Imagine terrible things happening dozens of times and you start to become enraged constantly and you lose your self-esteem, self-worth, and sanity. Rage consumes them, then they feel numb inside, unable to feel good or bad, until they suffer another painful experience or a reminder of the original one and out comes the that fiery fury once more.
This type of cycle is what someone with depression goes through all the time and it makes them angry and frustrated with life.
To know exactly what it is, the Cambridge dictionary definition of “depression” is: a mental illness in which a person is very unhappy and anxious for long periods and cannot have a normal life during these periods. Now we know what depression is and how the sufferer feels, we can go on about why they are always angry and what to do, should you come across a sufferer.
Why Depressed People Are Always Angry (And How to Respond)
Depression internalises any trauma that has occurred, thus making angry external actions the result of repressed internal feelings or reactions to the trauma. Therefore, we must make sure that we do not criticise or judge. When it comes to depression, people suffering from it cannot “always look on the bright side of life”.
When met with this attitude, the sufferer responds by withdrawing further still but scream internally “Romans go home!” Just make sure they do not suffer more by giving them a (Latin) lesson or anything else of the sort! The same goes for so-called tough love or making light of their suffering. Remember, this is not some minor flaw they have in their personality, nor can they just “snap out of it”.
This can only be dealt with and overcome by acceptance and understanding of the trauma and pain that caused the depression in the first place. Being patient with the sufferer is vital. Remember, their anger is not directed at you personally. They know that this behaviour drives loved ones away but they cannot help it. All it takes, from their perspective, is to have someone “on their side” or you will have more than just “Romanes eunt domus” to ponder!
A person with depression feels lonely in this world and does not feel understood. This is one of the main sources of anger they have. What they are really going through is a struggle in solitude and by simply being there is of great help, and touch plays its part because it lets the sufferer know that you care how they feel. Also, soothing words are like music to the ears of someone who is in depression.
You can try small phrases like “I am here for you”, “Is there anything you need?”, or “You are so important to me and I want you to feel better”. If this way is not your kind of picnic, you can try doing something to help the poor mite.
Good examples are: cooking their favourite meal or bringing in their favourite take-away if your cooking is not up to scratch, letting them choose what to watch on Netflix (and chilling is not necessary!), or even getting them to do their favourite hobby and offer to go with them. Finally, you can help them by actually understanding fully what depression is and how it affects people.
Armed with this knowledge, you can see things from a sufferer’s perspective more clearly. Do this, and the depressive will slowly but surely open up to you and feel that your intentions with them are good.
Lastly, “Romanes eunt domus” is wrong. The correct way to say “Romans go home” in Latin is “Romani ite domum”. There, you have been spared from a Latin lesson!
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Tartarkovsky M, M.S., “9 Best Ways to Support Someone with Depression”
Farkas T., “Depression and Anger Can Go Hand in Hand”