Coping Strategy for Depression: Get Angry
Feels like a ghost town here lately on the site. If anyone is having problems posting or commenting please let me know...if you can.
When we talk about depression we most often think about the person who is withdrawn or crying. And granted, sadness is absolutely a symptom of depression. But what people talk about less with regard to depression is that there is usually a whole lot of anger underneath that sadness. Sometimes if you can get in touch with that anger and express it in a safe way...you can make a lot of progress in improving your mental health.
The emphasis on what I just said is...that you do want to express your anger but in a way which doesn't harm anyone including yourself. So don't go all Godzilla on anybody even though it sometimes seems very tempting.
There are many ways you can express anger safely. Here is a short list:
1. Write a letter. Get it all out. Say exactly how you feel. Then burn the letter or rip it up. Sometimes just the act of physically writing can get out that aggression and anger. Destroying the letter afterward gives you some closure even if it is symbollic.
2. Go to the gym. Work it out on the punching bag or on the stairmaster. It does help to expend that emotional energy physically.
3. Scream. Go into the shower and turn on the water full blast. Put on some heavy metal music or whatever floats your boat and scream.
4. Do something physically repetitive until you burn out your anger. One of my favorite movies is called "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring." In the film a young boy is taught how to be a monk by an old master. The seasons reflect the boy's growth into a man. In a poignant part of the film, we see the boy as a young adult full of rage. His elder has him inscribe characters into the wooden planks outside their floating temple over and over until the young man collapses with exhaustion. His fierce carving dissipates all the rage. So maybe we are not all wood carvers but sculpting clay, kneading bread, pulling weeds, or activities of this nature can help to get out that angry energy.
5. There was a show about celebrity rehab with Dr. Drew. Have you guys seen this show? They had one therapeutic activity where they took the folk who were trying to get sober to a junk yard with old cars. I think they gave them a huge mallet and had them direct their rage on the junkyard cars. They would bust up the car and yell things they wanted to yell for a long time. I thought it was great. You really felt their anger and also their relief afterwards for getting all that emotion out.
How about you? How do you get your anger out? Are you able to get in touch with it? Share your stories here. We want to hear them.