Building self-esteem is an oft-stated goal in psychotherapy. It’s a basic clinical concept that self-esteem is central to good mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
When mental disorders or life traumas do strike, self-dislike degrades healing, performance, and overall health. Such mental state produces internal resistance, relapse, and blockages to therapy and recovery.
A damaged self-esteem or self-dislike is well recognized in psychological literature and clinical practice to be responsible for producing or contributing to:
* Stress symptoms
* Psychosomatic illness, like headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and digestive tract upset
* Hostility, excessive or deep-seated anger, dislike and distrust of others, competitiveness
* Spouse and child abuse
* Entering into abusive/unhappy relationships
* Alcohol and drug abuse
* Sex, porn addiction
* Eating disorders and unhealthy dieting
* Poor communication (e.g. non-assertive, aggressive, defensive, critical, sarcastic)
* Sensitivity to criticism
* Tendency to put on a false front to impress others
* Social difficulties – withdrawal, isolation, loneliness
* Poor performance, laziness, inactivity
* Preoccupation with problems
* Status/appearance concerns
Plus … a lot more!
No wonder, a damaged self-esteem or self-dislike is called a big “invisible handicap.”