How To Deal With Negative Self Image – When people think of issues that require counselling, they often think of severe mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. And, while it is true that counselling can be life-changing for those battling the effects of these conditions, smaller, less frequently discussed issues can often be just as debilitating for individuals—sometimes even more so due to the fact that people often feel as though these issues are not significant enough to seek mental health services for. However, all struggles are valid and can negatively impact your life in a myriad of ways, making it important to seek help whenever you feel these impacts.

One such often-underestimated problem is low self-esteem or negative self-image. Although this is not a mental health condition with a specific diagnosis, individuals struggling with a negative self-image often experience severe disruptions to their daily lives and are at a high risk for other mental health conditions such as depression and self-harming behaviours. Counselling is one of the best ways for individuals to begin to understand that these feelings are irrational and begin to heal in healthy ways. Horizon Plymouth works to raise awareness of the impacts of these struggles in order to allow more individuals to seek help and healing with negative self-image. 

What causes someone to have a negative self-image? 

Often there is not one thing that causes an individual to develop a negative image of themselves. Rather, low self-esteem stems from the messages—both conscious and unconscious—that an individual receives over the course of their lifetime. Although childhood experiences can be much more formative and impactful, these harmful thoughts can become ingrained at any point in an individual’s lifetime. Someone struggling with negative self-image may feel as though they are not good enough no matter what they do, and they will never be able to live up to the expectations of those around them. Additionally, traumatic or stressful life experiences can worsen self-image and cause life-long struggles with self-esteem.  

What are signs to seek counselling for low self-esteem? 

Nearly everyone has moments where they feel badly about themselves—this is a normal part of being human. However, when these feelings do not pass and begin to affect the way an individual lives their life, it can be a sign of a more persistent mental health issue that may require counselling. Some such signs that it may be time to seek professional intervention include: 

  • An inability to try new things or venture out to new social settings 
  • Feelings of anxiety or panic when faced with situations where feedback will be given 
  • Always assuming that your work and/or talents are subpar 
  • Unhealthy coping strategies such as smoking or drinking 

How can counselling help? 

Because negative self-images develop as a result of a mosaic of experiences collected over the course of a lifetime, counselling is often necessary to help the individual begin to sort out and understand the source of their misguided thoughts in order to begin to develop healthy patterns of thinking that will promote a healthier self-image. Most counselling interventions will employ cognitive behavioural therapy, which is a form of talk therapy in which the counsellor will guide the individual through their thoughts in order to help them better understand the origin of their maladaptive ways of thinking as they begin to develop healthy coping strategies and address any underlying mental roadblocks. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of a negative self-image, reach out to Horizon Plymouth today. Our expert counsellors are experienced in helping individuals overcome such mental health struggles and would be delighted to help you return to a happier, healthier life. Don’t ignore your struggles simply because you believe that they are not serious—nothing could be further from the truth. Reach out to schedule your initial consultation today! 

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