I wonder if you’ve noticed some negative thoughts about yourself lately. These might be something like:
“Nobody really likes me.”
“I’m not good at anything.”
“I’m not loveable.”
“Nothing I do works.”
“I have nothing to look forward to.”
If these sound familiar, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing some depression. Depression often generates these kind of negative, judgmental thoughts. There are a couple of important things to remember about depressive thoughts.
- Thoughts are not facts! We can have thoughts that are true or false. In fact, thoughts generated by depression are often false (or greatly exaggerated). Just because a thought pops into your head does not make it true. Depression is a really good liar! So when you recognize that you’re having a bout of depressive thoughts, remember not to buy into the content.
- Depressive thoughts are a useful indicator! When you learn to recognize that these kind of thoughts are generated by depression, it lets you know that you’re experiencing a bout of depression. That will allow you to take care of yourself properly so you can get through the depression, instead of making it worse by ignoring it.
This may sound simplistic, but many times we do not recognize we’re experiencing a depressive episode until it’s been going on for a while. And during that time, we may be buying into the content of depressive thoughts, berating ourselves for not functioning normally, self-medicating or making other bad choices in an effort to cope, wondering why we’re exhausted or down, and generally making the depression worse. This happens surprisingly often, even for people who have known for years that they are susceptible to depression.
So the key is: notice your depressive thoughts. And instead of simply believing them (buying into the content) and spiraling, mentally “step back” from the thoughts. Notice how you’ve been feeling overall. Take the thoughts as an indicator that you may be having a depressive episode that needs to be managed.
It’s never too late to stop believing the lies.
We offer remote therapy sessions anywhere within Pennsylvania. Most people qualify for a sliding-scale discount; use the calculator to instantly see what your fee would be. Email IntersectionalLife@gmail.com to schedule a session.