Is Depression Anger Turned Inward

Is Depression Anger Turned Inward?

Hey, guys. I’m going to do just a real quick video on depression. Specifically, “Is Depression Anger Turned Inward?” I’m going to start it with why I’m doing it. I was just in a meeting with a bunch of clinicians. We get together and we talk about different issues that our clients are struggling with. We problem solve the best we can. Sometimes, getting a perspective from a bunch of different people really helps. As opposed to just a clinician practicing all by themselves and not having an opportunity to share with other professionals. Good doctors do that. I’m sure good mechanics do that. It’s always good to get outside input.

We’re talking about depression, and it starts with this kind of psycho-babble stuff. The kind of stuff that we talk about in a clinical meeting. But, the part of it that kind of irritates me is that sometimes therapists talk in terms that make it sound so theoretical as opposed to what is concrete. What can people take from things and use? That’s what I’m going to share with you real quick.

For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Dr. Jerry Grosso. I’m the clinical director at Nsight Psychology & Addiction in Newport Beach, California. My goal of these videos is to help you guys understand that mental illness no different than physical illness. With a physical illness, you want to get to physical health. If you’re struggling with mental illness or emotional illness, you really want to get to emotional health. That’s the stuff we need to talk about. The stuff we need to work through. Because life can get much more enjoyable. There’s difficult things out there, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Talking about depression, theoretically, it came up that depression is really anger turned inwards. That’s based on a couple of theories that depression is really anger manifesting itself inward. Where people are taking anger out on themselves.

I’m going to take it a step further. Why is the person angry? We all struggle with anger. It is a normal emotion. In psychology, you hear, well, that’s a surface emotion. So I want you guys to kind of think about it. You may have heard this example before. You have a big iceberg. The part you see above the water. You think, oh wow, that’s huge. Well, that’s anger. But really, below the surface, there’s a lot more stuff. The iceberg is way bigger under the water, and that is the same with anger.

Let’s kind of break this down to what we can actually do with this. Okay, let’s say I can acknowledge I’m depressed. Well, what’s depression? It could be like the symptoms. My mood is very low most of the day for most days. I have poor concentration. I have difficulty or disturbance of my appetite, sleep, and it’s hard to focus. Overall, my mood might just be bad.

So now I can identify, let’s say I have some of those. Maybe it’s depression. Then I can look at it. Yeah, maybe I am angry and I’m frustrated. Well, there’s actually other emotions that are below the anger. We kind of narrowed it down in our conversation to two. I’m not saying these are the only two, but these are two big ones.

One is fear, and the other is hurt. I might be feeling kind of down and depressed. Why? Well, maybe I’m kind of angry and frustrated with certain things. What’s underneath that anger? Well, it could be hurt, and it could be fear.

So now, let’s look at a solution. Where can I go with that? What is the opposite of fear? Opposite of fear is courage. What is the opposite of hurt? The opposite of hurt could be strength.

We can build on it and talk about it more in another video, but if I am struggling with anger, I might look at it. Is something going on in my life or relationship or incident or interaction with somebody or just kind of where I’m at, and I’m feeling some fear? I would want to identify what that fear is, and then I would want to think about courage. What is the courage that I could use to overcome that fear?

If it’s hurt, if I was hurt by somebody else, whether it’s somebody in my past, somebody in my present, or I’m hurt by something, I could look at it. What was that hurt? What is the strength that I need to develop to get over that, to make sure it never happens again?

Again, the point of this video, if I’m struggling with something like depression, I look at, okay, depression. Below that, I have anger. Below that, I might have fear and I might have hurt. Really, what I need to focus on, is courage and I need to focus on strength. Those do take work and it takes effort. Therapy can be more complex than that, but I at least wanted to give you some things to think about.

Again, this is Dr. Jerry Grosso from Nsight Psychology & Addiction in Newport Beach, California. If you guys have questions for me, please feel free to send them in. You can reach us at Until I see you guys in the next video, continue to grow.


Dr. Clayton E. Tucker-Ladd Chapter 6: Happiness, Depression and Self-Concept

Psychiatric Association, What is Depression

Dr. Jerry Grosso

Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Grosso is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience assisting individuals and families struggling with addiction, depression and trauma. He obtained his Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from San Diego State University before enrolling in Chapman University where he acquired a Master of Arts degree in Psychology.  Dr. Grosso continued his education and received a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology with a Specialty in treating Chemical Dependency. He holds a professional membership with the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT).

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