Managing Depression: Tips from a cantankerous counselor

Part of managing depression is addressing negative thoughts about ourself. You will find the thoughts are meaningless; it's the feelings behind them that matter. Photo: Dave Evans

WASHINGTON July 6, 2012 - No matter why you are depressed, it is certain that your ego mind will contribute as much mud as it is allowed to throw. It will sling thoughts such as:

1. I’m stupid

2. I don’t matter, nothing matters, nothing I do matters

3. I hate myself

4. Nobody cares, including me

5. I shouldn’t be angry … sad … excited … afraid, etc.

First, those are the most unoriginal thoughts ever. Second, what are we actually thinking when we think those things; are they even remotely valid?

1. I’m stupid

Guess what? You are not special when it comes to stupidity. You are just one of the herd that we call the human race. Saying and doing stupid things is not an option. It is so universal it might as well be considered mandatory.

If you insist on calling yourself stupid, sit down with pen, paper, or an iPad, and do not get up until you have defined what you mean by, “I’m so stupid.” It may have something to do with not trusting or believing in your thoughts and feelings.

2. I don’t matter, nothing matters, nothing I do matters

Haven’t you heard? Energy can be both particles (matter) and waves (not-matter). You matter, and you don’t matter; sometimes you are particle and other times a wave. What you do with the mysteries of life is up to you, but it always skews human perception to believe you can have one half a duality and hang the other half. 

Because of the dual nature of nature, if you don’t matter, that means you must matter. If you matter, then it’s time to realize you don’t. Now, how do you feel about that? (Seriously, it matters.) 

3. I hate myself

If you got up this morning, ate raisin bran, put on socks, turned on your computer, and surfed your way to this article, you do not hate yourself. If we say we hate ourself but do what is necessary to survive and not smell too bad, what’s really going on?

You might want distance from some aspects of yourself or your life. Figure out what those aspects are. You could also be waiting for the universe, or someone in it, to convince you you’re lovable. Well, you obviously haven’t believed anyone yet; why will you in the future?

You could forget about loving or hating yourself, and just treat yourself with respect no matter how you feel. 

4. Nobody cares, including me

Most people think about themselves most of the time, including you. Beyond that, what do you mean by no one caring? Figure out how you wish to be cared for. Then there are three options.

One is to decide if the caring is something someone else can give, or is it one of those annoying things you must hand yourself (i.e., love, respect). Two, ask for what you need. That is the best way to get it. Three, hold the desire but let go of your expectation. Expectations tend to drive humans crazy.

5. I shouldn’t be angry … sad … excited … afraid, etc.

No one feels the way they should. We all feel whatever we feel. It’s a spontaneous phenomenon. Feelings balance out our logical thoughts and reasoning mind by not being logical or reasoning. Your feelings matter because you have them, and you will realize you matter when you accept and trust your feelings.

5.5 

“If there is something you must do and you cannot do it, you cannot do anything else.”  ~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

________________________

Therapists can help you think more positively. Learn about different types of therapy for depression at Healthline.com.


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Jacqueline Marshall

Jacqueline Marshall is a writer for Help For Depression, and freelances primarily in the areas of psychology and personal development. She has a MA in Counseling Psychology and is a licensed therapist living near Chicago.

Jacqueline has experience helping those diagnosed with severe, persistent mental illness, and in providing general therapy services for individuals, couples, and families. Prior to counseling, she worked in graphic design and music education.

When not writing or counseling, Jacqueline enjoys reading literature and math-less books about quantum physics. She is a published poet, and has studied animal communication and energy healing.  

 

Contact Jacqueline Marshall

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