Self-blame can best be described as a form of self-loathing that causes a person to believe that their actions are the cause of their condition and suffering. This can be a bit complicated to navigate as it can either induce corrective behavioral changes or further aggravate harmful behaviors.
The article, Characterological Versus Behavioral Self-Blame: Inquiries into Depression and Rape, suggests two kinds of self-blame: characterological and behavioral.
It suggests that Behavioral self-blame is often connected to control. Control refers to modifiable factors such as behavior and associations that believe that unwanted outcomes can be avoided. Characterological self-blame is usually about one’s esteem and involves attributions about relatively modifiable factors like our character, and leads one to think that they personally deserved all negative outcomes they faced in the past.
We need to understand that try as we might; we simply cannot control everything that happens in our life. Like our environment, brain chemistry and genetic makeup are beyond our control, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Once this realization sets in, a person can alter their behavior and thought patterns and modify their response to such things, which can lead to recovery.