Depression: “Anger Turned Inward”
*Warning: Very Sensitive Content*
When you think of a person with depression intuitively you may perceive that someone to be feeling hopeless, worthless or sad but most of us would not immediately think of that same person as having feelings of anger or even rage. Well it’s true; it is a very real and common symptom of depression that will only reek further havoc on a person who is battling with depression. In fact, Sigmund Freud often referred to depression as ‘anger turned inward’, and I myself am scared that the irritability I feel, the self-blame I harbour and the hopelessness I bear is keeping me from being able to fight this disease anymore because I have become so angry.
Sigmund Freud’s theory, although stated probably a century ago still holds true today and shows us that anger can and will worsen or exacerbate our symptoms of depression and the severity of the disease. No matter what situation I face every day or how hurt and betrayed I may feel, the anger automatically turns inward and it has become increasingly more and more painful. Depression makes me feel like I am having an out of body experience as if I have become detached from my own body and I am looking down upon the person I no longer recognize and definitely the person I no longer wish to be and this makes me even more angry.
So you see depression not only makes a person feel hopeless, worthless and sad but it will also make them feel angry. You see, for starters, depression keeps me awake late at night and up early in the morning. It makes me toss and turn for hours on end and that lack of sleep causes me additional irritability and the inability to cope with my day-to-day struggles. It has also made me feel disconnected from my loved ones, disinterested in activities I once enjoyed and I am continuously mourning an overwhelming sense of loss, loss that is of the person I used to be before the Depression set in, which too makes me undergo a great deal of anger.
I know the anger I feel is directed at my Depression itself and even though I know in my heart that it is an illness, I still continue to place blame on myself everyday while battling with an immense amount of guilt for burdening my loved ones with the responsibility of it. Unfortunately my brain tells me that it’s all my fault, that I’m weak, I’m incompetent and of course that I’m a big fat failure; who wouldn’t feel angry and enraged if someone was constantly telling you all those things?
Depression has stolen four years of my life thus far and you know what, I’m so damn angry. I have missed out on so much of life especially pertaining to my kid’s lives and I’m so damn angry. I have lost my ability to find enjoyment in many of the little, yet important things in life and I’m so damn angry. I have lost time to do the things I once enjoyed too and I am so damn angry. I have lost friendships that once meant the world to me and I am so damn angry. My anger is taking a toll on me like never before making me more and more irritable, frustrated and so damn angry!
I am only telling you all this because maybe if I can learn to express my anger outward instead of inward it will empower me to fight it off or try to battle it out. Maybe if I can learn to stand up to the anger I feel it will allow the feelings and emotions to back down just like a cowardly bully may which is just driving me deeper and deeper into the abyss, formally known as Depression. Hopefully it’s up for the challenge.