Cluster C Personality Disorders and Shame

This video answers the question: What is the relationship between shame and the Cluster C personality disorders (avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder). Shame is a perception that individual has that they have some sort of defect in themselves. This perception is a distressing emotion and theoretically this emotion leads to withdrawing, fleeing, and attempting to escape. This is different than guilt because the behavior that comes from guilt is trying to make amends, so in comparing shame and guilt we usually think of shame as more problematic, particularly in the mental health treatment community. There are different ways to think about shame when we think about treating individuals who have mental health symptoms or mental disorders. One way of thinking about it is the idea of shame proneness and this is the propensity to experience shame across a number of different situations. This would be how likely somebody would be to experience shame in multiple situations. Shame proneness has been studied and has been associated with a number of different mental disorders and symptoms of mental disorders including anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, hostility, aggression, eating disorders, and a fear of intimacy. Another construct around shame would be shame aversion and this is when somebody perceives shame as being particularly undesirable, unwanted, or painful.

Schoenleber, M., & Berenbaum, H. (2010). Shame aversion and shame-proneness in Cluster C personality disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119(1), 197-205. doi:10.1037/a0017982

Source: Youtube