Can Cannabis Give Your Self-Esteem a Boost?
One of the first reactions many people have after consuming medical cannabis is an overwhelming sense of ease and happiness. Some strains of cannabis that are Sativa dominant can make you feel so happy that you start smiling uncontrollably. You may get a fit of giggles as well and the telltale “happy eyes.”
Cannabis can have a positive impact on both physical and mental health. While helping patients cope with pain, muscle tremors, and other debilitating symptoms, there are many ways that the psychoactive effects of cannabis can temporarily improve emotional well-being.
Feelings of sadness and dissatisfaction in life can stem from low self-esteem issues. Have you ever wondered if medical marijuana for self-esteem issues would work for you? This article will talk about the causes of poor self-esteem and how cannabis, combined with counseling psychology, may help.
What Are the Signs of Low Self-Esteem?
Chances are you may already know that you suffer from low self-esteem. If you have a persistent lack of confidence, doubt your abilities, or feel that you are inadequate compared to others, that can be a sign that you struggle with self-worth.
Some of the other signs that you may be suffering from low self-esteem include:
- A constant need for approval.
- Difficulty setting personal or professional boundaries.
- Self-neglect or lack of self-care.
- Negative body image.
- Difficulty accepting compliments from others.
- Need for external validation from others (family members and friends).
- Perfectionistic behaviors.
- Excessive self-blame.
- Negative thoughts, self-talk, or a harsh inner critic narrative.
When someone has low-self esteem issues, they may shrink back from taking risks or challenges that can advance them in their career or social life. Many people fear failure, but individuals who suffer from low self-esteem sometimes convince themselves that they can never succeed.
Some clinical studies suggest that negative belief systems, poor body image, and problems with self-image can increase an individual’s risk of developing depression. A 2019 study published in Frontiers of Psychiatry suggested people with low self-esteem may be six times more likely to be diagnosed with depression.
Where Does Low Self-Esteem Come From?
Problems with self-esteem begin developing in childhood and are caused by social experiences. Self-esteem issues are developed early in life that help form negative core belief systems, which then become learned behaviors.
Here are some of the common ways people develop problems with low self-esteem:
Negative Childhood Experiences
Adults who grew up in a household that had an unhappy marriage, family life, or difficult divorce or were raised in an environment where there was constant argument, verbal abuse, or violence have a high risk of developing problems with self-esteem.
Parents that are constantly in conflict with each other can make children develop deep feelings of worthlessness or inadequacy. Kids can grow up feeling they are “not good enough” and unworthy of love. And in some cases, children may blame themselves for the conflict within their homes.
Children who are raised with parents who have mental health disorders, such as clinical depression, may not have received the parental nurturing other children receive. And some children living with adults with substance abuse disorders can experience trauma from both emotional and physical neglect.
Comparison and Social Media Influence
Social media is a great communication tool. But more now than ever before, we have a way to look into the lives of others and compare them to our own. Someone with a healthy self-image won’t be negatively affected by that comparison.
But someone who doubts their self-worth can feel inadequate. They can compare themselves to friends and family who have different lives and accomplishments and feel like they simply do not measure up with those around them.
There are many different ways that social media can make you feel inadequate, from physical aesthetics to wealth, career success, travel, and more. When you see peers doing the things you want to do, or buying a new lavish home, for example, it becomes easy to feel not only jealous but wonder why you have not accomplished the same things.
Fear of Failure and Perfectionism
If you try something new, chances are that you are going to fail more than a few times before you master the new skill. No one is perfect, and we all fail from time to time. That is how we learn new things and emotionally grow as adults.
People who suffer from poor self-esteem, however, place a lot of pressure on themselves to be perfect. Making a simple mistake can seem catastrophic and lead them to negative self-talk, belittling themselves internally for the error.
Participating in Unhealthy Relationships
You may know someone who seems to be constantly involved in toxic relationships. There is a trend or pattern in the type of friends or partners they choose. And you wonder why they allow emotionally damaging people to remain in their lives.
The most important skill for finding (and keeping) healthy relationships is self-compassion. You must love yourself enough to realize that you deserve better. And establish boundaries that protect your own emotional needs and mental health.
Unfortunately, some people with low self-esteem do not think that they deserve reciprocal, healthy, and loving relationships. And so, they tolerate abusive behaviors and remain in toxic relationships rather than removing damaging people from their lives.
Lack of Recognition for Achievements
The inability to take a compliment is a warning sign that someone may struggle with low self-esteem. In fact, some people will make it virtually impossible to compliment them for any achievement (big or small). They will evade the compliment by changing the subject or disagreeing, saying it was “no big deal,” and diminishing their achievement.
This is closely tied to problems with perfectionism and people-pleasing behaviors. When children do not get recognition for talent, skills, and accomplishments, they strive harder because they want emotional validation. If they never receive it, they may become an adult that is driven to succeed while never self-rewarding with positive feedback from anyone, including themselves.
People who receive positive feedback for their talent or accomplishments foster a healthy sense of worth. But those that never receive it continue to feel that any accomplishment (however great) is not worthy of praise.
Negative Self Beliefs
The best person to judge your performance, personality, strengths, and weaknesses is someone other than yourself. That may sound counterintuitive, but the truth is that sometimes, adults struggle to see a clear picture of themselves. That is because the good things may be shrouded in negative self-beliefs.
Negative self-beliefs collect within the human brain, like putting rocks in a bucket. Every negative experience you have is an opportunity to learn. But when you have low self-esteem, each problem or difficulty becomes more evidence that there is something wrong with you. That you are not good enough compared to other people.
Children who experience verbal abuse and statements like “you never do anything right” or “you always mess things up” may take those comments to heart. And they become part of their core beliefs about their value and worth.
Can Marijuana Help Improve Self-Esteem?
Many studies have shown that cannabis may help with some of the emotional symptoms that contribute to low self-esteem. Certain strains of cannabis may help temporarily relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also help soothe acute feelings of loneliness and sadness and boost self-esteem.
Negative self-talk, or a harsh inner narrative, is a common trait among people who have problems with self-esteem. What cannabis can do (if you choose the right strain) is push a pause button on the negative conversations inside your head.
Cannabis changes how you process negative emotions. Marijuana lowers inhibitions and induces relaxation, thus relieving anxiety. Of course, it cannot erase all negative emotions, nor should it be expected to do so. It does, however, make these feelings seem to be less threatening. It lowers the fear that some have of socializing and, as such, fosters greater connections.
Choosing the right strain can help. For example, Sativas are known to create more energy in a person, versus Indicas, which are more quieting and calming. That’s not to say an Indica will cause a person to feel insecure, but it may relax a person to where they would rather wind down for the night than socialize.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder affects millions. Those affected fear gatherings or crowds of any size because they think they will be embarrassed, judged, or humiliated. They also have a fear that they may offend others without realizing it.
The combination of their fears makes socializing almost impossible, if not just unbearable, so they isolate themselves to avoid these types of situations. In addition, their anxiety may induce other health concerns, such as heart palpitations (or a racing heart), digestive issues, confusion, and shakiness. Marijuana helps to relax those who suffer from SAD or anyone who experiences anxiety in general, thereby boosting self-confidence.
How To Weed Out Negative Self-Talk
Did you know that some mental health professionals suggest medical marijuana to help with mental health issues? That is because cannabis can help you take a break from toxic feelings and boost your mood by giving you a bit of a break from the deafening inner critic.
Some strains of cannabis can also produce a deeply cerebral state of mind. In that place of calmness, some people find meditation or journaling to be a good way to organize thoughts. And dig deeper into the root causes of self-esteem problems and practice self-compassion.
Make sure to avoid strains that may cause paranoia and types of medical cannabis that offer a good blend of terpenes that help provide calmness and relaxation. Some popular strains you may want to try include:
- Jack Herer
- Pineapple Express
- OG Kush
- Skywalker OG
The inner critic can really wear a person down mentally over time, and introverts seem to suffer from this the most. Since there are slightly more introverts than extroverts in the population as a whole, it isn’t surprising to see that marijuana has become more widely accepted as a successful treatment for anxiety.
Why Choose DocMJ for Cannabis Healthcare Services?
Since 2016, DocMJ has been the name that patients trust in Florida for cannabis healthcare services. Bradenton medical marijuana patients have a local office they can schedule an appointment with one of our friendly physicians. DocMJ has thirty office locations to help you take the first step to getting your Florida medical card.
Dr. Rothman is a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has received multiple special awards and recognitions, including Physician of the Year, from the Pinellas County Medical Association (2014 – 2015) and the President’s Service Award from the Pinellas County Medical Society.
He attended medical school at State University of New York Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York, where he also completed his Obstetrics and Gynecology residency. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Rothman’s professional career includes being an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida and Clinical Instructor at the University of Tampa’s College of Nursing.
Dr. Rothman received his Florida Medical Marijuana Physicians Certification in 2016 and was one of the first recommending physicians through DocMJ in the state and is loved by many of those early patients today.