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When self-loathing and regret fuels depression

Self-loathing and regret, when you spend a lot of time on events from the past, can stifle creativity, impede happiness and can perpetuate negative feelings about yourself and towards others.

When you are stuck in a cycle of self-loathing and regret, small things can bring about an overly negative response. You may become very self-critical as well as being unable to forgive yourself. There is usually resentment, when old feelings of anger get recycled and the original hurt is re-experienced over and over again. There can also be unprocessed feelings of hurt and sadness. Someone suffering from self-loathing and regret will usually keep their feelings bottled up. This can result in blasts of anger seemingly without much provocation.

We all have bad experiences at some point in our lives. The key is to deal with the hurt, whether that is disappointment with self or with others and to heal the resulting emotional pain. When we fail to learn from such experiences we can develop chronic stress. This kind of regret can potentially have a long-lasting legacy leading to a greater risk of depression.

Depression can be unprocessed anger turned inwards. The brain can act like an internal bully when relationships get contaminated by anxious ruminations. There can be constant negativity about the possibility of doing something new.

People with significant regret will invariably overestimate their responsibility for past events as a consequence of their entrenched negative mindset. Depression can perpetuate a mindset of self-loathing and constant negative introspection.  

The journey in life can, of course, be easier or more difficult depending on our biological, psychological and social blueprint which provides both risk and protective factors. Risk factors might include a family history of depression, addiction or abuse. Protective factors could be strong early life attachments, uninterrupted education and positive life opportunities.

You can learn to live in greater positive reflection from your experiences in life. Seeing a therapist can help you to take responsibility from what happens in your life. This can involve focusing on the positive aspects of the present time to help to deal with recrimination and debilitating self-judgement. However, it will be necessary to firstly heal the pain and hurt from the past that is causing the anxious ruminations.

Depression can be a serious state of mind. It could be prudent to visit your GP to discuss your situation as they can prescribe medication for your depression, if deemed necessary. Ultimately, however, your self-loathing and regret will recede when you can clear stuck feelings from the past and learn to show yourself compassion and love and develop an inner peace.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Noel Bell MA, PG Dip Psych, UKCP

Noel Bell is a UKCP accredited clinical psychotherapist in London who has spent over 20 years exploring and studying personal growth, recovery from addictions and inner transformation. Noel is an integrative therapist and draws upon the most effective tools and techniques from the psychodynamic, CBT, humanist, existential and transpersonal schools.… Read more

Written by Noel Bell MA, PG Dip Psych, UKCP

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