Low self-esteem is linked to poor mental health as well. It’s a root cause for self-destructive behavior. Those with poor self-image were more likely to struggle with mental health disorders. They were also more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Alcohol is one of the most easily accessible substances. Alcohol abuse and mental health issues are closely linked.
Having a good sense of self is a fundamental need in most cases. It’s a requirement for most people to feel reasonably happy, satisfied, and fulfilled. Those who do not have a good self-image may develop mental health conditions. Some develop serious mental illnesses.
Due to these reasons, addiction treatment centers often treat mental health disorders. They also improve each patient’s self-esteem and self-image. Surprisingly, a better self-image can encourage many patients to stay motivated in getting sober and staying clean. They are more likely to succeed in their recovery.
What Are Self-Esteem And Self-image?
With knowledge of the close link between self-image and self-esteem, it’s important to understand what self-image really is. Self-image is the way that you see and perceive yourself. It has nothing to do with what others actually think. This may include:
- How you see yourself physically
- Who you believe yourself to be as a person
- How you perceive your personality to be
- The type of person you think you are
- How you feel others see you
- How much you like yourself
- The status that you think you have in the community
- How much you think others like you
Your concept of self also plays into your self-image. The way that you see and perceive yourself can have a massive effect on the amount of self-esteem and confidence that you have. It affects how you interact with others and the choices that you make on a daily basis.
Those with an alcohol use disorder often have a poor self-image and low self-esteem. They don’t think highly of themselves. An alcohol detox program may help many alcoholics develop higher self-esteem. Both inpatient treatment programs and outpatient treatment programs treat mental health issues linked to poor self-esteem and self-image.
The Link Between Self-Image, Self-Esteem And Substance Abuse
Since self-image is how you see yourself and how you think of others, it affects your self-esteem. Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. How you perceive yourself affects your actions.
If you have low self-esteem, you have a poor opinion of yourself. This means that you are more likely to get peer pressured into drug and alcohol use. You are also more likely to engage in risky behavior that will make you feel better about yourself. The dopamine surge involved with substance abuse will usually do the trick. This is why it’s vital that a treatment center helps patients build self-esteem.
Low self-esteem is not only closely linked with drug or alcohol addiction. Studies have shown that among teenaged girls, 75% of girls with low self-esteem were also more likely to engage in negative activities like:
- Disordered eating
In comparison, only 25% of girls with high self-esteem would engage in these activities. Those with low self-esteem often felt inadequate. These feelings of inadequacy could prevent them from engaging in other activities. In fact, it could prevent them from going about their normal daily lives. Some of the girls wouldn’t even be able to go to school. The treatment center will look at these other areas of inadequacies as well. Treatment plans combine both alcohol detox and mental health treatment options together.
Signs And Symptoms Of Low Self-Esteem
Social media places tremendous pressure on many people to be perfect. It’s been linked to higher levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. After all, everyone around them seems to be successful and happy. Arguably, those with self-esteem issues also struggle with mental health issues. A person with low self-esteem is a person who:
- Is willing to put up with a great deal of abuse from others. They may even believe that they deserve it.
- Struggles to find happiness. They often have a low opinion of themselves, which is why they turn to drugs and alcohol. The effects of drugs and alcohol may be their only escape.
- Struggles to maintain positive relationships. They may be too needy and drive romantic partners away. They may also be willing to put up with an abusive relationship because they feel as if it’s the best that they can do.
- Can be easily manipulated by others. They are more likely to struggle with substance use disorders.
- Sees the world in black and white. This mindset often makes it difficult for them to see any grey area in this world. This can cause a huge conflict and may worsen psychiatric disorders. Many things in life cannot be simplified to either black or white.
- Has unreasonably high expectations of others. They often feel disappointed by others.
Drug or alcohol addiction is common among those with low self-esteem. Drugs and alcohol may make them feel temporarily better about themselves. However, the effects of drugs and alcohol are often short-lived. Once the addiction has a stronghold on the individual, it will rob them of every morsel of self-esteem that’s left. This can worsen mental health disorders. It’s also why many alcoholics and drug addicts often continue to use alcohol and drugs until they die.
How Does Self-Image Tie In With Mental Health?
A person with low self-esteem often has negative feelings about themselves. They feel that they are not worthy of happiness, love or success. They feel inadequate on a daily basis, and cannot celebrate their own achievements.
Current research has linked low self-esteem with mental health issues and poor quality of life. Drug users, who are seeking treatment for alcohol withdrawal symptoms, usually have low self-esteem. They often also struggle with mental health disorders, also known as co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis. In fact, 7.9 million Americans had both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. Dual diagnosis addiction treatment addresses both issues at the same time.
Low self-esteem can affect a person’s mental health in many ways. In addition to addiction, it has been linked to:
- Depression and anxiety. It’s very common for those with alcohol addiction to struggle with depression and anxiety. In fact, these two factors often exacerbate drinking. In worst-case scenarios, depression and anxiety can become mental illnesses.
- Poor relationships. A treatment program will strive to help patients build better relationships with loved ones. Feeling close to others can help many patients keep away from drugs and alcohol. Negative relationships often equate to negative feelings and negative perceptions.
Drug abusers often have poor mental health. It’s not uncommon for many to struggle with a mental illness. It’s vital that addiction treatment improves one’s mental health as well. This is why alcohol detox and mental health treatment often happens at the same time. This is a defining characteristic of a successful recovery program versus an ineffective one.
Risk Factors For Low Self-Esteem And Mental Illness
Some people are more prone to low self-esteem and mental illnesses than others. There are many risk factors involved. Some risk factors that result in a higher risk of these mental health issues include:
- Abuse or dysfunctional early years
- Stressful life events like relationship breakdowns and financial troubles
- Prenatal brain damage, premature birth or poor health in infancy
- Physical or intellectual disability
- Having a teenage mother or a single parent
- Experiencing family violence or disharmony
- Low parental involvement throughout childhood
- Socio-economic disadvantage or social or cultural discrimination
- Lack of support group and/or deviant peers
These risk factors are also similar for alcohol addiction. Those who seek alcohol detox will often need to be assessed by a psychiatrist or a counselor first. It’s vital that a professional determines each patient’s state of mind. Depending on the result, different treatment options for alcohol detox and mental health issues may be recommended. Different detox programs target unique issues.
Treatment Plans For Alcohol Detox And Mental Health Issues
Alcohol detoxification programs do not only rid the body of alcohol, but also cleanses the mind as well. The addiction treatment program uses behavioral therapies to help patients feel more confident in themselves. Underlying causes behind poor self-image are explored. Some of the ways that alcohol detox can help improve self-esteem include:
- Giving the individual a sense of value and self by helping others in recovery. Most recovery programs will ask patients to help each other out. Patients can share their experiences with drug use and health problems. They can also encourage each other to complete addiction therapies even when difficult moments arise. Withdrawal symptoms of alcohol abuse can be quite overbearing and difficult to overcome.
- Participating in addiction therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). These therapies help change each patient’s state of mind. They learn to become more self-aware.
- Monitoring negative thoughts and challenging them. For example, whenever a patient thinks that someone doesn’t like them, they need to ask themselves how they came to this conclusion. Often, most assumptions have no backing to them.
- Accepting oneself with all the flaws. Nobody is perfect. Patients at a drug rehab will learn to realize this through support groups. Patients need to learn not to let drug or alcohol abuse define them as a person.
- Taking part in meta-meditation. This technique cultivates love for other people. It’s just as effective as mindfulness meditation.
- Keeping a gratitude journal. Focus on the good things in life when in recovery at an alcohol rehab.
Sometimes, patients will just have to fake it until they make it. They need to take part in different addiction therapies until they find a technique that works for them. They should seek dual diagnosis treatment for the best shot at recovery.
Believe In Yourself And Your Recovery
If you’re struggling with alcohol withdrawal symptoms, alcohol detox is the best route to recovery. While seeking alcohol detoxification, it’s important to get a psychiatric assessment as well. See whether you struggle with any mental health disorders or whether you suffer from low self-esteem. It’s vital that these mental health issues are treated at the same time as the addiction. If it isn’t, the addiction will only worsen. Those who complete alcohol rehab will fall back into their old habits quickly.
It’s not until both disorders are treated that a patient has a good shot at recovery. Most alcohol detox programs will work with patients to help them develop higher confidence. The behavioral therapies will retrain the mind to believe in itself. It’ll also help patients build better habits and learn how to identify negative thoughts.
Here, at Amethyst Recovery, we offer a wide range of therapies that can help. You can improve your self-esteem with help from behavioral therapies or by strengthening your faith. We’ll help you find a treatment program that’s tailored to your needs and your expectations. Many times, a combination of different types of behavioral therapies and treatment options is necessary to achieve this goal.
Our job is to make your transition from alcohol addiction to sobriety simple and hassle-free. Our treatment centers offer everything you need to succeed. Getting sober and feeling healthier both mentally and physically has never been easier.