Quick Poll: Does your chronic condition affect your self-esteem? And what do you do to feel good about yourself?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2017-05-09 22:05:23 -0500
Started 2016-07-21 15:14:25 -0500

“I just don’t feel very good about myself.”

Clients say that a lot to me. In fact, I think low self-esteem is one of the major reasons clients come to see therapists.

My clients who are living with a chronic condition often talk about their self-esteem in terms of how they are labeling – if not defining – themselves, as a person with a chronic condition. The limitations that their chronic condition has imposed, the day-to-day responsibilities, feeling somehow different from others… can take a toll on how you look at yourself.

No doubt about it, living with a chronic condition can affect on your self-esteem.

Here’s a link to an article on self-esteem that I recently posted:


Now, I am curious about you. Does your chronic condition affect your self-esteem? If so, in what way? If not, what do you do to keep that from happening?

And, what you do to boost your own self-esteem? Anything you do to feel good about yourself?

Need some ideas?

4 replies

froggyladybug 2017-05-09 22:05:23 -0500 Report

Hi, I have been through a lot!. I've had heart surgery 4 times, I also had 4 brain aneurysms which required 2 Brain surgeries, I'm also now an amputee, I lost my left leg above the knee and the big toe on my right foot. Since the loss of my leg, I have gained a lot of weight. ( a lot!) I have a los been diagnosed with both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. I honestly feel like a worthless blob. I have pretty much turned into hermit because I look bad & feel bad, I am in constant pain, so I just stay hidden in my house. I have lost my friends because they don't know how to deal or react to my condition. I have a boyfriend, and 1 close friend that has Alzheimer's disease and she doesn't remember our 18 year friendship . I used to walk everywhere. I never got a driver's license. I do like to crochet and knit even though I don't do either very well lol, I also like to garden and grow vegetables. It's hard for me to do now, but my boy friend helps with tilling my tiny garden space for me. I do have a power wheel chair so I can get around outside but the batteries are dead. ( the chair was donated) I cannot afford the batteries. I live on a very small disability check every month, it literally only pays my rent. I have no family here. I wonder why I'm still here, I never thought my life would end up like this!. I have other things that I have not mentioned such as SVT and had an ablation surgery that mostly worked. And a stroke with the brain aneurysms. I'm starting to ramble on. But I'm glad I can tell some of my story at a place where others have some of the same issues. Thanks!

Anne-MarieB 2017-03-15 21:59:38 -0500 Report

I would say yes. Although my diabetes and high bloodpressure and cholesterol are not visible, the roll of flab around my middle is. I this culture of mega health consciousness, carrying a few pounds makes me feel like I stick out from the crowd. I have to remind myself we all have something we are dealing with and that only I can make myself feel better and make any changes happen. I focus on what does make me feel pretty, loved and smart, like doing my nails or my hair, writing a poem or a story, knitting or crocheting and of course hanging with friends and loved ones. LadyMeat, Keep your head up and focus on what a survivor and inspiration your are for others who may not know how to manage their own conditions with grace and perserverence! You got this!

LadyMeat 2016-10-12 23:00:51 -0500 Report

Yes, all the time. My scoliosis prevents me from wearing certain dresses bc they fit crooked on my body… it's hard being a 20 year old female and having an ok self esteem with today's media and tacking on an illness doesn't help. I just feel as if famous people aren't affected (which I know isn't the case). But I want to know that I am not alone… I feel as if I am the only college girl who has 5 different doctors and needs to take meds all the time. My mother has taught me to love myself, but it's hard when my condition makes me feel like a sick weakly sob story.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2016-10-25 22:35:37 -0500 Report

Hi LadyMeat, thanks so much for checking in. I'm sorry you are dealing with so much. I understand what you're saying, it's not easy living with a chronic condition that affects your appearance in this looks obsessed culture we live in. I am glad to hear you mom has given you such wise advice. Yes, we have to love ourselves first, for who we are, our strengths, our accomplishments, the ways in which we give to others, and our shortcomings. You are not alone. I hope you will stay in touch with us!