The Psychological and Physiciological Effects of Guilt

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Abstract: Guilt has physiological and psychological effects. The psychological effects can include something bad, such as feelings of worthlessness or inferiority. Guilt can also serve in a positive way as a motivator. A person may suffer physiological effects such as insomnia and physical pain.
Discussion: Guilt is feelings of culpability, especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy. There are negative physiological effects caused by guilt. Guilt can make someone over responsible. They will think that life has to be perfect, and will do everything to try to please everyone. It may make someone over conscientious so that they may neglect their needs to avoid affecting others with the negative consequences of an action. Oversensitivity becomes a problem, as one becomes obsessed with every aspect of right and wrong in the making of a decision. Guilt can mislead or misdirect you; a person may not be able to figure out their true feelings, because of irrational beliefs lying behind guilt. The feelings might be ignored because of the fear of guilt, and one would not be able to respond to anything positive or negative. People may be so overcome by guilt that they feel worthless and label themselves as a “bad person.” Guilt can evolve into shame, depression, or anxiety.
To the contrary, guilt can have positive psychological effects as well. Guilt tells us when we have let our...
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