Having low self-esteem is something many people of all ages deal with. While low self-esteem is not considered a mental health condition, how we think about ourselves directly impacts our mental health and overall well-being.
What is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem refers to the way people feel about themselves. People with healthy or high self-esteem think positively about themselves and their abilities. They believe they deserve respect and have no problems setting healthy boundaries.
Individuals with low self-esteem do not feel very good about themselves. They constantly measure themselves against others and always come up short. As a result, they may not think they are worthy of love and respect and will typically not set healthy boundaries, allowing others to take advantage of them.
How Does a Low Self-Esteem Affect Mental Health?
The following are some ways low self-esteem can impact a person’s mental health:
Human beings are wired for connections. But when we have low self-esteem, we tend not to put ourselves “out there” socially and even manage to isolate ourselves, which can lead to poor relationships and loneliness.
Studies have indicated low self-esteem in childhood can lead to addictions later in life. As a result, many people use alcohol and other substances to cope with negative feelings about themselves.
Depression and Anxiety
Living with low self-esteem day after day, week after week, can very much take its toll and eventually lead to the development of depression and anxiety.
How to Build Your Self-Esteem
Building self-esteem is important for mental health and for living a happy life. But it’s not necessarily easy to do it. It’s not like losing weight where you can say I am going to eat less and move more.
That is why I recommend working with a trained therapist who specializes in helping people build their self-esteem. First, a therapist can help you identify your core negative beliefs and determine where they came from. Then, they can help you develop new, realistic self-esteem that reflects who you are.
If you or someone you know is suffering from low self-esteem and would like to explore treatment options, don’t hesitate to contact me.