Self-Pity Vs Depression

Have you ever had someone in your life tell you to “stop feeling sorry for yourself” when you’re down? Depression and self-pity appear to be interchangeable, yet they are not. Being blue does not imply feeling sorry for yourself. In this article, we will discuss self-pity vs depression.

What Is Self-Pity?

Self-pity is an extreme pity for one’s life, position, or circumstance. While self-pity can be a calming tool that helps us accept or change our circumstances later, it can also be a psychological parasite.

When self-pity becomes a habit, it lowers our self-esteem (the opposite of self-pity is self-esteem) and sets self-destructive cycles of self-sabotage in motion.

In this article, we’ll discuss, Self-Pity And Depression, the difference between self-pity and depression, and how can one overcome self-pity and depression.

Self-pity Vs Depression

Negativity or despair do not indicate self-pity. When you have clinical depression, you experience unpleasant and uncontrollable thoughts and emotions. It’s difficult to be engaged with others or interested in anything outside your head when you’re drowning in your thoughts and feelings. You feel as if you’re battling for your life at times. 

The continued discrimination and misunderstanding regarding depression in society may make healing more difficult. Perhaps you’re putting off getting help because you’re afraid telling others what’s going on in your head would make them believe you’re complaining.

Signs of Self-Pity

Some common self-pity symptoms or the signs that you engage in self-pity continually: 

You are subconsciously guilty

Self-pity is frequently an unconscious attempt to avoid accepting responsibility for past actions or decisions. When we cannot see the injustice we have committed, we may attempt to prevent it by blaming ourselves rather than others. Self-pity is a practical kind of a self-defense in this situation.

You have low self-esteem

Low self-esteem is another huge problem that self-pity causes. People desire the love and affection of others to make themselves feel better. The portrayal of having a “horrible life narrative,” which is frequently conveyed by self-pitying people, culminates in an effective method of garnering big audiences of followers.

You don’t think you’re deserving of love deep inside

This is caused by low self-esteem, which leads to a downward spiral of self-destructive behavior. One of the most powerful methods available to the self-destructive individual is self-pity. It creates self-fulfilling prophecies and isolates you from everything and everyone important to you.

You have a powerful fighting instinct

An intense fighting instinct can be beneficial or detrimental, depending on your use. When the fighting impulse is used, it is used to battle against life, the tide, and the embrace of truth.

You have a strong desire for sympathy

Self-pity is immensely addicting because it provides us with the temporary pleasure of being supported, cared for, and emotionally pampered. Unfortunately, this is a dangerous method of developing emotional attachments and relationships with others.

Six Ways To Overcome Self-Pity

Here are the effective ways of avoiding self-pity: 

They Question Their Perceptions

Our emotional state influences how we view reality. When you are down on yourself, you are more prone to focus on the negative aspects of your life while ignoring the positive.

Give Yourself Compassion First

Let yourself be upset when something doesn’t go as planned instead of trying to grin and bear it. Trying to stay positive in the face of hardship necessitates repressing your actual emotions. This is detrimental to you and others because the feelings will reappear later.

They Keep a Positive Attitude

Some difficulties in life cannot be avoided or resolved. Most people will experience the death of a loved one, natural disasters, and other health issues at some point in their life. Mentally strong people believe in their ability to deal with whatever life throws them.

Refuse to Play the Victim

The victim mindset is frequently the root of self-pitying behavior. We enter the drama cycle when we blame someone or something else for how we feel. The drama cycle appears fantastic at first because, as victims, someone else attempts to save us from our issues. This indicates we are fed, and it is comforting to know that someone is looking after us. We feel important.

Causes Of Depression 

Depression symptoms differ. They can show in a variety of ways by various people. Depressive symptoms, on the other hand, impair most people’s ability to perform everyday duties, communicate with others, and so on. Below are some of the signs of depression you may experience if you suffer from depression:

Sleep issues

They may wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to fall asleep. You may sleep for long periods and find it difficult to get out of bed. These symptoms cause weariness, which may aggravate other depression symptoms, including inattention.


A sense of sorrow or emptiness that lasts for more than two weeks is the most typical sign of depression. This is generally known as “hopelessness.” They may believe that nothing will ever change, and their agony will remain forever.

Thoughts of suicide

Suicidal ideation or contemplation is a significant red signal that must be addressed immediately. According to the Mayo Clinic, suicidal thoughts are a common symptom among senior males. Loved ones may initially dismiss this concept and a person’s depression symptoms produced by age-related mental health changes. Suicidal ideation and depression are not healthy or natural emotions.


The condition can be accompanied by feelings of worthlessness, remorse, or powerlessness. People have a bias to focus on personal shortcomings or past failures. They frequently blame themselves when things in their lives don’t go as planned. Depressed teenagers typically experience feelings of worthlessness. They may express a sensation of being misunderstood and begin to avoid interpersonal contact.

Inability to concentrate

People who are depressed may have difficulty remembering, focusing, or making decisions. Decisions may be challenging to complete owing to exhaustion, thoughts of unimportance, or feeling numb.  A depressed person’s difficulty in concentrating can lead to withdrawal.

Overeating or loss of appetite

Depression is frequently associated with a loss of appetite and weight loss. Some people who are depressed overeat and gain weight. This is because a person may get so upset or depressed that they seek solace in eating to distract themselves from their concerns. Overeating, on the other hand, might result in weight gain and exhaustion. Inadequate nutrition can also contribute to fatigue and low energy.

How To Stop Wallowing In Depression And Self-Pity

self pity vs depression

Four beneficial ways to stop loathing in self-pity and depression:

Help someone else

When you help another person, you realize you are not alone. When another person is around, depression and self-limiting beliefs are impossible to have. Assisting others actively shifts you from a victim mindset and broadens your perspective.

Read or listen to something uplifting

Your mind is like a garden. And what you put into it significantly impacts how you think and feel.

You will become agitated and fearful if you watch the news every day. Why? Because watching television makes the media more money. Look for books that have inspired you. If you enjoy poetry, read some of it.

If you can’t stand reading, try listening to music instead. There is no reason why you should not find something that makes you happy. A basic Google search will produce the desired results.

Spend some time outside

Being outside is so beneficial that doctors are begun to prescribe it, and an entire school of therapy known as ecotherapy has cropped up based on the fundamental premise that nature is healthy. Being present is a potent antidote to overthinking and rumination.

Try a basic meditation technique

Simply focusing on your breath is a simple meditation. It brings your attention back to the simplicity of your automatic breathing. Focusing on the breath may be a waste of time in our bustling lives. Returning to your breath, on the other hand, is the only way to unveil the real you beneath the mask.

What Is Perfectly Hidden Depression?

The absence of evident symptoms distinguishes hidden depression, sometimes known as smiling depression, walking depression, or masked depression. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association does not formally recognize hidden depression, regarded as atypical depression.

Depression is persistent sadness and a loss of pleasure or interest in previously appreciated activities. On the other hand, people suffering from concealed depression cannot achieve this requirement. A person suffering from masked depression looks to be living a happy and productive life on the outside.

Self-pity Vs Sadness

Sadness and self-pity can coexist, particularly after loss’s initial shock and numbness have worn off. Sadness is about expressing your pain, feeling all your emotions, and moving over your anger, grief, guilt, shame, or frustration. Recognizing, naming, and owning your feelings takes time. Talking about and journaling about your experiences takes time.

Self-pity, in contrast to sadness, pushes you to focus excessively on yourself and your issues. You will have to shift your focus away from your suffering and toward something or someone else. When you learn that others have suffered in accidents, lost loved ones, or had their homes devastated by a tornado or fire. You continue to regard yourself as a victim and the only person genuinely suffering in your extreme self-pity.

You are suffering from self-pity when you fail to see the essential things for which you can be grateful, even when you are in agony. Self-pity is the rejection of the idea that others are in pain and suffering. Self-pity is the refusal to believe God can transform something dreadful into something beautiful.

How do I know If I’m depressed, Or Just Self-pitying?

Trained therapists are available because it is not always easy to tell. Depressed people are sometimes mislabeled as sluggish and self-pitying. Self-pitying people are frequently mislabeled as depressed. Because so many individuals mix up the two, leave the decision to the professionals. 

How To Practice Self-Compassion

Being friendly to oneself is an example of self-compassion. It includes accepting oneself as is, warts and all. Self-compassion does not preclude personal growth and development. Instead, it’s about admitting that you’re a work in progress with flaws and talents, and that’s just great.

There are no quick fixes for growing self-compassion, but a few healthy habits might help as Self-Compassion over Self-Pity: 

Express Gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful emotion. Rather than longing for what we don’t have, there is power in appreciating what we do now. You can keep a thankfulness notebook or go on gratitude walks. When we focus on our blessings, we use a gentler inner voice, diverting our focus away from our flaws and toward the world in all its splendor.

Look after Yourself

Even when life becomes hectic, it is critical to prioritize your health, happiness, and requirements. This includes, among other things, regularly eating, getting enough sleep, and making time for fun and leisure.

Caring for yourself necessitates a delicate mix of present needs and long-term ambitions. After several hours of studying, for instance, you should take a rest. However, you must devote some time to learning to pass a test.

Practice Forgiveness

Stop flogging yourself for mistakes. Accept your imperfections and be kind to yourself when you see them. Your coworkers and friends admire you for who you are, not because you are perfect. Recognize when performance or perfection gives you a false sense of self-worth. Recognize that you do not need to be a sure way to be liked.

Put a sticky note on your desk or in your wallet with a message encouraging you to be kind to yourself to remind you that you are valuable even when you aren’t.

Exercise Mindful Awareness

Mindfulness includes taking a step back and honestly analyzing your thoughts and feelings. This is how you perceive other people’s thoughts and feelings: logically and objectively. Distance from your ideas and feelings reduces their power over you.

Mindfulness encourages perspective and acceptance of one’s ideas and feelings, which improves self-compassion. This allows you to take charge of your life rather than being ruled by it. Mindfulness can also help you develop other forms of self-compassion, such as recognizing when you are being judgemental toward yourself, ignoring your needs, or failing to perceive your struggles as usual. 

Employ a Growth Mindset

Rather than avoiding challenges, embrace them, continue finding meaning in them, and never give up on oneself. Instead of being hesitant to criticize yourself or comparing yourself adversely to others, seek inspiration in their accomplishments and characteristics.

The Bottom line 

Life might be harsh and terrible sometimes, but it can also be lovely. You will occasionally hold a pity party for yourself, no matter how great your life is. That’s perfectly fine! Life can sometimes be challenging, and we must swallow our emotions to progress. But every party has to end, and everyone has to return to their everyday lives. This inclination to dwell in self-pity might lead to despair. When you cannot see the good in everything, you may develop depression.

We hope you found this article on self-pity vs depression to be quite beneficial.


What are some key distinctions between self-pity and depression?

Self-pity, in essence, is a decision. But depression isn’t. The former is typically associated with those who have a negative attitude on life and are so self-absorbed that all they can focus on is their problems. Being so preoccupied with dwelling on the negative things in life causes one to become blind to the positive.

Is feeling sad the same as self-pity?

Self-pity is not a constructive form of sadness. People who wallow in their misery frequently exaggerate their problems and feel hopeless—as though life never gives them a break. Self-pitying people are typically negative and consumed by their suffering.

What is the root cause of self-pity?

Self-pity was most associated with anger-in when it came to rage expression. Strong links to angry rumination were also discovered. Individuals with significant levels of self-pity also experienced emotional loneliness and ambivalent, unsettling bonds.

Is self-pity a mental disorder?

Self-pity is more common in those who are depressed, and depression can also be present in those who frequently wallow in their misery. Self-pity and depression are both undesirable mental states that negatively affect a person’s quality of life and self-esteem.

What does self-pity tell about a person?

Self-pity is a tendency to overstate the severity of personal pain and emphasize egocentric emotions of isolation from others. On the other side, self-compassion enables one to view the shared experiences of oneself and others without these sensations of seclusion and alienation.

What is the poor me syndrome?

Victim mentality is more commonly referred to as “poor me syndrome.” This suggests that someone’s locus of control is external. This means, to put it simply, that individuals believe bad things happen to them. They have no control over their own lives. Failures are caused by someone, something, or both. People who suffer from Poor Me Syndrome frequently exhibit pessimism, wrath, and dread.

How do you break the cycle of self-pity?

The only way to get rid of self-pity, a customary practice of feeling sorry for oneself, is to become more self-aware and adopt a fresh perspective to avoid repeating these patterns. Attempt to be proactive by setting goals for yourself.

Is self-pity a coping mechanism?

Self-pity might be used to manipulate people’s minds. If we feel we have some control over our suffering, the challenges we experience or anticipate may seem less overwhelming or out of our control. We appear to be preparing for the pain that will undoubtedly come.

What do you call a person who always feels sorry for themselves?

You are exhibiting self-pity if your full attention is on how miserable you are due to your issues and concerns. It could be challenging to realize that other individuals suffer more significant matters than you do because of your self-pity.

What are examples of self-pity?

The examples of self-pity are: 

  • Her suffering is a source of strength rather than a vehicle for self-pity.
  • We are an extremely arrogant nation, but we end up sobbing in self-pity when tested.
  • He has made a lot of effort to avoid the pitfalls of grief, self-pity, and fury.

Is it okay to pity yourself?

Your negative thoughts, uneasy feelings, and inaction will be fed by self-pity. Additionally, it will deplete you with the mental energy needed to finish any task more effectively.

What does self-pity mean?

You’re feeling self-pity if your full attention is on how miserable you think about your issues and concerns. It can be challenging for you to recognize that other individuals experience more severe difficulties than you do because of your self-pity.

How does self-pity worsen?

When you’re down on yourself, you could imagine the worse, such as your life being ruined. When you think that way, you’ll probably believe that no one or nothing can make you feel better, leading to self-destructive behavior.

How do I recuperate from a breakup and not wallow in self-pity?

Talk to your friends and family members about your sentiments over the breakup. According to studies, talking about your situation can help you process it. However, harboring constant feelings of self-pity won’t help you feel better. As a result, the breakup mends more rapidly.

How can you stop feeling self-pity?

How psychologically strong people avoid falling into the self-pity trap is as follows:

  • They Recognize the Downward Spiral’s Warning Signs
  • They confront their emotions
  • They convert their pessimistic ideas into behavioral tests
  • They Challenge Their Views
  • They Save Resources for Use in Productive Activities.

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