Physical illnesses can quite literally cripple you, but if you think mental illnesses can’t paralyze you just as much if not more, then you’re gravely wrong. A lot of those are the doings of low self-esteem.
Unlike phases of low confidence, low self-esteem has deeper roots and tends to last longer. It envelops you and leaves you feeling unwanted, unworthy, and unable to make life decisions without prolonged periods of contemplation.
It takes a severe toll on you and gives birth to several consequences that arise while trying to find a coping mechanism. But you can always get better. To do that, you need to look for a potential cause and nip it at the root. Down below are seven common causes of low self-esteem:
Abuse affects people of all ages, backgrounds, and genders equally. Whether it’s physical, verbal, or sexual, or a mix of either of these, it can leave you in a whirlwind of negative feelings. You keep thinking about it repeatedly, and it continues to weigh heavier on you with time. You think about why you had to go through any of it, and the constant negativity makes you believe you deserved it. It leaves you feeling empty and makes you avoid similar situations and people. Abuse makes you feel unworthy and unable to properly bond with anyone.
- TRAUMATIC LIFE EVENTS
Quite a lot of your low esteem could be caused by stressful life events, whether they occurred in the past or are happening at the moment. Things like going through chronic illnesses, losing loved ones, facing relationship issues, or financial hardship can take a toll on you. Traumatic life events occupy your brain with negativity to the extent that it makes you believe they are consequences of your past choices. Trying too hard to get over it or make it work takes all your attention off of yourself and into trying to do better.
- FAMILY AND PEER PRESSURE
In a world of overachievers and the hype created around them, everyone is in a constant race to do better and achieve more. Even though you may be doing just fine, the pressure to do more from your family, peers, and people around you can be exhausting. You’re constantly overexerting yourself, trying to do more, setting unrealistic goals, and losing sleep over them. It is an endless loop that drains you of energy, leaving you feeling helpless, tired, and lesser than others. It can make you cut yourself off from society and lead you to substance abuse and addiction to cope with the existential crisis the pressure put you into.
We all crave love and care, especially from our loved ones. While the definition and category loved ones fall in is different for anyone, we can collectively agree that it is a combination of parents, friends, family, partners, and other people in our lives that play a significant role. However, we don’t live in a happy-go-lucky world, and the sky isn’t always blue- the love we have for people isn’t always reciprocated.
You may face cripplingly low self-esteem if you are neglected by the people you love. Having an unhappy childhood where you were criticized for being yourself and bombarded with controlling parents’ punishments can leave an everlasting mark. Having the people, you expect to support you and have your back not seem to care about you can take a toll on you, leaving you with a feeling of worthlessness, and wondering why you were unworthy of their love and support.
- SURROUNDED BY NEGATIVITY
A healthy environment can do wonders for just about anyone and make you feel wanted and loved by just being there. But a hostile, unsupportive environment can do just the opposite. Living in an unhappy household, having friends that use you and are a terrible influence, and being neglected by teachers and peers can be mentally exhausting. Not getting the warmth and support you deserve can drop your self-esteem to dangerous levels. You’re always wondering what you can do to be better and how to earn the love you rightfully deserve. It leaves you exhausted and bitter.
- BODY IMAGE
In today’s world of photoshop, surgery, and perfection, it can be tough having a blemish on your face or stretch marks on your body despite it being perfectly normal. Having people comment on your imperfections and criticizing you on your looks can have you practicing unhealthy and risky behaviors. Trying to look like the models on a Vogue cover and bulking up to look like a Gucci model has girls and boys around the globe starving themselves, using steroids, and using alcohol and drugs to cope with the negativity. It makes you feel like a misfit in a world of Miss and Mister fits that have their lives all sorted.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
We live in a world where everyone is linked to each other, and societies thrive only through cooperation and healthy dependence. But the tables can turn around in no time if you depend on something excessively, especially if we’re talking about dependency on substances like drugs and alcohol. While it may take your mind off the negative things in your life for a while, it destroys your mind and body. Thinking that it’s too late now? Don’t worry, Laguna Treatment Hospital rehab is always the best option for such situations.
Low self-esteem has a long list of consequences. From extreme self-hatred and criticism to the inability to trust yourself to make life decisions and addiction, it can paralyze you mentally and socially. The only way out is to look for the root cause of it and work on yourself. Check yourself into therapy and drive yourself to rehab if you must because life is about more than just surviving under the weight of unhappiness, mental illnesses, and not feeling enough. Treat yourself like you would treat a friend going through the same, and look for signs in other people. Take the proper steps, seek professional help and live your life to the fullest.