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How Do I Beat Insecurity/paranoia And Build Confidence?


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#1 trapped_and_alone

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 01:14 AM

I've been at war with myself for years. I'm trying to beat depression as well as all my problems without medical treatment since I can't afford any. I've always had severe paranoia and insecurity all my life. I have no self esteem or confidence in myself and every time I feel like I'm doing good at something I freak out and get all paranoid.

For example, I'm an aspiring novelist. All my life I've dreamed of writing books but every single time I get started I freak out and stop due to paranoia and insecurity and lack of confidence that I can't ever go anywhere. I'm trying to beat this. I've finally found an amazing story that I absolutely love and am really enjoying writing. I have someone I knew in high school helping me out by editting and encouraging me but I freak out all the time. Sometimes it feels like I have to force myself to write, even though I love my story.

I just always feel like writing is pointless and that my ideas are stupid. That no one will ever want to read my story, that I'll never make it, and that I shouldn't be so wrapped up creating fake characters and spending my life writing them.

I've always loved fiction. I love to read, watch movies/tv. And I love making my own characters. But I'm so psychotic over it. I feel like the stupidest person in the world. I spend most nights forcing myself not to think about my story and fighting with myself. Part of me wants to follow my dream and finish at least one story in my life and another part keeps screaming at me that I'm stupid, pathetic, and will never make it.

How am I supposed to beat this? Why do I have to be so low on myself? I don't get it. Is this a illness or am I just insane?

Has anyone dealt with anything similar that can give me some words of advice?

God I feel like my mind is torn between two me's..
-Karrie

#2 BetterOff

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 01:31 AM

Hello, I read your message and hear you loud and clear. Keep in mind that depression is often *physical* in nature, its a lack of happy hormones that can hit us at any age, i.e. seratonines and dopeamines. But its treatable and I think you should talk to your doctor about this. I mean if you had diabetes would you refuse an insulin shot to keep your blood sugar levels up so you dont go into a coma or worse?? Its a proven fact that its a genetic predisposition in most cases and one little pill in the morning can boost your self -esteem, make you energetic and more happy and stop those feeling of being insecure and low self esteem, etc... not to mention do away with anxiety and nervousness if you have that also. Depression is insidious for hiding behind alot of what you talked about. I think you have come to terms that you are depressed, now keep in mind that there is medical help. My depression hit me in the early thirties (bad genes from both sides of the family) and I know how horrible depression can be. Please see a doctor and see if you are treatable, dont be ashamed to take a little pill in the morning to feel normal again, remember back when you felt before you were depressed?? well you can get there again. Do not hestitate to make an appointment and remember depression and taking medication is NOTHING to be ashamed about, or hidden from family members. Most everyone now days has a family member or friend on an AD because science has extended our life spans but alas our brain is not keeping up with our older ages and it just poops out on the feel good hormones. Thats all there really is to it! See a doctor, get a professional diagnosis and help if need be, dont torture yourself and try to go it alone.
Good Luck and best wishes.
Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#3 LilyRain

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 01:42 AM

I've been at war with myself for years. I'm trying to beat depression as well as all my problems without medical treatment since I can't afford any. I've always had severe paranoia and insecurity all my life. I have no self esteem or confidence in myself and every time I feel like I'm doing good at something I freak out and get all paranoid.

For example, I'm an aspiring novelist. All my life I've dreamed of writing books but every single time I get started I freak out and stop due to paranoia and insecurity and lack of confidence that I can't ever go anywhere. I'm trying to beat this. I've finally found an amazing story that I absolutely love and am really enjoying writing. I have someone I knew in high school helping me out by editting and encouraging me but I freak out all the time. Sometimes it feels like I have to force myself to write, even though I love my story.

I just always feel like writing is pointless and that my ideas are stupid. That no one will ever want to read my story, that I'll never make it, and that I shouldn't be so wrapped up creating fake characters and spending my life writing them.

I've always loved fiction. I love to read, watch movies/tv. And I love making my own characters. But I'm so psychotic over it. I feel like the stupidest person in the world. I spend most nights forcing myself not to think about my story and fighting with myself. Part of me wants to follow my dream and finish at least one story in my life and another part keeps screaming at me that I'm stupid, pathetic, and will never make it.

How am I supposed to beat this? Why do I have to be so low on myself? I don't get it. Is this a illness or am I just insane?

Has anyone dealt with anything similar that can give me some words of advice?

God I feel like my mind is torn between two me's..



Wow you summed up pretty much exactly how I feel. Change the "aspiring novelist" to "aspiring illustrator" and that's me. I'm looking for answers too. I think the only real solution I've come up with is that I'll have to seek some kind of treatment or therapy for it, because it's tearing me apart. I hate to see that in others too. You're not crazy and you're not alone! It really feels like it, but seeing as you're describing how I feel, there's proof in itself that you're not. :)


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#4 Sheepwoman

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 06:20 PM

Trying to combat depression without the proper coping skills or tools is daunting to say the least. It can cause you to become overwhelmed-which is more depressing.

SInce you mentioned not being able to afford treatment, you can check with County Mental Health Services, local free clinics, maybe apply for Medicaid if you qualify for it, or check with some local non-profit agencies. There are programs out there to help you, you just have to know where to start.

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Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#5 Steveab63

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 11:17 PM

In addition to everyone else's excellent advice, I urge you to ignore the negative voices and continue writing. The ability to do that is truly a gift. Millions of people love to read, even in the computer age. I hate it when I see an article online and it ends up being a video. I prefer to read. Keep writing!

Steve.

#6 caridwen

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 08:54 AM

I've been at war with myself for years. I'm trying to beat depression as well as all my problems without medical treatment since I can't afford any. I've always had severe paranoia and insecurity all my life. I have no self esteem or confidence in myself and every time I feel like I'm doing good at something I freak out and get all paranoid.

For example, I'm an aspiring novelist. All my life I've dreamed of writing books but every single time I get started I freak out and stop due to paranoia and insecurity and lack of confidence that I can't ever go anywhere. I'm trying to beat this. I've finally found an amazing story that I absolutely love and am really enjoying writing. I have someone I knew in high school helping me out by editting and encouraging me but I freak out all the time. Sometimes it feels like I have to force myself to write, even though I love my story.

I just always feel like writing is pointless and that my ideas are stupid. That no one will ever want to read my story, that I'll never make it, and that I shouldn't be so wrapped up creating fake characters and spending my life writing them.

I've always loved fiction. I love to read, watch movies/tv. And I love making my own characters. But I'm so psychotic over it. I feel like the stupidest person in the world. I spend most nights forcing myself not to think about my story and fighting with myself. Part of me wants to follow my dream and finish at least one story in my life and another part keeps screaming at me that I'm stupid, pathetic, and will never make it.

How am I supposed to beat this? Why do I have to be so low on myself? I don't get it. Is this a illness or am I just insane?

Has anyone dealt with anything similar that can give me some words of advice?

God I feel like my mind is torn between two me's..


I also write and will be writing today.

I have been battling depression since I was 16 years old for much of that time it was untreated and I had no idea what was wrong with me. Over half my life has been taken up with depression.

I also suffer from the paranoia and anxiety you talk about when it comes to writing but also when I'm outside or in a relationship as I have Social Anxiety Disorder.

Here is some stuff you can do:

Change in diet. Make sure you eat at least five different types of fresh fruit and vegetables a day. Try porridge for breakfast or muesli as oats are very good for the nervous system. Cut down or eliminate junk food. Drink plenty of fresh clean water. Stick to whole foods and complex carbohydrates. Try and eat regularly in order to control your energy and sugar levels.

Get some good multi vitamin and mineral tablets.

Get some good Omega 3 fish oil capsules or vegetarian alternatives.

Exercise Try and get at least half an hours exercise a day. Try and get out in the sun as Vitamin D and sunlight is very good for depression. (Obviously take proper sun screen precautions). Walk or jog or ride a bike, it doesn't matter. Try and walk that little bit faster or cycle that bit faster or on a more challenging route in order to strengthen yourself over time.

Meditate Buy some meditation CDs or download some onto your ipod etc Listen to them every night in bed or before you sleep. Practice makes perfect with meditation. If you prefer, get some relaxation CDs or download them and listen to them instead. Meditation is very helpful if you struggle with anxiety or racing thoughts.

Writing


Firstly you are not the first writer to suffer from depression and anxiety. Here is a list of writers who suffered from depression: Dickens, T S Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Dovstoevsky, Poe and the list goes on and on.

Writing involves sitting in a room by yourself for hours a day. You have little to go on but faith that one day you will get published. It is hard work and feels very thankless. It is hardly surprising that thousands of writers have depression.

Most writers suffer from that anxiety or paranoia you talk about including myself. It's called the inner editor. You write and someone seems to be sitting on your shoulder telling you that what you are writing is the worst thing ever written and who are you kidding. Then you rewrite and rewrite and get bogged down in frustration and self loathing.

Take it one step at a time. Take it one day at a time. Take it one sentence at a time.

I don't know how far you are in your writing career. You say you have a great idea for a novel.

Have you written the structure yet? Who are your characters and what do you know about them? These are places to start to give you confidence and power before you start the actual writing.

The structure of your novel is how we get from the beginning to the middle to the end.

It helps to sit down with a pen and a pad and plot that out. It can start off as a skeleton. Then you flesh it out.

Your characters. Who are they? What do they look like? What do they do?

Is your great idea for a novel better suited to a short story? A novel is a huge and daunting task. Like I said, I dont' know how much writing experience you have but writing is a skill and that skill is learned. It takes years and years to learn the necessary skill to write. It takes time and practice. In order to gain that practice, some writers start off with the short story.

If procrastination is your problem look up short story writing competitions. They are a great way to write to a deadline and to a certain word count.

Since writing is a such a lonely and frustrating business, it sometimes helps to be amongst other people who write. Look up local writers groups. These are people like yourself who need guidance, inspiration or simply encouragement. You can read what you have written and ask for feedback. If you can't find one in your local area look for an online writing group.

No one is going to read what you write if you don't write anything.


The writing process
Every writer has their own way of writing and whatever works is fine. However to get rid off the inner critic here's what to do.

You write in drafts. You do not edit what you have written until you have written it. You do not rewrite.

So draft one is usually the rough draft. This is where you hammer out your plot and get in your main characters. This is a rough draft that comes after the plotting we discussed earlier.

Stories are organic and develop as you write. I doubt anyone's finished product is anything like the idea they started out with or the rough draft. Mine never are!

Stories have a way of getting themselves told despite the writer so if you feel it veering off into the unknown, go with it. Just write because any writing you do is practice.

Write draft one. Get draft one finished. Do not re read draft one as you write. Just get your story out there. If the red squiggly lines under spelling mistakes bothers you then correct spelling mistakes.

Draft one is really to sort out your story structure and get it all out on paper.

Once you have draft one you can make further notes on how you want the chapters and characters to develop. You can get rid off stuff that doesn't work including characters that aren't essential.

We move onto the first draft.

We now have our book divided into workable chapters so that is what we now do. We work on each chapter at a time. We clean it up and take out anything unnecessary. We move onto chapter two etc

Each draft is part of the rewriting of the story. Honing it down. Making sure everything included is necessary for our story to move and be told as well as possible.

It is only at the final editing stages when we are completely happy with the story that I at least, bother with making my language sparkle. I see this in a similar vein to a jeweller polishing the gemstone they have spent hours cutting and refining. We now want to make our work polished. For all its facets to gleam. This is where we rewrite sentences and scrabble with the thesaurus for exactly the right word.

In sum:

Stage One: Plot outline
Stage Two: Rough draft
Stage Three: Drafts proper
Stage Four: Editing

Hope that helps :)

Edited by caridwen, 23 April 2011 - 09:19 AM.


#7 DangerDanger

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 02:19 PM

Wow. I feel like I could have made this post. You are not alone in this!


I've always been told I'm a good writer. I mean, I'm no Sylvia Plath or Mark Twain or anything, but I'm told I'm good at coming up with stories. In school, if I had to share my writing, some of my classmates would accuse me of plagiarism. That's got to be kind of a back-handed compliment, right? My college professors enjoyed my writing. Writing groups I've been in have enjoyed my writing and tell me I'm a good writer.

But ever since depression hit me, I've completely lost my voice. I continue to write in my head, daily, but when I try to put it to paper I get completely overwhelmed.

I don't understand where I lost the joy to write. When I was young, I'd write crap 80 page novels just for the fun of it. As a grown adult, I can't write eight pages without throwing my work away. I'm plagued by a lack of confidence.



This is an area of my life I keep vowing to change, but let it slide to the backburner. I've been reading a lot of books on goalmaking, such as Goals by Brian Tracy. I plan to implement some of his principles to help me get back into writing. I think to start, I'm going to start doing writing exercises every day to get back into the swing of it and to learn to enjoy it again.




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