Failure Depression (7+ coping strategy)

In this brief guide, we will be discussing the topic, “ Failure Depression” by first understanding Depression, and then explore the term Failure Depression, understand the symptoms of failure depression, ways to cope up with it and finally answer some of the questions around this topic.

Failure depression is caused by:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Unrealistic expectation
  • Excess rumination and concern about what others might think
  • Failing to accept failure
  • Excessive pressure and burden
  • Lack of social support
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Negative effects associated with failure
  • The associated feeling of guilt and shame


It is a mood disorder that is often called Unipolar Depression or Major Depressive 

Disorder. It is one of the most common and prevalent mental disorders.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (2013), the two key symptoms of Depression are Depressed mood and the loss of pleasure and interest, Anhedonia during the same 2-week period. Apart from these two symptoms, Depressive patients also undergo other symptoms such as insomnia and hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation, loss of energy, worthlessness, diminished ability to think and concentrate, and recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideation.

Failure Depression

Failing results in a significant psychological threat to motivation. The failure also results in sabotage to the chances of their success in varied ways. One of the toughest and most challenging setbacks of life is Failure. Despite that, it is considered to be the greatest teacher and life lesson. 

The death toll, as well as the psychological impact of failure, can’t be ignored owing to the fact that it also results in the serious suicide rate. 

Failure of a person doesn’t determine the worth of the person and the episode of failure in one’s life can’t change as well as turning back. Thus to convert their failure and taking it as a success and a lesson to move ahead is the ideal way of dealing with it.

Many successful people take their failure as fuel to move ahead and don’t perceive their failure as fatal.

Failing can result in a wide range of emotions and feeling like anger, rage, frustration, regret and confusion however it doesn’t trigger a full-blown fear of failure.

It is very common for people who fail in their career or profession to have feelings of anger and depression.

People often escape and avoid failure not because of the inability to manage the basic emotions associated with failure rather the deep shame that triggers along with it.

Signs of failure

There are certain criteria and symptoms associated with failure as well as the fear of failure. If an individual experiences any of the symptoms as a distinguishing marker, one should seek help from a mental health professional.

These are the signs of failure depression:

  • Failing results in constant worry and concern about what others might talk about
  • It often creates anxiety in people whether they could pursue their future as they desire
  • Worry about people losing interest in them
  • Questioning about one’s capability and self-worth
  • Worry about disappointing others 
  • Tend to inform people about the expectations beforehand 
  • Physical and physiological symptoms
  • Trouble in imagining and thinking about alternate option to succeed
  • Distraction and thus fail to complete the undone work 
  • Procrastination
  • Loss track of time and mismanagement

These are some of the symptoms exhibited by individuals who are dealing with failure depression. Some of the symptoms are serious and severe enough to seek professional help while there are others that fade off in time. 

Dealing with Failure Depression

Knowing how to tackle and cope up with the failure of depression and reducing the pain can be healthy for the growth of the individual. There are some ways to cope with failure, however, the only problem lies to the fact that it operates on an unconscious level.  

Some of the ways to conquer the fear of failure that leaves a great influence on their behaviour are:

Own the fear

Confronting and accepting the failure that results in both shame and fear can help the person to bring their fear feeling to the surface level. It reassures the individual and empathy from the trusted circle.

Crying and emotional ventilation

When there is a failure, it is best to vent out the emotion by shedding tears. There is no wrong in venting out emotion associated with failure, however, holding onto the feeling stresses them out.

Once one fails, it is best to buckle up and proceed onto the next step than mourning over the failure.

Reviewing the mistakes

Since failure is caused by the mistakes committed, it is best to review the wrong things done and then work on it. It’s always acceptable to commit mistakes, review it and then work on it. 

Talking to family and friends

When one fails, it is important to seek social support and help from their family and near ones. Sharing their problems with others during tough times makes it easier to combat the depressive symptoms. Since they have more experience and a different outlook, it helps the individual to boost up and deal with the challenges better and more constructively.

Reviewing methodology

Failure is a result of fault in the method and their preparation, thus to combat with the failure, one can review their procedure, seek help from others and start working on it as per their input and ideas.

Taking break

When the depressive symptoms take a toll on one’s psychological as well as mental health, it’s sometimes better to take a break from their workload and excess pressure by going for vacation, self-pampering and to rejuvenate their mind, spirit as well as body. 

To fight with the depressive symptoms, one can rekindle their passion and interest. Spending some quality time with a family and social circle can also help them. 

Going outdoor

Getting rid of the space and area that triggers anxiety, as well as depression, can help in dealing with the symptom. One can simply get some fresh air, go outdoors for a walk and spend some time with nature that can improve their mood and fresh them. 

Physical exercise also helps in the release of more endorphins and dopamine which are believed to be the happy hormone and tends to elevate the mood of the person thus, helping them to better deal with the depressive symptoms.

Rewire your mindset

Changing your belief system and debunking the myth and distorted thoughts help the person to better deal with depressive symptoms. Changing their perspectives and outlook shapes their belief system thus sees failure as a stepping stone for success rather than regretting and feeling guilty over it.

Practising healthy coping skills

Another way of dealing with the failure depression is practising some healthy and constructive coping skills such as engaging in physical exercises, practising mindfulness, playing with a pet and engaging in some healthy routine than developing maladaptive behavior like the use of drugs and etc although it produces temporary relief from the stress and anxiety.

Acknowledging and knowing the irrational and distorted belief about failure

It is also very important to know and be aware of the irrational and distorted belief an individual has about the failure. Rather than investing their time and thoughts more into failure, one can cope up with the failure of depression by acknowledging it and disputing it with more constructive thought patterns.

Developing and imbibing more realistic thoughts and affirming it

When the person experiences any kind of failure in life owing to their personal circumstances as well as other factors, they can cope up with it by investing more positive energy in it. Words of affirmation against failure like I can do it, I will learn from the failure and etc can help reinforce our mind with positive thoughts. 

Repeating such phrases and statements reminds the person that failure is nothing and one can cope up with it effectively.

Research on famous failure

Sometimes reading about people who failed and emerged as success can be an extra push and boost your motivation to rise against the failure. It is common and known that people who succeed had multiple failures in their life and it’s not always a smooth ride.

Researching and reading about such people helps in combating the depressive symptoms and to assure oneself that you are not alone in it.

Creating plans and actions to move forward

Constantly replaying and thinking about the failure in mind serves no good. Moreover, one can take the motivation from it and create an action plan to move ahead by putting the failure into practice.

These are some of the strategies of coping up with failure depression. Although failure can be debilitating sometimes, one can effectively combat it by taking it as a motivation to move ahead.

In some cases, it might get severe and serious needing professional help and assessments from a mental health professional; otherwise, it can always be perceived as a stepping stone for success since success is not always a smooth ride.

FAQS: Failure Depression

How do you deal with failure?

One can deal with failure by:

Recognizing their emotion and acknowledging it
Not making the failure personal
Not caring about what others think and perceive
Using and thinking of failure as a way to improve
Taking personal responsibility

Why does failure hurt so much?

Failure hurts and does result in pain because it is more like a rejection, which is a threat to one’s safety and it often makes us feel distressed. Other than that, failure results in a feeling of shame and guilt.

What is the main reason for failure?

Low self-esteem is the core reason behind failure, other than that there are more factors that result in failure.

How do you deal with failure and disappointment?

The ideal way to deal with failure is to face the truth and accept it, while also accepting and thinking about the silver lining of every situation. Another way of dealing with failure is by being kind to oneself.

How do you accept past failures?

The best way to deal with past failure is by embracing the emotion and recognizing all the unhealthy attempts that might have contributed to the failure. One can also acknowledge their irrational belief by disrupting it with a more logical one so that they accept their failure and move ahead rather than simply mourning about it.


In this brief guide, we discussed the topic, “ Failure Depression”, understood a brief idea about Depression, and then explored the term Failure Depression, understood the symptoms of failure depression, ways to cope up with it and finally answered some of the questions around this topic.

For more details:


Morin, A. (2019). 10 Healthy Ways to Cope With Failure. verywell mind.

onlinepedia24. (2020). Depression of failure. onlinepedia24.

Winch, G. (2013). 10 Signs That You Might Have Fear of Failure. psychologytoday.