What’s one major difference between people with high or low self-esteem? Those with high self esteem will often look at challenges as a means for continued self-improvement while people with low self-esteem see them as potential mistakes to be avoided. Because individuals with low self-esteem are often very self-critical, it’s easy for them to mistakenly interpret constructive criticism (and sometimes even praise) as an attack. This severe self-criticism can also manifest as social anxiety, since people with low self-esteem see others as overly critical of them.


selfesteem_2Individuals with high self-esteem will seek out new challenges.


What Are the Causes of Low Self-Esteem?

Generally, people suffering from low self-esteem have a highly critical internal dialogue. This can be a result of being raised by a critical or overly strict family, or experiencing traumatic situations that resulted in the child feeling either worthless or responsible for the incident. Adults who previously had normal self-esteem levels can succumb to love self-esteem through abuse in their adult lives.


selfesteem_1Low self-esteem can lead people to hide from challenging situations.


When is Low Self-Esteem Serious Enough for Treatment?

This is no threshold that separates “serious” from “non-serious” mental health concerns. One does not need to be suffering from a severe or debilitating mental illness to be justified in visiting a psychologist. The wise among us actively engage in preventative mental health care with the same enthusiasm that one would engage in daily exercise to strengthen the immune system and keep the body healthy.


How Is Low Self-Esteem Treated?

Because low self-esteem often stems from a negative self-image and critical internal dialogue, a psychologist can help an individual develop a better, more accurate self-image through talk therapy. Learning to replace a harsh, cruel, or critical inner voice is key to raising self-esteem to normal levels.


How Is Low Self-Esteem Prevented?

Low self-esteem, along with a multitude of other mental health concerns, can be prevented by seeking out mental health care before a problem becomes established. Many people feel that they should only see a psychologist if something is seriously wrong with them mentally, and even then seeking treatment can be embarrassing. Although going to see a medical doctor for regular checkups is seen as prudent and normal, consulting a professional about mental health is rarely done in a preventative manner, or indeed outside of a dire need.

More people would enjoy improved mental health, however, if we went to mental healthcare professionals for advice regarding personal development before major problems arise. Avoiding mental health care is similar to the person who, rather than visiting the doctor for a minor infection, waits until several days after it has developed into painful and bronchitis. Then, once being treated, never returns until another serious illness comes along.


selfesteem_3Prudent and mentally healthy people will often seek to advance their personal development.


As we said at the beginning of this article, people with low self-esteem place their focus on avoiding challenges, while mentally healthy people actively seek them out as a means of personal development. Attending a self-help group or a psychology session can help the mentally healthy person advance their mental and emotional development, protecting them from future mental illness.

If you believe you are suffering from low self-esteem, or would simply like to enhance your personal development, please contact me today to arrange a visit.