When Feeling Depressed And Angry Make Coping Difficult

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox, NCC, LPC
Updated April 17, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

When living with depression, we may get caught up in our feelings without understanding why we feel a certain way. Sometimes, the pain can be too much to cope with, and we may try to move forward from our emotions without analyzing them. While these emotions can be a part of life, it’s often beneficial to look further within yourself to understand where they are coming from. This type of analysis can encourage personal growth and self-healing, as well as potentially making it easier to process and work through these emotions. As this process can be challenging to move through on your own, you might consider working with a licensed therapist online or in person for professional insight and guidance.

Everyone may need an outlet to express their emotions

Why it can be hard to understand that your feelings matter 

Experiencing multiple emotions at the same time can be difficult for anyone to understand. Sometimes, people may feel emotions that are hard to put into words, potentially making it more challenging to express them. Others may put too much focus on what others may think about them if they choose to be honest about their feelings, and many are not honest with themselves about what they are feeling. Some people may believe it is pointless to talk about their feelings, possibly thinking that it won't accomplish anything.

Many people admit they don't explore their feelings in a deeper context. It can be hard to confront your feelings due to fear or denial. Having low self-esteem may push feelings to the back burner; instead, you may believe that others’ emotions are more important than your own. 

Some people may admit they don't know how to assess their emotions because it wasn't something they were ever taught, encouraged to explore, or led to believe was necessary. Some people can go through life feeling emotions, but not knowing how they affect them from the inside out or what to do with them.

Emotions experienced when depressed or angry can act as roadblocks to addressing the source of your feelings. Sometimes, these emotions can be overwhelming and may seem to be too much to comprehend. There can be ways to understand your emotions so you can manage your moods and learn to effectively communicate them to others.

When you feel like someone other than yourself 

Sometimes, emotions may lead you to believe that you may be out of place. People may express certain emotions because they are hiding their true feelings. For example, a person may express anger but truly feel sad. Your emotions may make it difficult to concentrate on things you should be doing, and you may lose interest in favored activities or spending time with others. 

There are changes you can make in your daily life that may make it easier to cope with your emotions. For example, if you struggle with feeling tired, you might learn mindfulness techniques, meditation, and other forms of exercise to encourage better sleep at night. Doing so may help you feel more like yourself and less overwhelmed by your emotions.

When you feel at odds with yourself 

It can be common to experience frustration and believe you've failed yourself. People may blame themselves for feeling weak or worthless due to depression, and these feelings may grow into anger. What you feel when depressed generally isn't your fault. When you're too hard on yourself, you may be more likely to experience emotional pain. Consider being open about your thoughts with someone when you feel frustrated with yourself. You may need to hear that you are worthy despite how you feel from an outside perspective.

Understand the truth behind your feelings 

In general, your feelings deserve acknowledgment. To understand why your feelings matter, you should first be honest with yourself about your feelings. People may not understand their feelings because they have misleading or distorted thinking about what they mean. Such views may prevent personal growth while making it more difficult to move forward from a situation in a productive and healthy manner.

Your feelings matter because they can help you be true to yourself. Consider your feelings with logic and good reason. Sometimes, depression can lead people to think about the worst-case scenario. When you can be true to yourself, it generally makes it easier to be honest with others and ease any negative feelings. You might practice getting in touch with your feelings and make it a habit. It may encourage you to be willing and open about how your feelings affect you so you can communicate them more effectively with others.

Let your feelings tell their story 

You might try to think of your emotions as a part of a story that needs to be told. Many situations and relationships in life can bring an assortment of feelings and emotions. You may gain an understanding of your emotional experiences when you let yourself feel your feelings. Allowing yourself to authentically feel your emotions can bring a sense of strength and power, potentially helping you realize that what you are feeling is real and it matters. In turn, you can begin to let go of those feelings and move forward.

Getty/Israel Sebastian
Everyone may need an outlet to express their emotions

Sometimes, people may experience feelings of sadness, confusion, or frustration without a specific reason. Such feelings may lead you to give up doing things you enjoy or isolate yourself from loved ones. You may hurt when thinking about how your emotions have gotten in the way of relationships or daily activities. Instead of focusing on the past, you might look to the future by setting goals and considering what you have learned about your feelings. They may continue to tell a story, but moving forward, you can dictate how the story is told by being proactive in analyzing and controlling your emotions.

Benefits of acknowledging your feelings

Emotions can be considered emotional challenges that nearly everyone faces. The level of these challenges may vary from one person to the next, but everyone may need to learn how to cope with emotions productively, especially when living with depression, anger, or anxiety. When you ignore what you are feeling, it may increase the risk of turning to unhealthy alternatives. Even if you're not engaging in potentially destructive activities, you may ignore your emotions by taking part in unproductive activities, such as binge-watching TV shows or spending hours on social media.

Emotions can create energy in the body, potentially creating tension and stress. Anxiety and depression symptoms may add additional strain to the body. Parts of the body, such as your intestines, lungs, and heart, may react when certain emotions are triggered. As a result, physical issues like headaches, insomnia, heart disease, and intestinal issues may arise. Studies suggest that anxiety levels often increase as the body experiences more emotional conflict. You may feel better after discovering emotional tools to navigate your thoughts and feelings.

Understanding how to cope with your emotions 

Getting professional support can help you learn how to cope with your feelings effectively and healthily. Emotions can be an important part of life, and how they are managed can affect our well-being. They may affect relationships, decision-making, and how we view ourselves. Our feelings may drive the way we produce, act, and respond to things in life. Exploring healthy ways to cope may help your body heal from aches and pains and improve your mental health.

Learning to cope with emotions while angry or depressed often takes commitment and patience. You might consider individual therapy, support groups, journal writing, and more. 

Benefits of online therapy

If you’re living with depression, getting out of the house can be challenging. Online therapy can offer a convenient, flexible alternative to in-person therapy. You can attend sessions from the comfort of your own couch (or any location with an internet connection) at a time that fits your schedule, removing many potential barriers to treatment.

Effectiveness of online therapy

According to a 2019 study, “Users of BetterHelp experienced significantly reduced depression symptom severity after engaging with the platform. Study findings suggest that this intervention is equally effective across gender, self-reported financial status, and self-reported physical health status and particularly effective for individuals without a history of psychotherapy. Overall, study results suggest that multimodal digital psychotherapy is a potentially effective treatment for adult depression.”


Your feelings may seem overwhelming, but they don't have to control you. Your feelings may be important because they can tell a story about what you're experiencing in your life. They may tell you what is going on from within and encourage further investigation of yourself. When you admit to what you are feeling, you may be making a meaningful connection. Your feelings may not be a problem, but they may often lead to a solution if you are willing to address them and release them instead of suppressing them. A therapist can help you through this process, particularly if you’re also living with depression and challenges with anger.
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