Self-esteem and depression, what is their relationship?

Self-esteem and depression, what is their relationship?

Self-esteem and depression are significantly related.Thus, although the origin of a depression is clearly multifactorial, clinical studies reveal that low self-esteem maintained over time makes us much more vulnerable to this type of condition. Not accepting ourselves and lacking positive feelings towards our own person leaves us without psychological resources.

Self-esteem is that set of feelings generated by the concept of self. The concept of self thus encompasses this set of ideas and beliefs that define the mental image of who we are.Self-esteem, on the other hand, definesBCa fundamental emotional component for human well-being.

Low self-esteem makes us feel bad about ourselves, generates disconnection, depression and vulnerability to the development of various psychological disorders.

Knowing this, we will not be surprised thatpsychologists and psychiatrists take into account this psychological dimension to understand the disorders of the depressive spectrum.TheDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) however, does not include low self-esteem as such among the criteria that a person must present to be diagnosed as depressed. Dimensions such as the "feeling of uselessness" appear however.

Researchers in personality psychology have always shown great interest in the relationship between self-esteem and depression. According to them, the question would be:is self-esteem a factor that can promote depression? Or is it depression itself that ultimately undermines self-esteem?Let's see this below.

Self-esteem and depression: two models to explain their relationship

Often we get up, take a shower, have breakfast and go out without knowing that we are naked.No matter how we are covered or brand our clothes if we face the world with low self esteem. Because everything passes through its thin stitches and its weak armor, the abuse, the fear, the insecurity, the negativism …

It is clear, however, that depressions usually have a diffuse and multifactorial origin, not to mention endogenous factors that we do not always master. We can not ignore, however, that low self-esteem translated by low efficiency to tackle the simplest problems. More so, the glass of glasses through which the person with low self-esteem observes the world is usually quite dark.

Scientific studies are the only way to demonstrate the connection between self-esteem and depression. Including longitudinal research. So, and only as a recent example,theUniversity of Basel has published this year a very illustrative work on the subject, which can give us some answersLet's see what it is.

The vulnerability model

According to the vulnerability model, there are people with a personality profile characterized by low self-esteem. According to this point of view, this psychological model will treat the events of life in a negative way. He will also lack basic skills such as resilience.

  • They are themselves often the promoters of a reality from which to defend themselves, to be suspicious and to position oneself always as a victim or a secondary actor instead of being the protagonists of their own stories. Deserving of opportunities and promoters of positive change to overcome negative events.
  • The authors of this work also noted thatpeople with low self-esteem often tried not to refute but rather to check theirnegative concept of selfingiving more attention and relevance to negative comments people around them.
Self-esteem and depression are linked in the vulnerability model to people with no resilience and low emotional solvency.

Thescar pattern

This is his opposite. According to the longitudinal study mentioned above, depression itself is often the one that shapes low self-esteem.All this legion of desperate, negative and debilitating feelings that turn into the depressive mind are those that directly undermine self-esteem.


What are we left? Are we left with the vulnerability model or with the scar model, which considers depression as a cause of low self-esteem?The American Psychological Association (APA) is clear on this point. She considers that low self-esteem is an additional risk factor for the development of various psychological disorders, including depression.

Even more, one of the publications of this savvy institution that self-esteem and depression have such a significant correlation in cross-sectional studies that it priority to develop adequate prevention strategies for adolescents. The number of diagnoses continues to increase in this sector. Even worse, the same goes for the number of suicides.

The vulnerability model is the one we should all keep in mind. itin some way corresponds to the model of Beck's cognitive triad on people at higher risk of depression.Namely, profiles with a negative view of the world, people not trusting in the future and perceiving themselves as worthless beings.

This type of attribution, of such limited and morose approaches, leads nowhere. They take us away from the expression of a meaningful, optimistic and hopeful life. Self-esteem and depression thus foster a bond of union that we can not neglect. Let's invest in this part of our personal universe. Maintons the garden of our self-esteem strong, brilliant, beautiful in all its nooks and crannies.

Virginia Satir's 5 freedoms to build self-esteem

"Consider all difficulties as opportunities to create something new" Learn more "
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