How much depression and anxiety comes back to low self-esteem?
A vision of the self as being a totality of worthless components.
Reaching back into personal history it is not hard to pinpoint pivotal moments that fed in to this condition.
But awareness does not seem to alter anything. Do we need other people to confirm the truth of ourselves?
The causes –
Rejection has been a constant theme of this blog – from work, from love & relationships, from social groups, from friendships, from all smanner of spaces. These doors seem closed and barred, they seldom ever register as possibilities.
Rejection does not necessarily cause low self-esteem. But what rejection can do is feed into narratives of broken esteem, confirming core-beliefs of dejection and sadness.
Whether it is one rejection or a thousand, does it make a difference? Rejection (real or perceived) sets a spark which travels down into the depths of the soul and ignites trapped feelings, negative self-views, internalized abuse and so on.
Dealing with these fundamental core inadequacies seems like the primary way forward; it is not the specific instances of failure or rejection that caused fundamental self-esteem problems, but the self-esteem problems that magnify those feelings. Or worse, the low self-esteem that seeks to confirm itself, perceiving failure and being overly harsh on the self to create a downward spiral.
Is a counter-point it should be noted that exile, rejection and failure are always hard. The Pythagorean cults of ancient Greece were destroyed by vengeful people who were once cast out. Exile and isolation is painful for humanity. Under no circumstances is an overly competitive framework where we must fight with each other ever going to have a happy ending for the majority of people.
It should be noted that low self-esteem is not just a problem in an individual. It is endemic to a society which exalts some people and puts other down. Is this simply the dark side of our social species?