Low self-esteem can play a major role in substance abuse among adolescents. Some factors include low household income, domestic dysfunction, abuse in the home or bullying at school. Learn some of the markers of self-confidence for teens and how to have a positive impact for young people in recovery.
Anxiety and Depression
Lower self-esteem often presents with anxiety or depression. When mental illness is present with a substance use disorder, it is known as a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. Both conditions should be treated to deal with all components effectively. Integrated treatment is best for overall recovery. More than two-thirds of teens in treatment with co-occurring disorders don’t receive integrated treatment needed. It is important to locate a program which treats the whole teen and has a holistic approach to coping with dual diagnosis.
Self-Identity and Addiction
When a person understands the self, then self-esteem begins to build as a personal value. Teens with low self-esteem believe in personal unimportance and that nobody likes the teen and exhibit mistrust and negative feelings. Once adolescents become addicted to drugs and alcohol, a child is likely to adopt addiction as an identity and intertwine false beliefs and attitudes about the self and addiction together. This may leave the child feeling stigmatized, incompetent and dangerous when behaviors are reflected in personal belief. When a teen feels supported, it goes a long way to helping him or her learn how to deal more effectively with identity issues and addiction.
How to Help a Teen
A dual diagnosis program for teens with symptoms of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem can be helpful in focusing on issues of identity, ideas, attitudes and purpose. With support, the teen can replace negative attitudes with a more accurate, helpful and hopefully healthy way of thinking and being in the world. This is also a self protective mechanism against addictive behavior in the future. Family therapy may also be helpful for successful recovery to open lines of communication. This may lead to a longer term solution of harmonious deepening of familial relationships and lessen the impact of stigma brought on by mental illness and addiction.
Teens are not born with low self-esteem, it builds over time depending on circumstances. Learning how to help a teen overcome this issue can go a long way to support health and happiness overall. Even with the presence of drugs or alcohol, when a teen and family are provided resources to strengthen the family connection it can helpful in building long term healing and prosperity for everyone.
Teens need love and support to cope with multiple issues around addiction. Call us to find out how we can help support your family if your teen struggles with addiction and mental health concerns.