Depression and Anger: Is There a Connection?

People with AUD are 1.7 times more likely to have had PDD in the previous year. Those with alcohol dependence are 2.8 times more likely to have had PDD in the previous year. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine the cause-and-effect dynamic between alcohol and depression. One specific type of therapy that might be helpful for angry depression is emotionally focused therapy. Developed by psychologist Les Greenberg, this type of therapy categorizes anger as either adaptive or non-adaptive. Inwardly turned anger in depression may reflect an overly critical negative inner voice that makes it hard to move past feelings of shame and low self-worth.

These blues usually don’t linger, though, so you’ll probably feel better in a day or so. It often feels very tempting (and easy) to keep drinking until you feel better, especially when you have less access than usual to more helpful coping methods. If you tend to rely on alcohol to ease anxiety in social situations, for example, you might never address the underlying causes of your discomfort. You might feel depressed after drinking because alcohol itself is a depressant.

Why does alcohol make some people angry?

Inpatient treatment allows for 24/7 monitoring and care in a hospital or other treatment facility. Children who were abused or raised in poverty appear to be more likely to alcohol depression and anger develop both conditions. That means any amount you drink can make you more likely to get the blues. There are many support systems in place to help you begin your journey.

alcohol depression and anger

The emphasis on addressing anger in AA notwithstanding, there is little empirical evaluation regarding anger management in alcohol and substance abuse treatment. Specifically, clients marked by higher anger did better at one- and three-year follow-up in the motivational enhancement condition than in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or the AAF condition (Karno & Longabaugh, 2004). That is, angry clients seemed to fare better in the less directive and structured condition than in the more structured CBT and AAF conditions. These findings, however, do not directly address anger management as part of intervention, but only how client characteristics interacted with other treatments.

Finding Treatment for Alcohol Addiction and Depression

“Cells are living beings, and if you want to fix the issue of depression at the level of the cells, they cannot be inebriated,” says Taylor. “Alcohol makes us feel drunk and confused because alcohol makes the cells drunk and nonfunctional.” Individuals diagnosed with clinical depression should be extremely cautious when it comes to using substances such as alcohol. According to Kennedy, for those taking antidepressants, combining them with alcohol can reduce their efficacy.

When you drink alcohol, parts of your brain that manage anger are suppressed, making it more likely for angry feelings to bubble to the surface. According to a review from 2017, alcohol is more likely to cause personality shifts related to negative emotions, but that doesn’t mean anger is the most common emotional experience while drinking. It’s common for alcohol and anger to be stereotypically lumped together, but many people labeled “angry” while drinking may actually be experiencing aggression or hostility. Anger can lead to aggression and hostility, but they aren’t the same.

Relationship of Anger with Alcohol use Treatment Outcome: Follow-up Study

If you begin to notice any unwanted side effects — physical or emotional — while drinking, it may be best to call it a night. By following safe drinking guidelines, you can help reduce your risk for depression as well as other hangover symptoms. Taking some time for productive relaxation can also help ease feelings of depression. Spending time in nature can also have health benefits, including improving your mood. If the sun is out, that’s even better — sunshine can trigger the release of serotonin, which can help relieve depression.

  • As a whole, alcohol use naturally heightens emotions, and for people who are predisposed to aggressive tendencies, it can quickly make bad scenarios worse.
  • This allowed us to model clients as random factors and to nest repeated measures within each client.
  • An angry person tends to seek out stimuli that activate feelings of anger.
  • When alcohol suppresses these regulatory functions, it can affect how you express your thoughts and emotions, including anger.
  • It’s very important to address both alcohol misuse and depression simultaneously when looking into treatment options, as these conditions are closely intertwined and can exacerbate each other, Kennedy explains.
  • In residential treatment, “an individual stays in a treatment setting, receives intensive therapy, and is physically separated from alcohol in order to recover,” says Kennedy.

Research indicates that depression in men sometimes manifests itself in explosive, uncontrollable anger, among other symptoms. In contrast, this kind of rage is less frequently reported by women with depression. Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues. The only certain way to prevent depression after drinking is to avoid alcohol entirely.

Return to problematic drinking often occurs after treatment for alcohol dependence, even when that treatment was initially successful. Relapsed individuals often start another negative cycle of alcohol-related problems and suffering in themselves and others (Lowman et al., 1996; Marlatt & Gordon, 1980). Notwithstanding the progress that has been made in the alcohol use disorders treatment field, innovative treatment strategies are still needed. AM focused on the development of relaxation and cognitive coping skills for anger regulation (see Table 1 for outline of AM).

The best approach to treatment for you can depend on your symptoms and how they affect your life. Abuse, neglect, or rejection in childhood can increase your chances of developing depression and contribute to feelings of unresolved anger. Anger might characterize depression for men so often in part because of long-standing social norms around emotional expression and vulnerability. In basic terms, hostility involves bitter, unkind, suspicious, or spiteful feelings. You might direct these feelings toward specific people, the world in general, or even yourself.

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