Turner Syndrome - Low Self Esteem
Published: February 6, 2003
I have Turner Syndrome and I have a low self-esteem. How can I get rid of the low self-esteem?
Signed: Turner Syndrome - Low Self Esteem
Dear Turner Syndrome - Low Self Esteem,
First of all, for other readers, a quick explanation: Turner Syndrome is a condition of the chromosomes that affects females. It occurs when one of the 2 X chromosomes normally found in females (boys usually have one X and one Y) is missing or incomplete (click here to find out more about Turner Syndrome).
While having Turner Syndrome can present certain challenges, the truth is it is very common for all people of your age to experience low self-esteem - we have lots of questions on this site from people with the same problem. The key to developing more confidence is to discover your strengths and limitations, and work to build upon your strengths. Keep in mind that building self-esteem is a process and won't happen overnight. In your case, Turner Syndrome may present some special challenges, but there are some ways you can work to overcome these:
- Try to get involved in physical activities - go to a gym, or go for a walk or bike ride with a friend. If you have difficulty with motor coordination and balance, do things that challenge you to improve these skills.
- If you have trouble with your handwriting, learn to type - this will be a great skill to have throughout your life.
- Have an honest talk with your parents about how you are been feeling. Make sure they are not being too protective of you - you should be able to do the things other girls your age are doing.
- Make sure you are taking good care of your body. Eat a healthy diet, get exercise, and take whatever medications your doctor prescribes.
- If you are not developing breasts and getting your period in a timely fashion, you may need to talk with your parents and your doctor about taking estrogen.
- Join one of the on-line Turner Syndrome societies - you can find out lots of information and tips from other people who understand exactly what you are going through. (Always check with your parents when you join any online community.)
- Join a club at your school or a youth group in your community. It is a great way to get involved and make friends.
- Ask your friends to be patient with you if you are not able to do everything as easily as they can. It does not have to be a big deal - if you are honest about it and have a sense of humor, they will too.
If you do not start to feel better and you feel you need more support, you may want to talk to a therapist. In northern NJ you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888.2471400 for help in finding one. Outside of this area, you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's website to locate services in your area.
The most important thing for you to remember is that it is very common to struggle with self-esteem at your age, no matter what your medical history. Read the answer to Modeling and Low Self-Esteem for more thoughts on this subject.