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Anger and depression

  • Fredric N. Busch
Summary

A series of psychoanalytic theorists and clinicians have suggested that conflicts about anger play a central role in the development of depression. Research data have supported the notion that patients struggle with the experience and expression of angry feelings. Anger in people with depression often stems from narcissistic vulnerability, a sensitivity to perceived or actual loss or rejection. These angry reactions cause intrapsychic conflicts through the onset of guilt and the fear that angry feelings will disrupt relationships. These conflicts lead to anger being directed inwards, further lowering self-esteem, creating a vicious cycle. Defence mechanisms that are triggered, including passive aggression, reaction formation, denial and identification with the aggressor, are ineffective at managing these conflicts and further prevent the appropriate expression of anger. This article discusses how to identify and detoxify angry feelings and fantasies using a psychodynamic approach.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Fredric N. Busch, 10 East 78th Street, New York, NY 10075, USA. Email: fnb80@aol.com
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Declaration of Interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 1355-5146
  • EISSN: 1472-1481
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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Anger and depression

  • Fredric N. Busch
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