Research has established a direct connection between low self-esteem and substance abuse. People who don’t feel good about themselves look for outlets and experiences that make them feel better, and alcohol and drugs give them an escape from their negative thoughts and feelings. This relief is only temporary, however, and over time the negative impact of their substance abuse can drive their self-esteem even lower as they continue to struggle with feelings of failure and a loss of control.
Self-esteem can be simply defined as your opinion of yourself – how you feel about yourself as a person, your confidence in your abilities and the value you place on yourself. When someone has high self-esteem, they are fully aware of their strengths and they acknowledge their weaknesses but don’t feel badly because of them. When someone has low self-esteem, however, they lack confidence and they don’t recognize the strengths they have. Instead they dwell on their weaknesses and they don’t believe anyone sees any value in them, either.
Some other signs of low self-esteem include:
There are several factors that can contribute to low self-esteem, including mental illness and past trauma, such as neglect or child abuse. There are many other reasons why people may develop poor self-esteem. For example, children with unsupportive parents, teachers, and other authority figures may struggle with low self-esteem and those issues can carry over into adulthood. People who struggle with their physical appearance, weight, and body image very often develop negative feelings about their self-worth.
At Harbor Village, your self-esteem is one of the many factors we consider in our comprehensive assessment that determines your addiction recovery plan. We know improving your self-esteem can have a positive impact on your substance abuse treatment and addiction recovery efforts by helping you overcome co-occurring disorders such as anxiety or depression, which are often underlying causes of alcohol and drug addiction.
Our clinicians, therapists and counselors are experienced in evidence-based therapy modalities such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, and we take a holistic approach to helping you improve your self-esteem. Our treatment plans include activities and sessions that help you meet new people, discover new interests and develop new life skills that encourage you to feel better about yourself and your abilities.
This is an important step in your recovery because feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-esteem can hinder your efforts in drug addiction treatment or alcohol rehab. These negative feelings are counterproductive to recovery and increase your chance of relapse. We help you establish a more positive outlook and self-image that gives you the confidence you need to overcome setbacks on your road to recovery and achieve lasting success.