We use the phrase self-esteem to talk about the beliefs you have about yourself.

These include: what you think about the type of person you are, your abilities, the positive and negative things about you and what you expect for your future.

If you have healthy self-esteem, your beliefs about yourself will generally be positive. You may experience difficult times in your life, but you will generally be able to deal with these without them having too much of a long-term negative impact on you.

If you have low self-esteem, your beliefs about yourself will often be negative. You will tend to focus on your weaknesses or mistakes that you have made, and may find it hard to recognise the positive parts of your personality. You may also blame yourself for any difficulties or failures that you have.

Low self-esteem is not a recognised mental health problem, but self-esteem and mental health are closely related.

Low self-esteem can lead to mental health difficulties.

Negative thinking patterns associated with low self-esteem, such as assuming you will fail at things you do, can develop over time and lead to mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.

Low self-esteem can make it hard to try new things or complete tasks, such as starting a new hobby or completing a job application. This can stop you from living your life the way you want, and lead to frustration and depression over time.

Struggling to cope?

Don’t struggle alone overnight. If you’re experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts or are in crisis, call us from 6pm - 1am.

If you are in crisis overnight from 8pm - 6am, call us on: 0300 003 7029