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Related: destruction - disgust - self injury - self - hatred
Self-hatred, self-disgust, self-loathing and self-destructive
Self-hatred literally refers to an extreme dislike of oneself, or being angry at oneself. The term is also used to designate a dislike or hatred of a group to which one belongs. For instance, 'ethnic self-hatred' is the extreme dislike of one's ethnic group. Accusations of self-hatred are often used as an ad hominem attack.
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'. Some people think that 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). "Ethnic self-hatred" is considered by some people as being a cultural issue, to which psychological theories have limited relevance. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-hatred [Aug 2006]
Self-loathing in general refers to an extreme dislike of oneself or of oneself's characteristics, often a symptom of depression; in this sense, it is more or less synonymous with self-hatred, although neither are clinical terms.
More often used in a political as well as a popular psychology context, it describes, often disparagingly, a person openly detesting characteristics of people that the person ostensibly shares him- or herself.
In a very broad sense, some also use the term for gay people who criticize other homosexuals for engaging in stereotypical gay behavior (i.e. Drag queens); implying that it's not the stereotypical behavior itself that the critizing person objects to, but actually his own homosexuality of which he is reminded through the stereotypical behavior of others.
It has been suggested that self-loathing in many minority groups such as Jews, African-Americans and gays is the result of being raised in a society that often discriminates against and stereotypes such groups. While it can hardly be a surprise that otherwise intelligent members of majority groups display racist characteristics when growing up in such an atmosphere, it has been surmised that minorities growing up in such groups are often just as susceptible to accepting such negative stereotypes and positively integrating themselves into the majority group. A minority member can either "pass" as a member of the majority (for example, a closeted gay) or they can conform to majority beliefs about their minority ("Uncle Toms" or "Oreo Cookies" among African-Americans). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-loathing [Aug 2006]
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