Depression can be caused by a many number of things. Perhaps it is due to a specific, traumatic event like losing a loved one to suicide. It may be caused by prolonged emotional or spiritual abuse. It could be caused by an addiction to technology or a chemical imbalance.
Another common cause of depression is anger—anger that you may not even recognize you have. We call this “hidden anger” or anger that you’ve suppressed from your conscious acknowledgement. You may be angry at a family member that continues to exert undue control over your life, angry with God for an unavoidable health problem, or angry at a friend who betrayed you during a time of need. While you may have hidden this anger from view, these feelings of anger and resentment can fester inside us and manifest in unforeseen ways; depression is one such manifestation.
As part of the recovery journey, is it first important to acknowledge, and become aware of, the reason for your depression. Below are some common symptoms of hidden anger that may be negatively affecting your life.
Procrastination: Procrastination in the completion of tasks, especially ones you don’t like or don’t want to do. What do you put off? What is keeping you from completing these tasks? If the tasks are related to past issues of control or connected in some way to people or past trauma, your procrastination may be caused by festering hidden anger.
Sarcasm, cynicism, or flippancy: Within what context, do you typically make sarcastic, cynical, or flippant remarks? Is it only with certain people or only within a certain context? In other words, is your hidden anger tied to a certain person, in terms of what she brings out in you? Or, is it more generally tied to how you feel in specific situations as opposed to whom you are with?
Over controlled monotone speaking voice: This is not only a means of hiding anger, but subsequently any number of other feelings that re not allowed expression. In other words, masking a negative feeling, such as anger, inevitably trains you to mask positive feelings as well, such as surprise, excitement, and joy.
Frequent sighing: You may not even realize you are doing this, so make a note to be mindful of how frequently you sigh, and within what context. Again, is it usually around a certain person, or is it more specific to an activity (i.e. work task), thought (i.e. all you to-dos), or situation (i.e. dealing with a conflict at work or at home).
Smiling while hurting: As with frequent sighing, this may not be something you are particularly aware of. Next time you notice yourself smiling, though, check in with your head and heart. Does your expression match what you’re thinking and feeling inside?
If you notice that you are exhibiting any concerning combination of the above symptoms, it might signal issues related to hidden anger. Our team at The Center • A Place of HOPE specializes in treating anger problems and depression, and we are here to help. The Center • A Place of HOPE has been ranked as the #1 treatment facility for depression in the United States. If you are ready to regain true joy and happiness and release your hidden anger, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak with a depression recovery specialist today.