Bipolar Depression Symptoms

Excessive Guilt

What is excessive guilt?

Excessive guilt is a disproportionate feeling of guilt.

It is usually accompanied by low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness.18

What is it like to experience excessive guilt?

Excessive guilt leaves the person feeling small, incapable, and unworthy.

The person may feel that they have let others down. The person belittles themselves and feels inadequate.

It becomes difficult to recognize successes or positive personal attributes.

How can I recognize this symptom?

When experiencing excessive guilt, it may be difficult to set appropriate boundaries and limits. The person feels obliged to satisfy others. They may find it difficult to say no to others' requests. Feeling guilty about not spending enough time with family and friends is common.

How does this bipolar disorder symptom impact life?

Excessive feelings of guilt are debilitating. As the mind ruminates about the past, less attention is given to the external environment.

The person turns inward and blames themselves.26 The world view becomes unrealistic, dark, and negative.

My Story

I felt extremely guilty when I was depressed. I felt terrible because I thought I committed murder. I felt devastated as I took a child's life and caused so much suffering to her parents. It turned out I was delusional about the murder. Strangely, there was nothing delusional about the intense feelings of guilt. They were real.

~ Brendon, Dublin, LE