Overwhelming feelings of bullying shame, fear, embarrassment, guilt, undeserving, unworthy? read this
Bullying results in fear, shame, embarrassment and guilt which increase whilst the bullying continues. Bullies recognise these symptoms and use them to disempower their victim.
Shame is a powerful and painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment or disgrace. It is a normal feeling originating from our sense of right and wrong; if you do something wrong, you feel guilty and ashamed and develop the belief that others will think harshly of you for your transgressions. Related feelings include a sense of disappointment, dishonour, disgrace, or condemnation. There is often an accompanying belief, often largely unfounded, that one is somehow deserving of disapproval, censure, condemnation and punishment.
Whilst the ability to feel shame is healthy, for many people shame is also a strong feeling originating from a belief in having done wrong, whether or not that belief is correct. People are also more likely to feel undue shame in proportion to how low their self-esteem and self-confidence are. As bullying destroys self-confidence and self-esteem, it is natural and normal for anyone being bullied to start to feel undue amounts of shame. The bully heaps on the guilt, thus increasing the belief in their victim they (the target of this abuse) are deserving of all the bad things that are now happening to them.
A universal symptom of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a deep-seated sense of unworthiness, undeservingness and non-entitlement. I believe this is a manifestation of shame and might be articulated as an apology such as "I'm sorry I exist". Have a look through the common features of Complex PTSD caused by long-term bullying and abuse and see how many you recognise in yourself.
Browse Bully OnLine and re-empower yourself with knowledge and insight to identify and overcome fear, shame, embarrassment and guilt. Start with Am I being bullied? and then find out Why am I being bullied? - the answer may surprise you. See the myths about bullying deconstructed and find out answers to frequently-asked questions about bullying.
Definition of shame
Stress, injury to health, trauma and PTSD
How bullying, harassment and abuse damage health and cause trauma
Stress, trauma and PTSD Home Page
The cause of stress revealed
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PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Complex PTSD
Bullying, stress and self-harm | Stress and debility
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Bullying shame | Bullying fear | Bullying embarrassment | Bullying guilt
Bullying and denial | Trauma | Shell shock: PTSD in WW1
David Kinchin's book Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: the invisible injury
validates and relieves the silent unseen suffering of trauma
Profile of David Kinchin | PTSD workshops by David Kinchin
Neil Marr and Tim Field's book Bullycide: death at playtime reveals the
secret toll of children who attempt or commit suicide because of bullying
The Field Foundation | Bully OnLine
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