An interesting blurb in my COAST TO COAST AM newsletter today (Dec. 11)
In the first half of the program, Dr. Peter Breggin discussed his work helping patients to triumph over disabling and self-defeating emotions. He explained how guilt, shame and anxiety develop in childhood but end up crippling adults’ lives. These “negative legacy emotions” were needed in humanity’s early history to help control aggression and impulses, but no longer offer useful benefits, he remarked. Guilt, a self-punishing feeling that prevents us from doing what we want to do, makes us depressed, and often has no relation to reality, he said, while shame is associated with feeling powerless, and can sometimes erupt in violence and anger.
Anxiety can play out as a free-floating sense of something being wrong, and lead to inaction, and the inability to assert oneself, he continued. We need to choose how to live our lives, not based on feeling bad about something, but on finding good things to pursue, taking responsibility, and learning to love what is around us, he suggested.