A new TV sitcom starring Charlie Sheen, who plays the role of an irascible anger-management therapist, is coming our way this summer. The show, which will be seen internationally, will apparently get its comedic effect from the hot-headed Sheen’s portrayal of a man of wisdom and propriety. I hope he doesn’t make a mockery of psychotherapy. Dare we hope that Sheen’s character will dispense some valuable insights into the nature of anger? That would help millions of sufferers worldwide who don’t understand that chronic anger is a defense covering up deeper issues.
Anger is often a laughing matter on TV, though less so in real life. In chronic form, it can escalate into debilitating misery. That’s when we feel it on a regular basis, in a self-defeating manner, toward an individual, group, or situation that we perceive as unjust or oppressive. Anger can also be produced through past memories and future expectations. Often we hold the anger in, and that of course is unhealthy for our mind and body.
We can also feel recurring anger toward ourselves, allegedly on the grounds that we’re a worthless fool or hopeless failure for lapses in judgment and missed opportunities.
Unfortunately, information from the media and from experts on anger management seldom reveals how anger is often used as a psychological defense. [Read more…]