On the link between anger and depression...

I once heard someone define depression as frozen anger.

Having grown up in a religious culture that didn't allow positive expressions of anger, I get why so many people are depressed. If anger itself is labeled a sin, then you can't acknowledge it.  And if you can't act, you lose hope--causing at the very least depression and at the very most despair.

I read an interesting commentary this week on anger by Sue Monk Kidd.
Anger needs not only to be recognized and allowed; like grief it eventually needs to be transformed into an energy that serves compassion.  Maybe one reason I had avoided my anger was that like a lot of people, I had thought there were only two responses to anger: to deny it or to strike out thoughtlessly.  But other responses are possible.  We can allow anger's enormous energy to lead us to acts of resistance against patriarchy [Anne's words, could be against anything].  Anger can fuel our ability to challenge, to defy injustice.  It can lead to creative projects, constructive behavior, acts that work toward inclusion. In such ways anger becomes a dynamism of love.
The idea of anger becoming a dynamism of love is a powerful one. After all, most of us have experienced the energy anger brings.  Learning to use that power for good instead of destruction is the trick. One thing I know for sure, freezing it also locks down our souls.  And that is never a good option.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall