The term “pride” can be a very confusing one. With all the conflicting messages that we receive about having pride and being prideful, it can be very difficult to decipher whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing. It almost seems like, depending on the way it’s being used, it could be taken either way. This makes it even tricker to figure out how this sense of pride can relate to the state of our mental health.
Whether looked at in a positive or negative manner, what is clear is pride’s relation to mental health. It is something intrinsically tied to our feelings of self-worth, a crucial aspect when looking at overall mental health. The main trouble comes where things get blurry around confidence, arrogance, a positive self image, and a happiness that solely lies in having something to be proud of.
A Healthy Dose of Pride
All of this confusion doesn’t mean that having pride is just always a negative thing, however. In fact, pride can be a very good thing for mental health in many cases. Having a high self-esteem is a good sign for the rest of your mental health and it’s what can keep you pushing through when things do get tough. The right, healthy amount of pride can encourage greater achievements and success.
The Trouble with Pride
Somewhere between the right amount and the right type of pride is where you find the trouble in it. There are multiple different ways in which pride can be a detriment to your mental health. There’s the case that causes many people to think of pride in a negative light where it should really be called arrogance, while on the other side of things, not having much pride can contribute to depression and anxiety. Pride is tricky in that low self-worth is often equal to not finding enough pride in your accomplishments and yet, if pride is all of the basis for your self-worth, you’ll also find yourself in a more fragile mental health situation.
Many people that have trouble with low self-esteem fear that working on it and actually improving, a big win for their mental health, would make them into an arrogant monster. The fact is that being prideful is seen by many to be a very bad thing, with Christianity even including it among the seven deadly sins. It is true, after all, that high levels of pride are associated with narcissistic personality disorder. Yet, enjoying a great amount of pride when we accomplish something worthy of it does not make narcissists of all of us, and it most certainly doesn’t turn anyone into a monster. Perhaps what is meant by this comes from a very different meaning of pride, one that may more accurately be called arrogance.
After all, we do know that a healthy dose of pride is necessary for good mental health. In those that lack in pride, there is found to be a greater chance of depression and anxiety. It’s hard to find enjoyment in life when nothing you do offers that positive boost of a sense of accomplishment. Something else that a person with anxiety may struggle with is a decent amount of pride, but a type that is unhealthy. Instead of being satisfied with feeling true pride in an achievement, this unhealthy pride makes someone put achievement ahead of their own well-being.
When this happens, it may be a case of putting all of your self-worth on the fragile foundation of pride. It’s important for our mental well-being that we find value in ourselves without needing to constantly have something that proves that value to ourselves. Yet someone who is having all of their self-worth based on the things in their life they can be proud of will have to repeatedly find something else to be proud of. This leads to anxiety over every single chance of achieving or, their greatest fear, not.
Too Proud to Change
On the other side of things, a false sense of pride can keep us from feeling the need to improve. It’s not wrong to feel true pride in our accomplishments, but that is not the case here. Instead, even when there is nothing to truly feel proud of, pride manages to stand in the way of improvement. And the worst thing that pride could do is hold us back from getting better, especially if there is a serious mental health struggle to overcome.
Don’t Let Your Pride Stand in the Way of Help
Many people with a lot of pride have a serious mental health condition to contend with, but that pride doesn’t let them believe it. Fearing shame taking the place of their proud state of being, they may hide the truth of what they’re dealing with from the people that are closest to them and anyone else that could possibly help. Being stuck in a prideful stance keeps them from seeking support and allows their mental health to suffer.
You don’t have to let this be you. If a sense of pride is not letting you get to where you need to be, but is instead actually holding you back, it’s something that you don’t need. Seeking help for a mental health struggle does not make you weak, but shows that you are strong enough to not let pride get in your way.
One place you can turn to for help is the ADHD Wellness Center. We specialize in ADHD, but our support and resources are available to anyone. Reach out today if there is anything related to your mental health that you need help with.