BPD Living With BPD How to Deal With Low Self-Esteem When You Have BPD By Erin Johnston, LCSW Erin Johnston, LCSW Erin Johnston, LCSW is a therapist, counselor, coach, and mediator with a private practice in Chicago, Illinois. Learn about our editorial process Updated on August 30, 2020 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief Print Simon Potter / Getty Images Self-esteem is a term that refers to how we think about ourselves. If you have borderline personality disorder (BPD), you may struggle with low self-esteem which can negatively impact your life. Strong self-esteem helps you remain confident, strong and connect with other people. But if you have BPD, feeling capable and serving may be very rare. Instead, you may feel incompetent or worthless more often. Press Play for Advice On Building Confidence Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast, featuring show host and author Lisa Bilyeu, shares how to build confidence. Click below to listen now. Follow Now: Apple Podcasts / Spotify / Google Podcasts Low Self-Esteem and BPD Poor self-esteem can be an issue for many, not just those with BPD. If a person does not feel good about herself, she is not able to trust or validate her own feelings or experiences. This is going to color all of her relationships and interactions with others, as well as negatively affect her general mental health and day-to-day life. For those with BPD, this is an especially important issue. Self-esteem can greatly impact issues with anger, personal goals, and relationships. Effect on Anger When you struggle with BPD, poor self-esteem may aggravate the anger you may experience. Various issues can be stored up and stay unresolved, often left to explode. Poor self-esteem can result in not advocating for yourself or even failing to value your own feelings. Interacting with others requires an ability to trust your own perspective about others and situations. Because of low self-esteem, you may be unable to assert your thoughts or feelings except through anger. Poor self-esteem can make it impossible to successfully achieve personal goals. If a person does not think that she deserves to get or accomplish something, how can she really be successful at it? For instance, you may have difficulty in making and establishing friendships because your low opinion of yourself limits you. Effect on Relationships Low self-esteem can also make you suspicious of others. You may think that a friend wants something from you or will not like you if they really get to know you. To keep them in your life, you may avoid talking about issues until it escalates into anger, causing you to push your loved ones away. How to Handle Low Self-Esteem If low self-esteem is something you struggle with, it's important to know you are not alone. This is a common issue many people, including those who do not have BPD, experience. If you have not already, seek out a therapist who specializes in borderline personality disorder. Therapists with a background in BPD are familiar with common issues you may face, such as low self-esteem or fear of abandonment. Your healthcare provider may recommend cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy to help manage your symptoms. A regular focus will be on addressing your self-esteem. By using certain techniques, you will work together to identify your strengths and accomplishments so that you understand your worthiness and value. Through a combination of therapy and potentially medication, you can improve your self-esteem and live a richer, fuller life. If you or a loved one are struggling with BPD or low self-esteem, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area. For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database. Treatment Options for Borderline Personality Disorder 4 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Beeney JE, Hallquist MN, Ellison WD, Levy KN. Self-other disturbance in borderline personality disorder: Neural, self-report, and performance-based evidence. Personal Disord. 2016;7(1):28-39. doi:10.1037/per0000127 Hedrick AN, Berlin HA. Implicit self-esteem in borderline personality and depersonalization disorder. Front Psychol. 2012;3:91. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00091 Bungert M, Liebke L, Thome J, Haeussler K, Bohus M, Lis S. Rejection sensitivity and symptom severity in patients with borderline personality disorder: effects of childhood maltreatment and self-esteem. Borderline Personal Disord Emot Dysregul. 2015;2:4. doi:10.1186/s40479-015-0025-x Choi-Kain LW, Finch EF, Masland SR, Jenkins JA, Unruh BT. What Works in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. Curr Behav Neurosci Rep. 2017;4(1):21-30. doi:10.1007/s40473-017-0103-z By Erin Johnston, LCSW Erin Johnston, LCSW is a therapist, counselor, coach, and mediator with a private practice in Chicago, Illinois. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? 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