Can unresolved anger lead to depression and disease?

United States
September 6, 2007 4:19am CST
Do you think that someone who deals with their anger is more likely to be healthier than someone who bottles it up until they explode or turn it on themselves? Do you think it's better to bite your tongue and live in pain when you are angry or could that lead to depression and disease? I've always thought that there might be a link between constant unresolved anger and bad health. I'm not sure that there is, but it would make sense. I'm not suggesting that everyone who gets mad should start shouting at each other or being mean. There are much more productive ways to deal with anger, without hurting anyone. But, if you plan to bottle up your anger, you might end up suffering depression or other anger related diseases. What do you think?
5 people like this
16 responses
@pumpkinjam (6878)
• United Kingdom
6 Sep 07
I agree with you. It is better to deal with it becuase it does get worse if you don't. Even if other things make you happier, if there are unresolved disputes then it won't just go away. It will be buried under everything else and then might explode and end up being worse than it ought to have been. I am speaking partly from experience. If there is a problem, I would prefer to resolve it straight away but my partner doesn't ever want to talk about things so I end up not being able to deal with things and we end up shouting at each other after a while when there are too many things trapped inside. Even then, he will suddenly turn again and it will be as if he doesn't even know that anything is wrong so we then can't resolve anything anyway because he doesn't want to argue. He decides everything is now ok because he's stopped shouting so we don't talk because he doesn't want to. So, the point is that I know I would feel a lot happier if I was allowed to talk about problems rather than have them kept hidden. It might not work for everyone but I definitely think it would mostly be better to resolve anger at the time rather than wait and bring it up later when you can't control it any more.
2 people like this
• United States
8 Sep 07
My spouse is a similar way. He likes to brush over problems as if they have not even occurred and I think for him that is much easier than continuing to argue. But, the issues still exist. However, often after the argument or disagreement is over, I will approach him (when both of us are in a good mind set) and tell him what has been bothering me. Since we are both feeling better and it's not in the heat of the moment, we are often able to talk logically about our problems or disagreements without further arguments. That worked yesterday and it really helped to resolve some issues that have been bothering both of us.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
8 Sep 07
That's good that you can do that. Once my partner has finished shouting, he thinks that's it and if I try to talk to him when we have both calmed down, he'll just say he doesn't want an argument. He'll say he's not in the mood and we'll talk another time which of course means we'll talk when he feels like it which is never.
@shoelover (896)
• Australia
6 Sep 07
Unresolved issues including anger does contribute to depression. I myself had tried to put things to the back of my mind and try to forget them but found they were eating away at me. I spiraled down to depression and am now trying to resolve it all. I developed horrific migraines and nausea. Sleeplessness also occurred. Now instead of holding things in I try to work my way through it immediately so it doesn't build up.
2 people like this
• United States
8 Sep 07
Just keep hanging on. Rely on friends whenever possible. I promise you that you are not alone. I went through a very dark time about ten years ago, and it took almost three years to get out of. I put myself in that ditch and I had to crawl out, metaphorically speaking. It is possible, no doubt. Don't be afraid to speak your voice from now on. You have words are worthy to be heard, if you have the courage to express them. Best of luck.
@maximax8 (30081)
• United Kingdom
6 Sep 07
I am a teacher and I tried out a scheme to get the children in my class resolve anger that developed in the playground. They had a box outside the classroom where they drew a picture or wrote about their upset, then threw it away. This helped the children to get rid of their anger. I think people should discuss their feelings in a calm way. If a person just bites their tongue the other person that has upset them might not know anything is wrong. Communication between people is important. Having said that I often say to children count to ten before doing anything if they get upset. I do believe leaving things unsaid when upset can lead to depression. But some people are more prone to depression than others.
1 person likes this
@Cammeel1 (372)
• United States
6 Sep 07
I really like your idea about the kids throwing their pictures away. Having them learn to count to 10 is a great idea too! Teachers are not appreciated enough. Not only do you teach our children the "3R's" but you give them lessons on life that will impact them for the rest of their lives.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Sep 07
That is a phenomenal idea, maximax. I will try that one with my own child. I wonder if it would work for me? Perhaps. I am not a child, but the concept is the same, I'm sure. Maybe I will apply the concept to writing and blog out my feelings and then delete it. I got through some very depressing times recently by blogging and posting on My Lot and other places. Writing helps me express my feelings and emotions, and since I do a lot of it, I rarely suffer serious depression or low times. It used to be a much different story before.
@wisedragon (2330)
• Philippines
6 Sep 07
anger - chronic anger can lead to chronic health problems
Probably. Although anger can be a useful emotion because it is of a protective nature from potential harm, it is only beneficial in appropriate situations and in limited amounts. Chronic anger leads to oversecretion of "anger hormones". Some of these anger-associated hormones come from the adrenal gland, located on top of the kidneys. Researchers have theorized that chronic stimulation of the adrenal system results in higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels. "The body, the adrenal system, has to have rest after a while. If this reaction is chronic, the body begins breaking down. Mainly we see that in terms of heart disease, but there also is evidence that the immune system is temporarily put on hold." Angry people are therefore more likely to get sick. There is scientific basis for that.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Sep 07
I had heard of the link between anger and heart disease, but didn't know specifically how it worked. I will keep your comments in mind. Very interesting.
@lilaclady (28236)
• Australia
6 Sep 07
I believe it is, unresolved anger stays on your mind and builds negativity and it grows and grows, I don't think any negativity is good for you, this is why positive thinking in some cultures is practiced I am sure there is a lot more to positive and negative thinking than we humans just haven't tapped into yet, I think it is being mentioned a lot more just recently...
• India
8 Sep 07
My answer is yes.anger and frustration get accumulated in your mind which in turn affects your thought and action.people try to stay calm even during hard times but it is better to let out steam through some other way.for example after a heated debate you could play a hard game of basketball or soccer then have a hot bath which would take away any kind of depression or frustration.
@MAX1966 (1030)
• Netherlands
7 Sep 07
yes i think so the mind and the body are one so you have to let your emotions out. always dont try to forget about bad things.. it wont help they will go out,always but the longer you try to forget,the more you suffer when they are finally go out
@emjay101 (42)
• Philippines
7 Sep 07
yes, it will definitely lead to depression and disorder. if you can't say it directly to the person you are angry with, try releasing the feeling to one object (poor innocent object, lol!) or share the feeling with one of your close friends. keeping the anger by yourself will affect the normal functioning of your body that may further lead to eating disorder, heart disease and even insanity
@Sharon38 (1915)
• Jamaica
7 Sep 07
I agree with you. Whenever I get angry and dont vent I definitely fee sick so I go home and starting cleaning the house from top to bottom and my daughter would ask me if I am crazy. I find venting in this way prevents me from being rude to people and it allows me to work off the anger and then I pray and go to bed. This helps me and I find out that for that I am a better person each day do if I get upset twice for the week be sure that the house is going to be rearranged and cleaned from top to bottom. You wont hear any mumblings though I just do my thing and think about the problem and if it is something to be dealt with I think of the best way to handle it or I let it go and just forget that anything had ever happenned.
• United States
7 Sep 07
Your thinking is absolutely correct! I suffered from depression for 40 years, and one of the most helpful things I did was to forgive, and forget.
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
7 Sep 07
Absolutely! Yes Anger will make you sick. I believe that All Disease begins with Wrongful Thinking. There are ways of dealing with anger other than bottling it all up. Always be Thankful for the good things in your life. Love Everyone equally.Dwell on the Positive. Banish negative thoughts before they infuence your Life. Never harbour resentment or jealousy. These are devastating emotions. I practise these ideas, and at 73, I still work everyday, and haven't had a medical checkup in 30 years.
@manzician (4733)
• India
6 Sep 07
If I talk about myself here, I would say that I know how to contain myself. When I get angry, I prefer to sit alone and try to cool down. Once I am calmed down I think about the same thing and in most of the case I feel that I could have dealt with it without being angry. Thats the procedure which I follow. I agree with what you said though.
@teflon09 (208)
• India
6 Sep 07
Surely Yes! Unresolved anger cripples you from within and builds up frustration, helplessness, indifference among others.. Human body has self-regulating mechanism that protects itself from the harmful harmones that are released into the bloodstream when someone gets mad or angry.. But this mechanism is streched and at a point of time breaks-off putting you into severe mental health problems, which in turn tell on your body.. Those who are highly sensitive are the worst sufferers from anger.. If someone gets uncontrollable anger he is better advised to meet a psychologist or a counsellor.. Practising relaxation techniques like YOGA, meditation, hypnotherapy among others could provide a much wanted relief.. If one wants live healthy then divorce anger.. bye bye...
@moist1 (27)
• Philippines
6 Sep 07
Yes unresolved anger lead to depression and disease. Anger is a form of engergy that our body has to let out. This energy if not release and just be bottled up inside the body will somehow find their way in all parts of our body. This excess energy will dammage any organ in our body up to the very cell structure.
@nangel78 (1458)
• United States
6 Sep 07
I think it can. If you do not deal with it, then yes it will. It did to me. I did not want to bother anyone with what was bothering me because everyone else had things they were dealing with. So I would push my stuff aside and just go on. I would not really deal with it. I would ignore the issue hoping it would just go away. That was not the answer. I ended up breaking down from letting it all build up.
@youless (98997)
• Guangzhou, China
6 Sep 07
I think so. Bad mood always have a bad effect on the health. This is why we always remind ourselves to let it be and try to be happy all the time.