Feeling Shame About Your Mental Health can destroy your sense of “SELF.”

Feeling Shame About Your Mental Health can destroy your sense of “SELF.”

Mental illness influences everything from your thoughts to your behaviours and relationships. It may also distort your beliefs about yourself and worsen your self-esteem. It may feel like your days are filled with a series of obstacles.  Navigating life with a mental illness is complicated enough, but there is also an overwhelming sense of shame.


People feel shame about not being perceived as “normal,” but what the heck is “normal” anyway. They feel like “broken,” “damaged,” or that “they will always be this way,” They judge and compare their lives with others that they view as successful.

What makes shame so destructive is the isolation it produces and the stories it spins.  Shame relentlessly repeats a very compelling story about not being acceptable as-is, that to belong and to be lovable, and who they genuinely are.  Shame stops people from honestly and compassionately recognizing their uncomfortable position.  It makes it trickier to respond effectively to your mood patterns and recognize that you do have choices.


Shame can also serve as a structure of protection, a gatekeeper if you want that keeps them from dealing with painful feelings. When they stay locked in shame, they can avoid facing their sense of self or identity.”

Someone with an anxiety disorder may have shame-based thoughts such as “What’s wrong with me?” which keeps them stuck in their “wrongness” and stops them from exploring what’s driving their anxiety.  Uncovering these underlying ‘drivers’ needs to take place at its own pace when they feel safe, strong enough, and they are mentally ready.


Shame magnifies the feeling of ‘bad’ with being ‘bad.’  It says, “You feel bad; therefore, you are bad.” This belief forms when, as a child, they aren’t able to understand the difference.

Culture reinforces this by perpetuating the idea that mental illness is a sign of weakness or a character flaw. Someone living with a mental illness may feel like an outsider, have low self-esteem or feel ashamed.  You can reduce shame when you have a better understanding of it and become more accepting.  Cultivating self-compassion is to build a healthy, unconditional sense of self-esteem, which includes education about your mental health.  By doing this, it can help you escape isolation, connect with others and realize that you are not alone in your journey to self-compassion.

Bringing awareness to the stories you’re telling yourself about mental illness is also a critical part of overcoming shame.  When a person says, “I’m such a control freak, and so critical of myself when they don’t do things the ‘right’ way. There’s something wrong with me.”  Instead of judging themselves, they can rewrite their story, become curious about their experiences and consider other perspectives.  Exploring different possibilities, such as: “I wonder why I need to control things. Why it’s so important that things are done the ‘right’ way.”  Doing this helps them be more flexible in the story of who they are, rather than being “stuck” in the negative narrative that says “ they’re defective.”

Three things that are keeping you from discovering your life purpose

Three things that are keeping you from discovering your life purpose

You’ve longed to discover your purpose in life. You do the work to discover what makes you feel fortunate and satisfied with your life. But what is preventing you from fulfilling that purpose? What keeps you feeling stuck or trapped?  Feeling frustrated, even depressed, at your lack of progress certainly doesn’t help.

What can you do to get out of that rut?  You can decide to take control and identify what is preventing you from pushing forward.  The chances are, you’re in the grip of one or more of these common things that prevent people from discovering and living your life mission.

  1. Self-doubt

Even the best of us can fall prey to self-doubt at some point. It’s a way to keep yourself safe in a -confusing world. It is the fear of failure that can hold us back from recognizing your true potential.  We live in a world that values notable success and wealth; striking out for something you believe in can be risky.

But if you stay stuck in a fearful mindset, it’s guaranteed you will never achieve anything. Staying small prevents you from acting; it prevents you from growing and being your best self.

  1. Other people’s opinion

Self-doubt feeds off caring what other people think. There will always be an abundance of naysayers trying to stop you from living your dreams. And it’s a cast-iron guarantee that whatever your life purpose is, there will be people who doubt your vision and your ability to attain it.

However, there will also be people who support and believe in you. You should be your biggest cheerleader! You don’t need consent to fulfill your purpose in life. The will to pursue your passion is the only thing you need.

  1. Lacking intention

There isn’t much talk about this part of living your purpose.  But it is an integral part of staying true to your purpose.

Step up and be intentional about your purpose in life. Approach it by staying organized and giving it the awareness it deserves.

That means being accountable, writing it down, and having a plan. Start by taking the attention off yourself and think about the impact you want to have on the world.