Many people have been made to feel ashamed for having anger. If our self-esteem has been damaged, we are ripe candidates for blaming ourselves when we are angry. Women may be particularly susceptible because of cultural expectations to be nice. We may learn to direct our anger inward, toward ourselves, rather than attributing it to a perceived threat in the external world. We may berate ourselves and engage in self-destructive behavior as a consequence.
Anger directed toward ourselves can manifest itself in :
– Physically harming ourselves
– Blaming ourselves for problems, even when we are not really the cause of the problem
– Refusing to feel any emotions, numbing out
– Running away from problems and never addressing them
– Abusing drugs, alcohol, food or participating in other forms of addiction
– Engaging in dangerous behavior, such as reckless driving or thrill-seeking behavior
– Feeling uncomfortable in spending time alone
– Never letting go of anger and allowing it to store up
Dr. Baya Mebarek, Psy.D., LMFT
San Diego Couples and Family Therapy serves the surrounding areas of Sorrento Valley Road as La Jolla, UTC San Diego, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Poway, University City and Escondido.