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The Revolting Self


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Table of Contents

Foreword -- Preface -- An introduction to the revolting self: self-disgust as an emotion schema -- Digging disgust out of the dumpster: a neuropsychological defence of self-and other-directed disgust as a moral virtue -- Disgust and self-disgust: a disability studies perspective -- Self-disgust and adaptation to chronic physical health conditions: implications for avoidance and withdrawal -- Self-directed disgust: reciprocal relationships with sex and sexual dysfunction -- Disgust and interpersonal experiences: the complex emotional experience of rejection -- Contaminated by trauma: understanding links between self-disgust, mental contamination, and post-traumatic stress disorder -- Depression as a disorder of disgust -- Self-disgust in eating disorders: a review of the literature and clinical implications -- Varieties of disgust in self-harm -- Psychodynamics of self-disgust: expulsion and attack as attempts to retain integrity of the personality -- Self-disgust, self-hatred, and compassion-focused therapy -- Reflections on the revolting self: a commentary and further directions

About the Author

Paul G. Overton, PhD, is Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield, UK, and is currently the head of the Department of Psychology. The majority of his research focuses on the basal ganglia, a group of structures involved in action selection, cognition and emotion. Although historically his work has been conducted using infrahuman species, his recent work has moved to include human subjects, particularly in relation to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Parkinson's disease and disgust. Philip A. Powell is a research psychologist with an interest in discrete emotions and their unique effects on our psychological well-being, behaviour, and decision-making. He completed his PhD in 2013 on the topic of self-disgust and its link to depression. Philip is currently appointed as a postdoctoral Research Associate in the Institute for the Economic Analysis of Decision-Making (InstEAD) at the University of Sheffield, UK, and is an associate member of the International Society for Research on Emotion (ISRE). Jane Simpson, PhD, is a clinical and academic psychologist and has been Research Director on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Lancaster for the past seven years. A major focus of her research is the relationship between emotions and cognitions, and the international move to see emotions as a major driver in influencing both mental health difficulties and response to therapy is one she fully supports.


'This authoritative book provides the reader with a comprehensive overview of the current state of theory and research on self-disgust. This is a topic of great importance for psychopathology that has just begun to stimulate significant research interest. In addition to consideration of an evolving theoretical formulation, the book's key strength is that it offers the reader a transdiagnostic framework for conceptualising how self-disgust may be observed across various disorders. The editors have assembled a stellar group of contributors who offer unique perspectives on the revolting self. This book will be an important resource for scientists or students who want to gain a better understanding of the many ways that experiencing disgust may contribute to psychiatric disorders.'- Bunmi O. Olatunji, PhD, Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, USA'Our emotions, especially our social or self-referential emotions, are of great importance for our lives: they guide us on our long and uncertain journey in a world mainly determined by the behaviour of other people. In order to effectively navigate under these conditions, our emotional dispositions need social programming. We have to acquire and to calibrate affective schemas that allow for culturally acceptable and intelligible ways of establishing an "emotional self". In comes the concept of "self-directed disgust". This describes how an emotional core-process is socially transformed in order to balance our selves between self-expansion and self-regression. Too little self-disgust may lead to exorbitance, impertinence, and social ostracism; too much strangles the development of a viable self and ends up in chronic psychopathology. I hope that clinical research on this subject will help us to develop more effective psychotherapeutic strategies. Meanwhile, I welcome the first volume on the topic. The Revolting Self is a timely and very interesting read that should find a big audience.'- Markus R. Pawelzik, MD, Medical Director, EOS-Klinik, Munster, Germany'Disgust is considered to be one of the most basic of emotions, and our experience of it nearly ubiquitous. Beyond revulsion against disease and contamination from physical threats, much work in recent decades has helped clarify disgust's role as a complex socio-moral emotion. This exciting volume advances our understanding by exploring when we turn our disgust inward, towards our very selves. With ample evidence and thought-provoking theorising, the chapters here first and foremost put to rest the longdebated question of whether self-disgust can be said to exist as an emotional experience. The authors promote disgust towards the self to its rightful place alongside, yet distinct from, other evaluative and self-conscious emotions like shame, guilt, and anger, and demonstrate myriad significant health consequences of self-disgust across domains and populations. This rich collection is sure to enhance the scholarship, teaching, and practiceof a great many of us working in the psychology and philosophy of emotions.'- Tomi-Ann Roberts, PhD, Chair, Department of Psychology, Colorado College, USA

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