When Depression is Your Anger Turned Inward
It’s a feeling a lot of us believe we must stifle than any other feeling.
Hidden anger within, when repressed or suppressed, causes greater trouble and mental ill-health than any other.
A psychological term “nemesism” refers to it as “anger, frustration, or aggression directed inward, toward one’s self and one’s way of living.”
There is a true story of a psychiatric nurse who worked in a hospital mental health unit for several years.
She observed that the majority of the patients broke down due to unexpressed feelings of anger.
Ironically, she herself experienced breakdown primarily because of a build-up of unexpressed anger.
In her case, instead of taking it out on others, she directed the anger inwardly.
That created chronic clinical depression within her self that necessitated hospitalization, medication, and even shock treatments for cure.
I’m reminded of a teen client who bore the brunt of the anger of his father since early in his life. He was constantly yelled at, slapped, and verbally abused by him.
He certainly could not react to his father in the same way. So he internalized it. Through the years, he repressed or suppressed his feelings.
Until one day ... the price of that internalized anger became clear - he broke down. Several times, he got hospitalized for attempted suicides.
His “nemesism” - all the bottled, unexpressed feelings of anger - had taken their toll.
Feelings, of unexpressed anger, may do go underground. They can make one feel unconsciously destructive towards one’s self (not only others).
When you’ve become aware of what has been taking place, you can come to insight and learn to act to rectify and heal it.