Updated 2021: PTSD and Low Self Esteem: Any Connection?

People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often struggle with low self-esteem. Negative thought patterns and a poor self-image makes it difficult to maintain relationships and leads to depression and feelings of worthlessness. PTSD inpatient treatment centers work with individuals suffering from these symptoms as the result of trauma. However, as effective as treatment is, self-monitoring is also very important. When people are able to catch themselves thinking these thoughts, it opens the door to positive behavior modification.

Unhealthy Thinking Patterns and PTSD

For many people, identifying negative thinking is challenging. This happens often because the person has lived with the same nagging, negative thoughts for years. Therefore, when these thoughts enter the mind, they’re not questioned but accepted as truth. Examples of negative thinking patterns include the following:

  • Thinking people are talking behind your back
  • Thinking that people always think the worst of you
  • Unable to bounce back from making simple mistakes, ruminating on these mistakes instead
  • Not participating in social or work settings because you fear not being good enough
  • Telling yourself that the trauma was your fault

These are just a few examples of the types of thought patterns addressed by PTSD treatment centers.

How to Combat Low Self-Esteem Issues Related to PTSD

The first step toward managing low self-esteem issues is to acknowledge their existence. This is very hard for many people because their self-image is so low that they don’t recognize when negative thoughts enter their minds. For some people, these thoughts have been a part of their life for so long that negative self-talk is a seemingly unbreakable habit.

PTSD treatment facilities help trauma survivors to identify what negative thoughts sound like and feel like. These facilities provide group counseling, individual counseling, meditative programming, and spiritual programming, too.

But what about when you’re not at the treatment center? What do you do when you’re forced to fight the negative thoughts on your own? Consider the following tips for finding your way back to accepting your strengths and valuing your being:

  • Replace negative statements with positive statements: Once you’re able to identify negative thoughts, rephrase them into positive thoughts. For example, instead of thinking that no one wants to hear what you say because you don’t have good ideas, rephrase the statement. Think something like: I have good ideas and people value my opinions even if they don’t share the same opinion.
  • Write down your good qualities: Keep a journal listing all your good qualities. When you’re feeling down, refer back to this list.
  • Accept praise: When you’re congratulated on a job well done or given a compliment, take the praise and believe you deserve it.
  • Gather evidence: Ask yourself what evidence you have for your negative thinking. Do you have supportive statements to back up these thoughts? Chances are you don’t. Many trauma survivors assign themselves a backstory that attaches negative traits to their personality that aren’t true.

How do I find PTSD treatment near me?

If you’re having a hard time slowing down the negative thoughts and your self-esteem issues require extensive therapy, it’s important to find the best PTSD treatment center you can. For PTSD recovery in Key Largo, FL, contact Kinder in the Keys to learn more about their treatment options.


Author Bio

Dr. Laura Tanzini, DrPh, MA, MFT

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a highly educated and accomplished professional with a background in biology and psychology. She received a BS in Biology from UC Riverside, an MA in psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute, and a Doctorate in Public Health with a specialty in Lifestyle Medicine from Loma Linda University.

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a Board Certified Professional Counselor, Integrative Medicine Clinician, and PTSD Clinician. She has worked in multiple medical hospitals, mental health institutions, and inpatient eating disorder clinics. Also, Dr. Tanzini has written scholarly papers and spoken on various topics related to nutrition, stress, menopause, obesity, depression, anxiety, and human development.