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What are guilt and shame?

What are guilt and shame?

If you’ve been involved in harmful sexual behaviour, you may be regretting it.

This could be because:

  • you know it’s wrong
  • it’s against the law

To find out more about the types of sexual behaviour that hurt other people, visit our page on harmful sexual behaviour.

Harmful sexual behaviour

Find out about what harmful sexual behaviour is and what you can do if this is something you are worried about.

Read more

You may also be feeling a lot of guilt or shame.

Neither of these feelings is nice. But sometimes guilt can be helpful, because it shows that you know you’ve made a mistake, and you understand that what you’ve done isn’t okay.

Knowing this gives you the chance to make changes and put things right.

On the other hand, shame is not a helpful feeling because it can make you feel like you are the mistake, that you’re bad deep down. But it’s the behaviour and not the person that’s the problem.

If you get stuck in feelings of shame, this can lead to:

  • low self-esteem (feeling like you’re not worth much)
  • depression
  • anxiety

It can stop you from moving forward and making positive changes to the behaviour that’s causing the problem.

Are you struggling?

Our advisors can give you support and advice, and you don’t have to say who you are.

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