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What You Need to Know About Self-Esteem and Your Health

Apr 17, 2008
A low sense of self-esteem can damage you in more ways than one. Did you know that it can lead to numerous health problems, both physical and emotional? Here are seven serious health issues that can result from not having a sound sense of self-worth.

1. Anxiety: If you have a feeling of low self-worth, you'll also be lacking in confidence. In new or uncomfortable situations, this can easily cause you to experience an anxiety attack.

2. Stress: Everybody experiences stress in their daily lives, but for a person with low self-esteem, even a little stress can be devastating. Such people aren't as liable to deal with their stress, and they end up with even more tension and anxiety. Stress is a leading contributor to heart disease.

3. Depression: People with low self-esteem frequently suffer from depression. Feeling worthless can cause you to alienate yourself from your family and friends. And this isolation from those you love will add fuel to your negative self-image, and soon you'll feel depressed. In severe instances, some people consider suicide.

4. Alcohol Abuse: Others look to the comfort of alcohol to blot out their troubles and boost their confidence. Booze becomes their best friend because it gives them a false sense of self-worth that they don't have to work for. Alcohol loosens inhibitions and makes them daring. Of course alcohol is highly addictive and will take its toll on your health. Alcohol abuse is associated with liver disease, heart problems and cancer.

5. Addictions: Another way people try to build up a poor self-image is by abusing drugs, either prescribed or illegal. The momentary high erases their problems and concerns for a brief time. But the end results of a continuing addiction to drugs are well known and can lead to severe debilitation and even death if the behavior isn't stopped.

6. Weight Gain: People with low self-esteem frequently try to fill that empty feeling with food. Overeating leads to weight gain, sometimes to the point of obesity. Excessive weight gain is associated with heart disease, diabetes and numerous other ailments.

7. Weight Loss: On the other hand, some people with self-esteem issues become preoccupied with what they perceive as their imperfect bodies. They develop eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia in their quest for the ideal body. But regardless of how they waste away, they are never satisfied with the outcome, and sooner or later they will become severely ill.

Low self-esteem can lead to these severe health issues, and worse. That's why it's so important for people to get help with this problem, not only to improve their emotional well-being but for their long-term health.
About the Author
Kim Archer writes about women's wellness. She is publisher of The Internet Spa, where you'll find up-to-date information to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit.
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