Questionnaire: Do You Suffer From Debilitating Shame Due to Childhood Abuse?

If you are like most victims of childhood abuse your life has been plagued by debilitating shame, often without you realizing it. The following questionnaire will help you determine whether you are suffering from debilitating shame.

  1. Do you blame yourself for the abuse you experienced as a child?
  2. Do you believe your parent (or other adult or older child) would not have abused you if you had not pushed him/her into doing it?
  3. Do you believe you were a difficult, stubborn or selfish child who deserved the abuse you received?
  4. Do you believe you made it difficult for your parents or others to love you?
  5. Do you believe you were a disappointment to your parents or family?
  6. Do you feel you are basically unlovable?
  7. Do you have a powerful inner critic who finds fault with nearly everything you do?
  8. Are you a perfectionist?
  9. Do you believe you don’t deserve to be happy, to be loved, or to be successful?
  10. Do you have a difficult time believing that someone could love you?
  11. Do you push away people who are good to you?
  12. Are you afraid that if people really get to know you they won’t like you or accept you?
  13. Do you believe that anyone who likes you or loves you has something wrong with them?
  14. Do you feel like a failure in life?
  15. Do you hate your body?
  16. Do you feel ugly—inside and out?
  17. Do you hate yourself?
  18. Do you believe that the only way someone can like you is if you do everything they want?
  19. Are you a “people pleaser”?
  20. Do you censor yourself when you talk to other people, always being careful not to offend someone or hurt their feelings?
  21. Do you feel like the only thing you have to offer is your sexuality?
  22. Are you addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, shopping, gambling, stealing or any other addiction?
  23. Do you find it nearly impossible to admit when you are wrong or when you have made a mistake?
  24. Do you feel bad about the way you have treated people?
  25. Are you afraid of what you are capable of doing?
  26. Are you afraid of your tendency to be abusive—either verbally, emotionally, physically or sexually?
  27. Have you been in one or more relationships where you were abused either verbally, emotionally, physically or sexually?
  28. Did you or do you feel you deserved the abuse?
  29. Do you always blame yourself if something goes wrong in a relationship?
  30. Do you feel like it isn’t worth trying because you will only fail?
  31. Do you sabotage your happiness, your relationships or your success?
  32. Are you self-destructive (engaging in acts of self-harm, driving recklessly, suicidal attempts)
  33. Do you feel inferior or “less than” other people?
  34. Do you neglect your body, your health, or your emotional needs (not eating right, not getting enough sleep, not taking care of your medical/dental needs)?

Scoring: There isn’t any formal scoring here but if you notice that you answered “yes” to many of these questions, you can be assured that you are suffering from debilitating shame. On the other hand, if you only answer “yes” to only a few of the questions, it is still evident that you have an issue with shame.