Is there a difference?
Some people treat all shame as if it is toxic shame. I tried multiple times to read a book on shame. I was so confused within a few pages at it batted back and forth between shame and toxic shame.
Dictionary result for shame – Google dictionary
1.a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.“she was hot with shame”
The emotion is supposed to alert us when we do something wrong, when it is healthy it is called guilt. It is an uncomfortable feeling designed to get us to change course and get back on track. The feeling is supposed to be part of our emotional experience that guides us towards doing the right thing for the right reason.
Shame, when toxic, is a paralyzing global assessment of oneself as a person. When severe, it can form the lens through which all self-evaluation is viewed. As such, some words used to express the emotion of shame include feeling insecure, worthless, stupid, foolish, silly, inadequate or simply less than. Overcoming the Paralysis of Toxic Shame | Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/…/overcoming-the-paralysis-toxic-shame
Toxic shame is a common issue survivors of complex trauma endure. Often the perpetrators of the abuse make the survivor feel they deserved it, or they were the reason for it. Often survivors are made to feel they don’t deserve to be treated any better. https://themighty.com/2017/08/life-impacting-symptoms-of-complex-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/
2 thoughts on “Shame and Toxic Shame”
I like the idea of toxic shame being the abuser instilling the shame. It’s two levels of pain: the self loathing *and that it was inflicted on us.* No wonder it is the hardest thing for a C-PTSD survivor to overcome…
It is one of my greatest struggles. Thanks for your comment.