Low self-esteem is one of the problems most commonly experienced by depressed people. Negative thoughts about one self are central to depression . Not only that , but people with depression often see it as a sign of personal inadequacy , leading to low self-esteem . They beat themselves up for being depressed, not recognizing the strength and courage. It takes to struggle with low mood. It can also work the other way round: lng – standing low self-esteem can make you more vulnerable to depression and to other emotional and psychological difficulties .
If your negative view of yourself is primarily a part of your depression or a reaction to it, your priority needs to be working on the depression itself . But if your negative perspective on yourself came before your depression, if you tend to doubt and criticize yourself even when you are not depressed , and if you find it hard to value yourself or treat yourself with consideration and kindness , then it would probably be helpful to you to try to address your low self-esteem in its own right.
What is low self-esteem?
Self-esteem means our fundmental sense of our own worth. It is reflected in beliefs in ourselves, which could be expressed as sentences beginning which the words:’I am…. ” Healthy self-esteem is reflected in beliefs like :’I am OK,’ I am basically a decent human being.’ or’ I am good enough.’ In contrast , low self-esteem is reflected in beliefs like’ I am not good,’ I am inadequate ,’ I am useless, ‘ I am unlovable.’ and so on.
CBT is based on the idea that it is the meaning we attach to things , rather than the things themselves , that is important in shaping how we feel and what we do . This applies to how we feel about ourselves , too. You might actually be a perfectly decent human being with many positive qualities , but if you believe that you are inadequate or weak or not good enough , that will affect how you feel and how you lead your life. Among other things, as you will discover , it may make you vulnerable to depression, because thinking badly of ourselves inevitably has an impact on mood.
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