Self Esteem Issues while Living with a Chronic Illness

Self Worth & Self Esteem difficulties are usually more pronounced when Living with a Chronic Health Co11752436_sndition.

Self Esteem develops from our sense of worth and value. In fact low self-worth can manifest into dis-harmony & dis-ease which can then develop into more self-worth and self-esteem challenges.

I know, I began to have chronic health challenges from the young age of 19. At 22 I became so ill, that I spent a large part of the next seven years predominately housebound. I believe a large part of my health decreased as I didn’t value myself enough. I  burnt myself out doing 3 jobs to pay my way through college whilst suffering from a post viral illness and what I believe was mercury poisoning eventually developing into M.E.

We live in a culture that places more value on what you do, your role or career, or what you have, than just being, as you are. We don’t value people as people, but rather as commodities we can use.

Sending out a huge message that those who can’t do, or don’t have,  are of less value and often or not a drain on society. But we are all a part of the jigsaw of life, we all have something to teach or share in just being part of Life.

I come from a hard working, family business background.  A great motivator in helping me utilise my resources, give me more creative insight into ways I could move forward in my life and create a career around my limitations.

But working hard was so ingrained, I believed this was one of the most important morals of life. And that is how I valued myself.  And why I burnt myself out completely at 22, whilst extremely ill, I believed that I was a drain on society and those around me, my main focus was getting back to work at whatever cost, which then led to even more serious health conditions.

Don’t get me wrong, one of my natural skills has always been empowering others to use their natural talents and gifts towards a career that suit them. And my job is very much focused on people using their abilities to find purpose. But a person is so much more than what they do. We all have a right to be CARED for, SUPPORTED, RESPECTED & VALUED.

As a therapist and coach who has been studying holistic well being over 2 decades ago, I see the residues of low self worth present in so many illness and how this can dramatically increase in those living with a chronic or long term illness which often leads to bigger confidence, self-esteem, self-value and self-worth issues which can lead to more pain and suffering.

So how can you help increase your self-esteem or someone you LOVE?

How do you VALUE yourself ?

How do you HELP your loved one VALUE them self ?

1. First Step is actually for you to strip, back and see yourself as a unique individual, a miracle of life and just for that alone, you are ENOUGH.

You are here, right now, you have VALUE, just as you are. When a baby is born, we love and appreciate it for just as it is… it is a miracle of life.. So begin by challenging and eliminating outdated Beliefs and Values that are dragging you down. You don’t have to change just recognise under it all you are perfection.

2. LOVE is at the HEART of the matter. Everyone needs to be loved especially some one with chronic self esteem or self worth issues. But first they have to Love them-self, appreciate them-self.

Do you or you loved one know they are loved  ?

3. Do you VALUE yourself as a VALUABLE member of your family, your friends and other relationships for JUST BEING part of the tapestry of life or do you solely value yourself on the roles you undertake?

The fact you are a living entity, you are here, right now, you have VALUE, just as you are. When a baby is born, we love and appreciate it for just as it is… it is a miracle of life.. So begin by challenging and eliminating outdated Beliefs and Values that are dragging you down.

You, yes you are WONDERFUL for what you, not what you GIVE, what you DO, what you LOOK LIKE but just as you are, an element of life. And then we can work on the rest..


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About stresscoach

Hi I am Eileen Burns, stress-coach. I have been studying holistic welbeing, stress management, healing and meditation for over 20 years.I teach powerful meditation and life skills to help clients manage their stress, their life, their anxiety and health challenges.


  1. I’m so sorry to hear of the depth of your illnesses – and Mercury poisoning!! You’re so very lucky to be here!
    As a fellow long time sufferer with a chronic illness – I have a rare heart condition, a rare auto immune disease, a sufferer of POTS and as I type, my own body is attacking itself and literally eating away at the soft tissue that cushions my joints (my left hip is just about attached to my pelvis!)- battling with my self esteem is another struggle.
    You have no idea just how much I needed to read the post today, after spending the last few weeks feeling that I’m simply a burden on those around me.
    Thank you!

  2. Well funny Emma things changed again after I wrote that story which included surviving sepsis and a whole range of very bizarre symptoms again which now suggests lymes as I was bitten by something tic like at 14.

    Thank You for sharing your story, how hard but you are a survivor and you are more enough…we forget we are perfect in the imperfection. And at the moment you are more to others than you can imagine
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