What Does it Mean When You Hate Yourself?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I’ve always have had a feeling of hate towards myself. I think it comes from my childhood. My parents weren’t mean they just were not very comforting or showed a lot of emotion. When at age 8 I started acting out in class the family doctor said I had ADD/ADHD. My parents didn’t think so; they thought I was just being bad so they punished me with grounding and spanking me. I felt and I still do, feel like I am just a bad person. I hate myself. Is it related to Depression? Or am I just stupid. Thanks.

A: You are not stupid. Poor management by your parents as a child, ignorance about ADD /ADHD, and punishment when you should have had loving attention are clearly at the root of your feelings.

But just as maltreatment can create emotional turmoil inside you, supportive treatment now can help undo these negative feelings.

Group therapy may be one way this process can change. At the core of how group therapy works is something known as a ‘corrective recapitulation of the primary family.’ What this means is that the struggles, difficulties, and poor treatment we may have received In a family of origin get “corrected” by the group therapy process. People get to support each other and help heal these wounds in real time.

However, it may be difficult for you to jump into a group right away. If you haven’t had some individual therapy I would strongly recommend beginning there.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Sep 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). What Does it Mean When You Hate Yourself?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/09/03/what-does-it-mean-when-you-hate-yourself/