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How can feelings of worthlessness affect me if I am depressed?

One of the most painful and disabling symptoms of depression is the feeling of worthlessness. This can take the form of feeling that you can never do anything right, that you are not loved by anyone, or that there is something fundamentally wrong with you. This symptom may be manifest as an endless rumination about your worth or an ongoing search for some outside source who will tell you that you are worthy.

The feelings of worthlessness can be a gift -- as a message about how you are spending your time and as an incentive to work toward greater self-acceptance of your limitations. However, the symptom of worthlessness can take on a form that does not offer a gift and can undermine the possibilities of finding the gift in these feelings. We see this form in the person who feels that his essential being is worthless and is preoccupied with finding some external person, panel of judges, or accomplishment that will redeem him from this condition. If you have experienced this form of worthlessness, know that nothing outside of yourself will ever end the search for your worth. In addition, no matter how clear and persuasive an external person may be in his or her proclamation of your worth, if you feel essentially worthless you will find some way to dismiss even the most convincing proclamations.
Listening to Depression: How Understanding Your Pain Can Heal Your Life

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Listening to Depression: How Understanding Your Pain Can Heal Your Life

A New Way of Thinking About DepressionWhat does it really mean to be depressed? You know depression as a collection of symptoms—fatigue, listlessness, feelings of worthlessness—and the source of...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.