Anxiety And Depression Often Precede Anger
by George Anderson
(Los Angeles, CA.)
Anxiety and depression are both common symptoms of a wide range of psychiatric disorders. In addition, anger and depression are discrete disorders that are commonly seen in most mental health settings.
While anxiety and depression are not commonly associated in popular
publications relative to anger management, anxiety or depression often precede feelings on anger, rage, hostility and or stress.
Anger management coaching or small group classes that use Emotional Intelligence as the prime modality for assessment and intervention, indirectly address both of these important contributing factors in skill enhancement for self-awareness, self-control, social awareness and relationship management. These are the four concepts of emotional intelligence that are the focus of Daniel Goleman’s publications on emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence assessments which include a Pre and Post Test in conjunction with a structured client workbook as well as ancillary training material, are the most effective models of intervention for persons experiencing problems in recognizing and managing anger, recognizing and managing stress, mastering assertive communication and increasing empathy and emotional intelligence.
Successful clients almost always show a decrease in anxiety and depression following skill enhancement coaching in Emotional Intelligence. This is an area that deserves scholarly research.
George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Thanks for your submission, George. I like your inclusion of Emotional Intelligence in your work with anger management.
There is so much good work being done in this field (Emotional Intelligence), and as you point out, there are strong implications for the treatment of anxiety and depression as well as anger issues. The "emotional highjacking" that Goleman refers to can easily be seen as analogous to an anxiety attack or anger outburst.
The beauty of working with Emotional Intelligence, if it is indepth work, is that the intervention gets to the underlying issues and therefore addresses cause, not just symtoms. Many people do not realize how closely anger and anxiety are, in terms of how they operate in some individuals.
I appreciate your work, and wish you great success in your continued efforts.