How would you describe that burning emotion of having messed up? It's a mix of guilt and being deeply unsettled, together with crushing embarrassment.


-When he realized he had given his wife AIDS, he was overcome by deep [word].

-She checked her account balance and realized with [word] that she had underestimated how expensive the mortgage really was.

-After becoming a cuckold, he realized With [word] that he couldn't call himself a real man anymore.

  • Simple is sometimes best, think "shame".
    – J. Taylor
    Dec 18, 2018 at 11:46
  • You're right, of course. It just doesn't feel as harsh and humiliating as what I want to convey. I wish there were words to convey discreet levels or shades of shame, if that makes sense. Dec 18, 2018 at 12:44
  • 1
    You might try adding an adjective to "shame". You can then shade as you wish.
    – J. Taylor
    Dec 18, 2018 at 12:46
  • "Mortification" might fill the bill.
    – J. Taylor
    Dec 18, 2018 at 12:48

2 Answers 2


There are some, I need them too often.


From merriam-webster definition of remorse: 1 : a gnawing distress arising from a sense of guilt for past wrongs

self-reproach (self_reproach)

harsh criticism or disapproval of oneself especially for wrongdoing

For your examples, also regret would be an option. regret in merriam-wbester


According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary:

DISORDER : an abnormal physical or mental condition: a liver disorder a personality  disorder.

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