Enraged, vexed, exasperated, displeased, irritated, infuriated, irked, peeved, maddened. These are words we use to describe how we feel when we are angry. While these words may be an accurate description of your reactive state to a stimulus or a uncontrollable set of circumstances, it may very well be a wrong description of how you feel. Because while you scream, kick, hit, and break things, there is much more happening inside of you.
Your Reaction and Your Feeling
Are Two Separate Things.
Something to Ponder
Your reaction: To turn the steering wheel away from the vehicle to avoid a head on collision.
Your Feeling: Panic; Fear; Self preservation; “SURVIVE.”
This is true of anger. Anger is an emotional reaction to discomfort, frustrating situations, hopelessness, guilt, fear, and pain. Your reaction may consist of emotional outburst, harsh words, and possibly lashing out physically. However, your true feelings are buried somewhere just behind the reaction. Expressing anger somehow seems easier than expressing true feelings of vulnerability and sadness.
Are You Really Depressed?
When anger is unexpressed or misappropriated, it can turn inward. All of those raging energies turn inward. This in turn, leaves you feeling defeated and more alone. It is a cycle of despair that can alienate others when you are raging and isolate you when you are vulnerable and in need. This leads to you withdrawing further into your self.
Engaging The Power of Thought
Symptoms of Depression:
- Irritability, anger, and restlessness
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
If five or more of these symptoms resonate with you, you may be more depressed than angry. It may better serve you to seek support from a health care professional or find a local support group.
You have suffered alone for too long. There are safe and accepting support services available for you. It’s time to stop focusing on reactions and it is time for checking in on feelings. You owe it to yourself and those who love you.
Learn to manage your emotions and don’t let them manage you.
If your spouse, boss, or a judge has insisted you take anger management classes, call today to register for our class.