What is self-worth?

Self-worth, can also be described as self-esteem or self-respect. Having low self-worth presents as feelings of hopelessness or depression. This can lead to destructive behaviour or tolerating unhealthy relationships.

Signs of low self-worth may include:


  • Tiredness
  • Insomnia
  • Headache


  • Loneliness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Embarrassment in intimate relationships
  • Anger towards self or others


  • Feeling less than / insecure
  • Criticising self continually
  • Feeling defensive

What causes someone to have low self-worth?

Many things can contribute to low self-worth in our lives. Some of these include:

  • Being mistreated in our childhoods by caregivers or teachers
  • Current stressful life events
  • Being mistreated by a partner, loved one or close friend
  • Medical issues
  • Depression

Low self-worth is relatively easy to treat with counselling or psychotherapy. As children we formed decisions on how we saw ourselves, others and the world. Your therapist can work with you to help you challenge and in time change these beliefs, to help you feel confident and joyful, and to achieve your goals.