Hello all, This is my very first time posting in a forum of any type (depression related or otherwise) and I admit that I am stepping outside of my comfort zone in doing so. I've never really liked the idea of posting my problems on the internet, perhaps only because I am a private person. I am going to do my best not to make this too wordy or long-winded as well. So here it goes: First off, I would like to give you a brief description of who I am. I am a 28 year old male. I am in good physical health. I am active (more so in summertime) and enjoy being outdoors. Although I do not have a college degree I have a job that allows me to pay my bills. I have struggled with depression since I was a child. My struggle with depression has come and gone in waves, as with anyone and everyone else. Some months it's good, some months it's bad. The same can be stated on a daily basis as well. I am not on medication, although I have been in the past several times. I am trying my best to avoid being on medication only because I've found it tends to deflate certain passions I have for things in my life (e.g. hiking, backpacking, riding horses). I also have a serious girlfriend whom I have been seeing off and on for a little over two years (we broke up for three months about a year ago). I have found that one thing I struggle with in my depression, and one of the things that can throw me into a downward spiral, is negative fantasies. What I mean by this is that when I think about a situation, past or future, my mind tends to create a fantasy circumstance that is so unpleasant and so negative I dwell on it for days, weeks or months on end until I can't even stand it. It is especially present in my relationships with my family and my girlfriend. If one of my family members seems upset with me, my mind starts to create a fantasy in which they disapprove of my actions and their love for me begins to fade. If my girlfriend tells me that she is going to out for her friend's birthday, my mind creates a situation where she drinks too much and someone takes advantage of her (I do want to say that this is in no way the behavior my girlfriend exhibits, and both of us are very trusting of one another). All in all, my mind tends to create these fantasies that upset me and bring me anxiety and overall dampen my mood. I stay up late at night, replaying these fantasies in my head, driving myself crazy, sometimes not sleeping at all. This negative thinking leads me into a mindset that I'm not good enough or that I'm worth less than others. It leads me to compare myself to others to see what they have that I don't. It breaks me down to the point that I give up and stop trying and I am tired of it. I don't what to be stuck in a vicious circle of negative thinking, where I come out of it feeling okay for a week only to fall right back in to that sinister way of thinking. My question is this: do any of you personally have advice on how to combat these negative fantasies/ideas/thinking? Is it simply best to try focusing on maintaining a positive mindset? If so, what are some methods that you have used to achieve a more positive way of thinking (things like meditation, yoga, exercise)? Any and all advice is appreciated!