Trigger warning: this post involves frank discussion of suicide in relation to self-esteem.
Suicide is a challenging topic to discuss. However, it is extremely important. Today, I’d like to talk about low self-esteem indicators that can be early signs of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Low Self-Esteem in Relation to Suicide
Scientific Reports published a study in June 2021 that examined several different indicators that led to suicidal thoughts and behaviors in college students. One of those indicators was self-esteem level using the Rosenberg scale.1
What I found interesting about this study is that self-esteem issues were the third leading indicator for girls (behind anxiety and depression) but were the number one leading indicator for boys. Low self-esteem is a stronger indicator of suicidal thoughts and behaviors for boys than anxiety or depression.
As someone who has experienced low self-esteem battles and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, this really stood out to me. I hadn’t truly realized just how vital self-esteem was. Writing this blog and researching this study have helped me understand why this is a topic I must cover.
Signs of Low Self-Esteem
Signs of low self-esteem are something that I’ve covered before, but I’d like to go over them again, given the topic of this post. I want to make it clear that these are my personal experiences. They may not be indicators for everyone, and others might experience signs not mentioned in this post. If you notice a change in your behavior or the behavior of your loved ones, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone.
One of the first signs of low self-esteem I noticed was negative self-talk. This happens a lot within the mind, not necessarily externally. Other signs included distancing myself from friends, not wanting to go out in public, having trouble getting out of bed, and not wanting to look in the mirror. For me, I think all of this stemmed from negative self-talk. I feel that all of the subsequent indicators resulted from that first sign.
If you feel these things are happening to you, please reach out to someone. These can be early indicators of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, which none of us deserve to suffer.
A Self-Esteem Reminder from Will Redmond
I want to leave you with an affirmation. You matter. All your thoughts, feelings, and desires matter just as much as everyone else. You deserve to be at peace. You are on the road to being your best self. And I’m really, really proud of you.
We are in this together.
If you feel that you may hurt yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.
For more information on suicide, see our suicide information, resources, and support section. For additional mental health help, please see our mental health hotline numbers and referral information section.
- Mecalli, M., “A machine learning approach for predicting suicidal thoughts and behaviours among college students.” Scientific Reports, June 2021.