Self-Hatred: Helping yourself out of Harm
Low self-esteem or a more personal self-loathing or hatred towards oneself can be harmful. It deteriorates the life of a person and breaks off personal relationships, making individuals isolated from society. Psychologists and psychiatrists describe such individuals as persons with self-guilt, hatred and shame. It could be due to a mental disorder which makes such individuals to perceive shame in themselves and feel they carry a defect. This condition of self-hatred is also an additional sign of being depressed.
Is Self Hate Neurological?
The simple answer is: Yes, it is. A new study published in Molecular Psychiatry by Dr. Jian Feng from the University of Warwick in England has found that patients who are depressed may process hate feelings in a different way to normal individuals. One of the reasons for this is that the activity of the brain is not normal in individuals with self-hate. Our brains have a region called the ‘hate circuit’, in people with self-hate, the brain’s ‘hate circuit’ gets out of sync across the circuit’s 3 regions. Due to this, unfortunately an individual begins to self loathe and harbour hatred feelings.
Patients who are depressed have shown clear evidence of self-hatred and abnormal brain functions. In a study which has been performed using magnetic resonance imaging, the scans of 15 patients with untreated depression together with 24 patients who did not respond to multiple anti-depressants, have shown that their ‘hate circuit’ region, was uncoupled. The control group used to compare included, 37 normal individuals who had been matched by gender, age and level of education of that of the depressed group. The depressed group showed clear evidence of decoupling in the superior frontal gyrus, insula and putamen brain regions. The left side of the brain showed weakened connections between the superior and inferior orbitofrontal cortex. However, the connections on the right side was found to be stronger. This study done was based on the ‘functional connectivity’ of the brain showing that contrary to the belief that uncoupling can lead to calmer feelings, it has just only invoked self-hatred.
A fine line between love and hate
There is a saying that it’s a fine line between love and hate. Through the above study it has shown that it is true by evidence. Thus regions of the brain which control love and hate fall together. The key thing what matters for feelings of love and hate is how the circuit is wired. Thus, when there is decoupling of the brain regions within this circuit, it actually contributes to self-loathing rather than love. Depression is a result of a weakened brain circuit. This is one reason why people who are depressed feel unloved, even when there is sufficient affection. This study had shown that individuals who harbour hate, had weak connections in their mirror neurons. These neurons become active when one watches others’ actions, for instance the act of smiling makes one another smile to each other. Proper functioning of these neurones help individuals to connect to another. Depressed people on the other hand, lack socialness and are unable to relate to love, due to the uncoupling of these mirror neurones. Thus, depressed self-haters have more links with negative experience than positive feelings.
Why people don’t report to doctors about their state of depression?
A study conducted by University of California reported that most patients are reluctant to share their mental status of depression. In a telephonic survey done using 1054 individuals, the researchers found that patients who had been screened for signs of depression, when asked if they had received treatment in the past responded mostly negatively. 43% did not reveal their symptoms of depression. 23% stated it out of fear of being prescribed antidepressant drugs. 13% feared of a psychiatrist referral and 12% said they do not want to be labelled as psychiatric patients. Many patients had a concern over their confidentiality of their medical records.
Validation is behavior among women in which the person is in a constant search for others to help her feel worthy. Low self-worth is one of the fundamental factors of people who are always seeking validation. Another common factor about those who have become so involved in seeking validation addictively is that many of these women were invalidated as a youth. It is imperative to note that women seeking validation are largely unconscious behavior. This means that the woman does not consciously know that she is actively seeking to be validated to improve her self-esteem or sense of self-empowerment.
Seeking validation among women may appear as the wife who spends hours on-line chatting with other men, while his husband is sleeping or otherwise occupied. It may seem as the person overspending on clothing to be fashionable. It may appear as a lady seeking others for compliments on their work, their hair, their new weight, or their beautiful children. It may appear in the Facebook addict, who continually adds intimate details and pictures of her life.
It may appear in many ways, and yet there is a caveat to be an addiction, the woman’s behavior must have a negative consequence, or adverse consequences, somewhere in her life as the result of this behavior. Validation is defined as the act of validating; finding or testing the truth of something or testing the soundness of something. Some synonyms for validation are substantiation, proof, support, authentication, certification, and documentation.
When it comes to applying the word validation to human behavior, it would mean that someone is seeking or needing to be substantiated, supported, or proven to be whatever it is that they are projecting out there.
For example A woman who has attained great notoriety in as an attorney may flaunt her success wearing costly suits, watches, shoes, and have flashy cars to get attention and admiration from the rest of the legal profession in her area. A famous musician or athlete might flaunt their success by public displays, which may or may not seem appropriate, but grab attention. Are they seeking healthy or addictive validation?
There are healthy ways of seeking validation, and many of us do them every day. Seeking validation for a science project, a significant medical breakthrough, a plan for a house, a design for a dress, a kitchen design, and many other examples, is healthy approaches of validation-seeking to certify or authenticate a project. A child, who seeks validation about whether or not he is following directions, is usually a child who is healthily seeking support. A worker is checking in with his team, co-worker, or boss to see if he or she is on the right track on a particular project, is healthily seeking validation. These examples usually indicate the person has good self-esteem.
Many people are unconsciously acting out a repetitive behavior that grants them some acceptance, approval, recognition, power, notoriety, or validation that he or she is “special.” When a woman with this attention-seeking behavior (seeking validation), and the action causes a problem in their lives somewhere, then they are probably acting-out compulsively or addictively. This almost always indicates low self-esteem.
Many of the issues that we are faced within our daily lives are a result of self-hatred. These include illness, mental health issues, addictions, and compulsive behaviors affect many women in some way or another. As children, we learn that to get attention, we need to adapt ourselves to be able to please those that provide for our needs. We do this at home, at school, and anywhere where we feel we want to fit in and be accepted. The downside of this is that eventually, we have adapted so much that our inner light is no longer shining, and we forget our true essence, and the result is self-hatred.
Our parents and caregivers also play a role, as they are attempting to make us into normal and acceptable children, as their parents did with them, and theirs with them and so on back in time. They dampen our spirits and often do not see us as they try to mold us into good little children. They also project their needs and wants to their children (unconsciously for the most part), and each time they do this, the child adapts again.
Self-hatred is all-consuming. It affects the way we think, feels, play, and work. Most people suffering from self-hatred find that they initially need to learn that they have the right to be here and to take up the space they need. This is often very challenging for someone who has spent their life so far blending into the picture rather than standing out in the crowd.
Another issue that needs to be addressed is that if we adapted so much as children, it is likely that we do not know how to express feelings of anger, rage, sadness, grief, or fear. Part of adapting means we learned to hide our emotions in order not to be a nuisance or upset the adults in our lives. Decision making and boundary setting are also areas that probably cause us problems if we had to fit in with others all our lives.
It is so important to learn to love yourself and really to appreciate that you are perfect exactly as you are. There will only ever be the one you, and so you must work out why you suffer from self-hatred, and then goes on to heal the parts of you that are out of balance with your inner self. This will mean learning to make decisions for yourself, stop seeking approval from others, speaking up when you need to be heard, and allowing yourself to grow and heal.
As you recover from self-hatred and learn to love yourselves, you can learn to enjoy all the other people on the planet, and ultimately, you can find peace and happiness because you are at peace with yourselves.
Could This Be Self-Hatred?
There are many women who don’t feel happy. They spend the majority of their day thinking about what has happened to them, how badly someone has hurt them, and focus on what they don’t have. And, because of their upbringing, they are unequipped to deal with the ups and downs of everyday life and feel helpless to change their current situation and life circumstances. However, once they understand where self-hatred comes from and who is more prone to suffer from it, they can begin to feel better and live more quality lives.
What causes self-hatred?
Some women who hate themselves have come from homes in which one or both parents neglected them or abandoned them altogether. Also, they may have been verbally, physically, and mentally abused by their parents or someone else they care about. Because of their age, they were unable to make another decision about why they were being mistreated other than they deserved it. Another reason some women hate themselves is because they have been brainwashed by their family, friends, peers, and the media into believing they have to look, think, and behave in a certain way in order to be accepted. As a result, they may end up hating themselves for who they have become.
Characteristics of women who hate themselves
They may be conceited. At first glance, it may not be evident that this person hates. These people can appear to be full of self-confidence by dressing well and having great posture. They may brag incessantly about who they think are and what they have. However, it doesn’t make up for the hateful emotions they feel within.
They may be unassertive. These women attract people into their lives who only reinforce what they feel about themselves. Their friends and co-workers always put them down and take advantage of them. People who hate themselves will allow other people to talk them out of pursuing the things they want and need—which is not hard because they already believe they are unworthy.
They may have low self-esteem. They may argue with you, but women who hate themselves get into the habit of settling for less. At their disposal, they will have several explanations for why they make individual decisions. But, the truth is they don’t believe they deserve better. For example, a woman who discovers her husband is cheating on her continues to see him even after he has left her for the other woman. Or, this person may pay full price for a product that they know is defective or a service that is inferior without complaining or asking for a refund.
They may be irresponsible. At some time in the future, usually, after it is too late, a person who hates themselves will become angry with the people they believe have hurt them or mistreated them. And, they may seek to get revenge. But the problem with their attack is that it may not be anyone else’s fault that they are suffering, and they may get revenge on them in return. In the end, they still didn’t get what they wanted or needed and only feel even worse. They don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions and may have secretly known they were fighting a losing battle.
Free yourself from self-hatred
People who hate themselves will begin to feel and live better lives by choosing to believe that they are lovable, worthy, and caring people. They should forgive themselves for allowing themselves to be mistreated and the people who abused them for doing so. It will help them to know that the people who hurt them didn’t mean to cause them pain and may have been hurting just as badly. While nothing can make up for the suffering they have endured, as an adult, they responsible for their emotional state and lives.
SELF-HATING: HOW CERTAIN COLORS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SELF-HATING
Self-hate is increasingly becoming more apparent. Look around yourself; drive by any bar you will see that the parking lots are always full. Self-hate respects no man. If you hate yourself, there is no doubt; it would have a negative effect on your well-being. You could end up not feeling good about yourself; you could feel dejected or even depressed. To experience self-hating, of course, one thing would have led to another.
Self-hating is basically of two sides: The abuse that victims experience on the inside as a result of how their inner critic talks to them, is likely to be coupled with the negative comments they experience on the outside. But what about when those things we usually overlooked, such as “color”, are silently contributing to this situation?
Do you mean colors, like black or white? Yes, you read me right, color!
There is a large array of emotional responses that are associated with colors. While some are obvious, some of these emotional responses are obscure. Furthermore, certain associations are rooted in human anatomy or observable natural phenomena, such as how certain colors contribute to self-hating. These colors can sometimes make you assume there is something wrong with you, give you reasons to look for flaws in yourself, hate yourself for being the way you are, and above all, punish yourself until you change.
With that said, we will be looking into how certain colors contribute to self-hating using their negative traits. So let us get started.
- Black color – the positive traits of black color include protection and comfort, strong, sophisticated, etc. On the other hand, it is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown. It is used to represent something bad, evil or even death. Its negative traits include depression, pessimism, sadness, negativity, etc.
- Gray color: This is a color that represents maturity, intelligent, elegant, stability, neutral, etc. It also represents indecisiveness, non-emotional, indifferent, boring, sad, depression, lifeless, lonely, isolated, etc.
- Indigo: It is a color that connotes sincerity and integrity, regulations, idealism, highly responsible, obedience, etc. it also represents intolerance, inconsiderate, depression, fearful, self-righteous, a conformist, fanatics, judgmental, impractical, bigot, etc
The above colors are just a few. Anyone who sees themselves through their negative connotations may create self-hatred. They would begin to ask themselves questions like “Why me”? “Why is this happening to me?” “Why at this time?” “I shouldn’t have said that!” “I should have done it this way” “I screw up again” “Why can’t I ever get this right?” “Something is wrong with me”, etc. These are powerful comments. If you subject yourself to them, gradually you will become dependent on your self-hate since it provides you with a false sense of identity – and you may eventually think suicidal.
What do you do next?
No matter the color that contributes to your feelings of self-hate, there are ways to fix them. If you do not act, you could end up being a recluse, hiding from people. See every day as another day to feel and do better. Failing is not failing, but quitting is failing. Trust me, you will get lots of help if you are really determined.
How to help patients with self-hatred
Just like giving love to others, self-love and self-forgiving is important to overcome this condition. First and foremost, it is important to discuss with your primary care physician about your condition. Not revealing your state, will put you to deeper distress and more danger. Your primary care physician will decide if you need a referral to a psychologist/psychiatrist.
A few steps you might like to consider to start off with:
- Try to identify your triggers: It is important to understand the root cause of the problem. Do you hate yourself because of guilt you carry from the past or resentment towards a shortcoming in yourself? Keep an eye on trends and patterns which trigger your negative thoughts. Once you identify it, you are better off working on it to remove self-guilt and ways to forgive yourself.
- Time for a self-conversation: Spare time to reflect on your thoughts and understand your inner thoughts better. If there are negative thoughts, try to challenge them. If you get the feeling, ‘I look ugly’ , try to challenge by asking ‘why’ , then try challenging the thought as ‘no, it’s not true’. Find reasons which portray you as beautiful, your complexion, smile, height, something which others find you attractive for.
- Perform positive self-thought: At times when you are happy, write down your feelings, what makes you happy of yourself? What are you proud of? What are you good at? Negative thoughts can spur in a moment, at such times reflect and look back on your writing with positive thoughts. It will cheer you up!
- Reframe the negative thoughts in your mind: Try to look at things positively. Don’t always look at the negative side. Train your mind, to stay positive. It is a therapy for your mind. Reframe your words, thoughts will follow. Positive words focus on positive thoughts.
- Spend time with people you are happy with: Having a hobby, taking up a dance class or music lessons or anything which makes you happy can make a big difference. Being happy, floods you with positive thoughts and is a simple recipe to remove self-hatred.
- Ask for help: If nothing works, don’t fear asking for help! You are not alone in your mental health journey. If you are finding it difficult to cope daily and feel you want to withdraw yourself from your loved and near ones, it would be best to reach out to you GP or a suitable therapist. Most countries have self-help toll free lines, you can speak to. Medical advice by a professional will help you better manage self-hatred and reform you in a better way.
Remember that you can change your thoughts, be bold to embrace the change!