As I’ve stated elsewhere I was very shame based growing up. Intense shame lead to substance abuse, anxiety, and psychoses. Shyness turned to social phobia/anxiety, social phobia/anxiety turned to paranoid psychoses. My paranoid delusions are based on intense shame and anxiety. Shame spirals (self loathing) caused my psychotic break. This happened one time when I was off my medicine and suicidal. Believing that hell was eternal and that I deserved to suffer forever caused a shame spiral when I was meditating on evil/suffering/hell. I was trying to solve the problem of evil and suffering. I deserved suffering forever and this shame spiral caused intense anxiety, paranoia, persecutory delusions. I was evil at the core and hated myself. This projected outward made me think they were coming after me. I was at the center of the universe on center stage. The all seeing eye was watching and the shame of my sin caused the spiral in my head to twirl out of control. I had the image of Judas going crazy and hanging himself racing through my mind. I don’t deny that some shame and anxiety are good motivators for change. But this is only when there are moderate amounts of it. Eternal hell is overkill and caused me psychoses. I don’t think it was the only thing. There were other contributing factors to my shame like drinking and doing drugs. But the fact that this caused me to be a sinner deserving of eternal suffering for my sins triggered a shame spiral in me as I became suicidal with my head spinning out of control as I became panicked like Judas. Purgatorial Universalism is better for me. It’s just enough shame and fear not to be overkill leading to obsessive compulsive shame spirals leading to psychoses. Here’s a paper showing how shame spirals (self-loathing) leads to addiction and psychoses. It did for me anyway.
A shame spiral is when an event triggers your shame and you are unable to control or stop your self-loathing.
I believe shame leads to substance use, isolation, anger outbursts, depression, anxiety, psychosis, cutting, suicidal thoughts/suicide attempts, and other maladaptive behaviors.
This book shows what I’ve experienced in my obsessive compulsive addictions. At the core of the obsessive compulsive addiction is shame. That’s not to say that some addictions don’t have a physical component of addiction. But shame is the spiral.