For millions of years we have used shaming as one of the principle means of negatively controlling our fellows. Our brains have been molded by social shame such that our low sense of self worth makes us betray ourselves with all that is damaging and suppressing to Life offered freely by distressed society. We try and assuage the pain of being controlled by bullying and shaming by trying to bolster ourselves with sugar and fat, with cosmetic camouflage and consumer comforts. True love bonds, regenerosity and abundance are weakened by systemic damage to the brain and heart caused by chronic or acute shame. Fundamentally shaming is an infringing upon another's sovereignty and right to self-determination. Along with bribing and threats, shame is one of the main means of child control by unenlightened parents who themselves have been shame damaged.
Where there is abuse of another’s sovereignty, be they man, woman or child, there is internalized shame and PTSD. Not surprisingly there is a correlation between sex abuse, age of first drug use, shame and PTSD scores. Research describes self-sustaining biochemical feedback loops created by trauma and food/substance dependency. Addictions, coping mechanism and neuroticisms become locked into place through the analgesic numbing effect of trauma which feeds deep festering wounds in body, mind and soul. Due to the avoidant retreat of consciousness associated with powerlessness, feelings of inadequacy and the sensitivity to rejection generated by shame, the untreated trauma symptoms perpetuate self-destructive coping mechanisms. Therefore unless we get to the root of the problem…which is abuse of personal sovereignty…then we are all victim to internalized shame to one degree or another and suffer the PTSD degradation of our brains and especially the prefrontal cortex as a result.
This “social-shame-stress-damage” phenomena runs on automatic, so unless we actually train ourselves to overcome this very common human intimidation tactic we are all at risk. At a zoo many years ago I saw a bunch of heckling teenagers intimidate a gorilla, who turned away from them to disconnect. At that point I coined a new term for Homo sapiens…”the intimidating ape.” Shaming is such a low-brow manipulation devise that there is almost never any true or upright cause for using such a method of controlling others, and yet it is the principle means of choice used by those who seek power over others…usually because they feel powerless themselves. This cycle of intergenerational traumatic stress, compulsivity, addictive self-medication, and chronic victimhood results in unrealized sovereignty and ultimately the inability to survive and look after ourselves, let alone thrive.
Besides fear and the outright threat of violence shame is the next greatest contributing factor to the ongoing fall of mankind. Fix this and we solve the problem of the degeneration of the human species and provide the hope and neurological foundation necessary to get through the eye of the needle to the next stage in human evolution. If we stop toxifying and brain damaging each other and abide by the principles of sovereignty we would rapidly recover from our cultural distress and grow our brainpower to the full intelligence of the heart…to stretch our limits, develop our potential and actualize our dreams to fully explore our future.
“Adults shouldn't be treated like children...but then neither should children be treated like children.”
David R. Cook's Shame Scale describes the phenomenology of shame and its relationship to addictions and the MEMPI PK and PS sub-scales are used for PTSD.