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Are Women More Prone to Shame & Guilt than Men?

Audrey Grant came to work in Castle Craig from the Mediterranean island of Malta. She now runs the Woman’s Group at Castle Craig, an activity that helps women in treatment to open up, identify with each other and accept their past and move on.

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Shame & Guilt in Addiction

Audrey explains that women tend to feel more shame and guilt than men, especially if there are children involved. One of the most difficult things for a woman to admit is “I’ve neglected my child”, and this goes with the fear of being judged by the other members of the group.

Another potential source of feeling guilt and shame is that some women feel they are not good daughters, that they have let down their parents. Audrey also points out that if a woman has been sexually abused/raped she is also likely to blame herself for what happened.

Identifying & Accepting

“The beauty of it” says Audrey, “is when they start identifying with each other”. When the fellow patients start to realise that they’re not alone and can realise “you’ve done the same thing as me…I’m not a bad person,” they can work out ways of dealing with the past and moving on.

Are you a woman struggling to deal with addiction?

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Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked January 21, 2020