Self-esteem is a term used to refer to an individual's overall evaluation or appraisal of their own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame. People with low self-esteem tend to perceive themselves and their abilities in a very negative light, even when objective evidence would suggest otherwise. Although low self-esteem is not considered a mental illness on its own, low self-esteem has been linked to vulnerability to mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. It is also associated with specific psychological problems such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and relationship difficulties.

Did You Know?

The concept of self-esteem has been around for thousands of years and has become particularly important in Western society over the past century with the rise in the popularity of social psychology.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are the symptoms of low self-esteem?

A person with low self-esteem might show a number of specific behaviors, including constantly seeking reassurance and approval from others; worrying excessively about their appearance, health, achievements, or behavior; putting themselves down; viewing themselves as inferior in comparison to others (i.e., discounting own accomplishments); and thinking everyone is against them or critical of them. If you or a loved one are experiencing signs of low self-esteem, schedule a consultation with your Las Vegas psychiatrist today. 

What causes low self-esteem?

Psychologists have attempted to identify the causes, or risk factors, of low self-esteem. They generally agree that a combination of genetic and environmental factors play a role in determining whether people feel good about themselves, but there is no single cause of low self-esteem.

Lack of positive early experiences is thought to be one of the main risk factors associated with low self-esteem. The absence of unconditional love and approval from caregivers is thought to increase the likelihood that children will experience difficulties in their relations with others, which may then lead to feelings of insecurity, anxiety and hostility. Another factor is teasing or bullying by peers, siblings or other family members. Negative experiences such as these can lead to a negative self-image and, over time, even the most positive experiences will not be enough to counter this effect.

Can therapy help treat low self-esteem?

Absolutely. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in helping people with low self-esteem. Therapy can help people think more positively about themselves and improve their relationships with others by identifying and challenging unhelpful patterns of thinking. 

In some cases, low self-esteem (or extremely high self-esteem) may also be a symptom or a contributing factor to a mental disorder. In these cases, seeking treatment can allow for a proper diagnosis to the underlying cause of low self-esteem. Psychiatric treatment involving medications and/or psychotherapy can be beneficial in cases where low self-esteem is associated with a mental disorder. 


|    Share this page with your friends