Toxic shame is a term used to describe intense feelings of shame that are deeply ingrained in a person’s sense of self. Unlike healthy shame, which serves as a necessary signal that one has violated a moral or social norm and prompts them to make amends, toxic shame is overwhelming and pervasive, and can have serious negative effects on a person’s mental health and well-being.
Toxic shame can arise from a variety of sources, including childhood abuse or neglect, chronic emotional invalidation, and cultural or societal messages that shame certain groups of people for their identity or behavior. It can lead to feelings of worthlessness, self-doubt, and self-hatred, and may cause a person to engage in self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse or self-harm in an attempt to cope with their pain.
Treatment for toxic shame often involves therapy or counseling, which can help individuals recognize and challenge the negative beliefs and thought patterns that fuel their shame. Building self-compassion and self-acceptance can also be key components of healing from toxic shame.
what is chronic shame disorder?