Anger is a common reaction to injury, mistreatment or opposition. If a person becomes angry at the unjust treatment of others, his anger may lead to positive action. If, however, he becomes angry at how he himself is being treated, his anger is more likely to be destructive, both for others and for himself. The anger is then not linked to compassion for others, but to egoism: life is not treating him the way he thinks it should. Such egoistic anger tends to accummulate, causing the person to react with an anger which is out of proportion to the seriousness of the precipitating event. The angry person, being chiefly concerned with himself, erects barriers against other people; he rejects the support offered by others. The constantly angry person becomes isolated, thereby diminishing his quality of life.
Anger is unhealthy, both physically and mentally. Doctors have cited anger as one of the contributing factors to heart disease. Studies have shown that people who scored highest on the anger scale of a standard personality test were two to three times as likely to develop heart disease as those who score lowest. Anger which is suppressed and turned inwards is a common cause of chronic depression.
Anger is a central feature of Western civilization and a common occurrence in the lives of most people, even though it may not be deliberately cultivated.