Low Self Esteem Leads to Addiction in Adolescents
I have been in this profession for few years. The majority of my clients were/are teenagers and struggling with chemical addiction and unfortunately most of them also have low self-esteem. Research has also shown that poor self-esteem is one of the several factors that can lead to substance abuse in Adolescents. So now the question is, why do our children struggle with Low self-esteem?
Although many of the clients have very supportive parents and teachers, many out there still from households where they have heard phrases like” You are so stupid, why can’t you do anything right?” you will never succeed, look at your brother or sister etc. These bitter words produce so much negative energy in those kids that it would take substantial amount of time and effort to undo the damage.
Teenagers with low-self esteem will think of themselves as a bad or negative person or worthless and they will see themselves as inferior to everyone else. They May doubt their ability to participate or succeed in any activities. This can result the feeling of “being stuck” and having little and no motivation or energy to do better in life.
Adolescent who feel that they have no self worth might view drugs and alcohol as a way to subdue their self degrading thoughts and help them manage their daily life positively. Here I would like to clarify the difference between Lack of Confidence and Low self-esteem: Low self esteem focus on the emotional and psychological belief that one will fail or laughed at no matter what the outcome would be so why try at all. On the other hand Lack of Confidence is one might not be mentally up to the challenge or physically able to do a last, but so what who cares? One might not be proficient, but they are not afraid of trying.
Now the question is How to BOOST our teenagers’ Self-esteem:
- Instill a positive self-worth by positive comments
- Encourage the negative self-talk if our child is not good in one thing then move on to something else they are good at
- Develop a bond with your child that they can call their own
- Pat on the back for any effort: All feel good physically and helps strengthen an emotional bond between one getting the approved and the one giving the approval.
- Avoid Discussing or bringing up the past events that ended up in failure or unpleasant experience.
It is never too late to help our children with their low self-esteem. One is not born with the inclination to words “Low self-esteem”. Through inappropriate or insensitive comments make their way under the skin and eventually into the heart and soul and produce a sad scared and probably lonely person.
Be there for your children, you just may be guiding them towards a brighter future instead of leading them to a dead end of substance abuse or addiction.