Author Topic: Anger - Frustration - Depression  (Read 17841 times)


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Anger - Frustration - Depression
« on: December 03, 2007, 06:31:13 PM »
DEPRESSION and Frustration

How we deal with stress, disappointments, and frustration determines the essence of our personality.

Anger may do more harm than any other emotion. First of all it is very common and, secondly, it upsets at least two people - the aggressor and the aggressed against.

There are two problems: how to prevent or control your own anger and how to handle someone aggressing against you. The overall effects of anger are enormous. Frustration tells us: "I'm not getting what I want!" "You are not telling me what I want to hear right now!"

How do we learn to suppress aggression?

We learn to genuinely forgive others. This takes a lot of work and understanding.

Anger can be the result of hurt pride, of unreasonable expectations, or of repeated hostile fantasies.

We may unconsciously use anger to blame others for our own shortcomings, to justify oppressing others, to boost our own sagging egos, to conceal other feelings, and to handle other emotions (as when we become aggressive when we are afraid).

Any situation that frustrates us, especially when we think someone else is to blame for our loss, is a potential trigger for anger and aggression.

What is frustration?

It is the feeling we get when we don't get what we want, when something interferes with our gaining a desired and expected goal.
Anger is feeling mad in response to frustration or injury. You don't like what has happened and usually you'd like to get revenge. Anger is an emotional-physiological-cognitive internal state; it is separate from the behavior it might prompt. In some instances, angry emotions are beneficial; if we are being taken advantage of, anger motivates us to take action (not necessarily aggressive) to correct the situation.

Recognizing anger

We know when we are very mad, but anger and aggression come in many forms, some quite subtle. Look inside yourself for more anger. This list (Madlow, 1972) of behaviors and verbal comments said to others or only thought to ourselves may help you uncover some resentments you were not aware of ...

Direct behavioral signs:


- AGGRESSION Overly critical, fault finding, name-calling, whining, sarcasm, prejudice, flashes of temper;



- DIRECT Verbal or cognitive signs








- LESS INTENSE BUT CLEAR "Well, I'm a little annoyed with [fill in blank]   "I'm fed up with [fill in blank] 

Thinly veiled behavioral signs:

- Distrustful, skeptical

- Argumentative, irritable, indirectly challenging

- Resentful, jealous, envious

- Disruptive, uncooperative, or distracting actions

- Unforgiving or unsympathetic attitude

- Sulky, sullen, pouting

- Passively resistant, interferes with progress

- Given to sarcasm, cynical humor, and teasing

- Judgmental attitude

Thinly veiled verbal signs:

- "No, I'm not mad - I'm just disappointed / annoyed / disgusted / put out / irritated."

- "You don't know what you're talking about."

Indirect behavioral signs:


- PSYCHOSOMATIC DISORDERS Tiredness, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease.

Actually, college students with high hostility scores had, 20 years later, become more overweight with higher cholesterol and hypertension, had drunk more coffee and alcohol, had smoked more cigarettes, and generally had poorer health (Friedman, 1991).

Signs of Anger

- Depression and guilt

- Serious mental illness

- Self-defeating or addictive behavior, such as drinking, over-eating, or drugs

- Vigorous, distracting activity (exercising or cleaning)

- Excessively submissive, deferring behavior; or

- Crying.


It is obvious from these "signs of anger" that anger is frequently a concealed or disguised emotion. And why not? Getting mad is scary ... and potentially dangerous.

One common way of expressing suppressed anger has been given a special name: passive-aggressiveness.

It is releasing your anger by being passive or subtly oppositional. For example, such a person may be "tired," unresponsive, act like he/she "doesn't understand," be late frequently, exaggerate others' faults, pretend to agree ("sure, whatever"), be tearful, be argumentative, be forgetful, deny anger ("Nothing's wrong ..."), procrastinate, and frequently be clumsy or sick (Hankins, 1993).

There is another related form of concealed anger: feeling like a victim.

Feeling victimized assumes that someone or some situation has mistreated you. But a person who specializes in constantly feeling like a victim may not identify or accuse his/her abuser. Instead, he/she generally feels that the world is against him/her, that others vaguely intend to make him/her miserable.

Victims usually feel helpless; therefore, they take little responsibility for what has happened to them. They think they were terribly mistreated in the past but they now seem unable to accept love and support,

e.g. if you offer them help, they never get enough or if you try to cheer them up, it seldom works.

A victim is much more likely to sulk, pout, look unhappy, or lay a guilt trip on something than to get angry.

They play games: "Why does it always happen to me?" or "Yes, but ..." (No-one's ideas or suggestions will do any good).

The self-pitying, pessimistic, sad, jealous victim is surely sitting on a mass of hostility.

Both the passive-aggressive and the victim are likely to be aware of their anger, even though it is largely denied.


Anger expresses itself in many forms:

- Cynic;

- Naysayer;

- Critic;

- Bigot, etc.

Potter-Efron & Potter-Efron (1995) describe ten different styles of expressing anger; this may help you identify your type and help you stop it. 

Depression is a critical message that you must change your way of living, thinking or behaving.

Depression is an important opportunity to reevaluate your priorities, and not a "disease" to be smothered or feared; depression is inverted anger, nothing more, so take the time to discover that with which you are angry.

Work through your depression rather than hold onto it as if it were a prized possession.