Self-Hatred “If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago…” states Cheri Huber. Self-hatred is one of the most detrimental emotions one can harbor. It is defined as a great and overwhelming dislike and aversion to oneself. Once one starts to accept those feelings, they are headed down a dark path. One way that they are pushed even further down that path is when it is verbally secured by another person, causing the hating person to feel even worse.
This is similarly mixed with the emotion of self-anger, but it is very different. Anger is an emotion defined as a feeling of displeasure. Self-hatred is so much more than that. It affects our brain permanently; while anger is just temporary as well as the fact that it is much more likely to affect the way we treat and look at ourselves as a whole. Not only is it dangerous to one’s health, it is dangerous to the well-being of others. This has everything to do with being self-destructive. Self-image moderates behavior.
But why do people do it and how do they cope with this awful emotion of self-hatred? Studies have shown that one major method of coping with self-hatred is eating disorders. Anorexia Nervosa is one that affects many more people than we are even aware of. A study conducted through the Coordinated Evaluation and Research at Specialized Units for Eating Disorders project that proved “interpersonal factors are increasingly in focus on eating disorders”, showing that 79 out of the 114 patients suffering from anorexia nervosa had a self-hatred issue, or a problem with self-esteem.
Since self-image affects body image and moderates behavior, one little alteration of reality in the mind can cause one to start to despise themself. If one was being teased at school for example, called fat or ugly, it is proven that even if those people don’t mean anything to us and are just a passer-by, it alters something in our brains. Some of us are able to just “shake it off”, but it still makes us stop and think “what if they were right”? It causes us to stop and think for a moment and re-check ourselves.
This is why those who do not have the self-esteem or confidence may be truly hurt and damaged by this comment. This could result in anorexia. Anorexia Nervosa is defined as an eating disorder mainly affecting teenage girls and women in which there is a fear of becoming overweight, a distorted body image, and excessive dieting. This happens because of self-hatred. They are not pleased with the way they look, so they go to extremes to try and find happiness with their bodies and maintain that happiness. This is very negative and harmful to their bodies as well as their self-esteem.
This can cause many heart and liver problems as well as deteriorating their family life. Self-hatred is the causation of many family issues. The bible states that we should “love your neighbor as yourself…” Well how is that supposed to happen when one doesn’t love themselves? The article by Michael Sobocinski states that “when self-hatred occurs, it is difficult to focus on anyone other than oneself because there is so much emotion wasted on hatred… ” When hatred for yourself or others takes over heart, it is very difficult to maintain healthy relationships and love in any capacity.
Family members or friends may extend a hand of help or comfort but those under the heavy heart of hatred will feel unworthy of the love, making the hatred of themselves just grow deeper than before. It is a never-ending cycle of awful feelings. This could also lead to self-mutilation or suicidal thoughts. Self-mutilation is again a result of the self-hatred one feels and it relieves the stress and pressure of trying to act “perfect”. When a person feels like they may never measure up to any standards set by those they used to care about, a hopeless feeling sets around them. “Why am I even trying? and “They don’t really care about me” are two thoughts that may enter this persons mind. As a result, this person completely shuts off the outside world and may start cutting or experimenting with drugs. The result of this experimenting can be permanent brain damage or even extreme blood loss, affecting not only the heart, but other major organs as well. Healthy body is key in the recovery of a sick person. Once they have decided that their personal health is not worth maintaining, they have decided that they are beyond saving, or that they don’t care enough about their body because they are not worth it.
This is when one enters the mindset of a suicidal being. Suicide can be defined as the intentional taking of one’s life. This is when the person has gone beyond help and is not able to even listen to reason. When the person in question has started having suicidal thoughts, they will not cease experimental methods until something they wish be done is accomplished. “I wanted to kill the “me” underneath. That fact haunted my days and nights. When you realize you hate yourself so much, when you realize that you cannot stand who you are, and this deep spite has been the otivation behind your behavior for many years, your brain can’t quite deal with it. It will try very hard to avoid that realization; it will try, in a last-ditch effort to keep your remaining parts alive, to remake the rest of you. This is, I believe, different from the suicidal wish of those who are in so much pain that death feels like relief, different from the suicide I would later attempt, trying to escape that pain. This is a wish to murder yourself; the connotation of kill is too mild.
This is a belief that you deserve slow torture, violent death. ” -Marya Hornbacher These people have such a feeling of hatred that they don’t believe they deserve even the right to live. They believe that not only are they doing themselves a favor, they’re doing the rest of society a favor. This is when help is needed desperately. Whether it be serious help, or the actual process of partaking in the most awful act of self-hatred, something will succeed. If they are not caught before they have a chance to take their life, then they will be lost.
The number of suicides due to self-hatred has increased tremendously in the United States over the past ten years. There is now more pressure to look like the models on TV, or else one faces criticism. This is unfair to society because most pictures on the internet or in magazines are photo shopped. How is someone supposed to look like a person that doesn’t even exist? They’re not. And that is what most people do not understand in our society. One of the main reasons why self-hatred occurs is because it is placed in our minds by those around us.
Nobody grows up and thinks to them, “I am going to hate what I look like and who I am”. It is placed in the minds of unconfident people by their surroundings and this is why they sometimes go down the path of destruction and ignorance. Not only is it the media’s fault that this is an issue, but it can also be the doing of people we hold close to our hearts such as family members, friends, or significant others. Family may impact this when a child is born into an abusive home, or into one where the mother and father loath each other.
The child expects that the reason for this is themself, so they grow up believing they are the cause of misery, especially if they are whom the parents are arguing about. This small and fairly insignificant argument can turn into the child feeling neglected or feeling that they are a burden to their parents. This involves self-hatred and causes the child to feel unworthy of love in any capacity, leading to problems in school, parent relationships, and future relationships for the child. In an abusive or cheating relationship, the loyal person may believe that they pushed their “significant other” into the arms of another human being.
This causes the feelings of “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t do enough for that person if they have to run to someone else”. This can cause anxiety in the relationship in general. If the cheater or abuser is looking to pass the blame, they may claim that the loyal person was not good enough and use those already-implanted-feelings to make the loyal feel responsible. Since those feelings were already there to begin with, it is just securing what that person already thinks. Since they are hearing it spoken to them and not just thinking it to themselves, it may affect them harder than before.
This causes the person involved to feel incompetent and unworthy of any other good relationship or good human being because they feel as if they may “push” the new partner away as well, if that is still their line of thinking. Although there are different studies out about self-hatred and the effects and causations of it, no one person can actually say what it is like to be in that particular situation. Researchers can study and observe as much they please, but unless one has actually taken part in the deteriorating mindset of the self-hater, it is just research.
Even having been placed in that particular situation a couple of years ago after a sexual assault, I cannot stand and say I know what every self-hater is feeling. Because there is so much diversity, I can only understand particular circumstances. One emotion that used to be very easy to relate to, however, was the feelings of hopelessness. In a situation where one does not have control, they feel weak. They feel beat into the ground and feel like they should just curl up in a hole; feelings of uselessness and unworthiness. They do not feel worthy of love, though the predicament was not their doing.
They feel as if they failed those around them; as if those family and friends would look down upon them or see them as dirty if they came out with their secret of abuse or self-hatred. That is why self-hatred is such a giant deal in our society; because no person wants to admit they have feelings like such. When those people do not admit it and seek help, it builds inside. It builds to be so much pressure that one feels helpless to the hate or depression. This is why so many suicides occur in our country; it’s because those helpless people are not being sought out and brought to the light. Self-hatred is both one of the biggest and well-kept ecrets in our society. It is such a major issue with thousands of people, but it is not a topic many feel comfortable discussing. It needs to be talked about and those people need to know that help is out there. Bullying in our country needs to be decreased so that these self-conscious people have a chance to live a happy life. The bible states “love your neighbor as yourself for the love of Me”. This means that no matter what the diversity between people, everyone deserves to be happy and healthy. No person is deserving of a heavy, self-hating emotion. These emotions need be ceased and brought into the light.