Stress Q&A by Dr. Stoppler

Are self-esteem and stress related? If you have low self-esteem, are you more likely to become stressed?

Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stoppler, MD
Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD

Answer:

Stress and self-esteem can be related because stress may worsen the symptoms of almost all medical and emotional conditions. So, if you are suffering from depression, mood disorders, or other conditions that result in low self-esteem, you may end up suffering more from stress and less able to manage day-to-day stresses.

The extent and strength of an individual's social support system correlates strongly with their perceptions and experience of stress. People with adequate social support systems report lower stress levels than their less-connected peers. Since people with low self-esteem may also have poor social support systems, low levels of self-esteem could be correlated with a greater perceived level of stress.

When the body is physically and emotionally healthy, it is much easier to live with stress. I believe that low self-esteem compromises our emotional readiness to handle the challenges that invariably come with daily living and therefore increases our experience of stress.

Thank you for your question.


Last Editorial Review: 11/15/2006