Common Causes of Low Self-Esteem and Solutions

By Research Writer:  Margaret W. Lavigne

Self-esteem is the way you view yourself,including your flaws and personal achievements. People who have low self-esteem tend to view themselves as highly flawed. They tend to think little of their own worth and own achievements.That’s why people with low self-esteem suffer from the idea of ” not good enough yet.” Those who suffer from low self-esteem due to old mental wounds fail to generate a proper accurate self-valuation.And they tend to devalue themselves as others do to them. People with low self-esteem tend to believe they are inferior to others consciously or not. They may accept poor treatment from family members, friends and abusive lovers.  Aside from these, people who have low self-esteem struggle to accept positive feedback and view everyone around them better than themselves.


Persons who have experienced trauma tend to have lower self-esteem. It’s  common for teenagers to suffer from low to self-esteem issues. People with low self-esteem are vulnerable at negative words and negative judgments. They would take negative words and negative judgments as attacks or the signs of being unloved or unappreciated. That’s who people who low self-esteem are more likely to suffer from negative emotions, such as sorrow, anxiety disorders and anger.


A person with healthy self-esteem is more likely to be motivated to try new things and build new connections. A person with healthy self-esteem is less likely to be irritated due to other’s rudeness.  People who have low self-esteem have a lower ability to deal with failures and embarrassment.That’s why people with low self-esteem have low motivation of pursuing what they want out of life.  Generally, people with low self-esteem are more likely to be trapped by pessimism.  Psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck believes that if we value ourselves and, we’ll do things that are meaningful, which in turn makes us more valuable. In a word, those who suffer from low self-esteem might stop doing anything to boost their sense of self-worth.


Universality of Low Self-Esteem 

According to, 70% of girls believe they don’t “measure up” or aren’t “good enough” in some way, including physical appearance, school performance and relationships.




  1. Take pride in your accomplishments/achievements
  2. Work on your vulnerabilities right now
  3. challenge the negative judgments you have toward yourself.
  4. accept imperfect in life and in yourself : Life can be beautiful without perfection 
  5. To help the weak and the needed: the ability to help others boost our self-esteem 
  6. Replace negative statements with positive statements and note down your good qualities: When you suffer from self-hatred, review the lists will help you get a more correct identification of yourself. 
  7. Keep distance with mean, sour and demeaning persons: People who do not recover from trauma tend to be totally vulnerable to their weakness and flaws, making them more likely to get hurt again. 


Common Causes of Low Self-Esteem

  1. trauma or abuse, such as friends’ betrayal, workplace bullying and divorce
  2. being harshly or repeatedly criticized for their poor performance at something


Common Signs of Low Self-Esteem

  1. Can’t take compliments
  2. feeling unloved and unwanted
  3. not being able to deal with frustration
  4. overly value other’s feedback or response
  5. prioritize others needs and ignore their own needs 
  6. negative self-talk 
  7. suffer from chronic anxiety
  8. avoid building connections 
  9. fear of failure or embarrassment
  10. low levels of motivation/ avoid taking challenges 


People who suffer from low self-esteem tend to suffer from trust issues and negative thoughts  about   future and about oneself that they believe that nothing good will happen and they believe they are worthless consciously or not.  


According to Dr. Frank Ochberg, M.D., “Negative thoughts are now included in the definition of post-traumatic stress injury” that  our brain may be wounded after going through a traumatic event or a  profound trauma, which block their positive emotions. In other words, people’s perception of reality  and their self-worth altered and distorted when their heart get terribly hurt.  According to Dr. Frank Ochberg, M.D.,  to overcome negative thoughts, people have to realize that self-hatred is “ not a true assessment of yourself.” Dr. Frank Ochberg, M.D. claims that people’s “ self-view is darker than it deserves to be.” when they suffer from low self-esteem. 


Depression and Low Self-Esteem 

I would say, low self-esteem is a common symptom for those who suffer from depression and those who suffer from old mental wounds. Generally, those who suffer from depression have low self-esteem and that’s why they easily get hurt and irritated. 


It’s common to encounter people who tend to devalue our self-worth, but people who have a healthy self-esteem tend to laugh it off because they know what people say is not true. Nevertheless, people who have low self-esteem tend to question their self-worth or suffer from self-hatred when they receive negative feedback repeatedly. 


Depression saps your energy and motives. There are several types of depressive disorders, such as major depression, (PDD), postpartum depression (PPD), and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).


Common Signs of Depression

  1. Irritability
  2. inability to sleep, excessive sleep, insomnia
  3. thoughts of suicide/ suicide attempts
  4. Feeling numb/ fail to experience happiness
  5. self-Isolation: avoid situations, people, places, or events that remind them of the trauma.
  6. low self-esteem
  7. unable to think positively



What is PTSD ?
PTSD happens when somebody has experienced or witnessed significant trauma.People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often struggle with poor self-image, low self-esteem, depression and feelings of worthlessness.


Symptom of PTSD
People who suffer from PTSD fail to shake of disturbing flashbacks of traumatic events or malicious judgments from others. 


Examples of negative thinking patterns include the following:

  1. Thinking that people always think the worst of you
  2. Ruminate on past errors, own weakness and flaws
  3. Avoid social gatherings because you fear not being good enough to be accepted or excluded or badly judged



“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. ”M. Scott Peck



  1. Gift From Within – PTSD Questions & Answers with Frank Ochberg, M.D.
  2. How to support yourself and others who may be struggling with post traumatic stress disorder
  3. PTSD and Low Self Esteem: Any Connection?


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Margaret W. Lavigne 司馬儀

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