In fact, I am insecure about almost everything. I can’t help but compare myself to other girls and I feel really ugly and fat. I never liked the way I looked or how my body shape is like. Whenever I see these really pretty girls, I feel horrible and jealous and I start wishing I was like them. Even though I’m not the skinniest girl, I know that I’m not fat but I can’t help but compare myself to other people. People say I’m beautiful and all that but I just don’t believe it. I would constantly look at myself at the mirror and I became more self-conscious. I started dieting a year ago and I continued starving myself so that I could be “thin” but I then realized that it wasn’t worth it and I worked hard to have a reasonably healthy body. However, I’m still insecure about my body and I admit that I still have trouble taking the right amount of food during lunch time. I’m also very insecure about how talented and intelligent other people are. Whenever I see my friends do better than me, I always put myself down by believing that I’m a failure and no matter how hard I try, I won’t be as good as them. Honestly, I try my very best to get really good grades but I always end up being disappointed with my results. For my first semester report, I got a total of 54/70. I know that it isn’t a bad score but when my best friend told me she got 61/70, I felt really dumb. I’m also very insecure about my ex boyfriend who I have very strong feelings for. I was his first girlfriend and he was my first boyfriend, so it was kind of special. I really don’t want to lose him. I’m scared about every possible things that would happen between us in the future. I’ve had constant mood swings after he sent me a message which shattered my heart into a billion pieces (this was in July). I kept feeling as if I was worthless and I felt really bad about myself. These mood swings won’t go away no matter how hard I try and I always end up feeling anxious/stressed/depressed whenever my insecurities and that day (when my ex sent me that message) come into my mind. I’m trying to change myself for the better now but I desperately need your help. I haven’t shared this with my parents because I have trouble opening up with them and I haven’t shared this with my friends. I admit that I cut myself when my ex boyfriend sent me that message and the reason I did this was that I thought it would be a distraction. I was wrong and it made things worse. I was depressed the entire summer and I kept having suicidal thoughts. These thoughts kept occurring over the last few months and I even had these urges to cut. Fortunately, I learned my mistake and I promised myself I’d never do this again. I don’t have suicidal thoughts as much as before but due to my insecurities, it is still there. I know that killing myself won’t solve anything and I know better. All I want is to figure out how to get rid of these insecurities and how to be happy with myself. I’m honestly trying my best to be a better person but no matter how much I try, these negative thoughts and feelings won’t go away. Before, I used to be positive and happy with everything around me but I don’t know what’s happening to me now. I’m trying to improve myself by distracting myself with doing things I enjoy but I need your help.
A. Self-assurance and self-esteem develop over time. It is quite normal for teenagers to lack confidence. Generally, people develop self-esteem as they accomplish more in life. The more accomplishments that one has, the more “proof” of one’s ability and thus the increase in self-confidence.
Though it may be normal for teenagers to lack self-confidence, your situation is concerning because of the cutting, depression and suicidal thoughts. These problems are serious and are degrading the quality of your life.
Like many people with depression, you seem to minimize your positive achievements and maximize negative aspects of your life. You also seem to be comparing yourself to others, which is problematic. Since each individual is so unique, any comparison to others will ultimately be an unfair and an unmatched comparison.
I don’t suspect that you have a mental health disorder per se but rather are misperceiving reality. In other words, you may be cognitively wrong about how you perceive yourself. You are a perfect candidate for psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is also recommended because you’ve “been trying to change yourself” but it’s been a struggle.
You have not informed your parents about these issues. Your parents need to be aware of your suicidal ideation, self-harm and depression. Your parents need to know so that they can assist you in receiving the appropriate treatment.
You seem to want help which is very encouraging. People who want help and who are willing to receive it have a very good prognosis with regard to resolving their psychological problems. The problems that you are describing are very, very common. When you look around you at school, many of the people that you are looking at are experiencing the same problems that you are. When they look at you, they might think, “why can’t I be happy and normal like her?” They don’t know what you are feeling on the inside and you don’t know how they feel on the inside.
Counseling can be a great help to you. It can make life much better. There is no reason to suffer, when help is so available to you. If you had a toothache, I would want you to see a dentist because they can easily take away your pain. Counseling can, likewise, easily take away your pain. Report your symptoms to your parents and ask if they could assist you in seeking professional mental health treatment. You will be glad that you did. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Feb 2013
Randle, K. (2013). Very Insecure About Myself. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 11, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/02/08/very-insecure-about-myself/