What do you think of yourself? The answer to that question basically defines your self-esteem. It’s the level of confidence you have in your abilities and the value you place on yourself as a person.
If you have high self-esteem, you’re probably well-aware of your strengths – the things you do well, and areas where you’re comfortable in your abilities – and you don’t dwell on your weaknesses. If you have low self-esteem, you likely don’t put much faith in your strengths, if you recognize them at all, and you constantly think about your perceived weaknesses. You may believe that others don’t value your abilities, either.
People with low self-esteem often struggle with substance abuse. They constantly seek out ways to make themselves feel better, and drugs or alcohol may provide a temporary escape from their negative thoughts and feelings about themselves. With continued substance abuse, however, the negative effects of drugs and alcohol can create a sense of failure and loss of control, driving their self-esteem even lower.
People with low self-esteem often believe that they are not important and they don’t matter to the people around them. Other signs and symptoms include:
There are many factors that may contribute to a person’s low self-esteem. Some people may begin to develop self-esteem issues in younger years and they carry over into adulthood. Examples include:
Improving your self-esteem can play a major role in your efforts to recover from addiction to drugs or alcohol by helping you overcome co-occurring mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression, which are often underlying causes of substance abuse.
At Golden Peak Recovery, we consider your self-esteem as part of our comprehensive assessment that determines your addiction recovery plan. Once we have determined the right mix of treatment modalities for your individual situation – such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, group and individual counseling, and more – we take a holistic approach to helping you improve your self-esteem. Our programs include therapies and activities that help you meet new people, discover new interests and develop new life skills that will help you feel better about yourself and your abilities.
We recognize that the negative feelings that often come with low self-esteem can disrupt your efforts to beat your addiction to drugs or alcohol. Guilt and shame and other similar emotions are counterproductive to recovery and increase your chance of relapse. By learning to take a more positive view of yourself, you can develop the confidence you need to overcome setbacks and achieve your goal of a successful and lasting recovery.