The Link between Low Self-Esteem and Depression

There are a lot of people who struggle with confidence issues, but there are those whose struggle goes much deeper than their confidence level. Those with low self-esteem seem to be more likely to struggle with depression. So are low self-esteem and depression linked and if so, how?

What Is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem refers to someone’s level of self-worth and self-respect. It goes much deeper than just confidence. It comes down to how that person feels about him or herself as a person.

What Is Depression?

Depression is a feeling of sadness, hopelessness, or despondency that is usually long lasting and affects the quality of life of the person suffering.

How Are They Connected?

Often, people who have low self-esteem tend to also struggle with depression. It goes both ways, however. Depression itself can also lead to low self-esteem. It is quite common for someone who is struggling with one of these issues, especially over a period of time, to struggle with the other as well.

Why Are They Connected?

When someone does not feel that they are worth anything, or when they show a lack of respect for themselves, this can lead to depression. On the other hand, a person that struggles with depression can eventually turn the depression around on themselves, and it can weigh on their self-esteem.


In either situation, the link ultimately happens because the person is very vulnerable not only to outside influence, but also to themselves. Someone who has feelings of worthlessness will understandably be very vulnerable to the pull of depression. Someone who is depressed may feel so low that they begin to blame themselves.

A Vicious Cycle

Once someone has entered this state of low self-esteem and depression, it often becomes a cycle. Especially for low self-esteem, these feelings often become self-affirming because the person does not feel worthy of the work it would take to better themselves, which only leads to an overall worsened situation.

The Weight of It All

For friends and loved ones, the inability to “just snap out of it” is not understandable. The fact is that people who suffer from this vicious cycle often spend their lives feeling like they are treading water on a good day, and drowning from the weight of life itself on bad ones.

Can the Cycle Be Broken?

With patience, understanding, and the affirmation of love from the people around them, the cycle of low self-esteem and depression can be broken. Expect it to take time and work, and you might need to consider professional help in some situations, but the cycle can be broken.

The link between low self-esteem and depression is strong. The vulnerability and feelings of hopelessness bring on a vicious cycle that only feeds into itself, worsening these feelings of worthlessness and depression. There is hope, however, and with the right kind of help, anyone can come back.

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