Low Self-Esteem and Depression

Low Self-Esteem and Depression

Low Self-Esteem and Depression

Written by: Dr Joseph Kekulawala
Last updated date : March 29, 2022
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.
Elderly Lady using positive self talk in front of mirror to manage low self-esteem and depression

Chapter 1:
What Causes Depression and Low Self-Esteem

Not surprisingly, many of the contributors or triggers for low self-esteem can also trigger depression. For instance, an unhappy childhood where parents or teachers were extremely critical can cause low self-esteem. We know from research that unhealthy relationships during childhood a risk factor for later-life depression.

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.


Chapter 2:
So What Comes First? Low Self-Esteem or Depression

Depression is a mental disorder. They are defined as discrete episodes of sadness, poor sleep, low energy and other characteristic symptoms. Low confidence can be a symptom or sign of 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.


Chapter 3:
Telling a Part Low Self-Esteem and Depression

How to overcome low self-esteem and depression, in part, depends on telling them apart. Low self-esteem is about confidence, how you view yourself or your opinion of yourself. Low self-esteem can be one of the many symptoms or signs of depression. Depression is a broader concept. There are different features or symptoms of depression, such as low mood, no appetite, changes to sleep patterns and of course, low self-esteem.

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.


Chapter 4:
Seeking Help and Other Options

There are different self-help strategies that can help with both low self-esteem and depression. Making sure you are getting adequate sleep, eating healthy, not drinking too much alcohol is a good start. Next, try to stop worrying, forget the past and appreciate the small wins and bring positivity into your life. It’s important to have a small group of trusted friends and family members who support you. In addition, try to remove as much negativity in your life as possible. We must stress that depression is a mental disorder. Depression can cause significant suffering to the person experiencing the condition and those close to them. Depression, if left untreated, can cause immense distress and despair. If you think you have depression, you must get professional support from your doctor and a psychologist. Consider also speaking to a therapist if you want help with low self-esteem. Here at Epsychonline, we have a six-week course on low self-esteem. We go over in detail different psychology skills and techniques that help in managing low self-esteem. Visit our courses page. There you will find our low self-esteem course and others our team of mental health clinicians have created.