Seems to me depression and anger are two crooked limbs on the same bitter, misshapen tree.
Yup, they go together “like bullets and guns” (to quote Edgar Frog from “The Lost Boys”).
Exasperating part about it is, sometimes I don’t even realize I’ve let anger sneak into my attitude.
One of my kids will say, “Dad, you ok? Something wrong?”
Then I’m thinking, “Oh man, that furious little scamp, anger, slipped in again.”
Then come the excuses, which are pathetic at best: “Oh, yeah, sorry, I’m just tired.”
If you’re like me, sometimes you wanna scream to the world, “Everything is not alright! I’m angry about this crippling depression, I’m ticked off about my chronic pain, and I’m LIVID I can’t live a normal life!!!”
Ah well, who’s to say what’s “normal” anyway?
“A fool does not think before he unleashes his temper, but a wise man holds back and remains quiet (Proverbs 29:11).”
Easier said than done, I admit.
Here’s what the experts say about the malevolent intertwining of depression and anger:
“Depression and anger go hand in hand and can cause a revolving cycle that’s hard to break. Lashing out in anger can lead to alienation and feelings of guilt, which can lead to depression. Long-term depression can make it difficult to handle emotions, increasing the likelihood of anger outbursts.” (source: http://www.psychguides.com/guides/anger-symptoms-causes-and-effects/)
Wow, ain’t it the truth?
So how do we “fix” it?
Ha, well, if you’re looking for the answer to that question, you came to the wrong place, jack.
I’m fighting the good fight, just like you.
But I pray it makes you feel at least a little better to know you’re not alone.
So, how do we battle the anger?
Here’s my first go-to for everything: do a Google search for “Bible verses about anger.”
“Listen, open your ears, harness your desire to speak, and don’t get worked up into a rage so easily, my brothers and sisters. Human anger is a futile exercise that will never produce God’s kind of justice in this world (James 1:19-20).”
“Do not be quick to anger, for anger sits comfortably in the lap of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9).”
“But now make sure you shed such things: anger, rage, spite, slander, and abusive language (Colossians 3:8).”
And one of my faves:
“So turn from anger. Don’t rage, and don’t worry—these ways frame the doorway to evil (Psalms 37:8).”
Other ideas I’ve come up with:
- Step away from friends and loved ones when you feel yourself getting angry
- Take a walk (or a “ride,” if you’re one of my wheelchair-bound brothers or sisters), just to clear your head
- Get alone and put on your favorite music. For some, “angry” music such as hard rock and heavy metal are cathartic, but for others, they are agitators. Recognize which styles help your spirit to breathe easier and which ones make you wanna dropkick a small, yapping animal across the living room
- Buy a punching bag and take out your frustrations. We bought one for my son, and I found it’s extremely liberating
- Pull a “Lilo and Stitch” and scream into a pillow. Never done it myself, but it’s supposed to help
As it is said, “knowledge is power.” Now that you know this may be happening, what’cha gonna do about it?
I am of the opinion there is never an excuse to be a jerk to your friends and family, no matter what you’ve been through or the agonies you suffer. Begin to recognize when anger is trying to slink in, and kick that sucker to the curb.