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Old 10-07-18, 01:25 PM
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Shame Anxiety

I ran across this today and it describes my anxiety perfectly. Itís very enlightening because I could never quite describe or pinpoint where my anxiety comes from. Never even heard of shame anxiety until today. It makes a lot of sense for me. Can anyone else relate?

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SHAME ANXIETY (Anxiety caused by shame)
Abuse and trauma, including major losses, are considered foremost causes of anxiety. We can feel anxiety about our finances or serious medical diagnoses, but most anxiety is shame anxiety, which is apprehension about experiencing shame. Itís caused by traumatic shame that has been internalized from the past, usually from childhood.

Shame anxiety affects our self-esteem. We worry about what we say, how well we perform, and how weíre perceived by others. It can make us very sensitive to real or imagined criticism from ourselves or others.

Shame anxiety may manifest as social phobia, or in symptoms of codependency, such as controlling behavior, people-pleasing, perfectionism, fear of abandonment, or obsessions about another person or addiction. Worry about our performance on the job, an exam, or speaking before a group is apprehension about how weíll be evaluated or judged. Whereas men are more vulnerable to shame anxiety about loss of work, women worry more about their appearance and relationships. Men in particular have shame anxiety about failing or not being a good provider. Perfectionism, too, is an attempt to achieve an imaginary ideal in an attempt to be accepted by others.
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Old 10-07-18, 04:00 PM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

Interesting! I guess I've had it many times. Not much about appearance much any more...one thing that age gave me was not caring so much about that. Finances can trigger spending guilt and shame. Some degree of social phobia may be present, shame about not getting things done, about letting DH down, etc. There's superwoman, normal human woman, then there's another level I'd lump myself in when feeling bad about myself.
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Old 10-07-18, 05:22 PM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

I’ve always been motivated by a fear of failure. That seems to be the primary motivator in my life. Knowing it’s a fear of shame is definitely more accurate. I’ve failed at lots of things and never felt shame. They were usually things, I could overcome with perseverance and usually did. Perseverance doesn’t overcome the scars of shame though.

Other things, I’ve failed and felt ashamed of myself mostly, from parental berating. Things that were important to them. They could easily convince me, I should feel ashamed and I would walk away feeling stupid and 2” tall.

It’s nice to feel some clarity that failure isn’t the problem but shame is.

I gotta get all the shame outta my game!

Last edited by Greyhound1; 10-07-18 at 05:49 PM..
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Old 10-07-18, 06:49 PM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

That's why it's so important to interrupt the neuropathway of self condemnation, and why I work hard to reparent my inner child with a loving parent, rather than the critical parent voice I've had for so long, that was on autopilot.
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Old 10-08-18, 12:35 AM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

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Originally Posted by Greyhound1 View Post
Iíve always been motivated by a fear of failure. That seems to be the primary motivator in my life. Knowing itís a fear of shame is definitely more accurate. Iíve failed at lots of things and never felt shame. They were usually things, I could overcome with perseverance and usually did. Perseverance doesnít overcome the scars of shame though.

Other things, Iíve failed and felt ashamed of myself mostly, from parental berating. Things that were important to them. They could easily convince me, I should feel ashamed and I would walk away feeling stupid and 2Ē tall.

Itís nice to feel some clarity that failure isnít the problem but shame is.

I gotta get all the shame outta my game!
I also have the same problem. Do you mean social anxiety(social phobia)? Aren't social anxiety and 'shame anxiety' same things? What's the difference? To my knowledge you're using adderall, did medicine help you for that?
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Old 10-08-18, 03:11 AM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

I have felt this before. I would go so far as saying it affected me enough to propel me more towards alcoholism.
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Old 10-08-18, 03:55 AM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

As soon as I saw the title of this thread, I knew I could relate.
I was always about being evaluated or judged. This rarely came from my parents. I took things quite seriously from authority figures in general so i was always a nervous wreck in school, even though i did well.

at my last job, I was never just worried about making a mistake, but everyone knowing and judging me for it ( i had to send many group emails and i was so nervous and i would mix up the date or something, and inevitibly some snarky person would call me unless one of my kinder colleagues warned me). and if my boss was angry with anyone, half the floor knew it because of the yelling, and it was very often me.
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Old 10-08-18, 07:37 AM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

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Originally Posted by PI-ADHD 29 View Post
I also have the same problem. Do you mean social anxiety(social phobia)? Aren't social anxiety and 'shame anxiety' same things? What's the difference? To my knowledge you're using adderall, did medicine help you for that?
I think shame can be a cause of social anxiety but not the only cause.

I am on Adderall and it definitely helps me with anxiety. I would say, it probably cuts my anxiety in half. 10 years of unresponsive treatments for anxiety is what led my Dr. towards an ADHD diagnosis.
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Old 10-08-18, 08:53 AM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

I think I feel confused by this thread. I will write and see if i can find clarity. I have failed so many times that fear of it is no longer a motivator, if it ever was. If failure is a potential outcome, then I'm often already in fight flight freeze or reckless plowing forward. I'm not sure what the difference is say with coming here...there is a fear of failure, being excluded, not being liked, and I sort of feel like that outcome has already occurred, in some ways I just can rub people the wrong way, with strong ideas, outlandish talk, often not in synch, my expectation to be an outcast can both be the thing that frees me and binds me. I've grown a lot in the last ten years. Now I really do want to be a part of ... but I feel like my adhd, ptsd, habits are really ingrained. What I've discovered is that there is broken little girl inside of me that is enraged and uncompromising...and she's pretty entrenched because she is the one that kept me alive during the traumas. Until I make peace with her, I'm going to have a challenge, because she's terrified of abandonment and will not take real risks and seems to habitually sabotage me in order to keep herself protected. I know I repeat myself a lot here, just trying to come to terms with this. She was probably born of shame...irish catholic family, mother traumatized, goes way back.
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Old 10-08-18, 09:35 AM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

I think the Jewish guilt did me in.
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Old 10-08-18, 06:36 PM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisariver View Post
I think I feel confused by this thread. I will write and see if i can find clarity. I have failed so many times that fear of it is no longer a motivator, if it ever was. If failure is a potential outcome, then I'm often already in fight flight freeze or reckless plowing forward. I'm not sure what the difference is say with coming here...there is a fear of failure, being excluded, not being liked, and I sort of feel like that outcome has already occurred, in some ways I just can rub people the wrong way, with strong ideas, outlandish talk, often not in synch, my expectation to be an outcast can both be the thing that frees me and binds me. I've grown a lot in the last ten years. Now I really do want to be a part of ... but I feel like my adhd, ptsd, habits are really ingrained. What I've discovered is that there is broken little girl inside of me that is enraged and uncompromising...and she's pretty entrenched because she is the one that kept me alive during the traumas. Until I make peace with her, I'm going to have a challenge, because she's terrified of abandonment and will not take real risks and seems to habitually sabotage me in order to keep herself protected. I know I repeat myself a lot here, just trying to come to terms with this. She was probably born of shame...irish catholic family, mother traumatized, goes way back.
Your post reads like you found some clarity on this thread. I always felt like I had a fear of failure and I still do. What’s been enlightening to me is that shame from failure is what I really fear. The scars from shame make us afraid to fail and possibly feel more shame.

Most of what you mentioned seems to fall right in line with Shame Anxiety. I looked up all the definitions of shame and it’s synonyms. Check out this list synonyms and antonyms and see if you can relate more to a fear of shame than failure. I’m convinced now that I have a fear of shame much more than failure.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dictionary.com

Synonyms for shame

1. Shame, embarrassment, mortification, humiliation, chagrin designate different kinds or degrees of painful feeling caused by injury to one's pride or self-respect. Shame is a painful feeling caused by the consciousness or exposure of unworthy or indecent conduct or circumstances: One feels shame at being caught in a lie. It is similar to guilt in the nature and origin of the feeling. Embarrassment usually refers to a feeling less painful than that of shame, one associated with less serious situations, often of a social nature: embarrassment over breaking a teacup at a party. Mortification is a more painful feeling, akin to shame but also more likely to arise from specifically social circumstances: his mortification at being singled out for rebuke. Humiliation is mortification at being humbled in the estimation of others: Being ignored gives one a sense of humiliation. Chagrin is humiliation mingled with vexation or anger: She felt chagrin at her failure to remember her promise. 5. humiliate, mortify, humble, abash, embarrass.

Antonyms for shame

1. pride, self-esteem, self-respect.

Last edited by Greyhound1; 10-08-18 at 07:39 PM.. Reason: Added antonyms
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Old 10-09-18, 07:12 AM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

Yes, it's slowly registering, the differentiation. Then you (I ask) ask where is the shame coming from. Is it actually being inflicted on you from an outside force? Is it learned? Is it habit? Is it actually a memory of association? Is there any foundation to it- Or is it actually, onlookers projecting their own shame.

My parents were both catholic and in the military and had these box like images of perfect, and often even that wasn't good enough for my mother because she was still caught up in her unresolved shame. And then my siblings excelled in academics, and when comparing myself to them I always felt like a failure. So for me it's learned that way, and then it's by association because my I had little emotional support as a child, with a dysfunctional family, I could never gauge what normal was. I began to build a habitual response to life that would ensure my safety and mostly that meant being in the shadows and watching what others did first, because I didn't want to suffer the punishment of being wrong, or the ridicule. So if the fear is coming from shaming, I guess the next step is to find the source of that, is it a value judgement by others? Or is it being generated from within? Is it warped feedback with good intentions of trying to help you discern where you're off? Is it an emotional reaction gone awry? Maybe there was no shaming but just silence, and the mind carried it to the learned past.

With this adhd dx, I'm beginning to see how my emotional dysregulation had a big hand in shaping me too. I have a reaction to even seeing your definitions of shame, lol...my whole being wants to turn away, anxiety forms in my gut, my eyes can barely stand to look and see the words/definitions...they are such triggers. Thanks for the 3 antonyms So it actually brought some things to light for me, I can start working on desensitization, maybe, though it seems monumental. My lifelong approach to these emotions has been to want to die or sedate or isolate...now, i'm quite set on healing but i buried a lot, so it's going to take awhile.

As far as the fear of failing, i think with adhd, there's a tendency to take longer to learn things, and sometimes i simply can't comprehend things. So, even if there wasn't shaming involved, I think that would get to a person, after awhile- to keep failing. Or maybe I'm wrong...probably a really strong support system in place would squash that anxiety in a second, I can only guess.

I know I'm all over the place but this is how it is, you know, the best I can do thanks for letting me ponder such a variety of things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyhound1 View Post
Your post reads like you found some clarity on this thread. I always felt like I had a fear of failure and I still do. Whatís been enlightening to me is that shame from failure is what I really fear. The scars from shame make us afraid to fail and possibly feel more shame.

Most of what you mentioned seems to fall right in line with Shame Anxiety. I looked up all the definitions of shame and itís synonyms. Check out this list synonyms and antonyms and see if you can relate more to a fear of shame than failure. Iím convinced now that I have a fear of shame much more than failure.
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Old 10-09-18, 01:55 PM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisariver View Post
Yes, it's slowly registering, the differentiation. Then you (I ask) ask where is the shame coming from. Is it actually being inflicted on you from an outside force? Is it learned? Is it habit? Is it actually a memory of association? Is there any foundation to it- Or is it actually, onlookers projecting their own shame.

My parents were both catholic and in the military and had these box like images of perfect, and often even that wasn't good enough for my mother because she was still caught up in her unresolved shame. And then my siblings excelled in academics, and when comparing myself to them I always felt like a failure. So for me it's learned that way, and then it's by association because my I had little emotional support as a child, with a dysfunctional family, I could never gauge what normal was. I began to build a habitual response to life that would ensure my safety and mostly that meant being in the shadows and watching what others did first, because I didn't want to suffer the punishment of being wrong, or the ridicule. So if the fear is coming from shaming, I guess the next step is to find the source of that, is it a value judgement by others? Or is it being generated from within? Is it warped feedback with good intentions of trying to help you discern where you're off? Is it an emotional reaction gone awry? Maybe there was no shaming but just silence, and the mind carried it to the learned past.

With this adhd dx, I'm beginning to see how my emotional dysregulation had a big hand in shaping me too. I have a reaction to even seeing your definitions of shame, lol...my whole being wants to turn away, anxiety forms in my gut, my eyes can barely stand to look and see the words/definitions...they are such triggers. Thanks for the 3 antonyms So it actually brought some things to light for me, I can start working on desensitization, maybe, though it seems monumental. My lifelong approach to these emotions has been to want to die or sedate or isolate...now, i'm quite set on healing but i buried a lot, so it's going to take awhile.

As far as the fear of failing, i think with adhd, there's a tendency to take longer to learn things, and sometimes i simply can't comprehend things. So, even if there wasn't shaming involved, I think that would get to a person, after awhile- to keep failing. Or maybe I'm wrong...probably a really strong support system in place would squash that anxiety in a second, I can only guess.

I know I'm all over the place but this is how it is, you know, the best I can do thanks for letting me ponder such a variety of things.
You bring up a lot of interesting questions! I’ll have to get back to your post tonight and respond when I have more time. At work on lunch break now.
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Old 10-09-18, 10:03 PM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

I got this for sure

I thinks its just from adhd probably some genetic environment mix

no trauma or abuse ive had
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Old 10-09-18, 10:08 PM
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Re: Shame Anxiety

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I have felt this before. I would go so far as saying it affected me enough to propel me more towards alcoholism.
I think my shame emotion leads me to impulsive behavior too
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