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03 Mar 2003

Teenage self-esteem
I have a beautiful, but quiet sixteen year old daughter. In spite of her looks and some artistic talent, she suffers from low self-esteem and often says she hates herself. She's a thinker and finds it hard to associate with kids of her age, which she considers superficial.

Will she outgrow it, or would you recommend treatment? What kind of treatment? What is the prognosis for this kind of problem?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Okto,
Yes, she would probably grow out of it. But counseling from a shrink used to dealing with adolescents, can help a great deal, as "growing out of it" can entail a lot more time and travail than strictly necessary. And a more intellectual teenager often more readily values psychotherapy ( which, after all, entails intelligent conversation with a wise and well-educated person ! ). Children who are intellectually gifted often have a hard time of it at school, as far too many of our schools are actually anti-intellectual, heaping praise and honours on those kids gifted at sport, and tending to ignore the bright and thoughtful kids. What is interesting is that later in life, when the bright kids are excelling at all sorts of activities, they kids who were praised and given inflated importance in school sports, are often failures in life, feeling especially bitter that they were so pressured to acieve the temporary and essentially useless acievements in competitive sports, and never encouraged to attend to the intellectual work that would have elped them to succeed in life.
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