Guilty

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

I don’t know the origin of my problem and I don’t fully understand it. I always feel guilty. When I see someone suffering, I keep thinking that it should be me that is suffering and not them. I feel so guilty that I am living a normal life while others are suffering. And because of that guilt, I beat myself up. As I beat myself up, I am always apologizing to those who are suffering. I hate myself and I thought that I should be punished and should suffer. Can you please tell me the reason behind this?

A: While the exact activator for your reactions would be hard to know, it does sound like you have what is known as a “thinking trap.” There is a wonderful book called: The Resilience Factor that I would highly encourage you to get. It will help you dismantle the automatic thought processes that you have in reaction to other people suffering.

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 Feb 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). Guilty. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/02/03/guilty/