A side effect of depression and anxiety is irritability. By side effect, I mean a very common occurrence for many suffering with either. As someone with both, I struggle to control myself with it in all situations. I get overwhelmed extremely easily. At work, I get frustrated and angry at the drop of a hat with things as simple as hangers. I look at myself in the mirror when I’m home alone, screaming at small things that have me worked up and think “What is wrong with me?” But I know what’s wrong.
I often feel like I have little control over my emotions. My partner will be the first one to tell you he finds my intense frustration at inanimate objects highly annoying. We could be in the middle of a grocery store, I could go to pull a box of cereal off the shelf and bring two with it, and I would have to grit my teeth to prevent myself from screaming or throwing something. Believe me, it’s not something I’m proud of. My mother has been one of the few who has seen how angry I can get. She used to tell me as a kid she wanted to put me in anger management because I would blow up at her, my brother, my step-father quite often. As I got older, I learned to quell the rage surges by not saying anything, breathing a little, and trying to rationally think. However, it’s not as easy as some may think.
I believe a lot of my pent up anger is due to a lot of my issues from childhood. I suffered from bullying at school, familial and relationship abuse, and emotional neglect from my parents. I won’t go into details as I am private regarding those times, but I attribute my current mental state to those times. I can’t blame it all on that, as I have come to terms and resolved many issues from that time. But why I am so angry still? Because I still deal with depression and anxiety everyday? Because I don’t sleep enough? Because I’m frustrated with other aspects of my life? Maybe it’s a combination of the three.
In reflection over the past couple of months of life, I often worry people will hear me groaning, whining, or growling under my breath at work or in public. I’m really not proud of how easily I am frustrated, to the point I worry about snapping at the people I cared about the most. The other week, I was having a particularly bad week at work and I felt I snapped at my supervisor (she felt I really hadn’t snapped at all, I was frustrated with myself and having a panic attack that day as well). But my self control has improved considerably since starting at my retail job. I enjoy my job enough to not feel the urge to pull my hair out, but it has its downfalls just like any other job. Though I work with a great team, so I don’t *always* feel like I’ll lose my mind at work.
In retrospect, I feel like I still have quite a bit of work to do with trying to internalize my frustrations and anger. On my birthday last week, I literally felt my self control devolving after spending 3 hours in the heat and public, but I kept it mostly to myself. I hope if you take anything away from this, it’s that frustration and anger come and go, but to hold your tongue when the situation is most pressing, and to remember that things are not as bad as they feel. I hope I continuing improving my ability to keep calm and reduce my anger further.
Good luck and much love.