Depression and anger, is there a difference? Is anger a symptom?

by | Mental Health


Depression and anger are actually quite distinctly different things.

Depression is the feeling of sadness, feeling down, feeling flat, lacking energy, lacking drive, just feeling depressed really, or low. Anger is a symptom of feeling of irritability, aggression, crankiness, not really being your usual calm self. So they actually are quite distinct symptoms. And indeed often are not really the sort of things that go together.

There’s one exception to that. When someone becomes clinically depressed, i.e. developing depression as an illness, anger, irritability can be a symptom of depression. But if it is a symptom of depression it will go with other things. You will actually feel irritable, but you’ll also feel low. You’ll also feel lacking in motivation. You’ll also feel reduced energy.

So when anger is wrapped around other symptoms typical of depression, it can be a symptom. But in the general course of every day, depression and anger are quite distinct feelings or symptoms.

Dr Matthew Cullen, Psychiatrist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney

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