I feel like I want everybody around me to feel bad and suffer and I want myself to suffer just because I feel bad about.

It happens when I get upset about something, (or I choose to be upset about it). and what really happens is that inside me I get this deep urge to do things that either hurt me or hurt others around me, it’s like I feel spite towards others and towards myself. I don’t know if it is a call for attention or just an ego act, but I feel it a lot lately and at some point, it is bothering people around me. One example of the act is that one time I got upset I couldn’t go to a trip I was hyped about, so I stopped eating for a day although at some point in my mind I was really asking myself to eat and to stop the act. I just want to know the source or reason for such behavior and thank you for your time. (From Lebanon)

The two most likely reasons are a projection or a displacement. It is hard to know for sure because there are a lot of variables that could influence this, but a projection is when some internal process — often a negative one but it doesn’t have to be — is projected on to someone or something outside of us and we respond to them in a way that reflects the emotion inside.

In displacement, the negative emotion gets put out onto something or someone that isn’t the cause of the emotion but instead become a target. A parent who has a difficult day at work who comes home and yells at their child is an example of this.

These are just guesses and are not definitive at all as there are many variables that can influence these types of behaviors. If it persists you’ll want to have a chat with a therapist who can help you sort it through. The find help tab at the top of the page will locate someone in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral