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Description: Someone you know become quite angry rather unexpectedly (in an out of character manner). What is are the first and second thoughts that come to mind for you? The first thought would likely be that you are missing some piece of situational data that would help you to see why they are so angry but what would your second thought be? I would bet that it would NOT be that your friend is likely clinically anxious or depressed. To find out more about that possibility have a look through the article linked below, but before you do think and make a prediction as to what the percentage odds are that your friend might BE depressed. Once you have a number in mind read the article and see what the research data it discusses suggests about the percentage odds.

Source: The Newest Way to Understand the Angry People in Your Life, Susan Krause Whitbourne, Fulfillment at Any Age, Psychology Today.

Date: December 3, 2019.

Photo Credit: Pixabay/Psychology Today

 Article Link:

So, did you predict at least 50/50? I suspect not as anger is not typically through of as being a part of or symptomatic of clinical depression. The key to understanding why anger or angry outbursts might be related to clinical issues with anxiety or depression could relate to the importance of emotional regulation in managing anger. Anxiety or depression may make that regulation mor challenging. This suggests that we might find it useful if we remain open to the possibility that an increase in anger or angry outbursts in those around us could reflect clinical issues with anxiety or depression. As friends we may be able to provide broader, more appreciate supports to those who might need them.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How might anger or angry outbursts be related to anxiety or depression?
  2. Why might it be difficult for us to see a connection between anger and anxiety or depression in those close to us?
  3. What role might the findings of this lone of research play in the diagnosis and/or treatment of anxiety of depression?

References (Read Further):

de Bles, N. J., Rius Ottenheim, N., van Hemert, A. M., Pütz, L. E. H., van der Does, A. J. W., Penninx, B. W. J. H., & Giltay, E. J. (2019). Trait anger and anger attacks in relation to depressive and anxiety disorders. Journal of Affective Disorders, 259, 259–265. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2019.08.023.

Moscovitch, D. A., McCabe, R. E., Antony, M. M., Rocca, L., & Swinson, R. P. (2008). Anger experience and expression across the anxiety disorders. Depression and anxiety, 25(2), 107-113.

Koh, K. B., Kim, D. K., Kim, S. Y., Park, J. K., & Han, M. (2008). The relation between anger management style, mood and somatic symptoms in anxiety disorders and somatoform disorders. Psychiatry Research, 160(3), 372-379.

Deschênes, S. S., Dugas, M. J., Fracalanza, K., & Koerner, N. (2012). The role of anger in generalized anxiety disorder. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 41(3), 261-271.

Painuly, N. P., Grover, S., Gupta, N., & Mattoo, S. K. (2011). Prevalence of anger attacks in depressive and anxiety disorders: implications for their construct?. Psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, 65(2), 165-174.,5&scillfp=4935013294680563850&oi=lle