NPR posted an article today covering two symptoms of depression that are often overlooked: anger and irritability.
The article discusses “a strong link between irritability and depression.” While anger and irritability are not usually listed as symptoms for adaults with depression, “irritability — a reduced control over one’s temper that results in angry outbursts — is listed as a core symptom of depression for children and adolescents.” [emphasis in the original]
In my case, my original diagnosis for depression, which took place while I was still on active duty was made on the tale end of a period where I experienced bouts with sadness and hopelessness offset by bouts of anger and irritability. I often found myself irritated by seemingly simple things unrelated to any perceivable cause for irritability. My anger was misdirected towards many people and things without valid reason. Fortunately for me, the military psychiatrist recognized the connection. Unfortunately, the medication that was used to originally treat me left me off-balanced and somewhat dizzy. At the time, I wasn’t sure what needed to be done, so I just abandoned the medication and tried to drudged through it on my own.
Several years ago, through the Veterans Administration hospital here in St Louis, I self-referred for depression, and was treated by a psychiatrist who better understood the medication issue and prescribed a different one that actually helped. It still does.