Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Balance

Font Size

Letting Go of Guilt

WebMD Feature from "Good Housekeeping" Magazine

By Amy Keyishian and Hagar Scher

Good Housekeeping Magazine Logo Feeling big shame over little things? Here, some simple ways to get over it.

Exhausted by work and kids, I was desperate for sleep-but every time I closed my eyes, I saw Elisa's face. I'd e-mailed a group of friends about getting together, and she responded that she would love to see me when she "got back from surgery." What surgery? Oh, just the hysterectomy I'd never heard about because I'd been so bad at keeping in touch. Now I felt guilty. Of course, that's not unusual-I often stay up late fretting about something I've done wrong. My offense doesn't have to be huge (no, I haven't murdered anyone lately); I'm bothered by small things, like wriggling out of a baby shower, leaving wet laundry in the machine overnight, and being less of a friend than I'd like to be. If you're nodding your head, you know exactly what I mean.

Here's the upside of feeling the way we do: Guilt acts as our inner watchdog, says Margaret Clark, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Yale University who studies guilt and close relationships. We have responsibilities to other people, and if we fail to perform as we should, we feel crummy. "In a healthy situation, guilt prompts us to correct our actions or express our regrets," says Clark.

But it's possible to be too hard on yourself-and yes, the female sex is especially adept at this kind of self-sabotage. "Women are more focused on other people than men are," says Vicki Helgeson, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Carnegie-Mellon University who studies gender. "We feel guilty if we do something that affects someone else, while men are more concerned with the impact others have on them."

Want to stop playing the self-blame game? Here's how to handle those squirm-inducing situations in all the major aspects of your life.


Does this sound familiar?
- Your husband dozed off at someone's wedding.
- You're invited to two events on Saturday night-and there's no way you can do both.
- You've missed five turns at carpooling.
- You ducked an acquaintance at the supermarket.
- You made a stupid joke that offended someone.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Today on WebMD

woman in yoga class
6 health benefits of yoga.
beautiful girl lying down of grass
10 relaxation techniques to try.
mature woman with glass of water
Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
coffee beans in shape of mug
Get the facts.
Take your medication
Hand appearing to hold the sun
Hungover man
Welcome mat and wellington boots
Woman worn out on couch
Happy and sad faces
Fingertip with string tied in a bow
laughing family