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When Feeling Guilty Affects Your Mental Health

July 1, 2018 Martha Lueck

Feeling guilty for too long hurts your mental health, but you should remember that feeling guilty has a purpose sometimes. Learn more at HealthyPlace.

When was the last time you were feeling guilty? How long did it take you to stop feeling that way? Did you dwell on it for a long time? Many people with anxiety and depression feel guilty for their mistakes and shortcomings. While feeling guilty is normal, it could get to the point where it affects your mental wellness. Read this article for things to remember when you're feeling guilty and it's affecting your mental health.

Feeling Guilty Is Normal

Feeling guilty about something does not make you any less of a human being. Even people who do not have a diagnosed mood disorder feel guilty once in a while.

However, if guilt lingers in the back of your mind and interrupts your everyday tasks, it is a good idea to seek help. If you read this and are feeling guilty about the thought of needing help, please know that it is okay. Everyone needs help sometimes. Getting the right help for yourself will improve your mental health.

Sometimes Feeling Guilty Shows You Care

While feeling guilty all the time is unhealthy, just having that feeling when you make a mistake shows that you care about something. Perhaps you hurt a friend. Feeling guilty can cause you to apologize and make amends. Or maybe you feel guilty for letting your grades slide. So you respond to that guilt by talking to the professor and studying harder for the rest of the semester. You can use guilt to help you right your wrongs and enhance your life.

It Is Okay to Feel Guilty

So many of us start feeling guilty for being sad or angry. You might tell yourself, "I shouldn't feel this way. I have a family that loves me and a roof over my head. Other people have it worse than I do. So feeling sad is so selfish." 

Perhaps you cry while talking to a friend about your shortcomings and then you constantly apologize for it. Please know that your feelings are valid. Even though you know that other people have it worse than you do, you are still allowed to feel the way you do about your own situations.

You Are Not a Failure When Feeling Guilty About a Mistake

When you make one mistake, you might think it makes you a failure. But the truth is, you are not a failure at all. For every mistake you have made, you have done at least one thing right. Also, mistakes make you wise. They help you learn new things so that you can succeed at something in the future. As long as you have the chance to make a mistake, you have the chance to succeed.

You Deserve to Be Part of the World

I know what feeling guilty for existing is like. I have had thoughts like "I am so messed up. I cannot do anything right. Everyone would be better off without me."

When I talked to a friend about these thoughts, she reminded me of the gifts I have to offer and how valuable they are. Even if you do not know what your gift is, you have something amazing to offer. You are unique, valuable, and loved. You deserve to be part of the world.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2018, July 1). When Feeling Guilty Affects Your Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2018/7/when-feeling-guilty-affects-your-mental-health



Author: Martha Lueck

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