Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D.

Is there an Anger and Depression Link?

5. Use words like, “you always/never/should.”

6. Bring up past issues or arguments—even ones thought resolved—in a hostile way again during current arguments

7 . Use bad argument behavior, such as screaming, blaming, name-calling, door slamming, kicking one partner out of the house, or locking doors.

For other signs of toxic fighting and much more, see

Dr. Jeff’s New Book:

Why Can’t You Read My Mind? Overcoming the 9 nine toxic thoughts that get in the way of a loving relationship. (Marlowe & Company, 2004). Available at all book stores and

Check out the book’s excellent Chicago Tribune and Publisher’s Weeklyendorsements at

New This Summer! Social Skills: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program for Teens

Please call Shelli Barbush, M.ED. at 610-280-3911 for further information.

News about Women and Depression

A) The prevalence of major depression is double the rate in women than in men;

B) The incidence of major depression in women increases drastically during adolescence;

C) Women who develop major depression during pregnancy and postpartum period are more likely to have recurrent episodes during the next 5 years and beyond, and their babies are more likely to develop cognitive, social, and mood problems; and

D) Clinical depression is related to many other major public health problems, including smoking and overeating.

Source: Prevention & Treatment, Volume 6, Article 10, posted September 15, 2003

Worth Noting

Eighty percent of teens who are suicidal give clues such as “I want to end it now” or “I’m giving up”. Taking these clues seriously and recognizing the signs of depression early CAN help save our teens.
Based on: NIMH Findings

A Key Difference Between Optimists and Pessimists According to Martin Seligman, Ph.D., past president of the American Psychological Association, “explanatory style”, or how we interpret events, is the key difference between optimists and pessimists. Pessimists see negative events enduring and insurmountable. Optimists, on the other hand, see negative events as temporary and as things that can be overcome. The exciting aspect of Seligman’ research is that optimism is a teachable skill!

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People who've been diagnosed as depressed in adolescence should be watched for new signs of depression and should be taught to identify signs that they may be becoming depressed again. And, knowing there are lifelong implications after a bout of depression makes prevention crucial.

Source: Monitor on Psychology Volume 34, No. 8 September 2003

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Avoid Those Dangerous “Shoulds”

Should statements occur when we interpret things as they “should be”, rather simply focusing on what is. “I should do well…..If I don’t then I’m a loser.”

Tip : Think and Say “Would like” instead of “should”

Two Important Facts on Kids and ADHD:

  • Emotional development for children with AD/HD is 30% slower than their non-ADD peers. So, a ten-year-old with AD/HD operates at the maturity level of about a 7-year-old; a 16-year-old beginning driver is using the decision making skills of an 11-year-old.
  • 65% of ADHD children have problems with defiance, non-compliance, verbal hostility and temper tantrums.

Some Key Warning Signs of Toxic Fighting

Your relationship may be suffering the negative effects of toxic thinking if in at least two out of three of your most recent arguments, you and your partner:

1. “Push buttons” or say mean things on purpose to get a reaction.

2 . Label the other negatively such as, “You’re a couch potato/selfish/impossible/nag.”

3. Say things you later regret.

4. Apologize for saying something mean to your partner yet you still believe it’s true.


Is there an Anger and Depression Link?

Quite often I feel very depressed and alone in the decisions I make. I get really angry every day at things that don't mean anything. Many people have told me that my anger gets out of hand and I should go to counseling. I've wondered a few times whether I suffer from depression or some other mental disorder. What do you think?


It's true that depression and anger have often been linked in the psychological literature. Some refer to depression as "anger turned inward." I've seen the feelings you've described in others. Many depressed individuals alternate between feeling angry at themselves and getting angry at other people.

People who are not necessarily depressed but are in some sort of emotional pain also may lash out verbally at others. It's the emotional equivalent of the wounded animal that strikes out at the person who's trying to help it.

Adults who had even a single bout of major depressive disorder (MDD) as a teen can have later emotional difficulties.

A recent study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Vol. 112, No. 3) found that young adults who had an episode of MDD, regardless of other factors, had later issues with occupational performance, interpersonal functioning, quality of life and physical well-being. Adolescent MDD translated into greatly reduced life satisfaction.

This suggests that depression in adolescence indicates a broad, lasting tendency toward emotional problems that can be a serious, adult risk factor.

There are certain things that predispose people to being depressed, like being pessimistic. Some evidence shows there are traits like this evident after a depressive episode that weren't there before the depression. It's a scar that can affect a person throughout their life.

The study also found that people who've had an episode of MDD demonstrate more mild depression symptoms, such as sleeping and appetite problems, even when not fully depressed. These residual symptoms can make individuals more vulnerable to MDD.

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