Understanding how they are intertwined.
Depression is like a magnifying glass that focuses on that which causes mental dissent. It is the stomping grounds for ANGER! An emotion that can either suffocate you internally, that makes you burst at the seams. Anger grips onto depression and holds on! Are you angry at yourself for your state of mind? Is the anger caused by when you felt wronged and overlooked?
Betrayal, fear, and a sense of injustice can cause anger. The events that cause these “emotions” are seldom catastrophic. Maybe you were passed up for a promotion, maybe your brother cut a lock of your hair, Maybe your new car does not get the MGP you were led to believe… Most would be labeled as undesirable or unpleasant, but, something you can get over. Remember you may be looking at these events under magnification.
If anger manifests externally you may yell, scream, argue, or give in to sarcasm. If anger presents itself internally you may deal with headaches muscle tension. Some people express anger in a mixture of styles.
Many people have become so “comfortable with anger” it becomes who they are – who they present as. They do not see others avoiding them in situations where they can become angry. They do not know their child wishes mommy or daddy would not yell as much… Underlying angry outbursts could be depression!
I want to share with you some valuable insights on anger as an emotion that can destroy. I included a wonderful excerpt from Chip Ingram. Included are links for the entire message.
CHIP ON ANGER:
“Hopelessness, helplessness… We have unmet expectations. We have resentment, envy, jealousy, pride, low self-esteem. It’s because we failed. We have a sense of worthlessness. It’s because we feel lonely, depressed. It’s because we’re anxious. It’s because we’re stressed out or under pressure. It’s because we have remorse or we’re exhausted, fatigued or it’s just downright grief. And when you lose something or you lose someone, it hurts so bad, you can just get mad. That’s a long list but I would suggest that three things anger reveals. Number one is hurt which is just unmet needs. Number two is frustration which is unmet expectations. And number three is insecurity. We just feel attacked. And what I want to do in our time in both session three and session four is I want to peel those back and help you learn to look under the hood and realize I’m angry but the reason is hurt.
Why We All Struggle with Anger
From the series Overcoming Emotions that Destroy
Anger is like a red light on the dashboard of my car and what I had realized is that a lot of the time what we do is we go, “Oh, wow. The red light’s flashing.”
And so we stop the car, get in the trunk, get a hammer out, and smash the red light. That’ll take care of that, right? Instead of when it’s on the light of the dashboard, what do we know? Something under the hood is amiss. Something’s wrong.
It’s easier to be angry than to face the deeper issues of anger. Anger is not the problem, it is the warning light. I came across a quote as I worked through this from Doctor Becca Johnson. She seems to say it smarter, clearer, and better. She says,
“When I was late to pick up my son from school I got mad at the clock, the school, the traffic lights, my watch, and the stupid school schedule before I finally realized the real issue. I was embarrassed that the school secretary had to call me to come and pick up my son. When a client of mine was mad at his boss, he realized that the strong underlying emotions were really insecurity and fear, and not anger. When I got mad at the driver who made a virtual gesture at me, I later realized that the root feeling was guilt because I had pulled out too far in traffic and put him and me in danger. When I got angry at a colleague for not including me on a decision, I discovered really my anger was covering my own hurt pride underneath. If you and I are honest with ourselves and brave enough to peel back the anger, we can discover its true motivating force. When people abandon us, let us down, when someone doesn’t come through, when we feel rejected, left out, lonely, sad, or sorrowful, we usually cover it up with anger because these emotions are so strong, painful, and confusing, anger serves as a more satisfying substitute. Anger artificially helps us feel in control when we’re feeling out of control and falsely helps us feel powerful when we feel powerless.”
And then she goes on to highlight some common emotions that cover anger. And just, I’ll give you the quick version again so that you’ll go, “Oh.”
We often cover our anger with, when what’s underneath is hurt, guilt, shame, powerlessness, betrayal, insecurity, rejection, dashed hopes, feeling trapped, hopelessness, helplessness, unmet expectations, envy, jealously, resentment, pride, low self-esteem, failure, sense of worthlessness, loneliness, depression, worry, anxiety, pressured, stressed out, disappointment, remorse, exhaustion, fatigue, and grief.
Those are real things that every human being experiences all the time in life and what I want to suggest is, the great majority of the time, that’s not what comes up on your radar.
You get angry. Some of you, though, know that angry is illegal so you stuff it and you don’t even know that those are the real issues. Some of you stuff it for a while because you’re a Christian and you feel like blowing up is not very healthy – then you blow up.
Other people you’re eating because you’re angry, some of you are taking prescription drugs because you’re angry. Some of you started off with a social glass of wine at night and now you have to have two or three. And you’re covering stuff inside that God wants to heal and forgive and restore.
We learned that we spew, we stuff, and we leak but I want to tell you that anger is a secondary emotion and we all struggle with it. It’s the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many underlying causes of anger. I just read about twenty-five of them.
But when you pull them together, you basically can come up with about three big categories. We get angry as a result of unmet needs. And I’m going to call that hurt. Because that’s what it feels like. I just feel hurt. I had a need to talk. I had a need to get connected. I had a need for someone to come through for me. I had a need to be loved when I was grieving.
The second is unmet expectations, and we’ll look at each of these individually. And I just call that frustration. I expected people to be awake. I expect a friend to be available. I expect people to return my calls. I expect people to do what they said they would do. I expect people that love me to help me when I have a need. Right? When they don’t, I get mad and so do you. The third underlying cause is insecurity when we’re personally attacked or threatened.
Your anger, instead of becoming your worst nightmare, can be your best friend. In fact, God wants to turn your anger into a tool that will serve you and help you like never before. Find out how. Join Chip as he unpacks this powerful tool from God’s Word.
If any of the above sounds familiar, please follow the link above to listen / or read the entire broadcast! You may find exactly what you need for this year and beyond!
( For more useful information on anger search Focus on the Family – Anger.)