Self-esteem refers to your ability to value yourself and to hold this value even when it’s confronted by others. Your sense of self-esteem and your mental health are closely related.  Although it is not clear if low self-esteem causes mental health problems or if mental health adversely affects our self-esteem, one thing is certain, is that how we view ourselves directly influences our overall quality of life.

Self-esteem impacts your decision-making process, your relationships, your emotional health, and your overall well-being. It also influences motivation, as people with a healthy, positive view of themselves understand their potential and may feel inspired to take on new challenges.

How Does a Low Self-Esteem Affect Mental Health?

The following are some ways low self-esteem can impact a person’s mental health:

Poor Relationships 

The saying no man is an island wasn’t simply a tune. Human beings are biologically wired for connections. But when we have low self-esteem, we tend to restrict ourselves socially and even tend to isolate ourselves, which can lead to poor relationships and solitude. Sometimes our mental health symptoms can make us feel lethargic, impact our ability to express empathy or cause feelings of anxiety and isolation.

Setting Boundaries

Individuals with a healthy level of self-esteem demand respect and have no problems setting healthy boundaries. Having high or healthy self-esteem does not mean that you are self-centered or egotistical. Individuals with low self-esteem do not feel great about themselves. They usually compare themselves to others. They will typically not set healthy boundaries, allowing others to take advantage of them. Low self- esteem usually has a mean inner critic that highlights the negative experiences one may have and diminishes the positive ones.


Research has indicated that low self-esteem in childhood can lead to addictions later in life. Many addicts use alcohol and other substances as a way to cope with negative feelings about themselves.


 Depression is a condition that is characterized by persistent sadness, often accompanied by a sense of worthlessness, hopelessness, and low self-esteem.

Ability to Learn

Low Self-esteem can affect energy level, concentration, dependability, mental ability, and optimism, hindering performance. Research suggests that depression is associated with lower grade averages which creates a vicious cycle that reinforces lowered self-esteem.

How to Build Your Self-Esteem

Building self-esteem is important for mental health and living a happy life. But it’s not necessarily easy to do it. Working with a trained therapist who specializes in helping people build their self-esteem. A therapist can help you identify your core negative beliefs and determine where they came from. He or she can then help you develop a new, realistic self-esteem that reflects who you truly are. If you or someone you know is suffering from low self- esteem and would like to explore treatment options, please reach out to us.

We would love to help you work on your self-esteem!

Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.


MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.

About the Author.

Roshni Sahijwani is a psychologist at You can learn more about her by clicking here

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of, the Founders, or management team.

Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.


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