The Different Causes and Effects of Low Self-esteem

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1167 words

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Low self-esteem is a psychological feeling where one feels unsatisfied with his/her self. This problem is highly present in adulthood as there are many factors affecting it. An adult needs to have a well self-esteem as it reflects on every aspect of their lives. Having low self-esteem can affect an adult in a very negative way and sometimes ruin the adult’s life. A high self-esteem is a route to accomplishments and having a happy life. This essay explains the causes, effects, and previous solutions of low self-esteem.

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According to Brockmeyer et al. (2012), the first and most common cause being low self-esteem amongst adults in obesity. The general issue here is the adult’s self-image. They do not feel comfortable or even confident in their skin. When an adult has low self-esteem, they always view their bodies as inferior even if it is not to other people. They feel like they cannot reach perfection as they are not good enough. The problem here lies in the fact that sometimes the adult has nothing to be ashamed of with his/her body. However, due to low self-esteem it feels like no weight or body image it good enough.

Another cause being having low self-esteem is peer pressure and bullying. These two points are connected through the social network of the adult. Sometimes the adult thinks that if he/she is not accepted by the group than they are substandard. The pressure and bullying cause by their friends causes them to develop low self-esteem. How could someone feel self-confident, if the people around him/her keep mocking them? Friends and peers can have a huge influence on how a person sees his/herself. Low self-esteem is developed highly when acceptance is missing. (Noordenbos, Aliakbari, & Campbell ,2014)

Sadly, every phenomena has its causes and negative effects alongside with it. The effects of low self-esteem are numerous and usually very severe. One of the most heartbreaking effects is when an adult turns to cutting due to low self-esteem. Cutting one’s wrist or thighs or any part of the body is something no one should go through. Adults with low self-esteem usually express the things they hate about their selves through cutting. They write using a blade all the flaws they have about their selves on their body. Words like ugly and fat are the most common when adults cut. This is a very serious effect as one cut could lead to a person losing enough blood to kill them. (Greenberg, Pyszcznski, & Solomon, 2009)

Noordenbos, Aliakbari, & Campbell (2014) stated that, another effect of low self-esteem is depression. Feeling that your self-esteem is low is usually accompanied by sadness. There is no reason for an adult to be happy if they do not feel like they are worth it. This sadness comes in many levels and in many ways, but the worst type is when sadness becomes depression. Adults with low self-esteem that are depressed usually avoid social contact where they do not want to listen to people’s opinion about them. Depression is a gate to many psychological disorders like eating disorders if the adult has low self-esteem due to a lack in confidence with their body image. Being paranoid or antisocial can develop from depression as the adult fears being rejected due to the low self-esteem.

Like all problems in the world, there are many solutions that have been tried to fix the problem of low self-esteem among adults. If the solutions suggested were effective enough, then the issue being discussed would have ended by then. However, the many solutions only had a limited success. One of the most famous suggested solutions for adults with low self-esteem is going to therapy with a psychologist. This works for some adults as their psychologists gives them techniques to get over their problems and boost their self-esteem. Some adults do not even know why they have low self-esteem, and that is where the role of the psychologists comes in. There are many roles the psychologists plays when it comes to low self-esteem. Other than helping the patient find the root of the problem, they can also help them overcome it. This is through enhancing their self-esteem with many steps and sometimes motivational speeches that are expected to enhance the patient’s self-esteem. (Greenberg, Pyszcznski, & Solomon ,2009)

However, the suggest solution is not effective enough as it didn’t terminate the psychological problem low self-esteem. The problem with therapists is that patients go and talk to them because they know it is their job not to judge them and to help them. On the contrary, this doesn’t mean the patient will ever be strong enough to stand up against the reasons that cause the problem itself. If an adult has low self-esteem because of peer pressure, then if they had the courage to speak up to them; they would’ve a long time ago. The psychologists’ listens as it is the best thing he/she can do, but the self-esteem enhancement is up to the patient. In my opinion, I strongly believe that a good solution for adults with low self-esteem comes within the adult his/herself. One of the best ways a person can enhance and overcome problems is through writing. This is usually through a personal journal that no one else can read. When a person holds all their feelings in, they usually feel depressed. Hence, writing all the feelings down keeps the negative thoughts from consuming the person. Also, when an adult writes he/she might start imagining scenarios of what they could’ve said or done. The journal can also include all the things the person wants to fix in their life. So, low self-esteem can be fixed by writing it all done and possibly the words written as solutions could become strong enough to become actions. If someone motivated a person with low self-esteem it could work for a while, but what if that person distances apart? That’s why it is healthier to find the solution within as you will keep yourself strong.

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To conclude, low self-esteem is a common person among adults and it does not always show. The various causes include self-image which is one the adult has low self-confidence in their body image, so they develop low self-esteem. Another reason behind this issue is peer pressure and friends brining the person down with their words or actions. The effects are disturbing as they are severe such as depression, which is also correlated with other psychological disorders. The other effect is cutting, as a type of self-harm, and this is very dangerous as it can end the adult’s life if an accident happens. People should really start considering what they say and to whom as they do not know how negatively it affects the person’s self-esteem. If you find someone with a low self-esteem help them feel confident and tell them how much they are worth it. Hopefully, each person with low self-esteem realizes that they are perfect in their own way and no one should ever make them feel less than worth it.

Works Cited

  1. Brockmeyer, T., Skunde, M., Wu, M., Bresslein, E., Rudofsky, G., Herzog, W., & Friederich, H. C. (2012). Difficulties in emotion regulation across the spectrum of eating disorders. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 53(5), 489-494.
  2. Greenberg, J., Pyszczynski, T., & Solomon, S. (2009). The causes and consequences of a need for self-esteem: A terror management theory. In Public self and private self (pp. 189-212). Springer US.
  3. Noordenbos, G., Aliakbari, J., & Campbell, J. A. (2014). Understanding and treating low self-esteem. Frontline: A Journal for Addictions and Mental Health, 94(2), 36-43.
  4. Harter, S. (2012). Self-perception profile for adults: Manual and questionnaires. University of Denver.
  5. Robins, R. W., Trzesniewski, K. H., Tracy, J. L., Gosling, S. D., & Potter, J. (2002). Global self-esteem across the life span. Psychology and Aging, 17(3), 423-434.
  6. Orth, U., Robins, R. W., & Widaman, K. F. (2012). Life-span development of self-esteem and its effects on important life outcomes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(6), 1271-1288.
  7. Baumeister, R. F., Smart, L., & Boden, J. M. (1996). Relation of threatened egotism to violence and aggression: The dark side of high self-esteem. Psychological Review, 103(1), 5-33.
  8. Fennell, M. J. (2012). Depression: A short guide to depression, its causes and treatments. British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
  9. Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497-529.
  10. Smits, D. J., Rosenfield, D., & Davis, M. L. (2013). The efficacy of cognitive-behavioral interventions for reducing anxiety sensitivity: A meta-analytic review. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51(7), 371-385.
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The Different Causes and Effects of Low Self-esteem. (2018, August 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“The Different Causes and Effects of Low Self-esteem.” GradesFixer, 02 Aug. 2018,
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