Depression and Pride
Pride is a compensation for inferiority feelings about oneself. It develops early in life as a way of mitigating the sting of rejection, failure, and unfavorable comparisons with other people. Self-esteem becomes inextricably linked to pride, thereby becoming conditional in nature. The proud self is a demanding, sometimes cruel, taskmaster, requiring that a set of strict conditions be met before it allows a person to experience self-acceptance, self-respect, self-worth, and self-love. If those conditions continually go unmet, both pride and related self-esteem are hurt. Damaged pride, in the extreme case, results in self-hate and self-destructive behavior.
There are two primary emotional responses to wounded pride: anger or depression. The first thing that happens when pride is hurt is a reemergence of inferiority feelings, which contented pride was hitherto able to keep in check. These feelings become overtly conscious, persistently disturbing the mind. The person with damaged pride experiences a considerable devaluation in self-esteem. Self-rejection, even to the point of loathing, follows. Feelings of anger, humiliation, and shame may also occur. There may also be a need to blame others for one's unhappy condition.
The response to damaged pride depends on an individual's psychological makeup and belief system. If anger is permissible, a person may get irate at others, blaming them for his/her problems, and perhaps try to punish them in some way. Therefore, the anger that one really feels toward oneself, following the loss of self-esteem, becomes externalized. However, if anger at others is for some reason taboo, the reaction to hurt pride will more likely be self-blame, self-rejection, and depression--as the anger is suppressed and internalized (directed at self, instead).
So, one way of looking at depression is that it is the proud self's angry reaction to frustrated hopes and dreams, which pride requires to be realized, and to personal failures--except that the anger is turned inward and a person predominately blames and punishes himself/herself. In other words, depression is a form of self-punishment for failure live up to the expectations of the proud self. Societal conditions for acceptance and love are rigorous and, if internalized (made one's own), become a whipping post used by the proud self to punish the failed self. As someone once said: pride comes before the fall. And the greater the pride, the harder the fall. Pride is ubiquitous among people; but not everyone is equally successful in life--for a variety of reasons. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that depression would be commonplace.