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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. 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". 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, 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. This is played upon by English comedians David Mitchell. and (in a classy way) by Sir David Niven, Sir Roger Moore, and Hugh Grant.
It is seen as a major component of the comedy of North American comedians such as Maria Bamford, Jerry Lewis, Woody Allen, Mike Birbiglia, Brian Regan, Hannibal Buress, Bo Burnham, Louis C.K., Rodney Dangerfield, Larry David, Phyllis Diller, Tina Fey, Nathan Fielder, Jim Gaffigan, Zach Galifianakis, Kevin Hart, Bob Hope, Leslie Jones, Don Knotts, David Letterman, Bernie Mac, Jim Norton, Conan O'Brien, Richard Pryor, Joan Rivers, Amy Schumer, David Spade, Jon Stewart, Ray Romano, Robin Williams, and Craig Ferguson.
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