What Everyone Ought To Know
About Shame And Guilt
In a study published in JAMA Psychiatry it was found that an important brain area involved in emotion— the right anterior insula— is smaller in school-aged children diagnosed with depression as preschool-aged children, and can predict risk of future struggles with depression.
About Shame And Guilt
Innocently, we define shame and guilt through our experiences, the opinions of others, and our culture. Our behavioral choices concerning them stem from our definitions. The majority of cultures identify unworthiness and wrongdoings with the words shame and guilt. We perceive guilt as I did something bad and the need to repent. In contrast, we perceive the word shame as I am bad. Throughout the ages, we have amassed many definitions for the origin and meaning of shame and guilt, which abound with biblical, mythological, and spiritual overtones. Eastern and Western cultures, as well as their subcultures, proclaim opposing definitions. They can be considered good, bad, healthy, or toxic. No surprise that we reinforce its cycle of abuse.
“I count him lost, who is lost to shame.” Carl Jung
“Shame is a soul eating emotion.” Tjitus Maccius Plautus
“We but half express ourselves and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The only shame is to have none.” Blaise Pascal
“Men cannot lie without shame. A sense of shame is the beginning of integrity.” Chinese Philosophy
“Who is not shamed by his sins, sins double.” Jon R. Stone
Shame and Guilt function as a conjoined force.
Popular opinion separates shame and guilt. We view them as independent conditions because they have distinct characteristics. Actually, they present different expressions as a result of influencing different parts of the nervous system. Our unconscious mind stores our repressed shame where we can not readily recognize it with our conscious awareness. Shame is our unconscious voice and guilt is our conscious voice. Shame affects the autonomic, involuntary nervous system. Guilt affects the voluntary nervous system. Guilt repeats the voice of shame that echoes our unworthiness.
Shame and Guilt leave a residue within us.
This residue produces a cumulative effect which amplifies our negative destructive emotions.This accumulation escalates benign hurtful feelings into overwhelming fear. It accumulates within us and supplies the energy force needed to intensify an unexpected negative reaction to a simple remark. A small quantity of repression will most likely keep us in a low intensity of hurtful feelings whereas a large accumulation escalates benign hurtful feelings into an explosive confrontation. The intensity of a negative reaction depends on the quantity of our repression; the greater the repression, the more energy available to intensify our negative state.