Causes of Self-Image Issues
Hurting to Be "Perfect": The Risks of a Negative Self-Image
at the Bradley Hasbro
Children's Research Center say that there is no one specific reason
for why an individual develops a negative self-image. It varies by
individual and there are usually a number of factors working in
combination with one another.
Some general reasons that could contribute to self-image issues
Genetic vulnerabilities: Individuals who are
genetically predisposed to certain psychiatric disturbances such
as depression and anxiety disorders may be at greater risk.
Associations with other conditions: Features
of clinical depression include feelings of worthlessness, guilt,
failure and hopelessness. Similarly, individuals with anxiety
disorders may struggle with excessive worries about what others
think, along with perfectionism. When these disorders are
treated, some of these self-image problems may abate.
Individuals with body image problems may also be more likely to
develop co-occurring depressive and anxiety disorders, and,
conversely, those with a personal or family history of mood and
anxiety disorders may be at a greater risk of developing
body-image related disorders such as eating disorders or body
Media and peer culture influence: There has
been a great deal written about the negative influence of the
media and peer culture on vulnerable teens. These constant
flashbulb images of "perfection" can make individuals believe
that this unrealistic image is attainable and the norm. However,
this exposure by itself is probably not enough to cause a
serious psychiatric disorder, since most teens are exposed to
media and peer influences but do not develop serious disorders.
Bullying: Teens who are bullied or picked on
become more vulnerable to internalizing what they are hearing,
and in turn, feel badly about themselves.
Past Abuse: A history of physical, emotional or
sexual abuse, within or outside of the family, can contribute to
feelings of low self-worth.
Signs of a Serious Problem
Hurting to be Perfect