I sometimes feel very low about myself. Every few weeks I have a breakdown and cry a lot over silly things. For example; today I made plans to see my friends at the weekend. It’s my birthday tomorrow and my mother had made plans for that day, when I told her she said not to worry and we can do her plan another day. I then had an emotional breakdown as soon as she left for work, I was crying hysterically and thinking horrible things about myself. This happens a lot, as I mentioned, over things that are generally insignificant. I have low self-esteem and I see myself differently every day, one day I think I look pretty good, but the next I’m looking into plastic surgery. What’s wrong with me?
I am not certain that there is anything “wrong” with you per se. Developmentally, you are at a stage in your life where you are discovering your true self. In fact, psychosocial developmental theorists even have a name for this stage: identity versus role or identity confusion. You mentioned having “low self-esteem” and seeing yourself “differently every day.” That seems to fit with role or identity confusion.
Even if what you are experiencing would be considered normal, from a developmental perspective, the fact that it is causing distress should not be ignored. It is worthy of deeper exploration. In that case, you should consult a mental health professional to discuss your concerns. Counseling will help you to develop stress management techniques to better regulate your emotions. Developing those skills will help you now and in the future. Thank you for your question. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle