What is Self-Worth?

Did you know 99% of young people said living with epilepsy has had an impact on their mental health?

You are never alone

We surveyed young people with epilepsy, like you, (aged 25 and under) and asked how living with epilepsy has affected their mental wellbeing and self-worth. They shared this advice:

“Be kind to yourself and don’t feel ashamed of your diagnosis.”

“Coming to terms with, and accepting an epilepsy diagnosis is half the battle. Once you have done that, try not to let it hold you back from doing what you love.”

Did you know:

  • 99% of young people said living with epilepsy has had an impact on their mental wellbeing 
  • This impact was described as anxiety/worry, depression, life-changing, impact on self-worth/identity, isolation, overwhelming, lack of control, fear, stress and feelings of suicide.
  • 52% of young people do not find it easy to talk about how living with epilepsy makes them feel.
  • Others said this depended on factors such as who they were talking to and how they were feeling, or that confidence had come over time.
  • Around 1 in 4 (27%) said they did find it easy to talk about.

What can I do if I have low self-worth?

Value yourself by doing things that make you feel good, whether that be baking, having a bath, reading, doing some art work or going for a walk. Also, do things you're good at! By doing things you're good at and enjoy, this will boost your esteem and in turn, your self-worth. 

Talk to yourself like you would a friend. Try not to listen to the negative voice on your shoulder and focus on what you’re good at instead. Praise yourself for your achievements and recognise that you should be valued, 

As recommended by one of our young reps, follow Instagram accounts with positive quotes and posts for self-love, self-worth and positivity. Search for hashtags such as:

 #epilepsyquotes #epilepsyawareness #epilepsy #epilepsystrong 

This will increase your self worth and may also help you connect with others. 

Leave a journal or paper close by somewhere where you will see it as soon as you wake up. Choose 1-3 positive affirmations that feel right for that day.

For example: I am strong, I am capable, I am worthy. 

Say them out loud or in your mind before carrying the piece of paper round with you for the rest of the day. You can make them specific to your seizures.

This doesn't have to be a huge challenge like running a marathon. Start by setting yourself small, achievable goals. Even daily goals. Ticking these off will give you a sense of achievement, and may even spur you on to challenge yourself to do something more!

Know your physical and emotional limits and know when to say ‘no’. Read our article about putting yourself in the driving seat and being confident to look after number 1. 

So, what is self-worth?

Self-worth is the greatest currency you can ever possess. It celebrates everything that makes you unique. It’s how you value yourself. It’s also easily bruised, because it can be the hardest thing to protect. You see, you’re the only one in control of your self-worth. Yet you’ might be your own worst critic. And how you rate your self-esteem depends highly on your mental wellbeing.

How does it affect people with epilepsy?

Epilepsy is unpredictable. It changes your perceptions and how you feel about yourself. You may feel less confident in your own skin, in your academic abilities, in your career or even your role in your family or as a friend. You may lack motivation, feel isolated and anxious. This is all very normal, because epilepsy alters your self-worth. And low self-worth impacts every aspect of your life. It’s important to make the connection between how you feel about yourself and the part epilepsy plays in your self-assessment. That way you can start to boost your self-esteem. These are just a few examples of how epilepsy can lower your self-worth:

  • Loss of independence
  • Unable to control seizures
  • Feeling isolated or having negative reactions from others
  • Unable to predict or control seizures

Where can I access support?

If you feel you are severely overwhelmed with low self-worth, please contact your GP. 

Find urgent help and support here.

If you are struggling with your self-worth, remember, you are not alone. 

Try downloading one of these apps that young people recommend:

  • Mindfit - Train your mindset to erase negative thoughts. 

If you feel like you would like to talk to someone, you can contact us or reach out to one of the organisations below. There are people ready and waiting to support you:

 

Throughout our #OnTopOfEpilepsy campaign, our supporters shared messages of support to children and young people with epilepsy who may be struggling.

'I just want to say what an inspiration you all are. You are dealing with something a lot of adults struggle with, but you never give up. Thank you for being you. We love you.'
'Sending you all good wishes. Always remember you are strong and you are beautiful just as you are. ❤️'
'Me and my daughter have epilepsy, just know that's your superpower. You've got this, keep smiling.'
The theme of Self-Worth has been supported by an educational grant by GW Pharmaceuticals