Self Esteem Issues


Self Esteem Issues

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Much of our sense of personal value and mental well being comes through the confidence we have in our abilities and quality of character. These feelings define our self-esteem. When our self-esteem is balanced and strong, we tend to perform better at work, in school, in personal relationships, and in all facets of life. Our motivation to succeed is enhanced by a positive sense of self-esteem.

However, self-esteem that is too high or too low can have devastating effects on our quality of life. Overly high self-esteem can lead to narcissistic and arrogant behavior, while a poor sense of self-esteem produces vulnerabilities in the areas of anxiety and depression.

Both of these conditions have the potential to spiral as symptoms build on one another, leading to disastrous results. There is good news, however. Self-esteem issues are treatable, and with proper diagnosis, treatment, and guidance, they can be overcome.

Why is Self-Esteem Important?

We are complex creatures, and there are many factors that affect how we navigate our way through life and all its challenges. Our self-esteem is one of the primary factors that determines how we make decisions, how we treat and respond to others, and how we view the world and our lives. With a healthy self-esteem, we are more likely to possess a higher motivational drive to reach our potential and tackle new challenges.

There are four primary components of a healthy level of self-esteem:

  • A strong and honest grasp of skills and abilities
  • Reasonable expectations for achievements based on the above
  • Realistic recognition of personal and relational needs with the strength to communicate them to and with others
  • The capacity to enjoy appropriate relationships with others through an understanding of the other three characteristics above

An abnormally high level of self-esteem generates overconfidence and a sense of entitlement. People in this category often expect success despite a lack of skills that support their belief. Then, they blame others for their own failures. These narcissistic tendencies result in relationship issues and keep them from perceiving their need for growth and development. They often view themselves as being “perfect.”

People with low self-esteem find the opposite is true. They have little or no confidence in their own abilities and struggle to make decisions. Without a belief in themselves and their true capacity, they suffer from low ambition. These people tend to under-achieve, and they find themselves struggling in relationships because they feel incapable and unlovable.

Who Suffers from Self-Esteem Issues?

Self-esteem issues can affect anyone. In fact, most people deal with some degree of self-esteem matters throughout their lives. This sort of internal wrestling is natural and a part of life.  However, when self-esteem issues affect performance and relationships on a regular basis, it is appropriate to seek assistance.

Typically, self-esteem is fairly high throughout childhood, decreasing during the adolescent years. Girls tend to experience self-esteem issues to a greater degree than boys during this time. As people move into their adult years, self-esteem generally rises over the course of their lives until they reach an elderly state, at which time self-esteem decreases again as the effects of old age begin to develop.

One of the most common self-esteem factors is image. Body image is a critical component in decision making for many people. One study revealed that 85 percent of women surveyed avoided activities when they had a low opinion of the way they looked. Likewise, other research uncovered that more than 80 percent of men suffer anxiety because of their perception of their own bodies and how they talk about them with other men.

What Causes Self-Esteem Issues?

A number of factors play into both low and inflated self-esteem issues. The most influential of these elements include:

  • Traumatic experiences – Abuse and negative emotional experiences are a leading cause of self-esteem issues. Specific examples include neglect, mental and physical abuse, excessive punishment, etc.
  • Thinking patterns – How we view ourselves and our situations plays a large role in self-esteem issues. Focusing on our flaws or failures can have a lasting effect on our mental state. This negativity may be self-imposed or exerted by others.
  • Inadequate support and encouragement – Without sufficient praise and affection, we can develop low self-esteem. Children can be especially susceptible in this area, and social media can play into this factor as well.
  • Genetics – Our family history plays a role in many aspects of our mental health. Self-esteem is no exception. People who come from families with a history of self-esteem issues are more prone to develop these tendencies themselves.
  • Expectations – Failure to meet our expectations or those of others can lead to self-esteem issues. From parents to teachers to coworkers, our ability – or inability – to meet standards significantly affects how we view ourselves and our value.


What Symptoms Grow out of Self-Esteem Issues?

Unidentified or untreated self-esteem issues can lead to a number of symptoms that affect our bodies, our mental health, and our social interactions. When you notice these symptoms, we encourage you to contact us for a consultation to see whether treatment is appropriate. Otherwise, your self-esteem issues may compound into other disorders.

Low self-esteem potentially leads to depressive disorders and may eventually result in suicidal tendencies. Symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of worthlessness or low value
  • Eating disorders
  • Excessive negativity
  • Violent behaviors
  • Suicidal thoughts and actions

Inflated self-esteem often leads to narcissism and difficulty in social situations. Symptoms include:

  • Exaggerated skills and abilities
  • Living with a sense of perfection
  • Obsessively pursuing “being right”
  • Anxiety
  • Mood disorders
  • Substance abuse

Because these lists of symptoms are not exhaustive, both low and high self-esteem are obviously potentially dangerous in their own way. Please contact us to explore relief from symptoms as well as identifying and eliminating the source of your issues.

How do you Treat Self-Esteem Issues?

Just as symptoms vary widely, treatment for self-esteem issues will vary according to each specific circumstance. At Bridgepoint, we conduct a careful review with each individual before prescribing treatment. We focus on identifying the true source of any mental health concern so that we can determine the best course of treatment for that issue.

We use several forms of treatment for self-esteem issues including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Competitive Memory Training
  • Compassion Focused Therapy

Our licensed and highly trained therapists will determine the most appropriate treatment regimen to root out the cause of your issues and establish a healthy pattern of behavior.

There are no medications at this time that directly address self-esteem, though they may be prescribed to address related disorders such as anxiety and depression.

How can I Resolve my Self-Esteem Issues?

Thankfully, most self-esteem issues can be resolved through proper identification and treatment. We encourage you to ensure you seek trained and licensed professionals when seeking help.

At Bridgepoint, we have years of successfully treating self-esteem disorders and believe we can effectively help you in your situation. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation so we can pair you with the right professional and method to restore your mental health.

Visit Our Resources Page

Bridgepoint encourages clinicians, patients, and their loved ones to research new methodologies and techniques to improve mental health and wellbeing. To assist with your own learning, we’ve put together a variety of resources on a variety of topics – including genomics – to help you on your mental health journey.

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