More than we’d like to admit, anger and depression are often related. Dr. Paul Meier of Meier Clinics once reported that approximately 15,000 Americans come in one week to the Minirth Meier Clinics for insight-oriented therapy. Of all the depression cases, he finds that 95% are depressed due to repressed anger toward an abuser or toward oneself.

“A majority of anxiety disorders involve fear of becoming aware of our unconscious repressed anger toward our abusers or toward ourselves.”

Without hesitation, he reports that a majority of the mental health problems we face can be avoided by becoming skilled in learning how to use forgiveness to deal with daily anger that we are bound to feel from the effects of what he calls ‘jerk abuse’. In his experience, anger and depression are close relatives.

Dr. Paul Meier, writes…

“Helping a patient learn to forgive and rid himself of repressed anger is a process that usually takes several months. During that time we keep the patient on an antidepressant to be sure he has had enough time to resolve his anger through counselling and other therapeutic processes.

When the patient gets proper therapy and truly forgives, his brain is able to hold on to the serotonin that his body produces naturally from a chemical called tryptophan (found in foods like bananas, milk, fruit, and whole grains). A patient can be depressed for many years, then forgive the one who caused his repressed anger and totally recover from the depression, because his serotonin has been restored naturally and the brain is able to work correctly.”

If you’ve gone through our e-course, you can understand how anger and depression are easily connected because your mind and emotions are heavily linked.

"It has only been in the last ten years that the mental health community has conducted research on forgiveness, and the results seem clear. Forgiveness mitigates depression and anxiety, increases self-esteem, and improves physical health and emotional well-being. It releases people from living in bondage and allows them to live in freedom. Forgiveness heals the soul." - Jerry Sittser

“Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” – Apostle Paul to the Romans, A.D. 57

“Does forgiveness mean forgetting?”

Merely ignoring our terrible memory of a hurtful act isn't forgiveness; it's only suppression of anger. Suppression of anger leads to depression but genuine forgiveness clearly sees the offence and then forgives it by withdrawing the penalty. It's natural to deal with our anger by suppressing our negative memories, but it's supernatural to remember them clearly and renounce our right to revenge. Revenge must be left in the hands of the only One who is always objective and just.

“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Apostle Paul to the Romans, A.D. 57

Our negative thoughts and emotions such as bitterness and anger can become like a virus to our mental health, but forgiveness is like a firewall on negative thoughts which if left to infect, can so easily lead to depression.

But, how can we forgive someone who has severely wronged us – perhaps abused us? The problem is, by not forgiving, we let that person continue to destroy us - emotionally and mentally not just physically. Will you let them do that to you? Be the victor rather than the victim! Rise above their wrong against you and defeat them by forgiving them. You will gain back the most important thing – your mental and emotional health! Depression won’t be knocking at your door.

Forgiveness renews your mind. Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it makes you free. Forgiveness also doesn’t mean you can trust that person again either. You may have to cut off ties if you haven’t or set boundaries. Ultimately, forgiveness seldom happens on our own strength. It requires a much greater strength from God and often a good therapist to walk us through it.

“What if your anger is towards yourself?”

Often times, we can be angry with ourselves and be our own worst enemies. Your anger and depression may depend on you forgiving yourself. Forgive yourself for anything you need to. Quit being hard on yourself for mistakes you've made in the past and move on. Write yourself a note, "I forgive myself for..." Doing this simple exercise can be the most freeing exercise!

To learn more about anger and depression, enjoy our research that has been changing lives in over 50 countries to date. Visit our website below…

Need to talk? Speak with someone who can listen. Visit our website to speak with a counselor…

There is hope! You are worth it!

Merri Ellen Giesbrecht


Apostle Paul, Letter to the Romans, A.D. 57

Sittser, Jerry , "Discovering God's Will" /Zondervan Publishing Company, 2002

Meier, Paul M.D. “Don’t Let Jerks Get The Best of You” /Thomas Nelson, 1993

Author's Bio: 

About the Author:

From suicidal to impacting the lives of others, Merri Ellen Giesbrecht shares hope for those suffering from depression. When antidepressants made her life worse, she began to research the medical journals to find the truth. What she found would not only change her life but also thousands of others in over 50 countries around the world through her website. Read her story at: