I am doing a presentation on shame, what it is, and counseling people who struggle with shame. Lest I bore you here are my top six interesting things about shame I've learned so far.
- Shame has been implicated in several mental health problems, such as depression, suicidal behavior, and posttraumatic stress disorder. (Van Vliet)
- Shame is conceptualized as an assault on the self, where the individual’s self-concept, social connection, and sense of power and control come under attack. Individuals bounce back from this adversity through a process of self-reconstruction. (connecting, refocusing, accepting, understanding, and resisting.) (Van Vliet)
- Women are more accurate at labeling feelings of shame.
- The more shame you feel the less self efficacy and the more self efficacy the less shame. Self efficacy is “ one's perception of ability to influence a situation” (Baldwin - The Relationship among Shame, Guilt, and Self-Efficacy)
- Shame shows up on the journey from perfectionism to being depressed. “Shame seems more likely to be experienced by a budding young perfectionist who still feels that s/he has not satisfied the demands and expectations of the emotionally important people in their life”. And especially if this perfectionist is female their shame (related to their perfectionism) can lead to increased depression.
- Women feel less body shame as they grow older. "Young women's body surveillance and body shame decreased, and their body esteem increased, supporting an age-related changes model.” (From The Developmental and Cultural Contexts of Objectified Body Consciousness: A Longitudinal Analysis of Two Cohorts of Women.)