In This Article
In This Article
Self-esteem refers to how positive a person evaluates himself, in terms of his competence and worth. In evaluating your self-esteem or seeking a self-esteem definition, you might want to yourself these 2 questions: "How competent or capable am I?" "Am I a person of value?" Self-esteem exists on a continuum from high to low and mostly issues people face are related to the latter.
So what is low self-esteem? Although low self-esteem is not recognized as a mental disorder in DSM-5, it is a symptom of various mental disorders such as anxiety or depression.
When this happens, a person unintentionally becomes insensitive, and fails to pay attention to others’ behaviors, feelings, and intentions. Hence, a lack of self-esteem disconnects a person from others and keeps him from building meaningful relationships.
On the contrary, those who have low self-esteem tend to miss out on opportunities, and have a lower chance of economic success.
It might also be that he thinks that he is not capable of following a healthy diet or exercise program. Whatever the reasons, a person with low self-esteem is more likely to be diagnosed with various physical illnesses than a person with high self-esteem. They typically have poorer personal hygiene and may even engage in self-harming behaviors.
Some may engage in vices to keep problems at bay. And some may completely ignore the problem and refuse to deal with it.
What causes low self esteem? Various studies have shown the following to be the leading causes of low self esteem:
The first step in learning to appreciate yourself is to get to know your strengths and positive qualities.
The second step while building self-esteem is to challenge the negative beliefs that you have about yourself.
For example, if you think that you are lazy, you might remind yourself that you got an F on a math exam because you didn’t study for it, or that you never find clean socks because you don’t want to do laundry.
Studies have also shown that helping others may help a person to increase his self-esteem. Perhaps you could teach others to cook or play a guitar. You are sure to get compliments when you are sharing your strength with other people, and this is likely to improve your own self-esteem.
Low self-esteem is a learned behavior that typically develops during early childhood. When parents, teachers, and playmates harshly criticize a child for his looks or things that he has done, a child may internalize these words and start believing that he is not as good as others. Many people with poor self-esteem have a history of abuse or bullying.
How do you talk to your child?
When was the last time you gave your child a compliment and showed how much you valued his or her skills instead of criticizing?
Life experiences can also lower an adult's self-esteem. Common examples of such life events might include infidelity, divorce, or loss of employment.
Since self-esteem develops during early childhood it might be difficult for you to change it on your own. Many people with low self-esteem benefit from self-esteem counseling. A supportive counselor can help you to build a more realistic sense of self, and to turn your negative beliefs into more positive ones.
She or he might also encourage you to take risks and show yourself that you can succeed in a new job, get a date, or learn a new skill. A good therapist can make the process of improving self-esteem a lot faster and easier. A self-esteem counselor can shed light to the reasons you might have developed self-esteem in the first place and advise the best practices to correct these issues.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) - Most people with low self-esteem issues have negative, unrealistic beliefs about themselves. Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to make a person aware of these beliefs and then replace them with more positive, and realistic beliefs. It is also effective in the treatment of anxiety, and depression that often coexist with low self-esteem issues.
Psychodynamic Approach - Therapists that are trained in psychoanalysis belief that our early childhood experiences cause most if not all of our psychological illnesses. They also think that in order to become mentally healthy, a client must fix these issues.
Self-esteem counseling may be quite different depending on the theoretical approach that the therapist has. For example, if your counselor is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy you usually see a therapist once or twice a week and the therapy is usually going to be fairly short. Your therapist is likely to give you homework that you will bring to your self-esteem therapy session.
A therapist that is trained in psychoanalysis on the other hand typically requires that you see them more often and the therapy is likely to last longer with various self-esteem therapy activities as individuals or self-esteem group therapy activities for adults. On the other hand, your analyst is unlikely to give you any homework assignments.
It is time to seek self-esteem therapy when you feel low and it starts affecting every part of your life, for example:
If you must pay out of pocket, the cost of a 60 min session is typically between $60-$200. The more experiences a therapist is, the more they typically tend to charge. Also, psychologists typically tend to ask for more than counselors since they have a doctoral level education.
DSM-5 does not classify low self-esteem as a psychological disorder. Because of this, if low self-esteem is your only problem your health insurance is unlikely to cover for this kind of therapy.
If on the other hand you also suffer from anxiety, depression or some other issues that are commonly observed on people with low self-esteem, your health insurance is likely to pick your bill, or at least most of it.
If your self-esteem issues are relatively minor, you might only need to hire a life-coach for which the fee is typically economical.