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Self-Esteem And Depression

SAMHSA - Mary Ellen Copeland, M.S., M.A.

Before you begin to consider strategies and activities to help raise your self-esteem, it is important to remember that low self-esteem may be due to depression. Low self-esteem is a symptom of depression. To make things even more complicated, depression may be a symptom of some other illness.

Have you felt sad consistently for several weeks but don't know why you are feeling so sad, i.e. nothing terribly bad has happened, or maybe something bad has happened but you haven't been able to get rid of the feelings of sadness? Is this accompanied by other changes, like wanting to eat all the time or having no appetite, wanting to sleep all the time or waking up very early and not being able to get back to sleep?

If you answered yes to either question, you may be depressed.  If that is the case, there are two things you should consider:

  • see your doctor for a physical examination to determine the cause of your depression and to discuss treatment choices
  • do some things that will help you to feel better right away like eating well, getting plenty of exercise and outdoor light, spending time with good friends, and doing fun things like going to a movie, painting a picture, playing a musical instrument, or reading a good book.

 


Sourced from Building Self-esteem: A Self-Help Guide, SAMHSA booklet SMA-3715