Depression and Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem is often associated with depression. A low self-esteem can lead to depression, and depression lowers your self-esteem. They feed each other. From personal experience, my self-esteem was lowest when I was depressed. I lacked confidence in myself and became very stuck in my situation. Depression and low self-esteem is a cycle that needs to be broken.
Why Depression Lowers Self-Esteem
- Withdrawal from social interaction can make you feel isolated. It affects your sense of belonging.
- Both depression and low self-esteem are fueled by negative thoughts. When you're depressed, negative thoughts about yourself are magnified. They cloud your perception and make it harder to see the positives.
- There’s stigma associated with depression. Consequently, you may see yourself as weak or inadequate.
- Time off from work, studies or social activities leaves you without goals or a purpose. It impacts on your self-worth.
- A lack of energy can result in not getting much done. It may cause you to feel useless.
- Personal expectations are too high. Depression is a serious condition and naturally, you won’t be at your best. Keep your expectations realistic. Just like with any illness, the priority is getting better.
Building Self-Esteem While Recovering From Depression
Building self-esteem is important in the recovery from depression. When depressed you probably won’t feel like doing much, if anything. Everything may seem like a challenge. However, it’s important to take action regardless of your feelings.
- Set yourself some daily goals or have a "to do" list. Tick them off when done. This provides you with a purpose and sense of accomplishment. It doesn’t matter how seemingly small the goals are. It could be getting out of bed, eating breakfast or making a phone call. Baby steps make all the difference and achieving your goals is empowering.
- Schedule activities in a calendar or timetable. This gives you structure and a reason to get up in the morning.
- Focus on your good qualities. Write a list of positives about yourself every day.
- Use positive affirmations about yourself e.g “I am overcoming this,” “I am in control” or “I am becoming more confident.”
- Ask for mental health help or talk to family and friends. Get the professional help you need. Remember that you’re never alone and it’s okay to not be at your best.
- Change your physical location. Step outside the house if you can. If that’s too big a step, change the room you’re in. It interrupts the monotony.
- Be creative, or do things that distract your mind. For example, coloring, drawing, writing, playing or listening to music.
- Get moving. It doesn’t matter how you do it. Find what works for you and keep your expectations reasonable. I recommend taking a walk outside. Even a short walk around the block is beneficial.
- Be around people. Stroll around your local shopping center or participate in a social activity. It makes you feel like you’re part of the world.
- Volunteer. It gives you a sense of purpose, a connection with others and a stepping stone into work. You’ll feel better about yourself. I have personally done this and I strongly recommend it.
As you build your self-esteem your mood will also improve. Believe in yourself, it will get better. I personally overcame both and you can do it too.
Agathangelou, F. (2014, November 4). Depression and Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, June 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2014/11/depression-and-self-esteem
Author: Fay Agathangelou
I've suffered from chronic depression and anxiety for 28 years. I have been in regular psychotherapy for 16 of those 28 years. My disease is managed with a combination of medication and talk therapy. This has taken me from a place where my daily thoughts were laced with those of suicide and days were spent in bed with the blinds pulled and the door closed. Today, I get up, get dressed, take my medication, try to eat and try a household chore or two. Some days I am successful with a couple of tasks, other days, I accomplish nothing. I lused to
write; many years ago I was an editor for a publication through our local university. I barely remember that woman. I know she was me, but I don't her, at all. I have days when I can sit for periods of time and write. On the worst of days, I go into the study of our home, turn on the television (the station doesn't matter) sit on a chair and just...sit. I cannot leave my home without my husband. My doctor is a 250 mile round trip and we do that 2 times a month, other than that I never leave the house. When I think about how I once lived, in a room behind a closed door, never getting up or dressed or taking meals, I think I've made huge progress. I'm sure to many, my life now seems like hell. Your suggestions for building self-esteem sound very much like a "life" to me while at the same time sound as if I'm being ask to climb the tallest peak. I feel overwhelmed after reading just two of them. I think it's quite important for those recovering from depression or working to maintain as much of a life as they can to have at least one goal, the size and scope don't matter; just the idea of a goal. I also think it's important for those around us to realize that many of would do anything to successfully perform even one of your suggestions, but at this point in our lives, recovery, disease management simply cannot achieve. I am not weak, I am not lazy, I am NOT a quitter, I suffer from a disease that for me and others is a life controlling monster. I have never asked, "why me", never said never and never given up hope; I'm still here. I only ask for an awareness about those who suffer from depression and low self-esteem, that each of us are in a different place on our path, each of us got here through very different circumstances and NONE of us would have EVER chosen this for our lives. Allow us to make our way in our time. Encouragement is a wonderful thing, an occasional suggestion shows care, but a steady diet of "why don't you" is its own kind of torture. Thank you for sharing your thought and thank you for caring.
Thanks i happen to work in office where by there is a lot of work to be done while seated so sometimes i take a short walk around which was beneficial to me
Thanks and keep on sharing with us.