The Difference Between Depression and Anger

Depression is defined as grief, feeling down, losing energy, missing desire, or just feeling low. Anger is a sign of impatience, violence, crankiness, and not being your regular calm self. As a result, they are unique symptoms. And, in fact, they aren’t always the kind of events that go together.

There is one exception to this rule. Anger and irritability can be symptoms of depression when an individual suffers from clinical depression, i.e., develops depression as an illness. However, if it is a sign of depression, it will be associated with additional symptoms.

For example, you will be irritated, but you will also be depressed. You will also experience a lack of motivation. You’ll also have less energy.

There is a vast difference between anger and depression. When anger combines with other depression symptoms, it is a sign. However, in the normal run of events, depression and anger are entirely different feelings.

What is Depression?

Depression is among the most common forms of mental health issues, and it frequently coexists with anxiety. Depression can be moderate and temporary or severe and chronic. Some people are only affected by depression once, while others may be affected several times.

Suicide can result from depression, but it is avoidable with the right help. Understanding that much may be done to assist people battling depression is essential.

Depression is a widespread and significant medical ailment that has a negative impact on how you feel, think, and act. Depression combined with anger is hard to deal with, but it is curable. Depression creates feelings of grief or loss of interest in previously appreciated activities. It can cause several mental and physical difficulties, as well as a reduction in your capacity to operate at home and work.

Symptoms of Depression

Individuals experience depression differently. The following are some of the most prevalent symptoms and signs of depression.

Physical Symptoms

  • Tiredness or a lack of strength, even when well rested
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Aches and pains with no evident reason

Emotional or Mental Symptoms

  • Consistent sadness, anxiety, or irritability
  • Disinterest in friends and things that they used to like
  • Loneliness and withdrawal from others
  • Feelings of inferiority, hopelessness, or regret
  • Taking risks and making impulsive decisions
  • Suicidal or self-harming ideas

What is Anger?

Anger is characterized by fury toward an individual, or something you believe has purposefully wronged you.

Anger may be beneficial. It might help you vent negative emotions, for example, or encourage you to discover answers to issues. However, extreme rage might be problematic. Both internal and external factors can become the leading causes of anger.

For example, you may feel furious at a specific person or incident or be upset due to fretting or ruminating over personal problems. In addition, anger can be triggered by memories of painful or upsetting situations.

Symptoms of Anger

To control your anger, you must first learn to identify when you are angry. Anger exists on a spectrum between wrath and serenity, with most people experiencing some degree of anger between any of these two extremes.

Anger creates both physical and emotional/mental symptoms. While these sensations are natural to encounter on occasion, an individual dealing with anger that is related to depression likely to experience them relatively more frequently and to a greater extent.

Here are some of the common physical and emotional symptoms of anger:

Physical Symptoms

  • Mild to severe headache
  • Fatigue
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Excessive sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Grinding teeth

Emotional Symptoms

  • Irritability
  • Sadness or depression
  • Anxious
  • Verbal or physical abuse
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness

Is Anger a Sign of Depression?

People suffering from depression often have a negative mindset, meaning they perceive the world through a negative lens. Here are a few examples:

They will remember prior events or discussions in a bad way or only recall their unpleasant elements.

They tend to be pessimistic in their reactions to present conditions, finding it challenging to think of any positives.

A person suffering from depression will also have a gloomy outlook on the future.

This negative bias generates severe grief and hopelessness in many persons suffering from depression. However, in most cases, depression makes you angry. Whether a person with depression experiences anger, sorrow, or any other symptom is often determined by various circumstances, including their culture, upbringing, society, and biology.

Why do People Experience Anger with Depression?

Depression and anger have a complicated relationship. The more precisely we can pinpoint the details of this link, the more precise we can diagnose and treat depression and anger.

Anger can be caused by depression. People suffering from depression experience anger because of irritability, frustration, and hopelessness. Anger and sadness can coexist in various ways, some of which are as follows.


When you’re in a bad mood, you might:

  • Get irritable with others or yourself, quickly become sensitive or upset, even over little issues
  • You may release your anger by slamming doors or pushing items aside, or you may find yourself making caustic, negative, or harsh words that lead to disputes.
  • Have the desire to pace or be constantly moving
  • Irritability can also appear as a negative or defeated attitude.
  • Feelings of irritation and anger may mix with a sense of hopelessness following a mistake or setback. You can lose your anger instead of attempting to rescue the situation.


Hostility is defined as bitter, unfriendly, distrustful, or malicious sentiments. You may aim your emotions toward specific persons, the world, or even yourself.

Here are some examples of hostility:

  • Statements that are nasty or sarcastic
  • A habit of blaming others when something goes wrong
  • Mean or hostile conduct a tendency to distrust people and their motives
  • You may have tremendous feelings of anger without ever communicating them with others; they may remain just in your mind.
  • Hostile emotions can also rise to guilt, another typical emotion associated with depression.

Anger Attacks

According to some health professionals, anger attacks are a distinct presentation of anger related to depression. However, anger outbursts aren’t solely associated with depression. They can also impact your interactions with other people and overall quality of life.

These episodes are characterized by abrupt, intense anger that:

  • Is unusual for you
  • Is excessive or inappropriate for the situation
  • Once it fades, it evokes feelings of regret and guilt.

Common Treatment for Anger and Depression

The ideal treatment of depression and anger may be determined by your symptoms and their impact on your life.

Your therapist may suggest:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy will help you question and reframe angry behaviors and unhelpful cognitive patterns caused by depression.
  • Interpersonal therapy: Interpersonal counseling will teach you how to handle and communicate your anger and other challenging feelings that harm your relationships.
  • Psychodynamic therapy: This kind of treatment can assist you in identifying the origins of your depression and anger.
  • Antidepressant medications: These drugs may help alleviate emotions of anger and wrath and depressive symptoms.

4 Strategies to Manage Anger and Depression

  1. Relaxation techniques
  2. Do Exercise
  3. Change Your Surrounding
  4. Anger Management Courses

Suppose you’re having trouble controlling your depression and anger outbreaks. In that case, there are management skills you may use to attempt to manage your emotions better. Some of these can help you in the short term, while others will help you cope with depression and anger over time:

1 – Relaxation techniques

Simple relaxation techniques, like relaxing visualization and deep breathing, can reduce furious sensations. Some books can guide you to relaxation methods, and once you master them, you can use them in any condition.

2 – Do Exercise

Exercise is the most effective treatment for people suffering from depression and anger. For example, take a quick walk or run to relieve tension, anxiety, and irritation. It may also aid with depressive symptoms.

3 – Change Your Surrounding

Protect yourself from situations that may expose you to extreme stress, abuse, or violence. Remember to exhibit healthy behavior and positive reactions to stress in your life, such as setting boundaries and practicing good self-care practices.

4 – Anger Management Courses

Get yourself enrolled into anger management courses. They can either be physical or online, depending on your schedule. It helps you to deal with your depression and anger in the best possible manner.

You may also gain complete control over your emotions, which is a lifetime achievement as it can save you from many guilt and regrets you usually feel after depression and anger outbursts.


We hope this post has answered all of your questions. Anger and depression are distinct emotions, but if not treated on time, both can have long-term consequences so it is crucial to know the difference between depression and anger.

Identifying if you are dealing with a type of anger or depression is crucial for the implementation of management techniques.

Therefore, we recommend you seek professional assistance and practice depression and anger management strategies such as deep breathing and meditation, which can help you stay calm and divert your focus from negative ideas.

Some online platforms such as Mastering Anger can help individuals identify their condition and enroll in online management classes that can help them in controlling anger and their emotions. So hurry up and start living a positive life!

Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC

Dr. Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC specializes in anger management, family conflict resolution, marital and premarital conflict resolution. His extensive knowledge in the field of anger management may enable you to use his tested methods to deal with your anger issues.


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