What is Low Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is a person’s overall appraisal of his or her self-worth. It is considered a personality trait, which develops in childhood, and affects a person’s behaviors, social interactions, and overall well-being. Persons with low self-esteem lack confidence in their social relationships, often feeling like a failure. They may not assert themselves, and may exhibit dependent behaviors. They may lose their temper easily, and blame others for their problems. There may be body image distortions with low self-worth.
What causes Low Self-Esteem?
Low self-esteem originates in childhood. Adverse childhood experiences such as a home life lacking in safety or love, excessive criticism, problems with physical appearance or health, physical or sexual abuse, or other traumatic events can lead to low self-esteem as an adult. Adverse experiences as an adult can also cause low self-esteem, such as unemployment, marital difficulties or divorce, financial problems, health problems or psychological trauma. Psychological issues such as depression or anxiety, and personality disorders are also interrelated with low self-esteem.
What are symptoms of Low Self-Esteem
People with low self-esteem may lack social skills and self-confidence, isolating themselves from others. They may lack assertiveness, having difficulty giving their own opinion or asking for what they want. Their thoughts may be pessimistic or overly negative. The lack of self-worth makes them unable to accept criticism and defensive. Additionally, eating disorders and substance abuse are common problems in persons with low self-esteem.
Frequently Asked Questions about Low Self Esteem
How is Low Self-Esteem diagnosed?
Problems related to low self-esteem should be evaluated by a mental health professional. A thorough psychological examination is necessary to determine if the low self-esteem is associated with any specific psychological disorders. Underlying causes of low self-esteem such as anxiety, depression or personality issues must be considered. Psychological trauma, with subsequent development of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or other anxiety disorders can also be associated with low self-esteem. Chemical dependency, alcoholism or self-medication can have a deleterious effect on self-esteem as well.
What is the Prognosis for Low Self-Esteem?
If low self-esteem is associated with a specific psychological problem, that problem must be addressed first. Furthermore, if substance abuse or alcoholism are exacerbating the low self-esteem, treatment must be directed towards these problems. Low self-esteem can be addressed with psychological treatment and, when appropriate, medication. Effective psychotherapy, sleep and stress management, and psycho-education, can significantly improve a person’s esteem and confidence.
What factors can slow recovery?
Persons with an low self-esteem with associated psychological problems may be reluctant or afraid to seek treatment. Establishing the proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan is extremely important. Substance abuse and self-medication is also prevalent among persons with low self-esteem. Both dramatically interfere with effective psychological and medical treatment. Persons with low self-esteem may be isolated from family or loved ones, thus lacking an effective social support structure that is important to help with their recovery.
How Can Friends and Family Help?
When family and loved ones realize that their family member has low self-esteem, they can play an important role in helping that person to enter treatment. Through psycho-education, family and friends can learn to recognize when the person needs help the most. They can be a valuable resource in monitoring medications and being vigilant in watching for symptoms of depression or anxiety, as well as avoidant or isolating behaviors. Family members can help a person with low self-esteem enter a treatment facility, providing emotional support and financial resources.
When Should a Client enter a treatment center?
When a person with low self-esteem is having serious problems that are negatively impacting their daily school or work life and personal and family relationships, they should consider an intensive treatment program. Once per week psychotherapy or medication may be ineffective at managing low self-esteem associated with psychological problems. PCH Treatment Center has specific expertise in treating low self-esteem, especially when the person is not motivated to seek or stay in treatment.
How does PCH Treatment Center treat Low Self Esteem?
PCH Self Esteem Treatment Center has extensive experience in treating low self-esteem, as well as any associated psychological problems. Dr. Jeff Ball, the Executive and Clinical Director, has over 25 years of inpatient and outpatient practice addressing psychological problems and low self-esteem. Dr. Ball has assembled a highly qualified treatment team. When a person with low self-esteem enters a PCH Self Esteem Treatment Center program, a thorough initial assessment is performed by a doctoral level psychologist. We endeavor to properly diagnose each client, discarding ineffective or stigmatizing labels. Dr. William Wirshing, our Psychiatrist, also evaluates each client, to determine if they need medication or to reorder their current medication regimen. Individual psychotherapy is the foundation of treatment at PCH Self Esteem Treatment Center, and clients receive up to five individual sessions per week, coupled with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), EMDR, anger management, sleep hygiene, neurofeedback and other state of the art modalities. Holistic therapies including yoga, meditation, acupuncture and massage therapy are important for recovery and healing. Family therapy groups are also available which incorporate family members or significant others into the client’s treatment environment. PCH Self Esteem Treatment Center offers effective, immersive psychological care for problems related to low self-esteem and low self-worth.