Psychiatrist Dr Tanveer Ahmed looks at the history and contemporary rise of shame and its overlap with group identity and mental health. Dr Ahmed argues that the stigmatisation of shame is part of a wider “tyranny of the positive”. This stigmatisation of negative emotions limits human flourishing and contributes to the growth in disorders such as anxiety and self-harm, aspects of which are often grounded in unnamed and tamed shame.
“A thoughtful and beautifully-researched exploration of shame, and the modern permutations of this ancient and uniquely human emotion. Fascinating. Ahmed brings clinical expertise and a journalist’s curiosity to this eminently readable exploration of shame, and its surprising contemporary uses.” — Annabel Crabb ABC broadcaster and author
“Fixing community is intertwined with mending ourselves. Blending vignettes from his patients with insights from social science, Tanveer Ahmed dives deep into the emotions of shame, anxiety and how they affect the ties that bind society together. A riveting read.” — Andrew Leigh, ALP Shadow Finance Minister
“This book succeeds in engaging with some of the most deeply entrenched problems facing society from a perspective that brings together the insights of psychology and cultural analysis. It provides a remarkably astute analysis of the relation between anxiety and shame and a compelling account of the real meaning of self-harm.” — Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology, University of Kent
Dr Tanveer Ahmed is a psychiatrist, author and columnist for the Australian Financial Review.