with depression being the most common problem. A recent report by Blue Cross Blue Shield found that depression diagnoses are rising at a faster rate for millennials and teens than for any other generation. All told, the disorder is estimated to cost $44 billion a year in lost productivity in the U.S. alone
Here is a guide for managers on how to negotiate work arrangements for individuals with depression.
Also Check: What To Say To Someone Struggling With Depression
Are There Warning Signs Of Suicide With Depression
Depression carries a high risk of suicide. Suicidal thoughts or intentions are serious. Warning signs include:
- A sudden switch from sadness to extreme calmness, or appearing to be happy
- Always talking or thinking about death
- Clinical depression that gets worse
- Taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving through red lights
- Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
- Putting affairs in order, like tying up loose ends or changing a will
- Saying things like “It would be better if I weren’t here” or “I want out”
- Talking about suicide
- Visiting or calling close friends and loved ones
If you or someone you know shows any of the above warning signs, call your local suicide hotline, contact a mental health professional right away, or go to the emergency room.
The Importance Of Accepting And Sharing Your Feelings
It can be hard to open up about how youre feelingespecially when youre feeling depressed, ashamed, or worthless. Its important to remember that many people struggle with feelings like these at one time or anotherit doesnt mean that youre weak, fundamentally flawed, or no good. Accepting your feelings and opening up about them with someone you trust will help you feel less alone.
Even though it may not feel like it at the moment, people do love and care about you. If you can muster the courage to talk about your depression, it canand willbe resolved. Some people think that talking about sad feelings will make them worse, but the opposite is almost always true. It is very helpful to share your worries with someone who will listen and care about what you say. They dont need to be able to fix you they just need to be good listeners.
Don’t Miss: Can A Chemical Imbalance Cause Depression