October 27, 2023

How Your Self-Esteem Affects Your Mental Health

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. 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:


Poor Relationships 


Human beings are wired for connections. But when we have low self-esteem, we tend not to put ourselves “out there” socially and even isolate ourselves, which can lead to poor relationships and loneliness.


Addiction


Studies have indicated low self-esteem in childhood can lead to addictions later in life. Many addicts 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. A therapist can help you identify your core negative beliefs and determine where they came from. They can help you develop new, realistic self-esteem that reflects your true self.


If you or someone you know is suffering from low self-esteem and would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me. Magdalene Acquah is a Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist. She hopes her blog can bring awareness to mental illness and help individuals seeking mental health care and the support needed.

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