A recent article in Scientific American speculates that mental illnesses are so common that almost everyone will develop at least one diagnosable mental disorder at some point in their life. A disorder that interferes with our quality of life and emotional wellbeing can generate irrational behavior and negative self-image. We feel less than. Our perceptions of incompetence, substantiated by perceptions of inadequacy and ineptitude, create feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. We have no value. We believe we are undeserving of the prosperity and happiness that is our universal entitlement. We are ashamed of our perceived inadequacy.
Shame is distressing and incapacitating. Shame makes us feel powerless, inferior, and worthless. To feel shame is to feel acutely diminished in our own eyes and the eyes of others. Shame makes us want to hide or self-harm.
Hiding from it aggravates our shame. Recognizing that shame is a fundamental part of personal evolution allows us to confront it and realize it is purely self-motivated. No one can make us feel shame; it is entirely of our own volition. What do we have to be ashamed of―being human? We should not be ashamed of our condition. We are not accountable for its onset. We didn’t deal the cards. We should only feel shame if our disorder negatively impacts our quality of life and emotional wellbeing, and we refuse to do something about it.