Low self-esteem as an illness

Low self-esteem meets the criteria for an illness or disease because:

Low self-esteem is uncontrollable in nature: People with low self-esteem feel insecure. They are not sure what normal is, and they are not comfortable with themselves or with others. They are experiencing behavior over which they have no control, just as a person with cancer has no control over the cancer. This uncontrollable nature of the behavior makes it an illness; therefore, the behavior is "sick'' behavior.

Symptoms of low self-esteem have commonality and predictability: There is a commonality between people who behave this way based on their families of origin or current relationships, and there is a degree of predictability surrounding these behavior patterns. Commonality and predictability of the symptom behavior make it an illness and a condition to be treated as such.

Low self-esteem's lifecycle is describable:There is a describable and predicable pattern of the life cycle in persons with this condition. This pattern of life cycle makes it understandable as an illness or a disease, just like heart disease or cancer.

Low self-esteem is related to other diseases: One of the negative side effects of low self-esteem is that its victims often suffer high stress illnesses, such as ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. Because there are other diseases related to this behavior, it fits the definition of an illness or disease.

Low self-esteem can be treated: There are definite treatment modalities, which, if applied, can lessen the symptomatology of these problems. Because it is susceptible to amelioration by an applied treatment, it fits the definition of an illness or disease.

Transgenerational transmission of low self-esteem: Low self-esteem as a state or being can be handed down and transmitted across generations. The ability to cross generations makes this an illness or disease that is highly contagious.

Low self-esteem is described in terms of severity of condition: This condition can be described in terms of degree of severity, just as a physical illness or disease. This is another reason why it is described and treated as an illness or disease.

Some conditions of low self-esteem are resistant to treatment: Certain strains of low self-esteem can be resistant to treatment or amelioration and, as such, require more dramatic interventions. Because these behaviors are not always amenable to a stereotyped treatment, it is an illness requiring an individualized approach to treatment.

Lowself-esteem is a progressive condition:There is a course in the history of the illness from (1) incubation, (2) acute stage, (3) chronic state, (4) expiration. Because there is a progressive nature to this condition it fits into the illness or disease model for consideration, discussion, and treatment planning.

Low self-esteem can be a terminal condition, resulting in death through suicide, murder, accident, alcoholism, drug abuse, food disorder, heart disease, cancer, stroke, or some other form of physical breakdown. Because it can be terminal, it fits the description of an illness or disease.

Source: Coping.org
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Personal Development and Self-Esteem. The Official Guide to Personal Development and Self-Esteem is Dr. Joe Rubino. He is an internationally acclaimed authority on self esteem building, a life-changing personal development trainer and success coach. He also is the internationally best-selling author of 11 books available worldwide in 19 languages. His life-altering book, “The Self-Esteem Book: The Ultimate Guide to Boost the Most Important Ingredient for Success and Happiness in Life” is already in 5 languages and has contributed the secret to soaring self-esteem to readers around the world.

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