Shame and Your Moods
by Harley Therapy | Psychological Issues
Have you experienced things that leave you feeling damaged and beyond repair? And do you hide these thoughts and the truth of your past experiences from others, suffering in silence?
Shame is controlling your life.
What is shame?
Shame is an emotion that is often confused with guilt. We did something we feel bad about, and say, “I am so ashamed’.
But shame is actually not guilt, it is more guilt along with every other negative dark feeling gathered together.
As the strongest, darkest and most powerful of negative emotions, shame is when we evaluate ourselves and see nothing at all of value. We don’t just feel bad, we feel powerless and useless.
Signs that you are suffering shame
So how do you know that shame is your problem? See if any of the following sound familiar:
- you hide your past and your true thoughts and feelings from others
- you are sure nobody would like you if they ‘really knew you’
- when things go wrong you are sure it’s all your fault and want to hide
- or you might get defensive, lash out, blame others
- when things go really really wrong you just block things out or reject people
- you try hard all the time to not mess up, make more mistakes, upset others
- no matter how hard you try you never feel good enough
- you might have suicidal thoughts sometimes.
Why do I have so much shame?
If as adults we struggle with deep feelings of shame? It means that as a child we had experiences that deeply damaged our sense of self and worth.
This could be a series of what is called ‘adverse childhood experiences’, or ACEs. These include losing a parent or watching him or her go to prison, witnessing a mother being abused by her partner, having a parent who was an alcoholic or drug user or mentally ill, being humiliated and crticised often, being physically slapped and pushed around, sexual abuse, not being shown love and acceptance, or being neglected.
Shame and related mental health issues
Not surprisingly, feeling worthless and like terrible things happen because of you does not lead to great mental health. Instead, shame is often a contributor to:
- anger problems
- addictions including sex addiction
- alcoholism and drug abuse
- eating disorders and overeating
How will therapy help me with my shame problem?
A talk therapist can help you find and process the root of your shameful feelings. You can finally stop blaming yourself for things that happened to you as a child, and can learn ways to build your self-esteem. When you start making life choices from a place of worth instead of shame, life feels full of possibility at last.