Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The Invisible Handicap

Building self-esteem is an oft-stated goal in psychotherapy. It's a basic clinical concept that self-esteem is central to good mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

When mental disorders or life traumas do strike, self-dislike degrades healing, performance, and overall health. Such mental state produces internal resistance, relapse, and blockages to therapy and recovery.

A damaged self-esteem or self-dislike is well recognized in psychological literature and clinical practice to be responsible for producing or contributing to:

*  Depression
*  Anxiety
*  Stress symptoms
*  Psychosomatic illness, like headaches, insomnia, fatigue, and digestive tract upset
*  Hostility, excessive or deep-seated anger, dislike and distrust of others, competitiveness
*  Spouse and child abuse
*  Infidelity
*  Promiscuity
*  Entering into abusive/unhappy relationships
*  Alcohol and drug abuse
*  Sex, porn addiction
*  Eating disorders and unhealthy dieting
*  Poor communication (e.g. non-assertive, aggressive, defensive, critical, sarcastic)
*  Dependency
*  Sensitivity to criticism
*  Tendency to put on a false front to impress others
*  Social difficulties - withdrawal, isolation, loneliness
*  Poor performance, laziness, inactivity
*  Preoccupation with problems
*  Status/appearance concerns

Plus ... a lot more!

No wonder, a damaged self-esteem or self-dislike is called a big "invisible handicap."