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How is Low Self-Esteem Related to Depression


Low self-esteem and depression may be linked together; however, many people have difficulty distinguishing the differences between them. Just because low-self esteem is one of the risk factors or causes of depression - doesn’t mean that both concepts are the same.


Let’s define our terms.

Self-esteem is how you look at yourself, and it develops from your experiences, relationships, thoughts, and feelings. People with low self-esteem will view themselves as highly flawed individuals who worry that they are not good enough and don’t deserve the best. They might struggle to accept compliments from others and rank themselves lower than the rest. Low self-esteem may cause people to overthink because they don’t believe in their ability to make solid decisions, and they tend to stop pursuing things that they aren’t ‘perfect’ at.




Depression is a mood disorder that diminishes one’s energy and interest in their favorite activities. People with depression may isolate themselves because of this lack of interest and energy, even in their daily activities. Depression may disrupt their sleeping/eating patterns, eventually negatively affecting their health. There are several treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, and medications.


Similarities And Differences Between Depression And Low Self-Esteem


Low self-esteem and depression share a few signs and symptoms that are listed below:

● Poor academic performance.

● Difficulty sustaining relationships.

● Social withdrawal.

● Drug and alcohol abuse.

● Reckless behavior.

● Manifest signs of aggression.


Even though depression and low self-esteem have a few obvious similarities, research supports that they are separate and different concepts. However, many experts claim that low self-esteem is more likely to develop depression in adolescents and children.


Moreover, there is a major behavioral difference between the two groups of people. People with depression may notice a decline in performance at school or work. In contrast, people with low self-esteem may try to compensate for how they feel by pleasing others and making a great effort to perform well at work and school.

Here are a few warning signs and symptoms that you might notice in people with low self-esteem:


● They avoid doing new things and refuse to take up new opportunities.

● They have difficulty making friends.

● They feel unloved and unwanted.

● People with self-esteem experience a lack of motivation and interest.

● Fear failure and embarrassment in public.

● They can’t take compliments and express anxiety/stress.

● Difficulty managing stress.

● Negative self-talk, and they often compare themselves to others.

● They tend to blame others for their mistakes.


There is a possibility that people may experience both symptoms listed above and below:

● Disrupted sleeping and eating patterns.

● They may feel irritable and angry (lasts for 1 to 2 weeks).

● They experience physical symptoms such as stomach aches, headaches, and chest pain.

● They were feeling tired even after having an ample sleep.

● People with depression may talk and try to attempt suicide.


How To Treat Depression And Boost Your Self-esteem?


There are some significant steps that one can take to build a healthy sense of self-esteem in themselves - check the list below: 

● Be around people who are good listeners. You have to understand that your feelings matter, and being around people who truly care for you will allow you to express yourself freely.

● Engage in positive self-talk. You can listen to positive affirmations every day while out on a walk. Positive self-talk will change how you look at your flaws/mistakes and help you improve a lot.

● Recognize what you are good at - there's always something that we are good at. If you don’t have any clue about your passions/hobbies, start trying out new things!

● Learn to be assertive because that will help you respect other peoples’ opinions and thoughts about you.


The treatment for depression is usually a combination of both medications and psychotherapy. There are different types of therapy that you can opt for, such as:

● Cognitive-behavioral therapy

● Interpersonal therapy

● Psychodynamic therapy


Moreover, when researchers checked which depression drugs effectively countered symptoms of depression, the following topped the list:

● Celexa (citalopram)

● Prozac (fluoxetine)

● Lexapro (escitalopram)

● Trintellix (vortioxetine)

● Zoloft (sertraline)



If left untreated, depression and low self-esteem can chip away at the quality of your life. Fortunately, seeking professional help can be an excellent way to overcome your mental issues and develop healthy coping ways that will help you for a lifetime. So, if you’re battling depression and low self-esteem, reaching out to a well-trained therapist can turn out to be the one big step you can take towards changing the course of your life for the better.


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