How Low Self-Esteem Related to Feeling Different Influences Addiction
A person’s self-esteem can impact a variety of different things. If an individual has high self-esteem, he or she is more likely to experience more success in his or her life, maintain a healthy lifestyle and have strong relationships with others. However, if an individual is suffering from low self-esteem, especially low self-esteem that is related to feeling different than others, he or she might have a more challenging time doing these things. In many ways, this type of low self-esteem can lead to the development of an addiction.
The Link Between Low Self-Esteem and Addiction
Having low self-esteem, especially in relation to feeling different from others, can produce a number of side effects that can heighten the potential for the development of addiction. Some of the many side effects of this type of low self-esteem that can cause addiction can include the following:
- Being needy – Being needy is one of the most common traits of an individual who has low self-esteem, and this can be triggered even more so if the individual has low self-esteem due to feeling different. In an attempt to gain attention or acceptance, an individual in this situation might begin using drugs as a result of peer pressure, or in an effort to block out his or her feelings when expectations are not met.
- Feeling anxious – If an individual constantly needs other people’s approval to feel accepted, then he or she might develop an issue with anxiety that can lead to addiction. This anxiety can stem from an individual always needing to obtain approval, and when he or she does not get it, it can cause the anxiety to worsen to a point where he or she uses drugs or alcohol to cope.
- Striving for perfection – Many individuals who have low self-esteem as a result of feeling different than others often strive to maintain a level of perfectionism that is generally unattainable. Continuing to attempt to achieve the perfect life can cause an individual to never be satisfied with himself or herself, often causing the development of depression, which can in turn cause addiction.
Low self-esteem is linked to the development of addiction in that many individuals struggling with this problem are often overly needy, experience anxiety, and develop depression.
Treatment Options for Individuals with Low Self-Esteem
It is important to develop a healthy level of self-esteem and to understand that basing levels of self-esteem on the opinions of others is unhealthy. In order to develop this understanding, individuals struggling with this problem can prevent addiction development by participating in traditional psychotherapy, behavioral therapy and even experiential therapies that will help them develop positive self-esteem. These types of therapies will not only impact their level of self-esteem, but also help provide them with the skills needed to maintain that self-esteem as they move forward.
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