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Is It Possible to Be Depressed Yet, Still Have a High Self-Esteem?

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From Canada: I’ve always felt different, and I’ve hated myself for it, but that’s in the past. And even then, despite hating myself for being different, when other people didn’t understand me, I always thought that there was something wrong with them for not understanding, even more so when they bullied me for it. I have a general dislike for people because of this, and presently, I do not initiate a relationship. I do, however, have healthy relationships with other people, and I keep a close friendship with a few people.

Due to past experiences, I’ve encouraged myself to be more self-centered. The focus on myself have improved my confidence, and I am content with myself. As far as I know, I’ve never been afraid of doing presentations, or standing up at the stage (in fact, the nervousness that I feel before presenting goes away the moment I’m at the spotlight). My self-affirmation is at a point where whenever I see a reflection of myself, I smile and think to myself that I’m really quite good-looking. I do get insecure, but after entertaining it for awhile, I toss it out of my mind.

Yet, I have depression.

Based on what I’ve read on depression, depression and low self-esteem comes hand in hand. Worthlessness, self-loathing, and guilt, all of which are symptoms, yet I’ve never felt those so strongly that they have affected my self-esteem. Worthless? In the grand scheme of things, all of us are, but to those around me? No. Self-loathing? I’m over that. I love myself more than those around me. Guilt? What for?

Yet, still, depression looms over me, and suicide is a daily thought that I entertain. I think of suicide not because I feel worthless or guilty, but because I feel hopeless and miserable. When I’m feeling frustrated, I think of it as a punishment to my parent, a lesson for those that know me, and the idea of how my death will affect my family makes me giddy. But I digress.

Depression is still very real to me, and I definitely dislike how I feel most days. But the question is:

Is it possible to be depressed yet, still, have a high self-esteem at the very same time?

Is It Possible to Be Depressed Yet, Still Have a High Self-Esteem?

Answered by on -


The simple answer is “yes” — if you define self-esteem as only feeling good about yourself. But research has demonstrated that feeling positively about the self isn’t sufficient for genuine self-esteem. In my recently released book, Unlocking the Secrets of Self-Esteem, I explain that genuine self esteem requires an interaction between feeling good about yourself and doing things to earn it. Doing good gives a person reason to feel good. Feeling good provides more energy for doing good. And around it goes. A balance of the two is what is necessary to be healthy.

You’ve conquered the “feeling good” part of the equation, but you’ve done it at the expense of the doing. It’s like one hand clapping. You feel depressed because you haven’t put the good feelings into positive action.

I can’t summarize the whole book here. It provides step by step guidance for how to bring the two parts into balance. You might find it helpful.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Is It Possible to Be Depressed Yet, Still Have a High Self-Esteem?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Is It Possible to Be Depressed Yet, Still Have a High Self-Esteem?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 5 Sep 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.