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Question
Posted by: | 2020/09/01

Low self-esteem

My daughter (23) told me that she feels useless and don't feel good about herself. She also admit that she is addicted to social media. Always checking out the rich people - what they wear, what they drive and where they stay. She has this image in her head that she wants to be like them. She's dreaming of this lavish lifestyle. She post beautiful photos of herself on social media just to see how many likes she gets. And she admitted to me that it makes her feel good. The more the likes the better she feels. She has a degree and is working permanently but earning so little money. She feels hopeless. She's worried that she wont be able to ever move out of the house and have her own place to stay. She is even worried that she will never met "mr perfect" and will be alone the rest of her life. I must say that she is a very difficult person herself. It's my way or the highway. She has this very good friend. They were a couple but it did not work out for her so they decided to rather stay friends. According to her he is her pillar. He is obviously still in love with her. He supports her with everything. My husband and I are very fond of him and we know that he will be a good husband, father etc. But i will not give my blessings just because she doesn't feel the same. I'm scared that she will just get married to have a partner although she is not in love with him and it will not be fair to him. I don't know what to do or tell her. I try to give advice but she is not interested in what I say. What can i do for her? Please help

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2020/09/04

Sounds like she really needs to see a skilled and experienced psychotherapist, as chemical meds won't help provide what she needs, a complete review and re-evaluation of her wholly unrealistic assumptions about herself, others, and about what matters in life. The method most likely to help is called CBT, Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, which teaches her to recognize the self-defeating habits of thought, assumption, and behaviour that distort her life. 
From your thoughtful description, she is ignoring what is truly good and  great about herself,  comparing herself with unreal people, with artificial images created ( often not by the "celebrity" themselves, but by well paid falsifiers of fact ) of people who are actually not a scrap as good and admirable as they pretend to be.  As it happens, when I worked abroad, in London, for instance, I worked with some of the celebrities of the times.  Often they were grubby and nasty, selfish people, phony and surprisingly untalented.  Almost universally, they were miserable people leading lives that were inauthentic pretences, hiding from their actual problems by pretending to be someone they were not. 
Isn't it sad that other people, like your daughter, are so fiercely encouraged to admire and try to copy these miserable and empty people ?  Similarly with the profoundly antisocial "social media".  It's a sort of false stock exchange for trading "Likes" : I will "Like" any rubbish you choose to put up, so long as you "like" whatever I post.   These are of course rarely genuine liking, nor genuine friends ; except where the handful of people linked to online were genuine friends to begin with, in the real world, none of those "friends" would bother to get out of bed at night and come to help her if she was genuinely in trouble.
If she has a degree and a stable job, that's great : and she will probably succeed and move up to more interesting and rewarding work in whatever her field is, if she would learn to concentrate on celebrating and developing all the great things she is and has, instead of chasing the empty tinsel of who she is not and doesn't have.
Of course Mr Perfect does not exist ( and what an awful bore he would be if he did ) ; she needs to explore relationships with real people who she can enjoy for who they are, rather than reluctantly accepting them for being less than the fantasies she has wasted so much time pining for.

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