Sanctuary and Serenity

Anger “Attacks”

Posted on: March 27, 2010


Anger “attacks” may accompany depression
By Merritt McKinney

Last Updated: 2002-07-25 12:53:40 -0400 (Reuters Health) NEW YORK (Reuters Health) –
New research suggests that anger and depression often go hand-in-hand. In a study that included patients with certain psychological disorders as well as healthy individuals, depressed people were the most likely to have problems with anger or hostility.


“Depression is closely associated with anger or hostility,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Kyung Bong Koh of Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, told Reuters Health. Previous research has found that 30% to 40% of people with depressive disorder have so-called anger “attacks.” “In particular, depressive disorder patients tend to express anger verbally and physically,” Koh said. In contrast to previous research that suggested that depressed people often suppress their anger, the new study found that they were more likely to express anger than were people with a condition called somatoform disorder. Somatoform disorder is characterized by physical symptoms without a known cause that are either initiated or aggravated by psychological stress. The researchers evaluated 73 patients with depression, 67 with anxiety disorders, 47 with somatoform disorders and a “control” group of 215 healthy individuals. “Our study suggested that depressive disorder patients have more anger than patients with other mental disorders,” Koh said. As a group, depressed patients had higher anger scores than all other participants, according to a report in a recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The study also found that the severity of depression was directly related to the level of anger expression. According to Koh’s team, more research is needed to investigate the relationship between anger and depression. In addition, they write, the effect of depression treatment on anger expression and suppression needs to be examined.

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