Inadequacy is the feeling associated with not being enough.  Inadequacy affects people socially, romantically, and even in the workplace.  People feel inadequate when they are unable to maintain a relationship or complete a project.  Deeper feelings of inadequacy can relate to one’s identity and psyche.


  • Negative self-image
  • Negative self-concept
  • Low self-esteem
  • Avoiding promotions at work
  • Avoiding relationships
  • Excessive fear of judgment
  • Self-imposed social isolation
  • Oversensitivity to criticism
  • Fear of rejection


Inadequacy is not an illness or diagnosable condition, but it is an indicator of deeper troubles.  If a person has pervading feelings of inadequacy in multiple arenas then it is likely they suffer from depression.  Codependency and abuse can lead to increased feelings of inadequacy.  It can also be an effect of perfectionism as those who set unreasonably high goals for themselves are more likely to struggle to reach those goals and be more effected by failure.


There is no specific treatment for inadequacy because it is not considered a mental health diagnosis.  Psychotherapy is beneficial when inadequacy affects a person’s wellbeing or in cases in which the feeling is part of a larger set of symptoms.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help individuals gain control of their negative self-perception and adjust their self-image to become more realistic.  Increasing self-awareness will allow a person to form more realistic conceptualizations of their own strengths and weaknesses.

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Open Path’s therapists offer beneficial services that encourage insight, self-reflection, and healthy coping mechanisms. Our therapists furnish a supportive environment, providing healthy outlooks and understanding.

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