Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Depression and Aggression

It’s common practice to greet friends, colleagues and family with the opening question, ‘How are you today?’

More often than not we reply with the short answer, ‘OK’.

Even if you are feeling depressed, would you admit it? If you are feeling sad or miserable; is it common to share these feelings?

More often than not, we are prone to answer ‘OK’ rather than be open about our inner emotions.

But is it healthy to keep such emotions bottled up? Can depression lead to aggression?

In its mildest form depression can mean just being in low spirits. To its most extreme, it makes you feel suicidal. Being depressed doesn’t stop you leading a normal life. Thousands of sufferers carry on with life regardless, with the only symptoms being mood swings, bouts of annoyance and feelings of hopelessness.

Aggression makes an appearance as a consequence of depression. It’s there under the surface ready to show its head in the most unwanted of occasions.

How often do you see mild mannered individuals grimace for no apparent reason? Or clutch their fists tight or even hit the wall or kick an object out of sight?

Whether it's uncontrollable anger towards oneself or outward aggression toward others, whether a person or object, it's clinically proven that depression and aggression run hand in hand.

What to look out for?

Symptoms of depression vary from person to person, though common threads do appear across the board.

  • Feelings of sadness and gloom can either make you sleep too much or not sleep enough. If your sleeping pattern is being disturbed, it’s a sign.
  • Do simple tasks become a major annoyance? If you find you have trouble concentrating and that simple tasks become major obstacles, it’s a sign.
  • We all have feelings of being up and down. Everyone feels sad or has ‘the blues’ from time to time, but if feelings of hopelessness and helplessness persist, it’s a sign.
  • Again, we all have light and dark thoughts racing around our minds. The Yin and Yang philosophy teaches us that you can’t have one without the other. If you find you can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try, it’s a sign.
  • Losing your appetite or you can’t stop eating, is a sign.
  • Feeling more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual, is a sign.
  • Consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behavior, is a sign too.
  • And the most alarming sign, which you must seek help immediately with, is having thoughts that life is not worth living.

Why am I depressed?

Life throws up a varying array of challenges which manifest themselves into depression, which in itself leads to aggression. To name but a few reasons:

  • Loneliness
  • Lack of support
  • Life experiences, such as child-hood trauma or abuse.
  • Marital and relationship problems.
  • Financial strain.
  • Being unemployment or even underemployed.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Health problems and chronic pain.

What can I do?

Acknowledging your depression and aggression is the first step to dealing with depression and aggression. Whether it’s affecting your work life, or family life, help is at hand.

Mike Fisher from the British Association of Anger Management has over 16 years experience of treating depression and aggression.

Learning what causes anger and what can be done to avoid becoming angry are among the main focuses of treatment. Also important is learning what to do when becoming angry and finding positive ways to focus feelings instead of becoming aggressive in response.

By visiting the websites www.stressexperts.co.uk, www.beatinganger.com and www.angerguru.com, you will find a number of programmes from weekend work shops, to 1-1 coaching sessions, to one day courses, which are all designed to beat and overcome depression and aggression.

Mike Fisher is happy to help with any questions, queries or enquiries you may have.

Give him a call now and beat the stress once and for all.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

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