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Self-hatred (also called self loathing) refers to an extreme dislike or hatred of oneself, or being angry at or even prejudiced against oneself.[1] The term is also used to designate a dislike or hatred of a group, family, social class, or stereotype to which one belongs and/or has. For instance, "ethnic self-hatred" is the extreme dislike of one's ethnic group or cultural classification. It may be associated with aspects of autophobia.

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".[citation needed] 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). Self-hatred is also a symptom of many personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder,[2] as well as depression. It can also be linked to guilt for someone's own actions that they view as wrongful, e.g., survivor guilt.[citation needed]


The term self-hatred can refer to either a strong dislike for oneself, one's own actions, or a strong dislike or hatred of one's own race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, or any other group of which one may be a member. When used in the latter context it is generally defined as hatred of one's identity based on the demographic in question, as well as a desire to distance oneself from this identity.[citation needed]


Some sociology theorists such as Jerry Mander see television programming as being deliberately designed to induce self-hatred, negative body image, and depression, with the advertising then being used to suggest the cure.[3] See also the arguments related to the Kill your television phenomenon. Some personal self-hatred can be linked to remorse for something a person did or did not do, or as a result of bullying.[citation needed]


Self-harm can be a psychological disorder that may involve self-hatred, where subjects may feel compelled to physically injure themselves as an outlet for depression, anxiety, or anger.[4][5][6]

In some cases, self-harm can lead to accidental death or suicide. It is not a definitive indicator, however, of a desire either to commit suicide or even of its consideration.[citation needed]


Self-deprecation is the act of belittling, undervaluing, or disparaging oneself,[7] or being excessively modest.[8][9] It can be used in humor and tension release.[10]

Self-deprecation was recommended by philosophers of Stoicism as a response to insults. Instead of getting defensive, one should join in by insulting themselves even more. According to the Stoics, this will remove the sting from the insult. It will also disappoint the interlocutor because the insulted party failed to be upset, thereby reducing the chance that they will try to upset the Stoic like that again.[11]

Self-deprecation is often perceived as being a characteristic of certain nations, such as in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, where "blowing one's own trumpet" is frowned upon.[12] This is played upon by English comedians David Mitchell.[citation needed] and (in a classy way) by Sir David Niven, Sir Roger Moore, and Hugh Grant.[citation needed]

It is seen as a major component of the comedy of North American comedians such as Maria Bamford, Jerry Lewis, Woody Allen,[13] Mike Birbiglia, Brian Regan, Hannibal Buress, Bo Burnham, Louis C.K., Rodney Dangerfield, Larry David, Phyllis Diller, Tina Fey, Nathan Fielder,[14] Jim Gaffigan, Zach Galifianakis, Kevin Hart, Bob Hope, Leslie Jones, Don Knotts,[15] David Letterman, Bernie Mac, Jim Norton, Conan O'Brien, Richard Pryor, Joan Rivers,[16] Amy Schumer, David Spade, Jon Stewart, Ray Romano, Robin Williams, and Craig Ferguson.[citation needed]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Borderline Personality Disorder - Symptoms". WebMD. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Kaufman, Ron. "Review of Jerry Mander's Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television". Archived from the original on 2014-03-31. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Laye-Gindhu, A.; Schonert-Reichl, Kimberly A. (2005), "Nonsuicidal Self-Harm Among Community Adolescents: Understanding the "Whats" and "Whys" of Self-Harm", Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 34 (5): 447–457, doi:10.1007/s10964-005-7262-z 
  5. ^ Klonsky, D. (2007), "The functions of deliberate self-injury: A review of the evidence", Clinical Psychological Review, 27 (2): 226–239, doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2006.08.002, PMID 17014942 
  6. ^ Muehlenkamp, J. J. (2005), "Self-Injurious Behavior as a Separate Clinical Syndrome", American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 75 (2): 324–333, doi:10.1037/0002-9432.75.2.324, PMID 15839768 
  7. ^ "Self-deprecation". The Free Dictionary. Farlex. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  8. ^ Self-Deprecation - Personality & Spirituality
  9. ^ Self-deprecation | Define Self-deprecation at
  10. ^ Hill, Matthew. "The Funny Thing About Work". Society for Intercultural Training and Research. Archived from the original on 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  11. ^ William Irvine, 2013, 'A Slap in the Face'
  12. ^ "Self-Deprecation". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 5 April 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  13. ^ Forward, The (2009-06-10). "Is self-deprecation killing Jewish comedy? - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper". Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  14. ^ Sarah, Osman. "CHATTING WITH: "NATHAN FOR YOU" CREATOR NATHAN FIELDER". Young Hollywood. Retrieved November 20, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Don Knotts Obituary: View Don Knotts's Obituary by The Washington Post". 2006-02-25. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  16. ^ Morris, Wesley (2010-06-20). "The many faces of Joan Rivers". The Boston Globe. 

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