Rage Against Everything


I feel angry all the time. My husband doesn’t remember to pick up the dry cleaning and I feel like screaming at him. Some woman at the grocery store got in my way, and I wanted to throttle her. I know this isn’t normal. I try to cover it up and be civil to co-workers and friends. But it’s so hard. I just get irritated at the slightest thing. I think I’ve always been like this to some extent, but now it’s just terrible. — Always Angry, Va.

You’ve got the insight to see this, and the courage to admit it — both of those are important. Sure, some people are naturally more tightly wound than others, but this sounds like much more than a personality thing.

Irritability can be strongly linked to both anxiety and depression, despite the stereotypes of anxiety equaling worrying and depression equaling sadness. Even though that’s true for many, for others, it instead looks exactly like you’ve described. Fortunately, cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you learn to identify what’s really going on here, getting to the roots of the physical and emotional aspects of your mood.

Don’t Fret About Passing the Bar
I’m about 15 pounds north of my ideal weight, and you would think that I had a contagious illness the way that the average trip to a bar goes. It’s beginning to feel like there are no men out there who aren’t completely superficial. Please help me not be cynical, because I’m sure that’s not helping my case. — Ugh

Do certain looks tend to turn heads at bars? Of course. But assuming that all men have certain superficial standards — or that what might first turn a head at a bar is the same thing that will spark a relationship — does men (and yourself) a major disservice. Plus, research has long showed that women significantly underestimate the weight that men find most attractive.

Plenty of people are fed up with the dating scene at bars, whether they fit a certain physical mold or not. So you’d have plenty of comrades (and prospects!) if you ditched it altogether. There are so many ways to truly connect with people to let them see the real you, from taking a class to doing volunteer work to just focusing on making more friends (and trusting they’ll have male ones). See that? I didn’t even push you to go online.

Dr. Andrea Bonior writes Express' advice column, Baggage Check.
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Vicky Hallett · August 29, 2011