By: Mike Martinez
Oftentimes you will see men getting angry and exhibit rage-like symptoms. What does this look like? Throwing things, violence, yelling… power? It’s highly unlikely that it will look like sadness. More often than not men will choose to express themselves in ways that show power and control versus the vulnerability and hurt that is associated with depression.
Depression causes us to feel the opposite of powerful and in control. It cripples us. We feel weak. Useless. Weakness and uselessness are unacceptable in our society – especially for men. Depression can be extremely frustrating. In times of frustration we may choose to exhibit anger. This may look like blowing up at friends, family, and co-workers. One reason that we may act like this is because in a way, we’re taking control and power back. If we cannot control how we feel then you better believe we will try to control that other person!
Another reason that is closely related to this is avoidance. In order to avoid feeling our depression we will act out instead. Men don’t want to feel… why would we? It’s much easier to throw something across the room or throw a punch than to throw ourselves into our psyche. We also really don’t want to let anyone in to see what’s really going on (see paragraph above). As men we would like to keep our vulnerability to ourselves, thank you.. not that we have any or anything…
Fear can also be a motivating factor in why depression so often looks like anger in men. We may be experiencing depression that is related to a fear we have. Instead of saying something like, “I’m so awfully terrified of losing you. Please quit (insert problematic behavior here such as smoking/drinking).” We might simply become angered when we see a loved one doing something that can be detrimental to their heath. Our anger may come out confrontational and accusatory, “You need to stop _______ right now!” or “You’re always ________!” Instead it’s important to confront yourself first – what am I feeling? What’s really going on here within me? Then express that to the loved one.
Whatever the reason is, it’s important to recognize that anger and rage can be symptoms of depression. If you or someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms get help! You’re not alone. Call today at Life Counseling Solutions to set up an appointment with me at 407-622-1770 or schedule an appointment online with me here.
Michael’s goal is to assist clients in reaching their full potential by helping them explore within themselves to find their strengths. He pays special attention to building a therapeutic relationship in order to create a safe place for change and growth. Michael provides counseling services to people of many different backgrounds but specializes in helping men with anger management struggles. Continue reading here.