Low self-esteem can make life difficult in all sorts of ways. It can make you anxious and unhappy, tormented by doubts and self-critical thoughts. It can get in the way of feeling at ease with other people and stop you from leading the life you want to lead. It makes it hard to value and appreciate yourself in the same way you would another person you care about.
Melanie Fennell's acclaimed and bestselling self-help guide will help you to understand your low self-esteem and break out of the vicious circle of distress, unhelpful behaviour and self-destructive thinking. Using practical techniques from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), this book will help you learn the art of self-acceptance and so transform your sense of yourself for the better.
Specifically, you will learn:How low self-esteem develops and what keeps it goingHow to question your negative thoughts and the attitudes that underlie themHow to identify your strengths and good qualities for a more balanced, kindly view of yourself
We found 10 studies which looked at the co-occurrence of low self-esteem and clinically significant anxiety/depression. These studies included young people recruited from the community and inpatient and outpatient mental health services. Young people with depression tended to report lower self-esteem than those with anxiety disorders, while those with both anxiety and depression were found to have the lowest self-esteem. Young people with any mental health problems tended to have lower self-esteem than those who do not have mental health problems.
We found 8 studies which reported on the association between low self-esteem in young people and anxiety/depression symptoms in the subsequent 1 to 6 years. From these studies, low self-esteem in young people appeared to be a relatively weak predictor of the development of anxiety and depression in later adolescence and early adulthood. Several studies reported a significant association, although with a relatively small effect, between low self-esteem and subsequent depressive symptoms. For example, Trzesniewski and colleagues (2006) reported that adolescents with low self-esteem were 1.26 times more likely to develop Major Depressive Disorder by the age of 26 than healthy adolescents. This pattern remained even when other vulnerability factors for developing depression (e.g. baseline depression, socio-economic status and IQ) were taken into account. However, other studies did not find the same association, most likely because the link between self-esteem and later depression is complex and multi-faceted, and likely to be influenced by the accumulation of multiple risk factors. Fewer studies reported on later anxiety. Interestingly, Trzesniewski et al. (2006) found that adolescents with low self-esteem were 1.6 times more likely to develop an anxiety disorder.
The studies we reviewed suggest that young people with clinically significant anxiety or depression, and particularly those with co-morbid anxiety and depression are also likely to have low self-esteem. Further research into the utility of the CBT model of low self-esteem and treatment based on this transdiagnostic model in young people is indicated. A number of smaller scale case series may be helpful to first establish whether a larger trial of CBT is indicated.
I find your article very interesting and would like to expand research into this connection between low self esteem/anxiety/depression.Please could you cite the studies you have looked at please to create you findings.Many thanksMichele 2b1af7f3a8