Friday, March 19, 2010

Anger or depression?

A few days ago my counselor suggested that the mood problems I've been having - the apparent depressed episodes - might actually be anger. She may be right. There are lots of things bothering me and frustrating me now-a-days. But how do you tell the difference?

The very focus of my life's work, reducing stigma, is a frustrating problem. I know I will never win the war. And yet it is my hope that I will win some battles. It is my hope and prayer that at least a few will benefit and that a few more will learn and repent of the way they have been treating the topic of mental illness. It is my prayer that people will be educated and become more understanding and compassionate.

But yesterday the futility of my efforts came home to me by a comment a fellow writer made on my writing. In my article I had shown the importance of treating the whole person - physical, psychological, and spiritual. This person underlined "psychological" and wrote beside it "not scriptural."

Normally that wouldn't have hit me so hard. This person has written other things I should have been upset about but wasn't. But yesterday I also talked to a counselor in our writer's group who expressed how and why what I had undertaken was such a big job. And just hearing that overwhelmed me.

Now I have a general down mood. Call it depression, anger or frustration. Don't really know what it is. I just know I need a beer to settle me down. I know. Not good to self-medicate with alcohol. Yet I need to do "something" and I'm finding it hard to pray. Am I angry at God too? No, I don't think so. Just don't feel very close to Him at the moment.

And yet I need my God and long for Him.


Spin Original said...

Ah, Marja...

I understand how you are feeling. I, too, find it difficult to differentiate (sp??) between depression and anger. I do know that anger is a result of of one or more of these three things: fear, frustration and hurt. So, if you mood is stemming from either of those things, I would vote it's anger. Then, doing the "Anger Steps" would be very helpful - I know because I have done and still do them.

I pray that there'll be a break in your mood and that the light begins to break through. Be it anger or depression, it's a tough place to be.

Love to you <3

marja said...

Dear Spin,

Then it must be anger and not depression after all. Because a lot of these emotions are stemming from frustration. "Anger Steps?" Are they online?

Love you too, Spin. Thanks.

Coco said...

I find my depressions arise like this: a sense of helplessness > anger > depression. Or it might be anger > helplessness > depression. Hugs to you Marja.

marja said...

Yeah, that's right, Coco! This is all so new to me. I'm generally not an angry person, so recognizing anger in me now is something to get used to. I don't like it at all.