Hearing my mind say "shame on you"

That part of me has been silent for a long time.

You can overdue that, but in my case I think I need to take a few things to heart.

A little shame can be appropriate, I agree.

I’ll buy a little, but not a lot.

The mental health profession is awash in contention about the utility vs. psychic costs of shame. Some assert that shame is a useful device for social control and prevention of anti-social or sociopathic behavior. Others argue that shame is a mechanism by which people are prevented from realizing their full potential… and worse, that tens of millions of psychiatric patients are “neurotic” as the direct result of unobserved, unnoticed, unrecognized, unacknowledged, unowned, unappreciated and undigested shame.

Whole books have been written laying out arguments for both positions. In general, those books tend to be aligned with authoritarian and conservative vs. egalitarian and liberal social and political philosophies.

What is clear to me – after 28 years of working in the trenches with recovering substance abusers, recovering obsessive-compulsives, recovering depression and anxiety sufferers, and recovering psychotics – is that toxic levels of shame are always in evidence. Moreover, it appears that most people with mental illness become so conditioned, socialized, habituated and normalized to shame in their youth that they are unable to step back and see that shame and its effects upon them at cognitive, emotional and behavioral levels.

Treating shame itself began to be a regular part of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy (CBT) in the 1980s. Helping people to see, hear and feel their stored shame usually “enlightens” them, producing reduction of manic and paranoid, as well as depressive and anxiety, symptoms.

To any MHP who listens to sz pts share what their voices tell them, it is abundantly evident that the energy of shame is the fuel for those voices far more than half the time.


Yeah, its interesting that i’ve never heard a voices, but I’m constantly criticizing myself in my mind, and it feels exactly like my persona or super-ego is trying to break me down.

And it’s coming periodically as you’ve said.