Here is an excerpt from David McCarthy’s Consequences of Low Self-Esteem article:
Low self-esteem is fact of life. Though this is not a disease, this condition is very eminent on many people. It is not contagious yet some 80% of people worldwide suffer from it from time to time and it will affect the outlook of life, even the lifestyle, of sufferers.
Low self-esteem is an internal condition where the individual’s feelings, beliefs, and emotion are constrained in a manner that he cannot express freely what he is as a person. The feelings, beliefs, and emotion are reflected through the person’s treatment of himself and his perception towards other people around him. Self-esteem itself can either be temporary or permanent psychological condition. Low self-esteem for that matter can be temporary or permanent.
The duration of a person “suffering” from low self-esteem is entirely dependent on the person itself. If he is conscious about his condition and would want to change it, there are methods on doing it. However, for a person to recognize that he has low self-esteem and something must be done about it, he should learn to accept who he is and believe that he can overcome it.