Q. Kindly explain the management of self-hatred and low self-esteem.

Answered by
Dr. Suresh Kumar G D
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
Published on Nov 18, 2019 and last reviewed on: Nov 19, 2019

Hi doctor,

I am concerned about my friend's self hatred. She is 23 years old. The problem with her is that even though she is a really helpful and benevolent person she hates herself and her existence. She always wants to stay sad so that she does not have to fall to low when a sad event occurs. This causes her to stay isolated at times and stay in the corner of a room for prolonged period of time. But yes normally she does not let other people understand this and acts as if she is not sad.

Deep inside she thinks she is a burden and a worthless person and hates herself for not being better. She is sort of a perfectionist. She also feels insecure about almost everything in her life. This condition leads her to develop insomnia, and she drinks a lot of coffee too. She eats hardly once every 24 hours and hates doctors so never vistis them.

I am seeking help on behalf of her. I need to know professional opinion on what should be done to save her from this loop of selfhatred and sadness that has been adversely affecting her life for more than 4 years.

Dr. Suresh Kumar G D

Child Health Paediatrics Psychiatry


Welcome to icliniq.com.

It is heartening to note that you are actively trying to support your friend. From your description, it is possible that your friend is experiencing some depressive symptoms. Cognitive distortions, thinking errors can be present in these situations which can lead to vicious cycle of emotional problems. Does your friend have any stressors or adverse life events which could have lead to her low self-esteem and self-hatred? She will benefit by opening up and talking about her issues with a counsellor and/or a psychiatrist. She will benefit by getting an objective professional opinion and develop better coping strategies.

Obviously your friend needs to accept and consent to seek professional help. Meanwhile try to continue supporting your friend. Talk to her regularly. Minimise her self-isolation. Try to not take things personally if she gets irritated. Gently persuade her to take up regular exercises. Start off by walking regularly for 15 to 20 minutes daily and gradually built up physical activities. Encourage her to eat healthy and regularly. Avoid too much coffee as it will not be helpful. Try to schedule regular fun activities like watching movies, playing together. Encourage her to seek professional help. She can talk to the counsellor.

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