Debunking The Myth: Are Low Self-Esteem and Depression The Same Thing?

August 5, 2018 / Uncategorized

I decided to write about self-esteem and depression because it’s an issue that sits close to my heart. I want to say that every day is a great day for me, but the truth is – it isn’t, and that’s okay. I think it’s normal to have the odd self-esteem crisis, but what frustrates me is when I am having a bad day and an unauthorized opinion is thrown my way – you’ve got depression!

While I am grateful that I do not suffer from depression, I wanted to share the difference between self-esteem and depression because they are not the same thing. However, they are closely linked, and sometimes co-dependent. It can be said that low self-esteem is a risk factor for depression. Both of these two concepts can vary from low to high, and they can co-exist and fuel each other.

To better understand the similarities and differences, we should define both of these terms in detail and compare them.


Self-esteem is your view of yourself. It covers the entirety of everything that you think you are: your flaws, positive characteristics, weaknesses, and strengths. It is being built throughout your life, and it starts in early childhood.

The way you build your self-esteem depends on your surroundings, experiences, relationships, and their outcomes, emotions, and thoughts.

It is possible to have high self-esteem when it comes to a relationship with your close family and friends, but low self-esteem when it comes to working.

Self-esteem is in relation to your feeling of self-worth and your idea of your own competency in different areas of life. Those are two different aspects of self-esteem that make the whole of your opinion about yourself and your position in the world.

People with low self-esteem are prone to addictive behavior, extreme sensibility to criticism, perfectionism, rigid thinking, trust issues, and the like.


The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about depression is feeling sad. Sadness is a big part of the depression, but this clinical state is much more than that. It also involves feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and emptiness. Some people even describe feelings of apathy.

Depression can cause irregularities in sleeping patterns, eating habits, and everyday activities. Some of the different depression disorders include:


Depression is treated in a multitude of ways. A Healthy lifestyle and exercise has proven to help people who are suffering.

How Do Self-Esteem and Depression Compare?

Some symptoms can be observed with both people who suffer from depression and those that suffer from low self-esteem. A person can experience only one of these, a couple of them, or even all of them.

  • Addictive behavior
  • Aggressiveness
  • Self-consciousness
  • Promiscuity
  • Recklessness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Lack of functional and meaningful relationships

On the other hand, there is a considerable difference between these two issues. While low self-esteem is stable and doesn’t change if not treated, depression is more volatile. Depression can change from day-to-day.

Dealing with Low Self-Esteem and Depression

First and foremost it’s important to surround yourself with a support network of honest and understanding friends. Don’t be ashamed. Here are some of the steps you can do to keep fighting:

  • Develop the habit of checking in with yourself. Just answer the question, “how are you feeling?” Some people find it therapeutic to lead a journal.
  • Get educated. Learning about depression and low self-esteem will help you cope with it. Learning about the symptoms and signs will allow you to spot them in your own behavior and demystify your state.
  • Be persistent. Even when you feel like there is no hope, make sure you stay on your track. Hopelessness and helplessness are parts of depression, and they will get triggered once you try to rid of this state.

One of the most important things to keep in mind at all times is – both depression and low self-esteem are issues that can be treated. It cannot be done overnight, and there is no quick fix, but it is possible to solve these problems with professional help.

In my line of work I connect with women who suffer from low self-esteem and depression all the time. I’ve seen the most beautiful sparks fly from women who are going through the lowest of lows. Ladies (and men), we are all beautiful in our own way, and it’s important to never forget that.

I can not express how grateful I am for all my supporters and for the clients who share their spirit with me during our sessions, no matter how hard life is for them at that time. I also want to ask you to reach out to a friend or family member if you think they are experiencing a level of pain. Don’t tell them they have depression or webMD their symptoms in order to diagnose. Just extend your time to them and let them know ‘I am here for you if you need me’.

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