“What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human” – Brene Brown

Feelings are not facts.
Shame is treatable, no matter where it comes from.

Shame is a powerful emotion that can have wide-ranging effects on our mental health. Deeply rooted in one’s self-worth, shame occurs when a person believes that they are flawed and unworthy of love and belonging. It is most harmful when it isn’t talked about or acknowledged. While overcoming shame can feel like a daunting process, counseling can help you change unhealthy thought patterns, develop self-compassion and learn to love and accept yourself, just as you are.
Shame may be rooted in a history of developmental trauma, such as growing up in a neglectful or abusive family or environment or from engaging in unhealthy relationships. It is often experienced by those who were repeatedly told they were unwanted or weren’t good enough, or who felt like they failed to live up to others’ unrealistic standards. Shame can contribute to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and can affect interpersonal relationships, resulting in difficulties getting close to other people. In some instances, shame can have a paralyzing effect, making it a struggle to be productive at work or school.

When shame becomes toxic, it can lead to chronic negative emotions or behaviors that are harmful to oneself or others. Those who suffer from toxic shame often feel unworthy of love. They can be fearful of connection with others who they believe will reject them once they discover who they really are, thus hindering their ability to engage in healthy friendships or romantic relationships. Some people will attempt to mask toxic shame through substance abuse, shopping or gambling addiction, or workaholism. Others may engage in self-harm, such as cutting, binge eating, or restrictive eating. In some cases, shame can lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Oftentimes, people think they are deserving of shame and will be exposed and rejected if they share their true self with anyone, including a mental health professional. However, secrecy exacerbates feelings of shame, while sharing one’s story helps build resilience and fosters recovery. Counseling plays an important role in the recovery process by helping you understand why you feel shame, identify triggers, and learn valuable coping skills.

The greatest act of courage is to be and own all that you are.

Licensed Professional Counselor & Mental Health Service Provider
Located in Brentwood TN