Why We May Be Angry Rather Than Sad

Why We May Be Angry Rather Than Sad

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We are sometimes swept away by a mood of sadness
that seems to have no cause. We wake up dispirited and listless. We lack energy and direction.
Everything loses its taste and the smallest challenges feel unfeasibly heavy. We struggle
to see the point of almost anything. We are – as the doctors tell us – in a state
of severe depression. One of the strangest but most provocative insights about depression
is found in works of psychoanalysis that tell us that depression may not at heart be about
sadness; it is a kind of anger that has been unable to find expression, that has turned
in on itself, and made us sad about everything and everyone when we are in truth – deep
down – angry only about certain specific things and specific people. If only we could
understand our disappointment and rage more intimately, we could – the theory holds
– eventually regain our spirits. It isn’t existence per se that has let us down, it
is a few particular events and actors whose precise identity we have lost sight of. The
theory at once begs questions. How is it possible that we be both profoundly angry and yet unaware
of the causes or direction of our annoyance? However, this lack of self-knowledge is, in
terms of our overall mental functioning, not entirely surprising or anomalous. We are endemically
bad at keeping close tabs on the origin and nature of many of our feelings. We can laugh
deeply and yet struggle to explain exactly why something has set us off. We can find
a landscape beautiful, a person charming or a film nostalgia-inducing without having any
secure hold on the detailed mechanics of our responses. Understanding has an established
habit of trailing far behind feeling. It isn’t just around sadness and despair that we’re
strangers to ourselves. But there is another, more pointed reason why we can lose touch
with our anger: because we have been taught, probably since earliest childhood, that it
isn’t very nice to be angry. Anger violates our image of ourselves as kindly and sympathetic
people. It can be too painful and guilt-inducing to acknowledge that we may feel furious and
vengeful, not least towards people whom we otherwise still love and who might have made
many sacrifices on our behalves. What we are angry about may also sound absurd. Perhaps
we have been hurt by the sort of thing that can be unhelpfully dismissed as ‘small’
and which we learn not to pay attention to because we imagine ourselves as strong and
above being slighted by petty injuries; injuries which wound us substantially just the same.
Lastly, we might be bad at getting angry because we haven’t seen examples of successful expressions
of anger around us. We might associate the word with volcanic crazed destruction, as
dangerous as it is counter-productive. Or else we might have lived for too long surrounded
by people who never dared to raise their voices and bitterly swallowed every hurt instead.
We have not learnt the art of a controlled and cathartic conversation. The way out of
this sort of depression is to realise that its alternative isn’t cheerfulness, but
mourning. Mourning is a useful word for it indicates a focused kind of grief over an
identifiable kind of loss. As ‘mourners’, we turn boundless, unnameable sadness into
much more specific hurt: a hurt about the parent who wasn’t there for us, about the
sibling who mocked us, the lover who betrayed us, the friend who lied. It isn’t necessarily
an idea to go out and confront these people (some of them may already be dead anyway);
but mulling over what has happened and becoming conscious of the full scale of our disavowed
rage and burden can decisively change our mood all the same. Even as specific relationships
and episodes become more complicated in our minds, life as a whole starts to appear more
manageable and hopeful. We’re never quite done with the business of knowing our own
minds.

100 thoughts on “Why We May Be Angry Rather Than Sad”

  1. i'm so glad that there is a channel who is able to communicate quite complex psychoanalytic ideas to the masses, and to make them so accessible to people who may never have be told about them otherwise- we need more content like this

  2. It's called alexythimya.
    I'm curious how such an observation was derived at about "mental mechanics". This approach is different than anything i read.

  3. This is wonderful, although I wish people would also realise that psychoanalysis is only one lens through which depression can be understood, and hence treated. Depression may be the product of unhelpful ways of thinking, our cognitive biases, or as the firm belief in a hopeless future; depression is a complex and varied state of being…

  4. 2:06 I wouldn't say "been taught…that it isn't very nice to be angry" but rather "learned (unconsciously rather than consciously)" it. Being taught sounds to me too much like it had to have been a voluntary, deliberate act, while I believe this to be rarely the case. What I've read about psychoanalysis tells me that learning to suppress one's anger or frustration is due to to fear of losing one's only perceived lifeline, namely (most likely) one's mother, by turning her off with one's show of anger or other emotions. In that light it isn't really taught as much as it is learned unconsciously because of one's own (inevitable) delusions as a child. And psychoanalysis deals with the un-/ subconscious rather than our conscious mind anyway, right?

  5. I've always wondered why when in the depths of depression my anger explodes and I become Satan. How do i express my ager without shouting.. That's the hardest bit!

  6. I have a question: What if your parents are the reason you're angry? (and depressed)
    What if you can't talk about it with them because they always get angry and aggressive back, and it only ends you up even more scarred?
    What if you can't leave them, because you still love them, but you know they will never change their behavior?
    My parents are OK but they can't handle any criticism. Not the slightest bit.

  7. There's this one time when my fiancé and I were laughing so hard at something. Then I started to tear u.. then my emotions changed drastically. From laughter it became sobbing. I genuinely felt sad. Is there someone who can help me interpret what happened? 🙁

  8. and what am I supposed to do if I find myself unable to cry? how am I supposed to deal with that anger ?

  9. I do not know what I am angry about. I just feel… tired. Tired of existing.

  10. I preffer to use my anger as a fuel to move than let depression take away the small emotional energy I have. Even so, after a while I run out of emotion to feel and go to apathy mode. Once I hated so much for months that hearth(physically) hurted. Then suddenly even though I needed to hate I run out. Felt so dead. Cant even feel sad for too long and mourn to let go, I just run out of emotion to feel what I have(or maybe thats what I feel, void and emptyness). Im very apathic and indifferent about almost everything. "Revenge is best served cold" type. Im beyond the reach of words, they come and go and do nothing. And future dont hold promises, hopes and good chances, so I have none to little will to do anything, dont wanna waste time doing useless stuff that doesn't even give me a satisfaction or hope. Sucks. Feel like a host from WestWorld with a sad role in which I always lose. Fuck.

  11. Just stay away from your f***ing family members who humiliate u, hurt u or mock at you all the time.

  12. Your Videos are great but I don't think they can be much of help for depressed people because the artwork and tone of voice are really depressing and can enhance depression.

  13. As fucking well and all to do as this all was and for all the hope it shoved into this young decrepit soul and for all the happy sunshine life is now so much more manageable let me tell you what i saw.

    Option A: express (in a lot of cases justified frustration at a betrayal or rapid personality change, not as they so simply suggest a case of losing sight of the identity of the person.)what is when unleashed in ways that bring no harm to others, a natural and healthy emotion allowing for a sense of vindication.
    Vindication not necessarily drawn from the failings of someone but perhaps from the unfortunate nature of the events themselves.

    Option B: Forever ponder and mourn these harrowing experiences without any means of an external outlet.
    Repeat "it is better to hurt than to alert" x as needed.

    Bravo on completely dodging the benefits of any and all cathartic practises once again.
    Fuck the school of life i'm transferring to the school of hardknocks.

  14. Can you tweak the volume up a bit..? Your tone is lovely already.. My Bluetooth and phone Volume is max and still sounds a little low!
    And I'm already so angry and low right now! 🙈🙈👀
    P. S. Love your channel and all the vids

  15. I trailed off and didn't follow what he was saying because I don't see the point of this video

    Or anything else

  16. I wish someone had told me this when I was about 10 instead religious people giving me all these ideas about how certain emotions are good and others bad. Maybe I would have realised my depression was because of anger and something could have changed

  17. Bottomline: get to know and understand your self, emotions and thoughts and you will be healthier in terms of wellbeing 😊 i thought i might dislike the video because i saw a picture on instagram that contradicted with the title completely which read: "why tragidy exists? Because you are full of anger. Why are you full of anger? Because you are full of sadness." But i like the general conclusion which reflected that point in some sense and was logical in the end 🌷

  18. I find it's more the other way around people show anger when they are really sad or afraid. Crying can help more then hurting someone.

  19. Life is so hard and unpredictable that I actually kind of hate it. I am constantly afraid of things as I grew to know life is tough hard sporadic. One day, I may be famous and the next I have cancer

  20. I dont know why I'm really so angry, I mean really angry ,when I'm sad I'm angry not sad , depressed with anger , I need advice

  21. Because when we are angry we tend to take more action or initiative rather than being sad we tend to be more reflective and recluse.

  22. If I am sad, a quick drink or 2 will always alert me to the fact that no, I’m not sad, i actually want to murder someone.
    I don’t actually murder anyone (yet! Lol kidding). Lucky to have the most amazingly patient boyfriend in the world who understands I can be quite full of rage, even if he doesn’t always know how to deal with it.
    But the fact he can take it lightly in the aftermath makes him the greatest treasure in the world to me.

  23. Yes, I am angry rather than sad. I suddenly discovered that (thanks to this video) and there are tears in my eyes.

  24. This is the first video on anger that has not made me substantially irritated. Thank you! It is a delight to know there are a few people out there who actually understand anger and treat it with respect.

  25. For me it’s more of the other way around I’m more sad than angry but my sadness makes me angry. And then I cry when I’m angry and then I get angry at my sadness. Idk I’m weird I don’t even no why I’m angry maybe it’s a lot of things.

  26. Pls explain me this. All this while I thought (because I read) that behind anger there's always sadness….we are actually sad or hurt emotionally when we get angry…but this one talks the opposite…

  27. But apparently that either made you angry or… you are completely oblivious… either way… it was unwelcoming…

  28. Its interesting that as a woman, you are not expected to be angry… and if you ever are angry, its always supposed to be about men or man… i cannot begin to tell you how many, and infact even complete strangers have decided that is what my anger is about.. I AM ANGRY.. ABOUT A LOT OF SHIT… but to equivocate the less important events to the much more earth shaking, mind rattling events ive experienced surrounding my own family, my own flesh and blood is absurd and to me invalidates my own very existence and ability to feel and understand life as my own individual human being. Who is anyone to say whats more important to me? Or to even suggest they know how ive experienced life? I dont need people who cant even think at my level going there with me, so pleae. Dont. And if i want to be angry… i gotdamn will be if i so please.

  29. Great morning! Thanks, im going to get a shower, a coffee and study for my exams and in the evening hopefully do something nice go for a run or sth, maybe meet my SO which would be cool xD

  30. I got mad because my cousins bought fun dip,
    Likely because 2 years prior I got mad at my cousins for going golfing,
    And about 6 months before that I got mad at them for watching a movie.

    I'm writing a book about it too…

  31. Suena muy fácil, pero me tomó medio año de terapia entender; el comprender por qué estaba enojado, con quién, y eventualmente, sanar. Si todos tuviésemos la cultura que la salud mental importa tanto como la física, sería otro mundo, uno más feliz.

  32. Good therapists are hard to come by and this channel is so many times better than seeing the average therapist!! That was basically a blueprint for combating depression!

  33. Im definitely one such person… i get angry, not sad.. its just who i am… but you can be angry about the truths i say, it doesnt make a bit of difference to it… and plus, youll continue to alienate me regardless… but you cant say no one warned you

  34. Amazing video! Yes I agree when you are sad pretending you are good for me feels terrible. I just think the thought you have to be happy all the time is one of the things that causes even more depression and sadness. It is ok to just feel whatever you feel at any moment and live with it.

  35. crying heals and calms mind. Its caring. Crying dont hurt. But angry people doesent always think first before act.

  36. I agree—partially. High and unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and anger, but pessimism is not the solution; rather, compassion is. With the empathy, humility, and understanding of our inevitable imperfection as human beings, we are able to simultaneously expect highly of ourselves and others without being furious when realities disappoint.

  37. I love these videos so much. They seriously help sort out my mind which helps me with my overthinking. I also like how they don’t just explain the problem but give some helpful advice at the same time❤️ also love that narrator voice lmao

  38. I turned that anger into introspection. A bottomless pit of curiosity I am, I can always look forward to waking up and seeing what I got in store for myself.

  39. right… attachment to what you think other people should do!!! Set yourself free let go… it isn't about you! do you!

  40. What if I've been affected by everything?? Bullying, abusive parents, neglectful mentors and displacement. There's just so much stuff to swallow and I'm expected to do that while moving on with my life. Also is it wrong that I watch these videos to completely suppress my feelings because the narrators are so calming?

  41. So… I guess what I learned here is that most people are unable to identify the source of their anger.
    😳
    I must be an 👽.

  42. I think I have depression because I feel literal pure hatred to the point that I nearly pass out in split seconds but I don’t physically lash out on people. I often think of suicide but I’m afraid to come out to my parents because I think they will make fun of me if I do so. After I’m done angry i feel as if someone kicked my head inside out for hours and it feels as if this shit cycle never ends. I know I’m asking for advice on YouTube but I’m at the point where I have nobody else but strangers on the internet to ask for advice (they don’t know I commented this but they already found my suicide note).

  43. I am so mad. I am a really lazy person. But whenever it happens to me have a good and motivated day, bad things happen. I get so mad and start crying. Every time i try to have a nice day everything goes wrong. I start to get so mad that i start crying. It's like I don't deserve a nice day.

  44. So what is good way to express anger, that could be seen as productive instead of seeing it as dangerous and feeling guilty for being angry? For future events while we mourn and grieve our past incidents. Any ideas?

  45. I lashed out to all of my classmates and tumbled all the chairs (no things were destroyed or harmed) and I was so angry I can't control myself I could smash the faces of my classmates and I calmed down when I cried..on bed when i got home

  46. i like to put all my anger about everything on my runs i let it burn i let myself desire to kill everyone and everything that has wronged me, as soon as i stop with my burning legs and hot body the anger start to become the acceptance that all need is some rest to put everything on order an go on

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