Quick Poll: Does your chronic condition affect your self-esteem? And what do you do to feel good about yourself?

By Dr GaryCA Latest Activity July 21, 2016 at 2:48 pm Views 1,837 Replies 22 Likes 1

Dr Gary

“I just don’t feel very good about myself.”

Clients say that a lot to me. In fact, I think low self-esteem is one of the major reasons clients come to see therapists.

My clients who are living with a chronic condition often talk about their self-esteem in terms of how they are labeling – if not defining – themselves, as a person with a chronic condition. The limitations that their chronic condition has imposed, the day-to-day responsibilities, feeling somehow different from others… can take a toll on how you look at yourself.

No doubt about it, living with a chronic condition can affect on your self-esteem.

Here’s a link to an article on self-esteem that I recently posted:

http://www.arthritisconnect.com/arthritis-art...

Now, I am curious about you. Does your chronic condition affect your self-esteem? If so, in what way? If not, what do you do to keep that from happening?

And, what you do to boost your own self-esteem? Anything you do to feel good about yourself?

Need some ideas?

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Replies (22 replies)

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  • Patty214ever
    Patty214ever December 23 at 7:53 pm   

    I pray a lot. I read the bible as well. I am happy you are doing things to increase your self esteem.

  • Dr Gary
    Dr GaryCA December 28 at 8:46 pm   

    Hey Patty, nice to meet you. Praying and reading the Bible is a great way to help give your self-esteem a boost.

  • Crazy Jane
    Crazy Jane August 3 at 9:43 pm   

    Baby! We need to go shopping and buy some cougar clothes and "maybe stop somewhere"! <3

  • Crazy Jane
    Crazy Jane August 11 at 9:06 pm   

    Excuse me, folks! I don't know where that came from!!! LOL!!

  • redorangedog
    redorangedog August 12 at 3:54 pm   

    Cougar clothes, lol, I am catwoman! We can stop for an IPA! You can drive & I'll be shotgun.

  • redorangedog
    redorangedog November 30 at 9:32 pm   

    [ Home ] [ Up ] [ Books ]

    How often have you thought, “If only I felt good about myself, I know I would feel so much better”? Low self-esteem and self-confidence are chronic, serious personal problems that exist in epidemic proportions in today’s society.

    Low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence have a variety of sources. Many of us tend to blame our parents. And, in fact, many parents who never learned good parenting skills from their parents have contributed to this problem. We can all support parenting classes in our schools to help remedy this problem. There are, however, many other sources of low self-esteem in all sectors of our society. Some of these include educational institutions, the media, the workplace, social and religious institutions, peer relationships, personal relationships, and health care facilities (and that’s only a partial list).

    It is very important to recognize that chronic pain conditions also contribute to low self-esteem. Years of pain and fatigue that have obstructed meeting life goals can have a disastrous effect on self-esteem. Other factors that can arise as a direct result of chronic pain will also contribute to low self-esteem. Some of these are as follows:
    Inability to complete educational programs and meet educational goals
    Loss of jobs and career opportunities
    Unstable or failed relationships
    Estrangement from poor/unsupportive relationships with friends and family members
    Inability to be financially self-supporting
    Inability to take part in community activities
    Cognitive difficulties
    When a chronic illness is involved, it sometimes seems that we are unable to do anything worthwhile and we therefore label ourselves as “worthless.” Feeling worthless for long periods of time leads to depression, which can, in turn, become a kind of chronic low-level stress that makes the symptoms of FMS or FMS/MPS worse.

    Pinpointing Sources of Low Self-Esteem

    To help pinpoint possible contributors to your feelings about your self-worth, ask yourself these questions:
    Is there anyone in your life right now who is feeding you negative, inappropriate messages about yourself?
    How do these messages make you feel?
    What are you going to do about it?
    What circumstances of your life have lowered your self-esteem and self-confidence?
    How valid were these circumstances as determinants of your worth?
    No one has the right to offer information or opinions that might have long-term negative impacts on another’s self-esteem. Children, however, don’t have the ability (or the power) to question the validity of negative, inappropriate messages that they receive about themselves. They tend to believe anything that is said to them, especially by their families and peers.

    Raising self-esteem takes a long time and is often a very difficult process. Negative thoughts about ourselves, especially those that originated in childhood and were reinforced by others during adolescence, are deeply ingrained, and hard to dislodge. Nevertheless, the end result is worth any amount of hard work.
    Achieving a Sense of Personal Worth

    Our most difficult problem to overcome is often not pain but negativity. The antidote to a negative self-image is to have a strong sense of individual worth that does not depend on others or society for its existence. As a first step towards achieving a stronger sense of self-worth, ask yourself the following questions:
    How do you feel about yourself right now?
    How self-confident are you?
    How would you like to feel about yourself?
    So often we tend to give someone else the power to determine how we feel about ourselves. We must NOT give away our personal power to anyone. We must NOT let anyone else define who we are. We must, in a very positive way, determine who we are and stick to our definitions.

    To optimize the quality of your life, surround yourself with people who will affirm and validate you. They don’t have to agree with everything you do, but they must respect your rights. It is often difficult for those with invisible chronic illnesses to find support among their families and friends. They may not believe that you are in pain and will dump guilt on top of your pain, if you permit this. That can lead to deeper feelings of unworthiness.

    If people you associate with, including family members, friends, and colleagues, treat you badly, try to correct the situation by explaining the devastating consequences their comments and actions have on you. They may not realize the damage they are causing, and they may be able to change their behavior.
    In my next message, we will explore more techniques for improving self-esteem. Dr, Devin Starling

  • redorangedog
    redorangedog November 30 at 9:29 pm   

    [ Home ] [ Up ] [ Books ]

    How often have you thought, “If only I felt good about myself, I know I would feel so much better”? Low self-esteem and self-confidence are chronic, serious personal problems that exist in epidemic proportions in today’s society.

    Low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence have a variety of sources. Many of us tend to blame our parents. And, in fact, many parents who never learned good parenting skills from their parents have contributed to this problem. We can all support parenting classes in our schools to help remedy this problem. There are, however, many other sources of low self-esteem in all sectors of our society. Some of these include educational institutions, the media, the workplace, social and religious institutions, peer relationships, personal relationships, and health care facilities (and that’s only a partial list).

    It is very important to recognize that chronic pain conditions also contribute to low self-esteem. Years of pain and fatigue that have obstructed meeting life goals can have a disastrous effect on self-esteem. Other factors that can arise as a direct result of chronic pain will also contribute to low self-esteem. Some of these are as follows:
    Inability to complete educational programs and meet educational goals
    Loss of jobs and career opportunities
    Unstable or failed relationships
    Estrangement from poor/unsupportive relationships with friends and family members
    Inability to be financially self-supporting
    Inability to take part in community activities
    Cognitive difficulties
    When a chronic illness is involved, it sometimes seems that we are unable to do anything worthwhile and we therefore label ourselves as “worthless.” Feeling worthless for long periods of time leads to depression, which can, in turn, become a kind of chronic low-level stress that makes the symptoms of FMS or FMS/MPS worse.

    Pinpointing Sources of Low Self-Esteem

    To help pinpoint possible contributors to your feelings about your self-worth, ask yourself these questions:
    Is there anyone in your life right now who is feeding you negative, inappropriate messages about yourself?
    How do these messages make you feel?
    What are you going to do about it?
    What circumstances of your life have lowered your self-esteem and self-confidence?
    How valid were these circumstances as determinants of your worth?
    No one has the right to offer information or opinions that might have long-term negative impacts on another’s self-esteem. Children, however, don’t have the ability (or the power) to question the validity of negative, inappropriate messages that they receive about themselves. They tend to believe anything that is said to them, especially by their families and peers.

    Raising self-esteem takes a long time and is often a very difficult process. Negative thoughts about ourselves, especially those that originated in childhood and were reinforced by others during adolescence, are deeply ingrained, and hard to dislodge. Nevertheless, the end result is worth any amount of hard work.
    Achieving a Sense of Personal Worth

    Our most difficult problem to overcome is often not pain but negativity. The antidote to a negative self-image is to have a strong sense of individual worth that does not depend on others or society for its existence. As a first step towards achieving a stronger sense of self-worth, ask yourself the following questions:
    How do you feel about yourself right now?
    How self-confident are you?
    How would you like to feel about yourself?
    So often we tend to give someone else the power to determine how we feel about ourselves. We must NOT give away our personal power to anyone. We must NOT let anyone else define who we are. We must, in a very positive way, determine who we are and stick to our definitions.

    To optimize the quality of your life, surround yourself with people who will affirm and validate you. They don’t have to agree with everything you do, but they must respect your rights. It is often difficult for those with invisible chronic illnesses to find support among their families and friends. They may not believe that you are in pain and will dump guilt on top of your pain, if you permit this. That can lead to deeper feelings of unworthiness.

    If people you associate with, including family members, friends, and colleagues, treat you badly, try to correct the situation by explaining the devastating consequences their comments and actions have on you. They may not realize the damage they are causing, and they may be able to change their behavior.
    In my next message, we will explore more techniques for improving self-esteem. Dr. Darel Starling

  • Crazy Jane
    Crazy Jane November 4 at 10:16 am   

    I have always been very active, swimming, hiking, skiing…now, with the arthritis that has ensued post back surgeries and a previously broken right leg and left ankle, I have turned one room in my home into a plant room. I enjoy working with and transplanting my many plants. I also love to write poetry. I still go for walks with the grandkids (not kids anymore) or my husband. Some days I love to wander the beach finding beach glass. I enjoyed reading Red's suggestions. I get a lot our of this site. Thank you!

  • redorangedog
    redorangedog October 30 at 8:25 pm   

    I engage the looking exercise to chase the self deprecating thoughts out of my head. It works to chase the blues away.

  • Dr Gary
    Dr GaryCA November 3 at 10:07 pm   

    That's a great idea! Thanks for letting us know.

  • redorangedog
    redorangedog July 25, 2016 at 11:25 am   

    Thanks again for your positive feedback. It is move it or lose time. Everybody keep going ad best as you can.

  • Dr Gary
    Dr GaryCA July 31, 2016 at 11:38 am   

    HI! You are always welcome, my friend!

  • redorangedog
    redorangedog July 24, 2016 at 12:41 pm   

    I tell myself, "I am confident, I am liked and I am good."

  • Dr Gary
    Dr GaryCA July 24, 2016 at 9:45 pm   

    Hi Red! Those are all good ideas. Putting your best food forward by looking your best can be a good pickup. And so can keeping the positive self-talk going. Thanks for sharing this.

  • redorangedog
    redorangedog July 24, 2016 at 12:39 pm   

    I hide the kyphosis hump in my back with baggy tops and hoodies.

  • redorangedog
    redorangedog July 23, 2016 at 11:21 am   

    Put on a smile some lipstick and clothes. Looking your best can make you feel your best. No complaining just explaining can take the pressure off your chest.

  • Dr Gary
    Dr GaryCA October 1 at 9:09 pm   

    Hey Red, I think you bring up a good point here. Going through the motions of your life can help keep you moving forward, and the sense that you are doing something for yourself. This can in turn increase self esteem.

  • redorangedog
    redorangedog November 21 at 5:47 pm   

    Dr Gary, with your help and the the help of physical therapy, occupational & speech Therapy. I am great! My nutrition is up, although I can not taste nor enjoy the aroma of food. I just place the food in back of my throat and swallow. I walked up 3 flights of stairs not to keep the doctor waiting. Walk up a steep hill & down most everyday. Visit with my neighbors & my husband invited 2 Navy recruits and 2 Air Force enlisted men 4 Thanksgiving dinner.

    Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season,

    with gratitude & respect for all that you do for us,
    red

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