Scared of compassion: Fear of compassion in anxiety, mood, and non-clinical groups
MetadataShow full item record
Objectives. Fear of receiving compassion from others, expressing compassion to others, and being compassionate towards oneself have been identified as potentially important factors in the persistence of depression, stress disorders, and eating disorders. There is good reason to expect that these fears may play a role in anxiety and related difficulties, but there is little available information on the extent to which they are present and associated with symptom severity. Methods. This study compared the severity of the three fears of compassion (receiving, expressing to others, and showing to oneself) in those with a principal diagnosis of depression (n = 34), obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD; n = 27), social anxiety disorder (SAD; n = 91), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD, n = 43), and a control sample with no mental health difficulties (n = 212). Results. Those with depression, OCD, SAD, and GAD exhibited greater fear of receiving compassion and fear of self-compassion than controls, and the differences between anxious and control groups remained significant even when controlling for depressed mood. Whereas fears of compassion did not predict symptom severity over and above depressed mood in people with GAD, fear of receiving compassion uniquely predicted SAD symptom severity, and fear of expressing compassion for others uniquely predicted OCD symptom severity in those high on fear of self-compassion. Conclusions. Fear of compassion is higher in those with anxiety and related disorders than non-anxious controls. Although further research is needed, clinicians may benefit from assessing fear of compassion and addressing it in treatment.
Cite this version of the work
Olivia Merritt, Christine Purdon (2020). Scared of compassion: Fear of compassion in anxiety, mood, and non-clinical groups. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17107
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Practicing self-compassion weakens the relationship between fear of receiving compassion and the desire to conceal negative experiences from others Dupasquier, Jessica R.; Kelly, Allison C.; Moscovitch, David A.; Vidovic, Vanja (Springer, 2018-04)Disclosure of personal distress is linked to important inter- and intrapersonal benefits. However, people who tend to view self-disclosure as being risky are likely to conceal their feelings and forgo opportunities to ...
An Examination of Whether Hearing a Display of Self-Compassion in Someone Else Impacts One's Own Level of Self-Compassion Miller, Kathryn (University of Waterloo, 2015-08-26)Self-compassion is the ability to be kind and understanding towards oneself in times of distress or failure (Neff, 2003a). Self-compassion in adulthood is linked to childhood experiences of care and compassion (Gilbert ...
Ending the Stigma: How a Causal Deterministic View of Free Will Can Inform Both Healthy and Pathological Cognitive Function and Increase Compassion Balaita, Cristina (University of Waterloo, 2014-06-24)Depression is the leading cause of disability around the world, and in Canada, 8% of adults will experience depression in their lifetimes. Nearly half of those with depression will not seek treatment, one of the major ...