There is a fair amount of overlap between depression and low self-esteem. In this article, we will explore the overlap further, discuss which comes first and share our tips on how to overcome low self-esteem and depression.
Depression is a mental illness. There are effective, evidence-based treatments for depression. Depression is more than just sadness. When you are depressed, you struggle to do your day-to-day tasks, feel hopeless and no longer enjoy doing things.
Low self-esteem, on the other hand, is not a mental illness. Low self-esteem can be defined as poor regard for oneself, lacking confidence or feeling incompetent and not worthy. Put simply, self-esteem is your opinion of yourself. When it is low, you think of yourself too poorly.
People with low self-esteem feel unhappy with themselves most of the time. They tend to be critical, judge themselves as inferior and struggle to accept compliments. Someone with a low self-esteem may be afraid of trying new things, fear judgement and not care for themselves.
What Causes Depression and Low Self-Esteem
Even in adulthood, ongoing stressful relationships, domestic abuse, financial trouble, all of these ongoing stresses can all cause loss of self-esteem. The same factors can also lead to depression.
So What Comes First? Low Self-Esteem or Depression
For example, John, who was bullied in school, develops a serious heart condition as an adult. He is highly stressed, and his self-esteem or confidence drops. Soon after his heart condition diagnosis, he develops an episode of depression. Fortunately for John, he soon sees a good doctor and is started on treatment for his depression. After a couple of weeks, John depression ends, however, his low self-esteem still remains, however, it is not as bad.As you can see from this example, there is an overlap between depression and low self-esteem. You can have both depression and low self-esteem at the same time, or you can have one or the other.
Telling a Part Low Self-Esteem and Depression
If you are unsure whether you have low confidence or depression, it is probably a good idea to speak to a mental health professional. Why? Because both depression and low self-esteem can cause significant distress and hurt when left untreated.