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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doing basic research lately, and I've found a few sources which say that a low self-esteem can contain depression as an effect, or symptom. If there is indeed a link between low self-esteem and depression, does the link go the other way as well?

I would imagine not, that it's a one-way street. As far as I know, low self-esteem is not a symptom or sign of depression. I have no idea how current/accurate this article is, it was published over a year ago and I'm not sure how up to date the information in there is, but I'm trying to figure out whether a battle with depression was triggered by low self-esteem, or straight up depression. Two colleagues of mine (licensed counselors) stated that low self-esteem was the cause, but they don't really have the time to discuss this in great detail.
 

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Low self esteem can be a symptom of serotonin depletion, therefore it goes hand in hand with depression. They are bedmates but not necessarily causal partners.
 

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Co-morbid but not necessarily causative. I actually thought it was the other way around, that depression would cause low self-esteem. Both suboptimal states to be in, either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Co-morbid but not necessarily causative. I actually thought it was the other way around, that depression would cause low self-esteem. Both suboptimal states to be in, either way.
That's what I'm trying to work out. If someone's exhibiting both, which is the cause, and which is the symptom?
 

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That's what I'm trying to work out. If someone's exhibiting both, which is the cause, and which is the symptom?
I think, in theory, it can be argued that either one could cause the other. But then it makes me wonder how it's possible to have truly low self-esteem, without having some degree of depression to go with it (although I'm sure I've known confident individuals with clinical depression). So it seems to me that depression should precede or come from low self-esteem, which sounds more like a symptom of something than a standalone cause.

I've had some varying form of depression at the very least since 5th grade (though I remember people commenting I looked sad before that so who knows), and prior to it I didn't have self-esteem issues, though they came into play later. So at least anecdotally, I believe depression came before the self-confidence and other outward manifestations of emotional issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think, in theory, it can be argued that either one could cause the other. But then it makes me wonder how it's possible to have truly low self-esteem, without having some degree of depression to go with it (although I'm sure I've known confident individuals with clinical depression). So it seems to me that depression should precede or come from low self-esteem, which sounds more like a symptom of something than a standalone cause.
There's an article I linked to a colleague of mine about being "addicted to unhappiness". I too used to show depressive symptoms, but never really looked sad despite being in a very, very deep hole. One could become used to negativity, yelling, and constantly berated, so they develop a personality that becomes secure and confident in an environment where suffering is present. I know of at least one person who showed quite a bit of confidence and a genuine lack of will to change when he lived below the poverty line, a very poor existence by most standards. He did fake mental illness to obtain disability papers though, so there's certainly more to the story there.

I do agree with your point about depression almost having to be certainly present alongside low self-esteem, it does make logical sense.
 
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