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Low Self Esteem | Common Signs

  • Says that they are useless or worthless
  • Is embarrassed to be in a social setting where other people might see that they have a problem
  • Will not speak up in a conversation with others because they are worried that they might say the wrong thing
  • Has given over activities (or given away things that they owned) because they feel that they will never be able to engage in those activities again (e.g. has given away woodworking tools, books, musical instruments, or has stopped taking part in a favorite activity)
  • Accepts unfair criticism from other people
  • Is generally withdrawn and is not engaged in the world around them
  • Is easily embarrassed, sometimes even when only one other person is around
  • Is visibly withdrawn, so that even someone who does not know them well can see that they are withdrawn (e.g. is hunched over, avoids eye contact, speaks only when spoken to, prefers the corner of a room to the centre)
Low Self Esteem | General Description

Low self-esteem is a common problem in people with Alzheimer's disease . On the one hand, it might seem reasonable, or at least understandable. Without treatment, Alzheimer's disease is usually a devastating illness, so the prospect of bad things happening can cause people to feel that they have been harmed. But the sense of low self-esteem can be part of the illness itself, especially in people in whom Alzheimer's disease cannot be separated from depression . In this way, low self-esteem can be not just a common problem, but a difficult one in people with Alzheimer's disease. It is not yet clear how commonly low self-esteem responds to specific Alzheimer's disease treatment, or how often it requires specific treatment itself, such as treatment for depression.

Even with specific treatment, getting improvement can be tricky. However, you can help by reassuring the person that you care for. This is not just a matter of telling them that they can do things if they try. If you can reassure them in a coaching style (and not a nagging style) this can be a big help. It is also a matter of pointing out to them the good things that they have done whenever possible. In short, a coaching strategy - motivating people to do things, and then praising them when they have done things well - is a reasonable thing for caregivers to do to counteract low self-esteem.

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See Also:
Symptom Library > Personality Changes > Personality Changes
Symptom Library > Leisure Activities > Social Interaction/ Withdrawal
Symptom Library > Personality Changes > Low Mood
Symptom Library > Physical Changes > Balance
Symptom Library > Physical Changes > Mobility
About Dementia > Treatments for Dementia > Counselling
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Last updated January 15, 2019
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