Depression, Anxiety and Anger
Recently I had a little medical issue which put things in my life in perspective. I have always been a self-reliant sort and I actively encourage this in my practice. One of my favorite ways to reframe a situation in my office is looking for where we mess up as individuals and what we can do differently in this moment to feel empowered for what the future holds. I like helping people feel confident, safe and passionate about their life and their future. People need to feel valued, respected and validated everyday and I encourage this process.
Life is tough enough, to add medical injury that requires you to depend on others is like a big slice of HUMBLE PIE. So often when working with others, part of the anger they feel is how difficult it is to have to depend on a person or system to care for them. This dependence strips a person of their power and silences their voice leading to depression, anxiety, powerlessness and anger.
Depression is anger turned inward leaving a person spiraling, stripped of hope, resources, direction and even the physical energy to pursue the happiness, sense of connectedness and fulfillment that all human beings crave.
Anger in all its complexity is another form of powerlessness because we have so little control in our lives. When counseling others in the realm of anger management one of the first things I try to do is to determine where the anger is coming from. Anger may MANIFEST in one area of your life but is ORIGINATES in another. Anger usually generates in the recesses of our heart and soul. It comes from making decisions we don't want to make, compromises that feel wrong to us internally, it comes from betrayed trust and disappointment in self and others. Anger comes from things outside our control and there is always something outside our control. Yet anger is a universal emotion and knowing where and when to express it is as healthy as learning how grieve when sorrow hits us.
Anxiety is another emotion that we experience when we are not well and have to depend on others; Will they come? Will they do what they say? Will my body betray me? Will their patience run out and when? Living with anxiety is like living with a loud ticking bomb. You feel like you are always waiting for something to happen or processing what just happened. That anxiety tells you that things are out of place and you are desperately trying to keep it together.
Yet with all these negative emotions that surround that sense of dependence that is the antithesis of what I practice, I found myself on the receiving end of support from family and friends and it felt good. The simple act of releasing expectations of self and falling into the comfort of others was refreshing. We all need to eat a little humble pie once in a while, it reminds us we are only human.