Low self-esteem is when someone looks at themselves in a negative way. This doesn’t just happen teens don’t just hate themselves for no reason, the something that they experienced that is making them feel that way about themselves. Once formed, this negative view permeates every thought, producing faulty assumptions and ongoing self-defeating behavior. In high school there is a rising epidemic with low self-esteem with teens. Over 70% of girls in high school avoid normal daily activities, such as attending school, when they have a low self-esteem about their appearance. This can cause teen to miss out on high school experiences.
Low self-esteem can cause teens to make negative and destructive decisions like drinking, smoking, bullying, cutting, and irregular eating habits. Studies show that 75% of teen girls that have low self-esteem issue have engaged in at least one of these activities. Low self-esteem can lead to depression with that being said 20% of teens experience depression before even becoming an adult. Another study reported that 7 in 10 girls feel like they aren’t enough or measure up to expectations in some way, whatever the reason may be (looks, grades, relationships, etc.). 38% of boys have tried some type of supplement and 6% have tried steroids in high school or middle school to improve their overall appearance.
Believe it or not your home life can have a major effect on your self-esteem. It doesn’t start at school it start where you live and grew up. You probably wouldn’t have thought this would be a factor in the epidemic but it actually is. It easy to overlook that the problem could start with the parents the people who have been there for them since day one but it actual fairly common. Having disapproving authority figures can cause a lot of stress and lack of self-esteem, if you were criticized no matter what you did or how hard you tried, it becomes difficult to feel confident and comfortable in your own skin.
Having parents that out always busy and don’t seem to have enough time for you, can make you feel very low of yourself. It had to have motivation when your parent act as if you are not worth showing up for. When teens have lack of support it make them feel abandoned and if nobody cares for them. It also show them that they aren’t worth your time and then begin to feel worthless and maybe even depressed.
If parents are in conflict it can be difficult for your child to find support. Children pick up on the negative emotion they see at home and it adds to the already lowered self-esteem from the child being bullied and the stress they may be going through at school. This may also occur when a child’s parents or hysterical and unpredictable. A child shouldn’t have to worry about the parent being there for them, they should just expect it and receive the emotional support they need no questions asked. Often in situations like these the child will begin to blame themselves for their parent’s disagreement and can cause them to feel even worse about themselves because they see themselves as a problem or a mistake. It is possible that you will never stop blaming yourself for being the reason your parents fight, it can even carry on into you adult life.
The number one cause of low self-esteem is low academic performance. So people let their grades define their self-worth. This can be a toxic relationship between you and school. If you let every grade define you your self-esteem will be an emotional rollercoaster. The key is to not let a grade get to you and to know if you gave 110% that you are doing the best you can. In 2002 the University of Michigan did a study that showed that 80% of student determine their self-worth by their performance in school. This is causing teen to have a distorted image of who they are and what defines them that way.
Another reason a lot of teen are struggling with a low self-esteem is because of social media. Social media is where people often post stuff about their daily lives, but the funny thing about that is most people look like they are having the time of life on social media. This may lead you to wondering why I can’t look like that. This lead to teens having unachievable expectations that they will never live up to. This can cause people to start to feel as if they are not good enough because they don’t look a certain way or wear certain clothes.
In conclusion low self-esteem is a rising epidemic in teens in high school throughout the United States. It is very important that we stop this epidemic because it is highly likely that teen with a low self-esteem will later turn to negative habits like cutting, smoking, alcohol, bullying or eating disorders. As surprising as it is it may be starting outside of school at the one place that you should feel the safest. It not only at school where teen lose their self-esteem it can be at home too and then teens feel like they don’t have a safe place and they may even begin to feel isolated. They can also experience low self-esteem when grades become the only thing you let define you. It is important that you let you define your self-worth by your personality. Social media can also become a major problem because you start to see yourself differently and if you are not happy with your self-image you could be willing to make some poor decisions.
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