Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Impotent Rage

Clinical Psychologist

David B. Adams, Ph.D., ABPP, FAACP

Board Certified in Clinical Psychology (ABPP)
Fellow, American Academy of Clinical Psychology
Fellow, Academy of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry
Fellow, American Psychological Association
Fellow, Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy
Distinguished Practitioner – Emeritus – National Academies of Practice in Psychology
National Register of Health Service Psychologists
Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (Interjurisdictional Practice)

Atlanta Medical Psychology
5555 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road at Johnson Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 252-6454
The intersection of Northside, Emory Saint Joseph and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

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Rage: For many males working in blue collar, labor-intensive positions, their power, strength, stamina and (often) tenuous financial position is the only evidence of their masculine identity.

They are angered that this has been “taken away” by limitations imposed by their health problems.. They may be angry with their doctors, angry with the staff, angry with their with their family. Often, the anger is due to their belief that they are now seen as less masculine, as weak, as dependent, and they feel their masculinity has been impugned.

They are, in fact, now quite dependent upon others, and this often enrages them. But they can do little with their rage since to express the anger would threaten their needs being met. So they sit on the anger and are often misidentified as being depressed because the symptoms (irritability, sleeplessness, overeating, etc) are similar.

If the underlying problem were impotent rage, treating it as though it were depression would not be effective.

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