Self-hatred ( also called self-loathing) refers to an extreme dislike and hatred of oneself, or being angry at or even prejudice towards oneself. The term is also used to designate a dislike or hatred of a group, family, social class, or stereotype to which one belongs. For instance, "ethnic self-hatred" is the extreme dislike of one's ethnic group or cultural classification. It may be associated with aspects of Autophobia.
The term "self-hatred" is used infrequently by psychologists and psychiatrists, who would usually describe people who hate themselves as "persons with low self-esteem". Self-hatred and shame are important factors in some or many mental disorders, especially disorders that involve a perceived defect of oneself (e.g. body dysmorphic disorder). Self-hatred is also a prime feature of many personality disorders. It can also be linked to guilt for something a person did that he or she views as a wrongful action.
Types of self-hatred
The term self-hatred can refer to either a strong dislike for oneself, one's actions, or a strong dislike or hatred of one's own race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, species or any other corporate group of which one may be a member. When used in the latter context it is generally defined as hatred of one's identity based on the demographic in question, as well as a desire to distance oneself from this identity.
Personal self-hatred and self-loathing can result from an inferiority complex. Some sociology theorists such as Jerry Mander see television programming as being deliberately designed to induce self-hatred, negative body image, and depression, with the advertising then being used to suggest the cure. See also the arguments related to the Kill your television phenomenon. Some personal self-hatred can be linked to remorse for something a person did or didn't do.
Self-injury as self-hatred
Self-harm is a psychological disorder, which may involve self-hatred, where subjects feel compelled to physically injure themselves as an outlet for their depression, anxiety and/or anger. In many cases, excessive self-harm can lead to accidental death and/or suicide.
Blake and Ross (1992) and Ramachandran (1996) from the University of Michigan have studied the potency of self-hatred as a motivational tool and concluded that it is, in Ramachandran's words, "the least potent motivator in our wide survey of human psychology."
- Outline of self
- Self image
- Self-hating Jew
- Survivors guilt
- White guilt
- Misofamilia – Hatred or disenchantment of ones' own family.
- "Is Black self-hatred racist?" John Carlson, Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, Feb. 9 1994.
- Sander L. Gilman Difference and Pathology: Stereotypes of Sexuality, Race and Madness Cornell University Press, 1985. ISBN 9780801417856
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