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Low self-esteem

Self-esteem can be described in simple terms as your opinion of yourself. Similar expressions, such as ‘self-image’, ‘self-perception’ and ‘self-concept’ are also used to describe the value that we place on ourselves as individuals. How we judge and value personal worth is where we might run into problems with self-esteem.

What are some of the signs of low self-esteem?


  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches


  • Hostility
  • Feelings of isolation and social withdrawal
  • Embarrassment in social or intimate situations


  • Thinking oneself unworthy
  • Self-criticism
  • Feeling wounded by criticism
  • Feeling victimised and put upon

Causes of low self-esteem

There are many contributing factors in an individual’s life that can have a direct effect on one's self esteem. Some of the many causes may include:

  • Unhappy childhood where parents or teachers were extremely critical
  • Poor academic performance in school resulting in a lack of confidence
  • Ongoing stressful life event
  • Poor treatment from a partner, parent or carer
  • Ongoing medical problems
  • Anxiety or depression

When to seek professional assistance

Low self-esteem can be treated and there are a number of effective and specialist treatments available. These well-researched interventions aim to change unhelpful patterns of low self-worth and esteem and improve the person's day-to-day functioning. If you want to increase your self-esteem it is important to challenge and change these beliefs. This might feel like an impossible task, but there are different ways that you can do this with the support of a skilled psychologist.

How Psychology Melbourne can help

A number of our psychologists have wide experience in helping people overcome chronic feelings of low self-esteem.

For more information or to make an appointment contact us on our Live Chat or phone (03) 9629 1001 or send us an email via our contact form.

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