Thrive Psychology

Self-Esteem Development

What is self-esteem?

Typically self-esteem refers to how we view and think about ourselves as individuals, as well as the value we place on our own worth. Individuals often place a low value on their worth, or view themselves in a negative light, leading to the development of a negative opinion of one’s self. Often, low self-esteem and self-worth leads to additional problems for individuals, such as depression or anxiety.

What causes low self-esteem?

Development of self-esteem begins in early childhood, and is shaped throughout our lives by experiences and people around us. We determine conclusions about ourselves based on experiences and situations we face, as well as interactions with others. Those which are destructive or negative often result in the development of low self-esteem.

Who is most susceptible to low self-esteem?

Individuals who have experienced difficulties or adversities in life are generally more susceptible to experiencing low self-esteem and self-worth. Experiences such as neglect, abuse during childhood, difficulty meeting parent’s expectations, harsh punishment or an absence of positives, as well as comorbid mental health issues, all leave individuals more susceptible to experiencing low self-esteem.

How common is low self-esteem?

Found in the young and the old, in both men and women, low self-esteem does not discriminate. Many sufferers tend to mask their thoughts and beliefs about themselves, and therefore it is often difficult to detect an individual suffering from low self-esteem.

What are the signs and symptoms of low self-esteem?

Social withdrawal, anxiety, poor self-confidence and social skills, accentuating negative qualities, difficulty being assertive, putting others first, lack of self-care and difficulty accepting compliments can all be observed in individuals experiencing low self-esteem.

What treatment options are available for individuals with low self-esteem?

The ideal treatment for low self-esteem is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This is because CBT addresses and seeks to eradicate unhelpful thoughts and core beliefs which maintain one’s negative self-perception. Also, through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), evidence is sought to identify a more balanced and positive sense of self.

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