Experiences of Depression: Irritability and Anger

This article is part of a series that explores the ways that specific “clusters” of depression symptoms manifest to create different experiences of depression. The previous article in this series discussed the hopeless experience.

The irritable or angry experience of depression is often not recognized as depression, either by the person who experiences it or by those around then. For the person experiencing this kind of depression, the people around them may seem disappointing, irritating, or intolerable, and the depressed person may feel as emotionally uncomfortable as someone with severe poison oak feels physically. They may feel very frustrated that they can’t get the people who seem to be causing their suffering to change. People around the angry or irritable depressed person may see them as mean, angry, or a bully. It may not even occur to onlookers that this person could be depressed.

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Irritability and Anger in Men and Women

I believe men and women tend to express this experience differently. Many men feel a great deal of pressure not to cry or express vulnerability, so when they get depressed, anger is a more acceptable way to experience the emotional pain they’re feeling. Men may also feel more pressure to not feel anything, and so turn to drugs and alcohol when they’re in emotional pain to try to numb themselves. So while we associate crying with depression, men may not cry and yet be just as depressed as those who do. I believe this is the main reason women are diagnosed with depression twice as much as men are: many men who are depressed aren’t getting the help they need.

When men are depressed and express it as anger, violence, or addiction, the consequences may further distract from getting the help they need. These consequences can be extreme, like jail or chasing a high, but they may also take the form of loneliness and isolation after alienating people. Self-hate may grow inside as depression festers and the consequences of anger create more and more to hate.

Women are certainly not immune to experiencing depression as anger. Often in women it comes out as irritability, particularly with their children. This too may go undetected because sometimes, only their children see it, and children rarely call a therapist for their mother.

How Anger Manifests

There are two types of anger:

  1. One is a response to something hurtful or unfair happening to or around the person who feels angry.
  2. The other is a protection against feeling something more vulnerable.

When someone has been abused or traumatized, they certainly have reason to be angry, and often don’t have a chance to express it when the trauma occurs. So anger may linger as a symptom of posttraumatic stress, or may become incorporated into a person’s personality over time. When that happens, people feel angry a great deal of the time, and the anger isn’t just anger anymore—it becomes a way of life. It’s probable the anger develops this way in order to protect the person from further abuse, and from the painful feelings of sadness, hurt, and fear that were also a part of the traumatic experience.

Classic examples of depression expressed as anger include veterans who come home from combat with the experiences of terror of imminent death, sadness from losing friends who were killed, and systematic emotional training to channel all these feelings into anger, revenge, and warfare. Coming home with all of this, it’s not hard to understand why a veteran would be depressed, or why he or she would express it through domestic violence, picking fights, or even just caustic cynicism. Police officers can have a similar experience, as can people who grow up with angry or sadistic parents who repeatedly abuse them. Even people whose parents used them for their own needs, without concern for their child’s emotional needs, may carry chronic anger that covers the hurt, sadness, and fear.

The Roots of Anger and Depression

In fact, anger almost always covers or is accompanied by hurt, sadness or fear. When anger is helpfully expressed and begins to resolve, it almost always dissolves into tears and more vulnerable feelings. Usually, as long as a person sticks with the anger, they are stuck in the depression.

One way to look at this is that “frozen” feelings are often at the root of depression. Someone who feels and/or expresses only anger probably has frozen hurt, fear, shame, guilt, or sadness. Someone who never feels or expresses anger probably has frozen anger. In either case, the person may be depressed and suffering and probably will continue to suffer until their frozen feelings are safely unlocked, expressed, and resolved.

© Copyright 2011 by Cynthia W. Lubow, MS, MFT, therapist in El Cerrito, California. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Delilah

    October 10th, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    I never think of depression manifesting itself like this. I always think of someone all sad and mopey, and not functioning but with so much anger. I am sure that a lot of these people who experience depression like this go around feeling very misunderstood and like there is nothing that can be done to ease their symptoms. And it is critical that they find a therapist who has seen this before in patients and can give them some direction with how to end the anger and to get past the depression. There has to be some very useful tools available to help them do that.

  • Amoeba

    October 10th, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Being nice to people spreads positivity and joy. Bring abusive to and bullying people will only make them change and become just like the perpetrator and it is the spread of negativity. Both are possible to spread and it is unto us to choose. We can spread positivity and make a change or spread negativity and contribute our bit to corrupt the world even more.

  • Naomi.L

    October 11th, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    You may be depressed but as long as I was not the cause I am not going to take any anger from your side. You’re depressed and I’d love to help but by being full of rage you are only repelling any possible help from my side!

  • Josie Rae

    October 11th, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    So now people with anger management problems are just going to turn around and blame depression for their problem? I am not saying this is not valid- but I am saying that it can’t be used as an excuse for you to go around being angry at others all of the time and taking out that frustration on those who have nothing to do with where that anger stems from. It really is a whole lot easier to be kind than to be so snarky all of the time.

  • Arlene

    May 5th, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    You need to go back and read the article! And should Thank God you are obviously not going through depression and hopefully never will.

  • Cynthia Lubow, MFT

    Cynthia Lubow, MFT

    November 17th, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    Very good point, all. Being depressed does not give anyone license to be abusive, nor should anyone excuse or accept abusive behavior, regardless of it’s origin. Moreover, most people who bully or abuse feel bad about themselves for doing it, and relieved when someone stops them. Taking abuse doesn’t do anyone any good. People who experience depression this way are certainly suffering, and need help, but our compassion for that doesn’t negate the need to protect ourselves and set limits, so that we aren’t targets for the misery. We must simultaneously have compassion for the angry sufferer and absolutely do whatever it takes to protect ourselves from them.

  • jan

    August 8th, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    I think it might be easy to confuse people who have a lack of impulse control, with respect to anger, and those who are genuinely depressed who express their depression by being angry. I don’t think it is helpful to place both in the same category.

  • Cynthia Lubow, MFT

    Cynthia Lubow, MFT

    August 8th, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Yes, anger can have many meanings and origins, depression is just one of them. Would you care to say more about your thoughts about this Jan?

  • LIL

    November 7th, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Some of you also need to think carefully about your responses. People who suffer from depression with irritability/mood swings, like myself, work highly stressful jobs and have chronic medical conditions that sometimes inhibit the healthy “emotional purging” process. It’s also aggravating to have a partner/spouse who always wants to know how you feel, when at times, you don’t know what you feel. Apathy, emptiness are two things that are experienced, as well as confusion as to the regards of the direction that their life/job needs to take- and should take. Depressed/anger sufferers aren’t always abusive so it’s rather judgmental call to lump them all into one category when there’s more to these people than just depression/anger/irritability. Jobs and family life play a heavy part in the picture, as well. They are also not all bullies. In fact, a lot are just trying to find their way, figure out their life and battle these conditions for the rest of their lives. It’s a constant struggle- just like drug and alcohol addiction. Just a pov for some of you to chew on….

  • Laura

    November 13th, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Most of the comments here seem to be from people who have no idea what depression is like — certainly no personal experience of it. To blithely say that all you need to do is “spread positivity” shows a real lack of understanding.

    I really appreciated this article. Although the anger/depression connection is mostly discussed in reference to men, I am a woman who has struggled with both my entire life.

    I have hidden my anger issues from therapists, because anger is so unacceptable in women and because I’m so ashamed of my outbursts and the hurt they have caused. I was only half-conscious that this anger could be due to other “frozen” feelings.

    Thank you for a well-written, informative article.

  • Carol

    November 19th, 2012 at 2:17 AM

    This article was really helpful to me. I am also female and have had three episodes of depression, all of which started with irritability and I didn’t realise at the time that’s what it was. I did suffer trauma in my early years, (not intentional but through my parents’ ignorance). I also identify really strongly with the passage “or even parents who use them for their own needs without concern for their child’s emotional needs may carry chronic anger that covers the hurt, sadness and fear.” It’s the first time I’ve seen such a description but it fits my own experience perfectly.
    I’m not a bully, I’m not violent. My irritability triggers strong anxiety and I can barely function when that kicks in.
    I’ve bookmarked this page so that I can refer back to it for reassurance when things get difficult.

  • felicia

    December 8th, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    I think this article is very accurate. I am a female who suffers with irritability, anger, isolation & depression which worsens in the winter months. I had an abusive childhood & still wonder if 20 yrs later I could still be suffering the effects of it. This article shows that maybe I could be.

  • Cailin

    December 17th, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    I am with LIL, Laura, Carol and felicia. I have struggled with this since my teenage years. Poor impulse control conveys to a range of feelings and behaviors, not just angry ones, and that is the distinction.

    For the first time just this past weekend after years and years of seeing psychotherapists and taking anti-depressants, a psychiatric NP diagnosed the irritability as something else, something caused not just by depression but also anxiety. I do not think of myself as anxious but after going through the signs and symptoms I realized that a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder fit. So, now I am going to include treatment for that for the first time, but at least I know that this is not my fault and I am not some sort of bad person because of it, or that I did not try hard enough.

  • Carol

    December 18th, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    It ends up being a double whammy for you Cailin. Like me, you get the irritability from both sides and the problem is then perpetuated in a vicious circle. Let’s hope you can make some progress now that you can see another route.

  • donna

    January 27th, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    I have struggled with depression for years.
    mild depression with chronic pain.
    I had extreme stress and finally cracked under the strain.
    During this time my depression became severe.
    My doctor wanted to try another drug for pain so we had to wean 2 antidepressants to try it (couldn’t mix the drugs).
    One was for pain and worked so well.
    Weaning me off 2 a.d. took me into hell.
    I had the most painful depression – horrible.
    I have never been the same since.
    I went back on my old medications-the endep worked great again for pain.
    The a.d. didn’t work.

    I am on lexapro-only 20mg.
    From the start I have been agitated, irritable and angry.
    felt like I was on speed!
    It is not my personality.
    You’ll adjust they said.
    Still angry, irritable.
    I dont snap at people I love, but I cant handle other people.
    I dont like being with other people.
    I have zero tolerance.
    Anyone have these symptoms?

    I can see how men and women might show depression thru anger etc.
    Of course it doesn’t apply to abusive people-they’re just abusers.
    thanks Donna

  • Georgette

    March 23rd, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Thank you, ladies, for taking the time to tell a bit of your stories. I, too, am a woman dealing with depression and rage. It is somewhat of a relief to know that this also affects women. I can relate to you, Donna. Only difference is that chronic pain isn’t in my symptom picture. I’m always angry. If not visibly, it’s just below the surface. Sadly, I find myself snapping at the ones I care about as well as anyone else. That is usually followed by feeling bad about the outbursts. If I had a short fuse I’d be doing great, but I’m explosive… And I CAN’T control it. So I isolate myself. Largely because there is no one there to set me off. I know about having zero tolerance, about not wanting to be around other people, being unable to handle being around people. I’m at the beginning of the treatment road. Thank you all for taking the time to share, it’s a relief to know that being a “bitch” for the rest of my life may not be my destiny. If only it were as easy as “spreading kindness, love and positive thoughts”. I hope those practices work for you, Amoeba. I also hope you never know this personal hell. Holding hands and singing “Kumbaya” isn’t a very effective approach. Comments based in ignorance reflect your lack of understanding.

  • margaret

    March 23rd, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    I knew that my anger issues were somehow tied to my depression, but I didn’t know that this is a “thing”.
    What I do know is that I am not always like this. I seem to cycle into it and then get out; as I think about this more. I really wish I knew what might help. If anyone has had experience with successes please let me know.
    I end up ruining friendships and creating awkward situations that make me wish I could be swallowed up by the floor. I feel like I need to get a new job because I am increasingly creating rifts. It’s getting bad, but I am not highly employable and can not afford to go without working. My doseage has recently been increased but it doesn’t seem to be helping. I hate who I am.

  • sam

    March 24th, 2013 at 7:11 AM

    I highly recommend seeing a chiropractor to make sure you do not have a misalignment that is impeding the proper flow of energy throughout your body. I had spinal subluxation or a reverse curve of the spine. I suffered with anxiety, hypertension, depression and anger for years. I tried all sorts of alternative and western healing modalities. Finally I saw a professional who knew what he was doing and he took x rays of my neck and found that I had a reverse curve which was putting an incredible amount of strain on my central nervous system. We worked over two years to reverse the curve but even early on in my treatment I noticed an incredible settling of my nerves. Everything was positively affected: my outlook, emotion, thoughts, ability to put forth energy in my life, digestion, even. Now I have the energy to jog and stretch regularly. Combined with eating whole foods I truly feel like a new person with a new potential for life. My feelings toward others have become incredibly more gentle and appropriate.

    Look for a chiropractor who has extensive post graduate experience.

  • Don

    March 24th, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Thank you for this :-)

  • Katina

    June 4th, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    Thank you for this article and thank you all for sharing. I also have anger and irritability with my depression and as a woman, it is not acceptable. I can relate to many of the ladies here. As someone else mentioned, I can cycle in and out but it’s always right on the surface. I isolate myself too because I simply can’t stand being around other people. They just drive me insane. I have a tendency to really take it out on boyfriends. The slightest thing they do can send me in a tizzy when I’m symptomatic. My doctor prescribed meds but I don’t want to get stuck on that cycle so I’m simply trying to deal with lifestyle changes first and then some new coping skills. If all else fails, I will try meds but I have to be prayerful about that. Thank you all for sharing.

  • Adrian

    June 10th, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    This is a great article and mirrors my situation. I have been depressed for years because of the state of my marriage as basically since we had kids over 9 years ago we have not had sex and it was sporadic before. This led to me being depressed and frequently angry with my wife as she was dismissive of this part of the relationship missing.

    To cut a long story short this peaked again at Christmas and led to me assaulting my wife and 3 other women (my daughter from my first marriage and 2 of her friends) when they tried to protect my wife. I was arrested and charged and eventually my lawyers managed to get the charge down to one of common assault and so for the first time in 54 years I was in trouble with the law.

    My depression then really kicked in and I was so suicidal and depressed I was sent to a secure mental health unit at first by self-referral but I was told in no uncertain terms that if I hadn’t done that I would have been forcibly detained under the Mental Health Act (Sectioned).

    Depression in men is awful as we tend to disguise it and probably the number of men who suffer from it is on a par with women however because of our machismo and the expectations of society we do not always seek appropriate treatment until something like what happened to me occurs.

  • Cynthia Lubow, MFT

    Cynthia Lubow, MFT

    June 10th, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Very nicely described, Adrian. I’m so sorry all this happened. Are you getting help for your depression and anger now?

  • Adrian

    June 11th, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    Hi Cynthia

    I have just finished weekly care under a Community Psychiatric team. Currently I am about to start a course of cognitive psychotherapy and I am also attending a self-help group for abusers called ADAPT which I am finding very useful as it would seem that I am literally not alone – it is male only at present but the majority of us seem to be bottlers and we are not serial abusers rather we have had one off explosions caused by repressing our feelings – as I said I have found it very helpful. The course is 30 weeks long and I have attended for 6 weeks at present. The link to the originators is her as you may find it useful in the United States: hamptontrust.org.uk/our-programmes/adapt/

    Best wishes


  • mischa

    June 26th, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    I really appreciate the perspectives given from Georgette and a few others. Just “thinking” happy thoughts or even going to a therapist does not change this way of feeling. Unless you suffer from this you have no idea how it feels; distracting oneself, exercise, eating better doesn’t always work or they are only temporary fixes.

    It is awful to feel angry, out of control, and have irritabiity all the time and then after outbursts the shame that comes on. I have no interest in subjegating myself to more useless antidepressants that do not help but rather mask these feelings.

    I understand the origin, and how it becomes ingrained in daily behaviour and coping mechanisms. But intellectually this doesn’t help either in the moment when all I want to scream. So like others I isolate myself so as not to do further damage. Sadly one cannot keep a job or relationship this way…

    I came across this forum and appreciate some of the thoughts here, but have to say I am so very tired of the blanket and mainstream “do this do that, be this be that” ideas. Doesn’t anyone have anything that is truly original and helpful?

  • Todd

    July 8th, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    I’m a man for whom this article is spot on. I have suffered from MDD and PTSD for years and I have learned that anger and irritability are important elements of the illness and , as such, need to be better understood by friends and relatives as well as the patient. Only then can the deep healing and support necessary to curtail the illness occur.

    One of the most painful aspects of the illness is my knowledge that I am not the same person I once was and the frustration of not being able to magically dissolve illness. It really hurts when friends and relatives fail to know (or don’t want to know) the reasons behind the anger. This article provides a much needed explanation of this dynamic.

  • Paula A

    August 8th, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    I can also relate to this article. For me, the cycle starts with massive stress/pressure at work. I buckle down but I really want people to leave me alone so I can get my work done without chit chat or any other new tasks being added to the pile. So I seem “hostile” – though I see it as being efficient. My ex-husband saw this stress manifest as just “anger” but when I’d try to talk about it he would tell me to change careers or start a long story about how his old job was so much worse (one-upmanship).

    When someone is overwhelmed and angry about their workload or ridiculous deadlines, they are NOT in the mindset to go find a new job. And I made most of our household income so without my paycheck we would lose everything.

    I know that when I was angry or frustrated that I wasn’t the easiest person to love, but I also know most of the pain I felt was that no one cared or appreciated how hard I worked. At those times is when I needed to hear something supportive like, “Wow, you have so much on your plate. You work so hard, you deserve a break. As soon as this is over I want to take you to dinner / to the ocean for a day.”

  • Irene

    October 6th, 2013 at 2:35 AM


    You are so right, what is it we can do?! does anyone have a response that does not involve a.d.??? I am in such a horrible place right now, I am such a miserable person all day, nothing makes me happy, I look at my children – they are angels and I am afraid I am the one that gives them all the bad signals instead of smiles and compassion……who am I suppose to see? what am I suppose to take? how can I fix myself to the person I am dreaming to be?

  • Natalina

    October 29th, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    So , I am 15 years of age and I am always depressed. I can never seem to stay happy. I smile and have happy moments, but other than that all I do is hurt everyone around me weather it’s from the things I say, or it’s just because I wont talk to them. I believe my depression and anger comes from the tragedies I have encountered during my early child hood. I don’t know what else to do, I really don’t want to feel this way, especially because it is not just affecting me, but it’s affecting the relationships with my family and friends. All I do is go to school and come home and sit in my house all day and at 15 I know that that can not be healthy. Does anyone have any advice? What should I do? How should I feel? I do not want to have to resort to medicine in order to maintain my emotional being. I want to be able to control the way I feel, I want to be able to feel like a teenager, and act like one at that. I just want to be happy again…. If anyone has any advice PLEASE HELP! …
    Thank you..

  • Elise

    March 23rd, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Hi Hun,

    I am just now seeing your post and want to encourage you to tell your parent(s) about this and/or your doctor. You deserve to feel good and to be able to live life cheerfully. I totally get what you are saying because I experience this myself and I’m much older. There is absolutely no shame in having therapy or meds if needed and your primary care physician can help you with this. Best wishes for a happy and fulfilling life ahead. : )

  • Cynthia Lubow, MFT

    Cynthia Lubow, MFT

    October 29th, 2013 at 4:43 PM


    There is treatment for the symptoms, like depression, that come from childhood trauma. EMDR is a great one, and psychotherapy in general should help you resolve this and feel like other teens. Can you see a therapist?


  • Sheila

    November 25th, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    My husband is angry and irritable all the time. He is overweight, hates the way he looks but won’t change anything. He diets, loses 20 lbs and then quits. He has blow ups, is always picking on me and my son and then acts like nothing happened the next day. He very seldom wants to socialize with friends, he use to golf, go fishing, hiking and camping with his friends and now he does nothing. He says he likes being alone. He wants to spend time with me all the time…that is great but I would love to have friends with kids our son’s age to do things with occasionally but he never wants to do anything. He has been on antidepressants and needs it to control is anger. I have told him he needs to talk to someone but he refuses. I think he is his worst enemy. It isn’t fun to walk on eggshells…..I don’t know how to encourage him to get help. I don’t want to break up my family but I am 52 and don’t want to be unhappy forever.

  • Maina

    February 10th, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    I go through severe frustration and anger attacks. When I m under considerable amount of stress, I feel like bringing the hell down. I begin to snap at my parents, get so mad at everything in my head which has a constant train of cursing and beating the crap and almost literally ripping apart everbody who happens to be a source of annoyance. Normally m a jolly person who is too friendly to be true but under stress I am a monster and I cant contain this monster in me for much longer. It snaps, tears, yells, kills, makes me feel guilty about everything from now or the past and even these feelings. I can barely contain myself. Since my religion doesnt luckily allows alcohol or drugs, m glad I dont walk in their direction for relief. Also cant sleep at night and when I do, cant get up before 3pm. I cant help myself. I dont know why my head has to be so voilent. I only end up snapping at my family, with the rest I can contain myself. But what if the monster ever come out. M so exhausted and tired of fighting it and got an imp exam next month. The ironic thing here had be that m a doc and still cant help myself.

  • Cynthia Lubow, MFT

    Cynthia Lubow, MFT

    February 10th, 2014 at 2:42 PM


    It sounds like there is something going on for you that is significantly impacting your quality of life. It could be feelings about your parents you haven’t been able to process, or it could be a chemical imbalance, or possibly something else. Being a doctor doesn’t make you immune from emotional distress or trauma, and it doesn’t imply that emotional aspects of you are functioning to their full capacity. In fact, doctors are notoriously bad patients themselves–in general, don’t seem to want to experience the vulnerability of being a patient. If I were you, I’d want more from my life than the suffering you experience allows. Please find a good therapist to help you figure out what’s keeping you so angry and how to get relief.

  • Heather

    March 1st, 2014 at 6:01 AM

    All I know, is I used to get so angry and tired because family members wouldn’t put the dish towel back to where it is ‘supposed to go’. I would spend a total of 5 seconds looking for it, but it would feel like a year. If only the family would just put it back, I wouldn’t be this tired and angry. Almost Everything in my life was like that, until I went in and spoke to my Dr. She asked me a few questions, and said, I was depressed. I said ‘no I’m angry’ She said, no your depressed..again I said ‘no I’m angry and your really pissing me off right now’ She laughed and said trust me… I’m glad I did. She suggested some meds..I don’t like taking any medicine for anything, but I did this, and it was the best decision of my life. Who knew? Anger and frustration at everything. Asking all these people known and not known, why can’t they change so I don’t have to be so angry and frustrated all the time was ridiculous, but you don’t see it at first. Depression comes in many forms, and if you told me to go take anger management courses I would have hit you. This isn’t telling me to change my hair colour. All this self help stuff won’t change my eye colour. I’m not quite wired correctly but the meds I’m taking are like putting contact lenses on,,,I can see with different colour eyes if I choose and life is clear and happy. So all you nay-sayers… be careful what you say. Thank You! Oh and it can hit at any age, my 15 yr old daughter was just diagnosed. I wish I had been at that age, would have given me so many more years of happiness.

  • kyle s

    March 29th, 2014 at 3:05 AM

    Heather can u please tell me the name and mg’s of the medicine that helped you? Your story is like a reflection of how I feel every day

  • Kham

    August 20th, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Yow! I would never consider myself depressed but this is me.

  • Kham

    August 20th, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    Thank you for this article. I feel hopeful that now I have finally put a finger on this monster inside. My guess my source is hereditary and PTSD (immigrated as a child after a year in a refugee camp).

  • donna

    September 11th, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    I just came across this coz of my irritability.
    As I was reading this I realised I’d posted about 18 mths ago!
    Still irritable!!
    Seems goin back to uni (2subjects by distance)was too much.
    One subject I’d done the bulk of it but had to redo it coz of compulsory res school..
    It seems stress makes it worse.
    Dep is horrible..
    Irritability can be part of burnout so I wonder if being a single parent doing everything & having constantpain/sleep disorder
    burned me out.
    I also wonder if its caused by serotonin syndrome (taking 2 ssri’s).
    My mum passed away in April and we live with my parents..
    Still a shock.
    I have nightmares as well..
    This has never been my personality.
    Ive explained to my kids that I’m irritable & its depression (youngest is 17).
    Its that emotional pain…at its worst its painful to be awake, at best its permanent sadness..
    Was much better away (uni, short trips w my daughter).
    A big part of it is loss of independence (being forced to move in w my parents after couldn’t get another rental).
    I’d just like to hear from othr people re irritability.
    Thanks :)

  • Cynthia Lubow, MFT

    Cynthia Lubow, MFT

    September 12th, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Donna, it sounds like some good psychotherapy might help you. I hope you can find some! Also, if you think your meds are wrong, find a good psychiatrist and get them evaluated. You don’t want your meds making you feel worse. You also don’t want to just go off of them, in case you are tempted to do that.

  • Crystal

    September 14th, 2014 at 5:26 AM

    I was diagnosed 16 yrs ago with a range of things including depression and have been through some traumatic experiences since. I used to always come good and go back to my happy self, but after my last lot of big hurt I just haven’t repaired. I do have a lot of hurt I’m carrying inside, but how do I get past this?? I’m so sick of waking every morning crying and angry and focused on everything bad, past and present. I’m ruining everyone’s lives in my household by being this way. I don’t want to be medicated again, I’m sick of side effects and withdrawals. Somebody please wave a wand and make me happy again..

  • A

    November 4th, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    I dont know whats happening. For the past year i’ve had in high school, i’ve been feeling angrier, more frustrated and less open to others. I have had incidents of fights, i constantly hate myself, i see everyone around me as an enemy, even my best friends and family, and i feel like life isnt worth living. Ive tried to kill myself but i dont have the gall to do so and i just go on with everyday with my remaining friends noticing i frown and scowl every minute of the passing day. My grades dropped and i get more angry woth each failure no matter how long i study. I verbally argue and scorn my parents and i am very unsociable and i seem to hate people who are the opposite of me. I’m a guy by the way and i usually write to vent but end up making horrible and greusome endings for my charahters which i seem to enjoy. My self esteem is so low that i dont believe in anything anymore except God. What can i do to help myself? Im too consumed by my hate and depression to do anything.

  • C

    October 3rd, 2015 at 3:57 PM

    Try to focus on you belief in God. It belief that pulls us through the bad time and belief tha creates the good times. Belief in God or hope or that tomorrow will be a better day with new opportunities. Belief is what will help you through this

  • Maria

    December 13th, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    A special boyfriend (from over forty years ago!) has come back into my life. This is a joy to me. But my man is separated, feels extremely guilty, even after several years, for causing the breakup…and suffers from depression. We are like two old passionate peas in a pod when we are together, but I see that he struggles with closeness. And irritability is just under the surface. I clearly care for this chap, and don’t wish to lose him again after so many years apart. But it is a delicate dance. Ask for closeness and he pulls away. Be distant and he craves togetherness! I want to have a relationship, but I also want to help. What can I do? My fellow is taking an antidepressant. I really want to do my best for him.

  • Nervedup

    December 31st, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    How long will a psychologist work with someone if they still can’t feel their hidden emotions? I’m telling lots of things but the anger I’ve had she thinks Is covering up the sadness and that I need to show it and start thinking about being a survivor. There are so many negative experiences I need to get out in the open. I hope that she will not ever think to give up on me. I choke back my tears when I’m talking. How will I ever be able to let it go and heal

  • Linzie

    May 6th, 2015 at 3:15 PM

    Hi I also suffer from depression following a nervous break down. I have been on anti ds for 6 years seen an excellent therapist for 2 yrs problem is I can’t stand being around people find them highly irritating and yet had worked in sales for 20 yrs. I feel sad most of the time nothing seems to make me happy and violent outbursts have occurred in recent months and I don’t know why as I have never being a violent person. Finding a job is difficult and I get very nervous if someone isn’t very pleasant to me and then I can sometimes cause myself to have a panic attack living like this is awful and I also feel awful when someone shares good news and I don’t feel happy for them then I feel like a bad person

  • Katie

    May 14th, 2015 at 6:13 PM

    i suppose you are angry aren’t you whatever your circumstances are and as women, we cry more but if we choose to do it privatly its keeping the veil of unexpressed emotion in one big bubble in your head. We can tell people what happened – break up – boss bullying you at work – bullying at school – there are more but those were issues for me but not voicing your voice and telling people how you feel keeps it all in. But my family arent big talkers and i have leant to keep things in. I used to self harm, i’d lie in bed crying. Not thinking i’d ever get anyone who would be interested in me further than a friend and when i did the first guy stole lied to my face, a gambler every awful thing you didnt want your daughter to date but because shes so nice and she has a boyfriend why would he do all these things to her?
    I can say when i was thiteen i had no one who i could go out with and do things with – i was often lonely and i don’t think many people understand that and it makes you a little crazy and you want the attention whether its good or bad. I used to read alot read, read like Matilda, cos books were an escapisum and i loved to read.
    At one pony i had a counciler and she was helping me in a way listening to me rant and sympathizing but that was it and when i was told my parents were going to take her away from me i began to self harm.
    No body wanted me no body every one had their own lives – lonliness is a killer.
    i am more of a crier but sometimes when i have held back and not cried i hyperventaliate and i pass out. Lovely!
    And i think with families too you have problems – it depends what you can forgive or, how hurt you were when your Mom said something hurtful to you but its like those words depending on what was said have stayed with you because you’ve been too scared to bring them up and have them out so the anger sets in, the resentment builds…
    You were treated unfairly – you were bullied at school or at work – your heart was broken and then when someone you really love in your family passes away. Esp when its a mother or father it messes with your head. Its enough to send anyone over the edge.
    But we all express anger first – some can hold it longer than others – either in an aggressive stance or in a long sullen look – whatever but the hurt is there – the pain is behind stuff. Stupidly enough when i feel like i’ve had a rough day i think i can treat myself because i think i deserve it and i also love food but i’ve had to go to slimming word three times to loose a lot of stones. i used to be addicted to cigarettes – i don’t anymore but i was. I’m just saying its natural and i do understand

  • Katie

    May 14th, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    it is true you will get alot of negative reactions off people out in the open. I’d say generally other people than family, but and listen carefully there are certain people in your life you can say certain things to and things that you think you probably shouldn’t and that you should be telling somebody else that they are more like you and can relate or can understand where you are coming from because when we are hurt or angry and we wantto vent we want to hear from people two important words i understand – and then you can go to bat and get things out whether its crying or shouting but it is getting it out in front of someone you love and would know they arent going to judge or leave you or whatever your fear is. Another thing i will say – some people may differ but if you have such a problem with your boss or a colleague its easy to tell you loved ones what a twat they were or that rosie an jess at school or down the the park hit you or whatever but the second you tell you mum or you sister or someone in your family theyhurt you they dont want to know because it makes them feel guilty but because they are giving you a ttitude you just think she or hes awful or this person i slike a stone queen.
    I’m also going to say this even if you find it within the depth of yourself to get vulnerable not everyone else is comfortable being vulnerable around you. Listen to Ted X talk – no one wants to hear it because they are – well the world isn’t all ready to become emotional or vulnerable and when you do its a huge act of courage on your part and daring bravely but sometimes you’re not going to get the reactions you want. Not everyone is going to sit with you and talk they might tell you – pull yourself together – stop crying – your expressing your pain – its very very tricky but it is choosing the right people at the right time to confide in and show emotion.
    The thing is i like to build connections with people it helps you get close to them and them to you. i have a bit of one with my mum – but my nan definatly but people who dont want to express soft emotions you dont always know they’re in pain you just think of them as d$#K or a b*&%$# – but they’ve become that way for a reason – a reason.

  • Jacqueline

    June 3rd, 2015 at 12:49 PM

    I would like to say first to each of you that i am very PROUD ! that you have taken the time to share your HURT and PAIN with others to let them know your individual STRUGGLES . Each of you seem to be working hard trying to help each other through a rough period in your lives and i HONESTLY COMMEND YOU!!! I have faith and believe that each of you will find HAPPINESS in your lives ,because that’s what GOD wants for all of us ! I WOULD LIKE TO CHALLENGE each of you to take a look at your surroundings and if there is anything or anyone that is NEGATIVE in your life or inner circle REMOVE IT! YOU CANNOT begin to HEAL unless this takes place . each of you owe it to yourself to be HAPPY and you all DESERVE the VERY BEST OUT OF LIFE ! REMEMBER it’s not when you fall in life it how well you RISE from your fall . ALWAYS REMEMBER that NOTHING OR NO ONE can control you unless you let it ,YOU CONTROL YOU!!! It does not matter what people say about you , because you are BEAUTIFUL AND UNIQUE IN YOUR OWE WAY! PRACTICE LOOKING IN YOUR MIRROR EVERY MORNING WHEN YOU GET OUT OF BED ,WHO DO YOU SEE AND HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE !!! PLEASE NEVER be afraid to EXCEPT HELP whether it be a professional or friend. In closing please remember if they are your TRUE FRIENDS THEY WILL NOT PASS JUDGEMENT ,THE WILL LOVE AND SUPPORT YOU TO THE END . GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU AND I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING NOTHING OTHER THAN HAPPY NEW BEGINNING FROM THIS DAY FORWARD . LOVE EACH OF YOU !!!

  • Rayna

    July 15th, 2015 at 7:57 PM

    Okay. As I was reading these stories I’ve realized 2 things.
    1:There’s people out there like me who have this feeling or irritability.
    2: Most of you are older.
    Well im 13 and I’ve been researching difference in mood and getting very angry with people. It’s hard realizing something like that at my age. At first I read so many articles about depression. I told myself that “I wasn’t depressed. That’s something when youre sad and don’t feel like living. Your just a angry person.” Then this article opened up my eyes. Also your guys stories and experiences with this.

    I get very angry at my family alot. And alot of the things they do annoy me to the point we’re I want to scream, punch something, and cry. I have these thinga, my family call them “episodes.”, where I get so angry that I turn to tears. Sometimes I feel so tired and done. Ive realized that specific things trigger these emotions. Like when I feel like something is unfair. At first it was only couple times a months. Then it turned into couple days. Now it’s turned into everyday. Most times I feel angry at myself for being angry at everybody. I don’t know what to do. I haven’t told my family because I feel like they wouldn’t understand or they would just make fun of me lIke they always do. And I keep losing friends because of my temper.

    If anybody has any advice, please feel free to speak up. I would gratefully appreciate it.

  • Anonymous

    November 24th, 2015 at 3:19 AM

    Rayna you may feel all alone but your not, family that has let you down or whom dont trest you like a human being can leave deep seated remorse, anger, hurt, pain, I have lived with this betrayal from my family since as long as I can remember, but thus isnt about me, it’s about you, friends even close ones dont undrstand, they dont support you and the way you feel, my analysis of your situation is this, your not getting what you emotionally need from any out side source, so give the unconditional love to your self, thru, meditation, self discovery, alone time, do more things to make your heart sing for yourself, when your family sees your happy without them, and your friends see and here this in your voice or actions they will eventually change their tune, its all about giving yourself the love and understanding you deserve, life usnt fair, family cant change, friends come and go, you feel sonething within you is missing find whats missing and give yo yourself, your quality of life is your resonsibility it cannot be found in others, self research and relate to your anger find what triggers it most and iliminate it, self love is self gratitude for who you are, a special person, a unique person who has been given the wisdom to become a great thinker for mankind! Self love, self appreciation, with limited time for others who don’t or can’t appreciate you, nameste!

  • Wendy

    August 6th, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    My serious depressive episodes have always been preceded by irritability, frustration and anger. So I hope to stop an episode, by stopping talking to someone when I feel those feelings increasing. So far it works, but not always. I know there a lot of people who just don’t get it. All I can say is talk about it with your therapist, google it, or hit the library.

  • Wendy

    August 6th, 2015 at 10:00 PM

    @Rayna I’ve been experience my kind of depression since I was very young. Some people are just more accepting of anger than they are of depression. But I understand.

  • Josh

    October 3rd, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    Well I started to experience this in college and again today 2 years after the previous one ended. This time its from being in a bad cart situation, me and my team outpaced even with 2 electrical cart machines going and inside all registers open with long lines so they could not give us helping hands on the lot. I can not handle that kind of pressure even though all that is required is our best a lot of times that feels like it is not good enough for me. Any suggestions to help me because focusing on the positives just puts a blanket over the negative to me?

  • Louise

    November 22nd, 2015 at 4:47 AM

    To those people saying it is an excuse to be angry. You have no idea at the level of self loathing and hatred that people with depression can experience. Being positive is not easier when you are depressed. It is as if you are outside yourself. No amount of self control will help. The anger does not subside if you stop yourself blowing up, it just builds and builds. The other option is self harm to release the feelings. No amount of exercise of meditation will cure the feelings that people who are depressed feel. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain so telling people to focus on the positive does not help.

  • Wendy

    November 22nd, 2015 at 10:42 PM

    For me the anger becomes a byproduct of the depression. Sometimes I can tell when my lapses are coming on. I feel short tempered and hostile. So I tell people I can’t talk, not feeling well and I need to chill. Most are understanding, while others think you are being mean. Self-control is pretty much short-circuited with me. Self harm is using pain and or drugs/alcohol to ease the negative feelings … that momentary feel good feeling. So you want more, you do more. Unfortunately my MDD is with me for life. I am now disabled but so wish I could work. I miss that … but I can’t tolerate the stress. To those out there, keep trying even when you feel you want to die.

  • Kris

    December 29th, 2015 at 11:35 PM

    I feel uncontrollable bouts of anger and sadness non stop. It’s like a mixture of the two that makes me feel like I’m about to have a panic attack if I don’t lash out or find other ways to dull it. As in alcohol, weed, pills.. I’m a miserable person that would love a happy pill to cure this feeling. It’s truly the worst feeling in the world. I’ve experienced it all this year on top of everything. I’ve lost a lot. I was on a combination of anti depressants and they caused me to have a seizure at work 3weeks ago. I’m not on anything right now and the emotions I feel are horrible. I don’t really have anyone around anymore bc my negativity along with me not having the means to get anywhere. Besides talking about it. What’s the best way to embrace this all without being too overwhelmed to face it. What ever it seems to be. I’m not even sure what’s bothering me other than my life which I thought I had been dealing with. How does one deal..

  • Kip

    December 19th, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    I have been diagnosed with bipolar depression. I have tried a number of antidepressants and nothing really seems to make me feel all that much better so I have not been taking anything for about 10 months. I have been to counseling, I have never been to a psychiatrist, I guess no one thinks I need to see one bad enough. Lately, I have been feeling very out of tune with life. I have a wonderful partner, a job, food and a roof over my head. All the things I need to be happy, yet I’m not. I dwell on things. I over think until there isn’t a good thing left. I cry uncontrollably. I am easily frustrated. I cannot keep interest in anything I do. I get very angry. Worked up very easily over the smallest things. I feel like I am never happy any more and if I am, it’s very short lived. I have been thinking its time to go back on an antidepressant and was wondering if maybe someone could suggest something that may have helped them. I have tried; Lexapro, elevil, zoloft, viibrid, brintellix, latuda, paxil and I think one other, but cannot think of the name of it. I’m tired of feeling this way. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d really appreciate it.

  • Seon

    December 24th, 2015 at 10:13 PM

    How do I unlock those frozen feelings? I have an idea what they might be.

  • Sonny

    March 14th, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    To Kip, Dec. 19th 2015—Has any Dr. suggested you see an endocrinologist? I am close to someone who was under-diagnosed for two years and not treated for a problem that was exacerbating the the depression. Like you, she tried many medications that did not seem to work or only helped briefly. In any case – hope you have felt better since your last post.

  • Jack

    March 23rd, 2016 at 7:32 PM

    i believe i got this. i dont know exactly how but i did. and the therapists i spoke didnt seem to know the right tools to fix it.

  • Hayley

    May 13th, 2016 at 7:14 AM

    I really relate to this article and it has actually made me feel a bit better knowing it isn’t just me who has these ridiculous aggressive outbursts. I have previously been in a couple of abusive relationships at a young age. I am 25 now and I am currently with someone who has the patience of a saint but I am constantly battling with feelings of uncontrollable anger and guilt. I am so aggresive when i start and its usually over something so insignificant and pointless. I just go mental and scream and shout and even lash out occasionally and then I hate myself for it and find myself saying sorry repeatedly and hating myself for the way I am. When the feeling starts it manifests itself not only as emotional feeling but I get physical pain in my stomach and cannot control how furious I become. I also suffer with intense anxiety and bite my fingernails down so far it bleeds. Since reading this I do think I need to see a doctor but the thought of doing that and opening up creates masses of fear and anxiety inside me. Everything seems like a catch 22 but I do have a serious desire to improve and get better especially before I have children .

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    May 13th, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    Dear Hayley,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with anger, guilt, and anxiety. One of the big things we do at our company is try to break down the barrier of shame and stigma that keeps many people from accessing healthy treatment options such as psychotherapy. Some studies indicate, for example, that therapy can be just as or sometimes even more effective than medication for treating the root cause of some mental health issues. Plus, psychotherapy doesn’t carry a list of possible side effects like most medications :) Please feel free to visit this section on our site that addresses some of the commonly asked questions we get about therapy: http://www.goodtherapy.org/what-is-therapy.html

    If you have the motivation to want to improve the issues you’re concerned with, we encourage you to do your research and consult with a professional to determine the best treatment path for you. Our site can make it a little easier for you to find and consult with a mental health professional. To do so, please return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area.

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 FREE ext. 1.

    Best of luck in your journey! Please call us if you need help finding the right therapist for you.

    Wishing you the best,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

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