Low self-esteem is capable of making people feel bad about their lives, particularly the areas where they seem to fall short. However, what is interesting to note is the fact that over time, low self-esteem can give rise to mental conditions such as depression. Clinicians have admitted that one of the symptoms they look for while diagnosing any kind of mental condition is low self-esteem.
How self-esteem and depression are interlinked
Researchers all over the world have pondered about the relationship between self-esteem and the problem of depression. Researchers argue that those who have a negative opinion of themselves are very likely to suffer from depression at some point of time. In the same way, those people who are already suffering from depression are likely to develop low self-esteem and think negatively about themselves.
What studies have to say
Longitudinal research is by far one of the most effective ways of exposing the relationship between low self-esteem and depression. In such research, the people concerned are observed on a long-term basis, at particular points of time. One such research, conducted by the University of Basel researchers named Julia Sowislo and Ulrich Orth, highlighted the rivaling paths of self-esteem to depression and depression to self-esteem.
The study further highlighted that low self-esteem could very well be one of the causes of depression. However, it was not the case vice versa. This research showed just how, with the passage of time, self-esteem proves to be a key risk-factor when it comes to suffering from depression.
Low self-esteem induced depression
The discovery that low self-esteem could actually bring on depression is important as it highlights the importance of keeping your self-esteem up at all times. People who become aware of this close connection between the two can consciously work towards developing a healthy attitude about their own selves. Low self-esteem makes you vulnerable to not only depression, but even other health conditions as well.
Australian Clinical Psychologist Dr. Lars Madsen, who is also a self-esteem specialist has highlighted that low self-esteem not only plays a pivotal role in the development of depression, but even contributes to its maintenance. Those who suffer from depression tend to take everything that is said about them, in a negative way, which in turn worsens the depression issue.
Those who suffer from the problem of self-esteem are more likely to seek ways through which they can verify the negative notions that they have about themselves, instead of looking for ways to negate those disillusioning thoughts. Such people, on receiving unflattering comments about themselves choose to delve upon them, instead of negating them. As a result of this, they become even more depressed than before, which in turn causes them to feel as if they are ostracized and victimized.
Dr. Madsen has admitted that very few studies have been conducted on the relationship between low self-esteem and depression. However, the study by the University of Basel researchers offers reason enough to go that extra mile when it comes to shielding your positive outlook in life and self-esteem, which are among the most effective ways to prevent depression.