Do Feelings of Guilt Lead to Mental Illness?

mental health therapist in Charlotte, NCEvery adult knows what it's like to feel guilty. Whether it's guilt related to overspending, missing a deadline at work, or committing adultery, this powerful emotion can have long lasting effects on your mental health. The same is true for childhood guilt. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association for Psychology (JAMA-P) revealed that guilt in early childhood could create long lasting effects that dictate adult mental health. If you need a mental health therapist in Charlotte, NC, call Legacy today for help.

The JAMA-P study brings to light the connection between childhood feelings and experiences and adult mental health. As the brain develops in childhood, those children who experience high levels of guilt show less volume in their anterior insula on scans of the brain. The anterior insula in the brain is responsible for regulating emotion, self-awareness, and perception. A lack of volume in this area of the brain has been linked to significant bouts of depression in adults. Childhood guilt has also been associated with adult onset anxiety, bipolar disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Adults who struggle with severe depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or obsessive compulsive disorder were not necessarily anxious children; there are other contributing factors like genetics and environmental events that occur which can bring on these conditions. However, the link between the brain of a child who frequently felt guilty and the adult brain of those with these circumstances cannot be ignored. Even if the adult is unaware of intense feelings of guilt in their childhood, the effect on the development of the anterior insula will have already taken place.

As children who experience frequent feelings of guilt mature many of these mental health concerns may manifest as the child enters their early twenties. See our previous post on mental illness in young adults for more information on why many mental health problems become apparent at this transitional stage.

Searching For Mental Health Therapist in Charlotte, NC?

At Legacy Freedom of Charlotte, we know how difficult it is to live with a serious mental illness. Struggling to form lasting relationships, having difficulty keeping a job, or even getting out of bed can make life seem challenging and unfulfilling. With treatment for your mental health concerns, life doesn't have to be just getting from one day to the next. Our dedicated team of therapists and clinicians has experience helping those with difficult or troubled childhoods overcome them and lead healthy and productive lives.

Our unique holistic approach to mental health care ensures that we treat the whole person, not just your mental health concerns. We believe in healing your mind, body, and spirit through our comprehensive treatment plans. Together with your care team, you will create a care plan that is focused on you and your therapeutic goals. Through one-on-one sessions with your therapist, you will identify the cause of your guilt and learn new ways to cope with those feelings. Alternative therapies like equestrian therapy, inner child work, or EMDR can help you heal those old wounds and acquire new boundaries and ways to communicate about your needs and feelings.

Confronting past issues can be difficult, and for some clients involving family and loved ones in the therapy process is helpful. Legacy Freedom offers many different ways for the important people in your life to be involved with your mental health care. Group therapy also allows you to connect with individuals who are struggling with the same issues you are and form a supportive environment away from our outpatient facility.

Your mental health and happiness are too important to put off any longer. Call or click to connect with Legacy Freedom to speak with the best mental health therapist in Charlotte, NC!



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