The link between Anger, Anxiety and Depression
Anger and anxiety are closely related to each other because they are both related to our body’s original survival mechanisms. Uncontrolled anger, anxiety, and depression can cause mental and emotional problems and even go so far as to affect our physical health.
Anxiety itself is the activation of the fight/flight response in the body. It becomes a problem when your body activates the response for no reason, or the response is unable to go away. That creates a variety of unwanted physical and mental experiences that make it hard to control your quality of life.
Anger is very similar to stress or is a cause of being stressed also known as fearful. Our fight or flight response is perfect for responding to a physical threat. But most modern threats today are either emotional or social. Yet our bodies don’t know the difference between an angry person yelling at us and a hungry tiger. The flight or fight system is still activated and responds the same way in both cases. Anger and stress consume us because our bodies are filled up with hormones that ready us for fighting or fleeing but we have to stay still. Anxiety is linked to anger because we focus on the perceived threat rather than our response to those threats. Depression is a disorder that is described as consisting of low energy, black moods, and even suicide. Anger and anxiety can both contribute depression but they aren’t the only causes of depression.
The common denominator between anger, anxiety and depression is stress. Out of control stress and anxiety can have bad consequences for anyone’s well-being. Anxiety and depression can cause substance abuse, mood swings, decreased immunity, sleep problems, high blood pressure, heart problems, forgetfulness, social issues, and conflict with loved ones. All of these also continue the spiral of anger linking to anxiety and depression. Stress is an unavoidable part of modern life. So if an individual can develop techniques to reduce their stress and therefore reduce their anger and then their anxiety and depression they can live their day to day life much better. Using techniques such as breathing, meditation, time management, yoga, tai chi, and other relaxation techniques can help to reduce stress which can reduce anger that is linked to anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression can be clinical and if they are, they are mental disease that won’t be cured just by stress management and anger management. Anxiety and depression as disease will have to be managed with medication also and overseen by a medical professional.
Fun Fact: Regardless of whether or not the cases of anger being linked to anxiety and depression are clinical or not the truth is that anger, stress, anxiety and depression can all be helped with laughing! Laughing causes your body to move into a different physiological state. It pushes your body toward the opposite of a fight or flight state. Laughing produces hormones which can cause relaxation, calmness, and sense of well-being. This is great for anyone dealing with anger linked to anxiety and depression. Laughter by itself of course is not a cure-all for anxiety and depression nor for anger but it can help with minor cases and can definitely contribute to helping a little bit with more serious issues and symptoms.
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