Low Self-Confidence with a Mental Illness & What Can Cause It
In an earlier post, (see this link), I came up with the idea to write about a few topics that are affecting my life currently. Self-confidence was one of the topics.
While researching how to build self-confidence, I did not find a lot of information that was relevant to recovering from a mental health condition, so I am going to rely on my own experience for this article.
What Causes a Loss of Self-Confidence:
- Stigma from others.
- Self-Stigma toward yourself-usually based on what you know about mental illness before diagnosis.
- A feeling of loss of control over your life.
- A feeling of loss of control over yourself and your emotions and behaviors.
How to Rebuild Self-Confidence
- Educate yourself about the stigma that people with mental health conditions face each day. Recognize that most people are not educated about mental illness. Once you understand how little most people actually know about mental illness, the less likely you are to internalize their opinions of you.
- Sometimes we can stigmatize ourselves-especially when newly diagnosed. This is called self-stigma. We are just like everyone else. Most of us know little-to-nothing about mental illness when we are diagnosed. We may have preconceived ideas about what mental illness is like prior to receiving a diagnosis. Learning more about your condition, medication, maintenance, and recovery can help lessen the stigma you hold toward yourself.
- Mental illness can be a roller coaster, for sure! Sometimes it is exhausting. Medications help lessen the intensity and allow you to recover more quickly. Creating and following a maintenance plan with your psychiatrist is a good way to keep the intensity of mental illness episodes at bay, or at least, more controlled.
- When you experience mental illness episodes, you can feel a loss of control over yourself and your emotions and behaviors. This can be a difficult emotional pit to navigate. Remind yourself that you have more good days than bad days. No one is perfect. Everyone has bad days and experiences. You are no different. Recognize that you are more stable than unstable, and you will begin to recover much faster from difficult moments.
Education Builds Self-Confidence
I am a firm believer that education builds self-confidence when recovering from a mental illness. The more you understand about your condition, treatment options, and maintenance, the more stable you will become, in time. Learning about the external and internal stigmas we face each day can also help. No longer will the stigma held by others define your self-worth and abilities. Additionally, erasing self-stigma will help you get out of your own way. Then, you can develop your own unique talents-which in turn, rebuilds overall self-confidence.