Mental Illness Decimates Self-Image, Sense of Self-Worth

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Mental illness can destroy your self-image. Despite what mental illness says to you, you do have strengths and worth. Read to learn more.

Mental Illness Decimates Self-Image, Sense of Self-Worth

Mental illness can destroy your self-image. You see, a tragic effect of mental illness is how it can make you feel about yourself. Living with mental illness affects the way you think, how you feel about yourself, others, and your life, and the things you believe you can and can’t do. A relentless bully, mental illness damages self-esteem and sense of self-worth. The more you listen to its loud (albeit false) accusations of your inherent value, the more your self-image and sense of self-worth takes a hit.

Mental illness distorts thinking. This means that the negative thoughts you have about yourself aren’t accurate. In reality, you are a complete person, not an illness. You have strengths and positive traits. It’s hard, but you can come to see them and believe in yourself.

  • Start by acknowledging it and know that it may take some time to fully believe it.
  • Spend time identifying your positive traits and qualities. Catch yourself doing little things you’re proud of, reflect on your traits in a journal, and/or keep a running list of your positive qualities that you add to regularly.
  • Do something every day to use one of your positive qualities.

Be kind to yourself. You’re not your mental illness, and with persistence, your voice will be much louder than that of your illness.


Suicide rising across the US. (2018). Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved from

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Your Thoughts

Today's Question: What helps you believe in your worth when mental illness fills you with negative self-talk? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.



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Half of those with bipolar disorder also have an anxiety disorder and anxiety can worsen the prognosis of bipolar. This means if you have bipolar disorder or love someone who does, you need to understand anxiety too. Check out this webinar by bipolar expert Natasha Tracy to get all your questions answered.
Get details here.


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. What Is It Like to Hear Voices in DID?
  2. Find the Quiet Space Inside When Anxiety Gets Too Loud
  3. How Going with the Flow Helped Me Grow

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


Mental Health Quote

"Healing doesn't mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives."

Read more mental health quotes.


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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2020, August 18). Mental Illness Decimates Self-Image, Sense of Self-Worth, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 18 from

Last Updated: February 29, 2024

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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