SSM Health: Low self-esteem and depression have similar symptoms, but are much different

MADISON, Wis. —  You’ve heard a lot about the signs of low self-confidence and self-esteem in the past few weeks, but how do they compare to things like anxiety and depression? SSM Health Family Physician Roopa Shah says that they may seem alike, but that there IS a difference.

“There are a lot of similarities and overlap in the symptoms,” says Shah. “You will see some academic decline, some reckless behaviors, some more risk taking, but truly low self-confidence, low self-esteem is more of a risk factor for depression. They are not one in the same. With depression we’ll see some more significant changes like in academics, behavior, and just a loss of interest in more social events and a decline even in appearance and things like that.”

Dr. Shah says there is no one activity that’s better than others when it comes to boosting your child’s self-esteem. What matters is finding an activity that your kids enjoy, and participating in those surrounded by their friends and peers. She also says that if you think your child is anxious or depressed, but you’re struggling to help them manage their feelings, you can talk with a doctor for appropriate resources.

Our time for kids: recipe for health team is asking what you want to hear about. Let us know what health topics you’re interested in, or share your family’s health story with us, online at ssmhealth.com/timeforkids.