I’ve seen posts here in the forum in which people have posted things such as: “It seems we make up a name for everything. There is a ‘disorder’ for every situation.” Yes, it does seem that we have a name for everything. However, most “disorders” that we post about in this forum (Social Anxiety, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, etc.) are not so much separate disorders, but instead it is that they are all from the same condition – that of toxic shame. These “disorders” can be better described as symptoms of the actual problem (toxic shame).
Social Anxiety Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, borderline personality disorder, Love-shyness, paranoid and schizoid phenomena, perfectionism, depression, etc., etc -- these are all branches of toxic shame, like branches connected to a tree (with the tree being toxic shame). They all basically mesh together, with the common denominator being toxic shame.
So it is difficult to put any particular disorder in a neat, clean-cut box and say that an individual has that - and only that - “disorder”. This is why I say that, because of toxic shame, they are all of the same tree and are all related to one another. Toxic shame is the source from which these so-called "disorders" come from.
A while back I was watching Ch. 13, the PBS station here in the U.S., and there was a program of a guy - he was a psychiatrist - giving a talk about the brain and how it works. What got my attention was when he mentioned that many of the problems we give labels to - like anxiety (which was his example) - are not the problem. He then said what I’ve always thought - that “they are just symptoms”.
So yes, I believe many emotional / psychological conditons are related to each other and kind of mesh together. Many times there is no exact one condition that a person has. I don’t believe that life, in most cases, is either all black or all white. Life is often shades of gray. I believe this can even be said of toxic shame. I think there can be different degrees or levels of toxic shame. I guess what I’m trying to say is that some can have it worse than others. It’s possible some people with toxic shame may be able to function in a particular area of their life reasonably well, but another person may not be able to do well at all in that same area. People are different, yet so similar. All of this is what I mean when I say that life isn’t always either black or white. It can be somewhere in-between.
So, I think it is easy to see that people often have some form of several conditions, sort of mixed together. Toxic shame is the “grand-daddy” of most emotional / psychological conditions. Toxic shame is something that basically ties many of these conditions together. I believe most people have these conditions because of toxic shame. To show what I am talking about, I will quote in the paragraph below the author George Kaufman, from his book titled "Shame":
“Shame is the affect which is the source of many complex and disturbing inner states: depression, alienation, self-doubt, isolation, loneliness, paranoid and schizoid phenomena, compulsive disorders, splitting of the self, perfectionism, a deep sense of inferiority, inadequacy or failure, the so-called borderline conditions and disorders of narcissism."
So as you can see, there are many conditions that are toxic shame related. That is why I say toxic shame is the grand-daddy of the majority of emotional / psychological conditions. These labeled “conditions” are actually just symptoms of toxic shame.
The question is: Are you going to focus on curing the source of your problem, or are you going to continue trying to treat the symptoms?
"Shyness can be a serious problem when it is rooted in toxic shame." - John Bradshaw, toxic shame expert
Visit this thread link to find out the cause of SA for most of us and what to do about it: http://bit.ly/UeWprg