3 Reasons Women Harbor Guilt and Shame: Part 1


Yanla Vansant

For many women being all you can be is a struggle and a burden that is too heavy to bear.  In a time when women are wives, mothers, single mothers, working outside of the home and have demands from every corner there are some things that may fall by the wayside.  When this happens it can be so devastating to women that she begins to harbor guilt about not being able to do everything that she believes is expected of her.  The shame of not measuring up can also eat at her sense of self.  There are several reasons why women harbor guilt and shame but today let’s discuss these three:

  • Past Experiences of Abuse or Trauma
    • Many women have been victims of abuse.  Some have been abused from an early age.  The abuse could have even caused long-term trauma, or maybe the trauma was a witnessing of a horrible situation.

In these instances, women usually blame self for what happened.   The person who did the horrific thing has moved on but the individual who experienced it or witnessed it has held on to the guilt and shame of it.

Black Tears

  • Feelings of being all things to all people
    • This is an area that many women also struggle with.  It is in a woman’s nature to be nurturing so she wants to do what she can to help those she cares for.  The problem with that is that everyone who knows her will call on her to fix it, serve on the committee, drive the carpool, chaperone, or whatever it may be.

Busy Woman

Trying to help everyone is unrealistic causing her to feel that she is letting people down.  No one is able to be there for everybody.  That is unless you are Jesus, and I do not believe that you are.

  • Oppression
    • Women have been told for centuries that she is not good enough, pretty enough, educated enough, tough enough and will never measure up to her counterpart.  Women have been let down, stomped on, held back, and giving up on to the point when she feels that she is not worthy of any good thing or happiness.


That is what being oppressed can do.  It can devalue everything that God said was good in you.  When women listen to what the world has to say about them instead of what God says about them then she begins to harbor guilt and shame.

Being able to understand why women harbor guilt and shame can be the first step in rectifying the problem.  For those who need assistance in organizing your thoughts Destination Greatness is available to help you sort them out.

Until next time keep the faith!

By:  Kristen Pettaway, MA LPC Liberty University |

Clinical Case Manager Intern Destination Greatness, PLLC






Reasons Mental Health is NO Joking Matter


There are so many reasons that people bully others, but have you ever thought of why we shouldn’t do this to each other? Have you ever wondered what a stupid joke might mean to someone else?

Joking about mental illness is never cool, ever. What people who suffer from mental illnesses live with daily is traumatic enough, we don’t need to add any additional emotions to their lives. Unless of course they are positive, then feel free to spread the love.

Countless people who suffer from mental illnesses and many who do not, suffer from the lack of self-confidence. This is a main reason we should all be uplifting each other, rather than joking about it.

There are infinite stigmas surrounding mental health. Which makes it impossible to cover every stigma, but we can start with a handful.

Listed below are 3 reasons everyone should educate themselves on mental health issues and stop joking about them immediately.

  1. You probably know someone who suffers.


One in Five. According to NAMI, one in five American adults will experience mental illness in a year. That means that in your family of five, someone will likely suffer from a mental illness. You wouldn’t joke about your auntie’s cancer or uncle’s high blood pressure, so why joke about someone’s mental health?

  1. You are making someone feel worse.

By joking about mental illness, you are creating an illusion that mental health is not a big or serious deal, when in fact it is just as important as physical health. By joking about mental health, you are making people who already feel alone in this cruel world, more alone.

alone 2

  1. It makes people less likely to get help.


My father’s side of the family has been known to joke about mental health, leading me to believe my issues weren’t real.  Now, after taking multiple courses on mental illnesses and disorders, I know that my symptoms were real. I also know the ones making jokes about my symptoms that I let go untreated for so long, show symptoms of mental illness too. After hearing my family joke about mental health for so many years, when I finally decided to get serious about seeing a therapist, I hesitated to even schedule an appointment.


There are so many things to joke about in the world, mental health is not one of them. Take a moment research the symptoms, check on your family members, and show compassion for those who might suffer from a mental illness.

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC


About Destination Greatness

Destination Greatness is a mental health and substance abuse psychotherapy agency dedicated to assisting individuals and families in maximizing their level of functioning on all life domains in pursuit of Greatness. Destination Greatness provide individuals and families with the opportunity to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. Destination Greatness strives to enrich each individual and family through greater self-awareness, focus on strengths, and belief in a greater destiny.DG Logo


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