Mental Health Awareness: How Early Experiences Shape Self-Esteem

May 16, 2012 Emily Roberts MA, LPC

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I am vlogging on the topic of self-esteem and how early experiences affect the self-esteem we have today.

Mental Health and Self-Esteem

The American Psychological Association reports that 1 in 4 Americans are living with a mental health condition.. Low self-esteem can be a symptom, as well as a cause of mental illness. In fact, there's a high correlation between mental health conditions like depression and anxiety and low self-esteem. Learning skills at an early age to combat negative self-esteem is a proactive way to shift these numbers.

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Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

APA Reference
Roberts, E. (2012, May 16). Mental Health Awareness: How Early Experiences Shape Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Emily is a psychotherapist, she is intensively trained in DBT, she the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

November, 5 2015 at 5:13 am

I did not if low self-esteem can be a symptom of mental health until i came across this article. Thanks for sharing.

November, 5 2015 at 5:10 am

Thanks for letting me about negative believes about myself. thansk for sharing.

June, 5 2012 at 10:55 pm

Hi Emily,
Thank you for this vlog! For a long time, probably as far back as I can remember, I have suffered from one degree of depression or another. In January of this year, I finally started taking medication for it and after the first month I was able to build back enough of my motivation to start looking for ways to improve my mindset, outlook, and ways of thinking without needing the medication. Now, I have been off of my medication for almost a month and, although there have been some "down days," I don't need the medication to want to get up in the morning and start a new day...which is a huge thing from where I was before.
But what I wanted to ask you has to do with what you said about low self-esteem starting, or being present, from very young ages. I know that you suggested looking back into your past to try and see when the low self-esteem started...but what if someone can't really remember much from their younger childhood? I can remember bits and pieces and fragments of certain experiences (like playing with the boy across the street) but even those memories are really just more of a general type of memory...I don't really remember any of the specifics or real details about them. And all of the other stuff is like missing pieces that I can't grasp on to. Would you have any suggestions on how to improve or helping to remember the big gaps that are missing?
Thank you so much!...and thank you again for your vlog!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 6 2012 at 1:10 pm

Hi Cassandra,
Thank you for the comments. You are so brave to share your experience. I am glad to hear that you are feeling better! In regards to past experiences, I suggest that we use this as a starting point to find out where the negative scripts came from. However, it does not mean that we always remember the exact situation, often times its numerous feelings within a situation that create a negative belief about ones self. The best thing to do is recognize the negative self-talk, the thoughts that aren't serving you and being to actively start changing the conversation with yourself. Talk back, think of all the reasons why negative belief is no longer true. Perhaps writing them down and coming up with all the ways the thought is no longer true and not helpful to you now will also help. I am a strong believer in positive affirmations to help shift negative thoughts, I suggest looking at Loise Hay's work or Gabrielle Bernstein as well. I hope this helps! Keep me posted on how you are doing.
Take Good Care,

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