If we grew up with a parent who treated one, essentially, as an ‘object’ to be constantly evaluated (for example, some children propelled into early stardom by their parents) we may grow into adults who constantly self-evaluate and perpetually fear the evaluation of others. This leaves such individuals vulnerable to proneness to deep feelings of shame and even self-disgust.
EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN: FAILURE OF DEVELOPMENT OF RIGHT-BRAIN CONNECTION WITH PARENTS
In terms of neurological development, if we grow up subjected to cold and clinical evaluation and constant criticism, our ‘right brain to right brain’ connection with our parents fails to properly develop and, instead, we form only a ‘left-brain connection’ with them.
This, in turn, may lead to the left and right brain failing to integrate together as they would have the environment in which we grew up been psychologically healthier.
A result of this can be that we can only make sense of the world by taking an analytical, judgmental, and objective view of it, This can then make healthy relationships with others highly problematic as they become tainted and infected by our constant self-evaluation and by the fear of the evaluation of us by the person with whom we are trying to relate.
In some cases (for example, if our childhood trauma was so severe that we have gone on to develop borderline personality disorder our self-evaluations may, as I alluded to above, fill us with a pervasive sense of self-disgust (and a strong suspicion that the person with whom we are attempting to form a relationship will regard us as disgusting, too).
DISTORTED THINKING, SELF-DISGUST, AND DEPRESSION.
A study conducted by Overton et al., (2008) required participants to fill out the SELF-DISGUST SCALE, THE BECK DEPRESSION INVENTORY, and THE DEPRESSION, ANXIETY AND STRESS SCALE. It is already known that distorted patterns of thinking (dysfunctional cognitions) are associated with depression (cognitive therapy for depression seeks to address this problem) and statistical analysis of participants responses to the questionnaires suggested that, in particular, when such distorted thinking leads to self-disgust,, the individuals’ chances of suffering from depression are significantly increased. In other words, In other words, according to this research, self-disgust plays a significant role in depression.
You may also wish to take a look at my articles about the association between certain types of childhood trauma and the later development of feelings of FALSE CORE BELIEFS by clicking HERE.
Overton, P. G., Markland, F. E., Taggart, H. S., Bagshaw, G. L., & Simpson, J. (2008). Self-disgust mediates the relationship between dysfunctional cognitions and depressive symptomatology. Emotion, 8(3), 379–385. https://doi.org/10.1037/1528-3522.214.171.1249
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