In Julie's Perspective (A Sketch Story)

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Julie looks at herself in the mirror for about the fourth time in under an hour. It is almost as though she can see herself aging with every passing second. Before she knows it, she would be an old woman – useless, forgotten, boring. For now, she is still young, in her early thirties. She has a physique that turns heads, yet her attractiveness is oblivious to her own eyes. Instead, she sees and ordinary reflection in the mirror – dry, plain, unimpressive, nothing special…

Looking inside herself, Julie sees worthlessness. She is uninspired, hard on herself, cross with the negative circumstances that surround her. Life is thick with unfortunate outcomes. Things never go well for her and things never go well because of her. To Julie, everything she does is awful. Her skills are terribly lacking in every aspect.

Suddenly, the things that were of some worth to Julie, once upon a time, has become insignificant. Her talents, once considered good – satisfactory in the least –has become an anthem to how horrible everything she does is.

Julie pressures herself in all she does. She pushes herself to do better, yet, when she does better, it’s never good enough. The cycle continues on and on and on, for Julie. There is no end to the negativity and soon, she is spiraling into depression. She doesn’t see her depression as anything too severe. She can handle it herself. She can come out of it.

With no friends, and no care for friends, Julie is on her own. And she thinks that’s fine. She’s stuck dealing with other issues and shutting people out. She’s hopeless, stupid, boring, ugly, uninspired, unintelligent, insignificant, inefficient…

Julie finds a friend, someone she can talk to about her problems. Someone who is always willing to listen. Still, Julie refuses to talk to this friend face-to-face. The internet and the phone has become Julie’s sole mode of contact. She doesn’t care to form real relations. She begins to lose touch of reality. Realising this, Julie begins sinking again, down, down, down into that state of depression – much worse than before.

Julie is not in the mood to talk. Not in the mood to work, to get dressed, to get out of bed. Julie is not in the mood to live. She wishes that she’s killed by some ‘natural’ cause. That someone or something takes her life. She doesn’t have the guts to take her own life but oh how she wishes for death.

Julie, is indifferent. Julie is dead.

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Depression and Low Self-Esteem Today

Julie is a fictional character but based on a real person - or rather, real people. In this day and age, low self-esteem and depression is becoming an epidemic, even a pandemic. Doctors are beginning to prescribe antidepressants to children as young as five years old. Antidepressants are being handed out like candy.

In 'Western' countries, low self-esteem and depression is at an all time high. This mainly has to do with the materialistic culture and the influence of the media (e.g. television, magazines, etc...). While low self-esteem occurs mostly in teens, it can affect anyone at any age. Even upper-class women and men of all ages can experience low self-esteem.

Prolonged feelings of self worthlessness can lead to depression, perhaps not clinical depression, but a depressed state. A depressed state, while not as 'dangerous' as clinical depression (which requires medical and psychiatric treatment) can develop into clinical depression if not taken care of.

How Do You Know When You Have Low Self-Esteem?

A person with low self-esteem:

  • Has little or no confidence
  • Avoids social situations
  • often appears to be sad
  • is negative and pessimistic
  • takes criticism very hard
  • does not see his/her own talents (or anything good about himself/herself)
  • is afraid to take on responsibility
  • can suffer from an eating disorder such as anorexia (this is an extreme case)

Common Causes of Low Self-Esteem

  • Physical Appearance: We often compare ourselves to others, especially when it comes to looks. Even though someone is attractive, they may feel ugly compared to someone else. Constantly feeling this way, leads to low self-esteem.
  • Negative Experiences: experiencing something unfortunate, such as an illness or being a victim of abuse, can contribute to low self-esteem.
  • Being Neglected: If a child grows up in a non-loving or cold home, they could feel neglected. Adults, who feel distanced from loved ones can also have a sense of neglect.
  • Failure: When people work hard to achieve something they really want, and the fail at it, that can really crush their self-worth. Unemployment, is one extreme example of failure.
  • Being Overly Criticized: If a person is repetitively told that they are bad at something (or everything), the lose respect for them self. They begin to feel pathetic and worthless. This leads to the loss of optimism.

A Few Tips for Increasing Self-Esteem

Like most mental states, low self-esteem may be hard to get over. Some ways to combat low self-esteem is as follows:

  • Try to avoid negative people and negative situations
  • Look at the positive things
  • Get some support (positive friends who believe in you is a good idea)
  • Write down all the good things that happens around you
  • Write down all your good attributes
  • Pick something that you are good at and improve on it (make sure it's something fun. Even if it's something like yoga).
  • Tell yourself that you are awesome!

Never wish death upon yourself no matter how tough things get. If you think about death, contact professional help immediately. If you are too ashamed or you feel no need to seek professional help, tell a friend how you feel. Don't keep thoughts of death to yourself.

When you're not in the mood to talk, that's the best time to talk. You never know, talking may actually boost your spirits. Listening to positive music or watching funny movies can also lift your spirits. Prayer and meditation can also do wonders!

Remember: tell yourself that you are awesome! Don't allow your low self-esteem to propel you into depression.

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Comments 22 comments

Polly C profile image

Polly C 6 years ago from UK

This is an excellent hub about depression and low self esteem, and I love the way you have portrayed this problem with a fictional character, and her spiral into dark depths. It really brings it home as to how a person can feel inside, without letting on to anyone.

So many things these days can lead to a person feeling depressed, especially in the West where people often feel they are pressured to have certain things in life, or to look a certain way. We have so much here, and yet the happiest place in the world is apparently Bhutan where people live a simplistic life and not are constantly striving for something.

The mind is the most powerful thing we have, and the one thing we can control in life is our perspective. Often we feel down or stressed about something, (for me at the moment it is financial, and not being able to move house because of it. I'm not actually depressed about it though, but can see how it could grind a person down). However, if we think instead about all the things we really do have - usually things which are in the end more important - we can change our perspective to feel positive instead. I try and think about all the people in the world who haven't a home at all, and realise that I am actually extremely lucky.

And of course, shutting oneself off from the world only adds to the spiral. People who socialise with friends throughout life are some of the happiest, no matter what else may hit them. A problem shared is a problem halved, after all. Sometimes talking about things really can make things seem different, and in the end it's all about how you see things, rather than what actually happens.

Anyway, you have raised some good and important points, and useful information, great job :)


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz

Great stuff kaltopsyd. Depression is a journey that many take. Depending on its depth it can be a long and hard road to travel before a consistent sense of emotional health is felt. One of the most important things those on this road should know is that with the right help, the end of depressions road can be considerably shortened and lead to a much better place.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Usualy working at a job that pays well but that you don't enjoy has been a problem for my brothers in the refinery any plastics plants as operators...I've told them to take casual learning classes at college,like photography or creative writing....thanks for the perspective on depression,kaltopsyd;)


ainehannah profile image

ainehannah 6 years ago from Dublin

great hub!! I too loved the fictional start (and the funny one-liner that makes the twist in the tale) and that you moved so seamlessly into your metier. Congrats my dear on the content and structure. Hope all's well with you - yours admiringly, Aine :0)


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Excellent analysis, Kimberly, and well-written segue into explanation of depression and strategies for overcoming it. Brava!


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA Author

Wow, Polly! Thanks for this comment. Where do I start? Okay...

I think the worst thing to do when you're suffering with... well, anything, is to keep it to yourself. Then your problems just build and you explode - basically.

So, Bhutan, huh? I heard there is ZERO incidence of cancer in a tribe in Africa - because of the simplistic lifestyle or something. It's amazing that the things we western civilizations pride ourselves on is what is killing us.

You're absolutely right about the power of the mind. Oh and I hear you on that financial aspect. I'm not EXACTLY there, but I'm there. Trust me. ;) Still, it depends on the way you handle your problems. It's best not to internalise and boil over.

Again, I'm glad you liked my Hub and that you had so much to say about it. That makes me happy - it boosts MY self-esteem. hehe. Thanks!


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA Author

Hello, Parrster,

Nice to see you. Depression certainly is a 'journey.' You can either go uphill or downhill. I love the way you put the long vs short road. And you're absolutely right bout help and shortening that road. Nice comment! Thanks!


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA Author

Hello Mentalist,

That's a good idea - about taking casual classes. I kno someone that's also in a job she dislikes, but she takes classed outside of her work, just to get some enjoyment out of gaining knowledge. That sort of ties in with boosting self-esteem by improving upon something you're good at and enjoy.

Thanks for commenting!


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA Author

Aine! How are you? Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you liked the start and the twist. I know it was a little dark though... did I get the message through? :) Thanks for this lovely comment. Take care.


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA Author

Haha. Thanks Dr. BJ. You made me smile. Thanks for the Brava. :D


LizzyBoo profile image

LizzyBoo 6 years ago from Czech Republic

OMG what have you done Kim. You jut made another diamond out of your head. Is there anything you cannot write about? You have linked my hubs into your master work. Thank you very much. I am so honored and happy to have you my friend. I have to bookmark this hub as there are few things I am not able to read now or I would jump out of window. I know my weak side and you pinted soo many great things. You are amazing and extraordinary writer!

----

A good thing to build up back our confidence is to have a great friend who will support us even when we are meanie!! Kim you are my friend and I am your meanie!

Love this hub-should be read world wide. I am gonna think of How to make it happen. lol


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California

Your story is loud and important for so many. You Kim, have done a wonderful thing here. Thank you for sharing.

K9


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA Author

Aww, LizzyBoo, what a precious comment! I wouldn't call my work master work but that's for the kind compliment. I'm happy to have you as a friend too! You've kind of left me speechless so I think it's best I end this response. haha. Um... oh, you're not -- ALWAYS a meanie. ;)


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA Author

Hello K9. Thank you very much! :D


marvalousnj profile image

marvalousnj 6 years ago from Central Jersey USA

Kalto, this is a very informative Hub. Thank you for taking time and outlining it so carefully. I know it will be a great help to someone. Continue you great writing.


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA Author

Thanks, marvalous! You're the best!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Very well done and great points about self esteem!


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA Author

Thank you, Ms. Audrey!


silverfoxygirl108 profile image

silverfoxygirl108 6 years ago

I liked how you wrote the short story. It was an excellent transition into the informational part. Although it made me slightly depressed by reading it. :) haha

It was very useful as well as informational. :) People can definitely benefit from reading this and that's what matters most. Excellent read. Keep it up! :)


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA Author

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to depress you. I wrote that from my heart - although I can't really relate. I wasn't quite sure where I came from but... I'm glad you found the info useful.


silverfoxygirl108 profile image

silverfoxygirl108 6 years ago

No it was Really Good!!! That's why i felt depressed because you expressed it soooo well!!!! I promise! It was Exceptionally good. No worries!


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA Author

Haha. Thanks, Allora!

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