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Self-hatred (also called self loathing) refers to an extreme dislike or hatred of oneself, or being angry at or even prejudiced against oneself.[1] The term is also used to designate a dislike or hatred of a group, family, social class, or stereotype to which one belongs and/or has. For instance, "ethnic self-hatred" is the extreme dislike of one's ethnic group or cultural classification. It may be associated with aspects of autophobia.

The term "self-hatred" is used infrequently by psychologists and psychiatrists, who would usually describe people who hate themselves as "persons with low self-esteem".[citation needed] Self-hatred and shame are important factors in some or many mental disorders, especially disorders that involve a perceived defect of oneself (e.g. body dysmorphic disorder). Self-hatred is also a symptom of many personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder,[2] as well as depression. It can also be linked to guilt for someone's own actions that they view as wrongful, e.g., self-guilt, survivor guilt.[citation needed]


The term self-hatred can refer to either a strong dislike for oneself, one's own actions, or a strong dislike or hatred of one's own race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, or any other group of which one may be a member. When used in the latter context it is generally defined as hatred of one's identity based on the demographic in question, as well as a desire to distance oneself from this identity.[citation needed]


Some sociology theorists such as Jerry Mander see television programming as being deliberately designed to induce self-hatred, negative body image, and depression, with the advertising then being used to suggest the cure.[3] See also the arguments related to the Kill your television phenomenon. Some personal self-hatred can be linked to remorse for something a person did or did not do, or as a result of bullying.[citation needed]

Jewish Community[edit]

Many races have faced self-hatred through the form of their own race or ethnicity. Jews are one of the prime examples that experience this type of self-hate. Jews have experienced plenty of hate from Europe and America. Also often quoted were the writings of Lessing, who, in his book, Jewish Self-Hatred (1930), considered this type of hatred pathological, “a manifestation of an over identification with the dominant culture and internalization of its prejudices.” There have been studies from sources stated in the scholarly research, “mental illness in Jews often derived from feelings of inferiority and self-hatred resulting from persecution and their subordinate position in society.” From the American Jew side, there have been similar responses as to their reactions and self-hate. European Jews migrated overseas in 1654. During that time, Jews were discriminated and banned from professions and from voting and holding office. Not until 1868 in which the original 13 colonies granted Jews the political equality. Because of this, many of the American Jews were deciding to hide their identity “by converting or intermarrying and raising their children in another faith.”[4]

Black Community[edit]

Within the Black Community, there have been those who have experienced self-hate. Society views Black Americans as inferior. Due to the racial stereotypes, Black Americans are assumed immoral, ugly, dull witted, and otherwise inferior. In addition, from their history as seen as slaves, it also counts as a reason as to why they are considered inferior to others. The self-hate portrayal of Black women is not local to the USA and no less dramatic than that of Black men. What Black women experience is conveyed to other Black women via influences of American media. As a result in severe depression. Not only that, Black men are portrayed as lazy while Black women are portrayed as sexually bold. Race category in America may have an impact on Blacks because of the status as well as history of their race, which results in self-hate for their own kind. Not only that, but skin bleaching is a common pattern because they believe their skins are “too dark” for society. On July 5, 1999, The Ministry of Health held a press conference to publicize its counter strategy to skin bleaching resulting in taking it off on all markets. By banning skin bleaching it shows a pattern that people of color are judged thus lowering their self esteem and possibly creating self-hatred. A dermatologist has estimated that about 10% to 15% of the patients seen by dermatologists are bleaching their skin. Because of the self hate Blacks have experienced through their life as well as through history, they see themselves as lower than societal needs. [5][6][7]

Adolescents and Digital Self-Harm[edit]

Self-Hate is predominant in the adolescent stages. Through recent years, social media has grown and most adolescents confront their feelings online or confront their feelings about others. Digital self-harm is the new form of self-harm in the modern day and age for adolescents. The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine published a nationally representative survey of 5,593 middle and high school students (12 to 17 years old) obtained in 2016. The study was led by Justin W. Patchin, PhD and Sameer Hinduja, PhD. Their study, "Digital Self-Harm Among Adolescents" revealed that 6 percent of students say they have cyberbullied themselves. The study also found that males were significantly more likely to report digital self-harming themselves than females, with 7.1 percent for males compared with 5.3 percent for females. The study found correlations between digital self-harm and factors such as sexual orientation, prior experience with bullying, drug use, and depressive symptoms. [8]


Self-harm can be a psychological disorder that may involve self-hatred, where subjects may feel compelled to physically injure themselves as an outlet for depression, anxiety, or anger.[9][10][11]

In some cases, self-harm can lead to accidental death or suicide. It is not a definitive indicator, however, of a desire either to commit suicide or even of its consideration.[citation needed]


Self-deprecation is the act of belittling, undervaluing, or disparaging oneself,[12] or being excessively modest.[13][14] It can be used in humor and tension release.[15]

Self-deprecation was recommended by philosophers of Stoicism as a response to insults. Instead of getting defensive, one should join in by insulting themselves even more. According to the Stoics, this will remove the sting from the insult. It will also disappoint the interlocutor because the insulted party failed to be upset, thereby reducing the chance that they will try to upset the Stoic like that again.[16]

Self-deprecation is often perceived as being a characteristic of certain nations, such as in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, where "blowing one's own trumpet" is frowned upon.[17] This is played upon by English comedians such as David Mitchell, Lee Evans and Johnny Vegas.[citation needed] Actors such as Danny Dyer, Matt Lucas, and Stephen Fry use this humour in their acting roles.[citation needed]

It is seen as a major component of the comedy of North American comedians such as Maria Bamford, Jerry Lewis, Woody Allen,[18] Mike Birbiglia, Brian Regan, Hannibal Buress, Bo Burnham, Louis C.K., Rodney Dangerfield, Larry David, Phyllis Diller, Tina Fey, Nathan Fielder,[19] Jim Gaffigan, Zach Galifianakis, Kevin Hart, Bill Burr, Bob Hope, Leslie Jones, Don Knotts,[20] David Letterman, Bernie Mac, Jim Norton, Conan O'Brien, Richard Pryor, Joan Rivers,[21] Amy Schumer, David Spade, Jon Stewart, Ray Romano, Robin Williams, and Ben Stiller.[citation needed]


Self-guilt is the act of feeling all the guilt on one's ownself. It can also be intentionally, putting yourself down on purpose. Self-guilt can also lead to depression, and sometimes even suicide.


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  2. ^ "Borderline Personality Disorder - Symptoms". WebMD. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  3. ^ Kaufman, Ron. "Review of Jerry Mander's Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television". Archived from the original on 2014-03-31. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  4. ^ Alperin, Richard M. (2016-03-09). "Jewish Self-Hatred: The Internalization of Prejudice". Clinical Social Work Journal. 44 (3): 221–230. doi:10.1007/s10615-016-0577-2. ISSN 0091-1674.
  5. ^ Charles, Christopher A. D. (July 2003). "Skin Bleaching, Self-Hate, and Black Identity in Jamaica". Journal of Black Studies. 33 (6): 711–728. doi:10.1177/0021934703033006001. ISSN 0021-9347.
  6. ^ Hall, Ronald E. (2014-02-27). "Self-Hate as Life Threat Pathology Among Black Americans: Black Pride Antidote Vis-à-Vis Leukocyte Telomere Length (LTL)". Journal of African American Studies. 18 (4): 398–408. doi:10.1007/s12111-014-9277-6. ISSN 1559-1646.
  7. ^ Hall, Ronald E., and Jesenia M. Pizarro. “Unemployment as Conduit of Black Self-Hate: Pathogenic Rates of Black Male Homicide via Legacy of the Antebellum.” Journal of Black Studies, vol. 40, no. 4, Mar. 2010, pp. 653–665. EBSCOhost,
  8. ^ Patchin, Justin W.; Hinduja, Sameer (December 2017). "Digital Self-Harm Among Adolescents". Journal of Adolescent Health. 61 (6): 761–766. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.06.012. ISSN 1054-139X.
  9. ^ Laye-Gindhu, A.; Schonert-Reichl, Kimberly A. (2005), "Nonsuicidal Self-Harm Among Community Adolescents: Understanding the "Whats" and "Whys" of Self-Harm", Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 34 (5): 447–457, doi:10.1007/s10964-005-7262-z
  10. ^ Klonsky, D. (2007), "The functions of deliberate self-injury: A review of the evidence", Clinical Psychological Review, 27 (2): 226–239, doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2006.08.002, PMID 17014942
  11. ^ Muehlenkamp, J. J. (2005), "Self-Injurious Behavior as a Separate Clinical Syndrome", American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 75 (2): 324–333, doi:10.1037/0002-9432.75.2.324, PMID 15839768
  12. ^ "Self-deprecation". The Free Dictionary. Farlex. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
  13. ^ Self-Deprecation - Personality & Spirituality
  14. ^ Self-deprecation | Define Self-deprecation at
  15. ^ Hill, Matthew. "The Funny Thing About Work". Society for Intercultural Training and Research. Archived from the original on 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  16. ^ William Irvine, 2013, 'A Slap in the Face'
  17. ^ "Self-Deprecation". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 5 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  18. ^ Forward, The (2009-06-10). "Is self-deprecation killing Jewish comedy? - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper". Retrieved 2013-07-01.
  19. ^ Sarah, Osman. "CHATTING WITH: "NATHAN FOR YOU" CREATOR NATHAN FIELDER". Young Hollywood. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  20. ^ "Don Knotts Obituary: View Don Knotts's Obituary by The Washington Post". 2006-02-25. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
  21. ^ Morris, Wesley (2010-06-20). "The many faces of Joan Rivers". The Boston Globe.

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