I Feel Like I Hate Myself. What Can I Do?

Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Erban, LMFT, IMH-E
Updated March 16, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Content Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that could be triggering to the reader. Please see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

Though everyone may experience feelings of insecurity or disappointment in themselves, persistent feelings of self loathing  or self hatred are detrimental to a person’s mental health and self esteem. These feelings of self hatred can be rooted in childhood trauma, or be due to certain mental health disorders. If you are often feeling like I hate myself, this may be a sign that you have self hatred and should look into improving your self worth. There are ways to improve your self esteem and self worth, as well learn how to concentrate on lessening your inner voice, when it is causing you to feel self hatred.

There’s no simple way to understand how to stop hating yourself or thinking I hate myself and experiencing self hatred may be slightly different for everyone too. Instead, there are ways you can learn how to challenge negative thoughts, change your negative inner critic, find value in yourself, improve self worth, and boost self love and self esteem.

To find out more about improving low self esteem and self hatred, you can reach out for online therapy and make gradual changes to help you live the life that you want, where you may have an improved sense of self worth and self esteem. There are people that feel the same way that you do, where they often think I hate myself and are experiencing self hatred, but this is something that you can get relief from through counseling. You don’t have to continue experiencing self hated and low self esteem, when there is help available at all times.

Reach Out

It’s hard to go through challenging times alone, especially when you have experienced a significant loss, or are having frequent setbacks in your everyday life.

Though it’s important to have your own sense of self, or self image, and be able to build yourself up, sometimes being around the people we love is the best way to remember how happy we can make others.

Moreover, positive people may help you improve your mood and thoughts and may keep your inner critic from causing you self hatred and improve your self worth.

Are You Struggling With Feelings Of Self-Hatred?

One of the most difficult qualities of people with self loathing or self hatred is that they may sabotage their relationships or efforts as a reaction to feeling that failure is inevitable Their inner critic may be telling them I hate myself and reinforcing negative self worth and self hatred. This is one of the self destructive behaviors that a person may exhibit, where they could become their own worst enemy.

This critical inner voice could help convince them that they don’t deserve to be happy or good things to happen to them. Instead, they may think negative events and past trauma that occurred are things that were justified. This is likely due to the fact that they could be experiencing low self esteem, self hatred, or low self worth.

When someone feels like I hate myself, there may be little they can do about their negative thoughts and negative feelings, so be gentle when you talk to them and know that they may need the help of a mental health professional to be able to combat self hatred, help improve low self confidence and low self esteem, and change the way they self talk.

Often, feeling supported by others can help people feel appreciated and comfortable with themselves. If you feel the same way, consider reaching out for mental health help. Therapy could help you change these feelings of self hatred and replace them with positive thoughts to help change self esteem, self worth, and the voice of your inner critic.

Recharge and Reflect

For people who struggle with feelings like I hate myself or self loathing and self hatred, times of elevated stress can often exacerbate these feelings of self hatred. If you’ve found yourself busier than normal, taking time out of your busy schedule to get enough sleep, recharge, and reflect can help you see yourself in a more rational light. For some people, this is an important part of their regular self care routine. Try your best to continue to eat healthy food as well. These things may go a long way when it comes to improving your self worth and self esteem.

Sometimes people with feelings of self hatred will try to portray an image of being superior or perfect. They may put up emotional walls to prevent others from seeing their vulnerabilities, and have frequent feelings of jealousy. 

Other times, people who struggle with self hatred will put others' needs before their own. They may feel that they need to prove their worth and self worth by not giving themselves the opportunity to relax and unwind, which can also put strain on their mental health and capacity. It’s important to remember that there is nothing wrong with taking some “me time.” Be sure to get enough sleep and practice meditation when you can. Learning self love and lessening your negative inner voice can help you have better relationships in all aspects of your life.

Other constructive ideas include writing down your thoughts, being creative in some capacity, or doing a hobby that you enjoy. Being able to look back on your previous behaviors or past mistakes in a different light and grow from them, is an important aspect of learning to love your life, improve your self esteem, and lessen self hatred. Life can be challenging, but by learning how to promote self love and begging to love yourself for who you are while improving your self worth and inner critic, you can also learn how to handle negative things or negative events in a more productive way, where you won’t have to spend time thinking I hate myself.

Make Some Changes

Though mental health therapy is an important and necessary step in dealing with feelings of self hatred and low self esteem, there are some changes you can make on your own to combat negative thoughts in relation to yourself and your inner critic, so you are able to combat these feelings of self hatred and low self esteem.

One of the most important ways you can shift your perspective from I hate myself to improved self esteem is to acknowledge your feelings. By being able to recognize your negative thought patterns and negative thinking, and how they’re destructive or causing self hatred, you can get better at stopping them in their tracks. You can choose to ignore your negative inner voice, inner critic, and thoughts of self hatred. Additionally, this could help you learn how to practice self compassion and improve your overall self worth and self esteem. Be sure to reach out for mental health resources when you want to, since a therapist can help you understand why you are thinking I hate myself and how to reverse these feelings of self hatred.

You may also want to take time to look at your life, and the people in it, with a critical lens. Are their positive people in your life? By looking more closely at which aspects of your life trigger feelings of self loathing or self hatred, you can try to prioritize activities that you feel safer in. By finding a healthier balance of the things you love to do, and the things you have to do, you can reach a better sense of self. Also, if you are overly shy, try not to engage in activities that cause you to feel uncomfortable, experience an emotional reaction, or like you are having an existential crisis. These can be detrimental to your self esteem and lead to self hatred.

Seek Professional Guidance

If you deal with regular feelings of self-hatred or think I hate myself, mental health help is available to you, so you are able to improve your low self esteem. By working with a therapist, you can discover new ways to reshape the way you approach negative thoughts and negative thinking, which may help silence your inner critic and limit self hatred. Therapy can be a very effective way to target how to stop hating yourself and thoughts of self hatred, and might improve self esteem overall.

One of the most commonly used forms of therapy for feelings of self loathing or self hatred is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is also used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. CBT is solution-focused, and works to redesign the way you handle irrational, unproductive thought patterns, such as in the case of a negative inner critic and self hatred. Instead of focusing on your low self esteem or why you may feel like I hate myself, CBT works to show you how you can see yourself in a different light. Essentially, CBT can help you change your low self esteem and self hatred, where you can improve your self esteem and feel better about yourself. There may be no more thinking I hate myself when you are engaged in therapy.

For people with mental health conditions such as personality disorders, which could be present when you are experiencing low self worth or self hatred, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is commonly used to help improve self esteem. DBT is a form of therapy that is more focused on emotional regulation, and a person’s reactions to their emotional state. For people who struggle with self-destructive thoughts, a tough inner critic, and self destructive behaviors, DBT can be effective in developing coping strategies to prevent irrational behavior and practice self compassion. This type of therapy could help you reverse feelings of self hatred and like I hate myself.


Though it’s normal to sometimes feel disappointed in yourself, occasionally experience negative thinking, or even have a moment of self hatred from time to time,  you shouldn’t feel like I hate myself or that you have a harsh inner critic on a regular basis. There are multiple mental health disorders that can lead to self hatred symptoms, cause low self esteem, and lead to a negative self concept, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible, especially if you suspect that you have a mental health condition. With proper guidance and care, there are coping strategies you can learn in order to challenge negative thoughts, like I hate myself, as they come into your head to combat self hatred.

If you often struggle with feelings of self loathing or self hatred, and want to learn more about how to stop this self hatred, BetterHelp has therapists for adults, and TeenCounseling has therapists for teens that can help. You don’t have to feel alone while you challenge your self hatred, and working on your mental health with a therapist can help you work through both low self esteem and critical inner voice in a non-judgmental environment. This may be a good idea when you are concerned about your self esteem and want to diminish your thoughts of I hate myself. Getting therapy may be a boon to low self esteem, so you can have a more positive outlook and perspective of yourself.

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