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One of the many factors that contributes to chronic depression is the inability to feel and express anger.
This is nothing to be ashamed of since few individuals have excellent role models for expressing anger while growing up. Family’s tend to pass bad communication habits from one generation to the next; people automatically teach what they know.
Anger naturally arises when we are being treated with disrespect, our privacy is being invaded, we are being used or manipulated, or our needs are not being met. In situations such as these, anger is our built-in security system. Unfortunately, too many of us learn to distrust or disbelieve our own security system.
As children, we learn to trust our emotions when our caregivers respect them. When we express an emotion, such as anger or sadness, and our emotion is met with acceptance, we learn it is OK to feel what we feel and say what we feel.
We become comfortable with the feelings and emotions that are accepted by our family members or other caregivers.
We learn to distrust our anger when:
As children, we need to learn how to express our anger in effective and suitable ways, and that is something caregivers need to model and teach. This discipline is necessary, and it can be done without giving children the message that anger is bad.
If we have difficulty showing anger, we will have one or more of the following issues:
It is easy to see how not being able to trust our anger and use it to demand respect for ourself can trigger symptoms of depression such as worthlessness, hopelessness, and sadness.
Learning to trust and express anger takes effort, but it is an effort worth making.
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