PTSD Self Esteem

Many who suffer PTSD tend to capture a self esteem problem that goes with it, through withdrawal from society or simply just not wanting to deal with daily pressures, self esteem and confidence seems withdraws. People tend to have self esteem and confidence from daily interaction, dealings and knowledge of a particular thing. You can have the most confident person in the world, give them PTSD, and then watch as they retreat to an unknown person from themself. Placid, quiet, withdrawn, all of which are attributable to self esteem and confidence issues.

Do you have a high or low self esteem? .
Self Esteem is the degree to which we like our own traits/characteristics. It develops if we are secure in the knowledge of ourselves, and the knowledge that others care for us. Building self-esteem is a first step towards you happiness and a better life.

Self esteem increases your confidence. If you have confidence you will respect yourself. If you respect yourself, you can respect others, improve your relationships, and build your dreams and your happiness.

Firstly, a couple of different aspects to do with self esteem.

Self-efficacy (Bandura)

A specific kind of confidence;
beliefs concerning one's ability to perform behaviours that will yield expected outcomes;
Can increase when we perform a behaviour that we think we cannot do effectively: That is, doing is believing; and
Highly related to "locus of control"

Locus of Control (Rotter)

Individuals perceive that their own success/failure:

depends upon factors within themselves, or
is determined by forces outside of themselves.

Internal Locus of Control

My skill and effort paid off,
I prepared that well so that I could get it right,
Its up to me to make it happen,
With the right training together with my attitude I can do it, and
It was my own fault, I could have looked first.


External Locus of Control

It was pure luck that I pulled that off,
It doesn't matter how hard I try, mysterious forces seem to decide what happens to me,
I guess it'll be my turn to win one day,
I probably didn't deserve it anyway, and
Look at him, no matter what, everything he touches turns to gold.

The above outlines two different styles of self esteem within the general individual. Self esteem is something that needs to be contrast in conjunction with confidence. It is a form of confidence fore say.

Do you have a high or low self esteem?

Threats to Self Esteem

Repeated failure,
Lack of control,
Anxiety disorders/traits,
Discrimination (race, group affiliation, occupation), and
Perceived unattractiveness.

Low self esteem is directly linked to depression, unhappiness, insecurity and poor confidence. Others desire may take preference over yours. Inner criticism, that nagging voice of disapproval inside you, causes you to stumble at every challenge and challenges seem impossible.

Results of Low Self Esteem

Self handicap - erect barriers that will interfere with a future performance, thereby providing a plausible explanation if failure occurs,
No assertiveness - humility is the ultimate virtue,
Tend to interpret trivial events as ridicule,
Hypersensitive to rejection,
Tend to avoid contact with others, and
Devalue their achievements.

Improving Self Esteem

One step at a time, or perseverance,
Learn to identify and acknowledge our successes,
Positive self-talk,
Exercise / Activity / Increase Interests


Lowers risk of high BP, stroke and heart attack,
Strengthens lungs and heart, and
Better general health.


Lowers stress, anxiety and depression, and
Bolsters self-esteem and confidence.


Better memory, quicker reactions and more accurate reasoning.

Another way of saying things is:

Calm and relaxed: they don't typically have tense posture or expression,
Well nurtured: they respect their own mental and physical well-being, and take steps to care for themselves,
Energetic and purposeful: when focussed on something they are motivated,
Open and expressive: what you see is what you get,
Positive and optimistic: they expect good things from the world and others, see mistakes as natural, and when frustrated they vent this appropriately,
Self reliant: they do not constantly seek the approval and opinions of others,
Sociable and cooperative: friendly and trusting of people, even if they seem different and not threatened by the happiness of others,
Appropriately assertive: they stand up for their own needs and rights, but in a way that is respectful of others, and
Self developing: they are self reflective and acknowledge their own strengths and weaknesses.

I believe everyone could take a leaf out of that advice! Especially me... Do you have a high or low self esteem? 
Generally when you're with someone, having high self esteem, your likely to feel:

Comfortable and at ease with being yourself,
Valued even if we are not a mirror image of them; they don't expect us to be perfect, and
Stimulated because they may be inspiring; we may even feel our own self esteem soar.

IMHO, a picture is worth a thousand words. Check out this little cartoon from an old Charlie Brown comic strip:

Something you need to consider here is that self-esteem is a rather large part within the scheme of your wellness effort with PTSD. Abraham Maslow attempted to synthesize a large body of research related to human motivation, which is outlined within the below image:

Starting from the top down, an easy to understand definition is:

Self-actualization: to find self-fulfillment and realize one's potential,
Esteem: to achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition,
Belonginess and Love: affiliate with others, be accepted,
Safety: out of danger, and
Physiological: hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, etc.

As you can see from Maslows theory, and all above text really, is that your body and mind have needs, all of which help to maintain a level of confidence and self-esteem, to be/become proactive and motivated within life.
Still think your doing ok? Do you have a high or low self esteem?


More Strategies For Enhancing Self Esteem

Some more additions to enhancing your self esteem and confidence:

Scrutiny - before you start, check where your currently at,
Explanation - assess what parts you can take responsibility for and consider open to change,
Love - you may need to challenge your ideas that self love = selfish. Spoil yourself with love both physically and emotionally. Allow yourself to take steps towards your own healing,
Focus - direct your attention to one manageable thing at a time (eg. stop apologising for yourself),
Envisaging - keep reminding yourself of the dream/vision you have for a 'new you' and share this with one person whom you trust,
Strategy - begin a special esteem journal/folder and write down you longer and then shorter term goals. Make sure goals are written specific behaviours, have a timeframe for completion, have specific steps you will take and nominate a reward for your success,
Triggers - breaking any habit is hard work, and self esteem habits have often been in place since childhood, making them quite difficult to change. Identify and name the situations/objects/words/thoughts... etc, that leads to you shrinking and feeling negatively about yourself. Then you can work on specific strategies to address these,
Encouragement - put strong and constructive rewards in place to help you motivate and to recognise your own hard work,
Experimentation - remember that you can be your own best mentor/guide. Feel free to experiment with different strategies that you come up with to enhance your self respect. Think back to a time when your self esteem was high and try to recall what situations etc assisted this. Now be creative in trying to adapt those conditions to fit into your current situation, and
Monitoring - make time to monitor and check your progress. Avoid adopting defensive mechanisms that make you too busy to give time to yourself.