Negative Thinking

Hello, all! It’s been so long! I’m afraid I haven’t been in much a writing mood lately, but I figured I should check in and let people know I’m still alive. 🙂


I wouldn’t call myself an optimist. I like to think of myself as a realist. But, let’s be honest, that’s just a fancy marketing-type term for pessimist, isn’t it?

In the past, I have frequently and compulsively let myself mope and ruminate about all the awful things in life. It’s kind of a chicken and egg thing with the depression; do I feel depressed because of the negative thoughts, or do I think negative thoughts because of the depression?

When I began treating my depression and anxiety, I had to confront my own thinking patterns. The negative thoughts were not helping me. If I wanted to be happy, I had to learn to think more positively, or, at the very least, realistically about things. Instead of telling myself ‘Today is going to be hellish,’ I had to begin telling myself ‘Today might be a good day; I won’t know until I get on with it.’

The change in perspective has helped a little, though it’s not a pancea. There’s a bit of a learning curve to it, but eventually it starts to feel natural to challenge the negative thoughts. I assume the eventual goal is that you don’t have all the negative thoughts to challenge, but that seems like a distant goal at this point.

Now, here’s my confession: sometimes I still let myself mope and ruminate and relish in those terribly negative thoughts. I do this for two reasons.

The first reason is that it allows for a cathartic release. Once in a while, I curl up in bed and think awful things and have a cry. Sometimes I feel better after. Not always. Sometimes I feel worse. But the times that I feel better allow me to justify it in my own mind.

The second reason is to combat anhedonia. I spend a lot time comfortably – or uncomfortably – numb. Sometimes it seems like I don’t feel much of anything. Letting myself think negative thoughts and feel bad for a while serves as a reminder that I do have feelings, no matter how well I manage to push them down most of the time. I wonder if this doesn’t make me a bit like an addict. Perhaps I’m addicted to feeling bad. I’ve spent so much of my life feeling miserable that there’s a certain amount of comfort in it. Still, I know this won’t help me to get better, so I try not to do this too often.

But let’s look on the bright side since that’s what we ought to do: at least I don’t mope all the time anymore. Any progress is good.

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7 Comments

  1. Laurie Cash

     /  June 4, 2017

    I feel like you and I are twins thinking the same things. That’s why I appreciate this blog and look so forward to you writing. This may not be good but I am glad that I am not the only one with these feelings. I have called myself a realist for many years now. And I agree that every day you have to find some kind of motivation to get out of bed. It’s so easy to just roll over and let half the day go by while I napped to avoid thinking about what’s going to happen to me that day when I go to work, go to the grocery store, etc. Sleeping is much better than having to deal with society. I prefer to not have to deal with anybody. That way they can’t affect me or cause a mood change. I never expect that someone will cheer me up, I usually expect them to dump their feelings about how bad their life is on me. And they want reassurance and comfort from me. And I have to come up with something that may help them but knowing it would never help me. I ruminate on being fired every day I go to work and that people think I am weird. Doesn’t matter how much my Mom, Therapist or whoever says it’s not true. Those thoughts are stuck in my brain. The medications help me to operate in the real world but honestly, I would rather be at home alone with my cats.

    Reply
  2. Progress is good, and I’m glad you feel you’re achieving it, but the seduction of familiar thinking (the reliability of negative thoughts) is difficult for me to resist.

    Thanks for the post!

    Reply
  3. Not mopey all the time is honestly such a great accomplishment. I, too, often find ways to tell others that they’re going to be fine, but can never seem to convince myself of the same thing.

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  4. Thank you so much for sharing and putting stuff out there that is just so damn relatable ❤

    Reply
  5. Thank you for sharing your personal experience. Well, as per the tile I have negative thoughts too, but they all are related to future not to current situation, any advice or tips for that? For example, I will miss my bus (and that incident is not happened yet, however I am still worried about it)

    Reply
    • I get those worries too! A little anxiety isn’t a bad thing, but if you find that you become preoccupied or overwhelmed by it, there are definitely things that can help.

      Take a look at this list of cognitive distortions https://www.apsu.edu/sites/apsu.edu/files/counseling/COGNITIVE_0.pdf (don’t worry, it’s a safe link!). To me, worrying about missing the bus falls under ‘fortune telling’. To combat this cognitive distortion, you should challenge your thoughts – e.g. “I -might- miss the bus, but because I know the bus schedule and because I make sure I arrive on time, it is unlikely to happen.” It’s not easy and it takes a lot of practice, but it can help!

      Good luck 🙂

      Reply
  6. Laurie Cash

     /  June 24, 2017

    Tarum, that sounds more like anxiety and fear of future events. If you think you might miss the bus, then adjust your clock to ensure you are ready on time. There are preventative measures you can take to prevent some of these things. You sound young. Negative thinking is kinda part of the growing process. You can’t be happy all the time. But you can control a lot of the bad situations in your life. I think this blog is addressed more to people with chemical imbalances in their brain and requires medication daily to just make it thru the day. If your negative thinking gets darker, like wanting to do self harm for the pain, you need to seek professional immediately. If you have no friends and are a loner, seek help. But you are going to have good and bad days like the rest of us. How you handle the situation is the key to your life. Choose to fix the situations before they blow up on you.Or you can let the situation take over your life. If you are unable to figure out how to handle daily problems, time with a qualified Therapist would be a good idea.Good lick to you!

    Reply

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