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Depression Four: Unexpressed Anger

Buried beneath depression can be many emotions: grief, shame, guilt, hurt, resentment, fear, and perhaps most importantly, anger, even rage. Anger is important because it is often the one emotion that once recognized, acknowledged, and expressed can free you from the grip of depression. Most people who are depressed fear their anger and often place it so deep within their consciousness that they don’t even feel it much less recognize it. If anger was the “forbidden” emotion in childhood, if you are afraid what your anger will cause you to do, or if you fear the changes you know you must make in your life once recognized, then you are likely to choose depression over resolution. Anger is the most powerful of the four “negative” emotional groups of anger (rage, resentment, etc.), fear (panic, terror, anxiety, etc.), grief (hurt, sadness, despair, etc.), and shame (guilt, humiliation, embarrassment, etc.) Anger is the most powerful because it is the one emotion of this group of four that doesn’t paralyze you but instead gives you energy. Anger is like a river running through the countryside. It can swell up during a storm and cause damage or it can be managed for good uses. With the help of a talented therapist you can recognize and safely express your hidden anger in such a way as to free yourself from your depression. I have had clients that once their anger is released feel as though a ton of pain has been lifted from them. I have seen their eyes shine with relief and their lives begin to thrive.

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