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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!

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Hi Wonder_Whats_Next and welcome to the Forums.

Nice to meet you.

I am sorry you are suffering these negative thoughts and fantasies.  Unfortunately I am not a physician or medical professional and so cannot give advice.  I experienced what you describe and was helped by medication and self-help books by famous cognitive therapists [Beck, Burns, Emery, McKay, Leahy and others].  This is not advice though since what helped me might not help you or others.  Some people have been helped by sessions with a psychotherapist.   The only advice I dare give is to seek professional advice from medical professionals. 

Hopefully these Forums will prove to be of some benefit to you.  Here we are all fellow sufferers of depression and other illnesses.  Sometimes it helps me to be able to communicate with others going through the same or similar things.  I hope your membership here will also be of some help!!!  - epictetus

Edited by Epictetus

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‘Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.’

Negative thoughts have always and continue everyday of my life.  Two things would happen when I dwell on those thoughts that would lead me to become disheveled and feeling disorientated - dwelling on those thoughts, would cause me to feel even more down and depressed; they would become intensified often overwhelming me with a sense of grief.  I would have an overwhelming feeling of drowning in sorrow and helplessness or hopelessness.

I would often react or respond to those thoughts.  I would act out in anger, or fury; I would act out as being irritable and feeling unsettled. I don’t know if you have a faith system, but when I called out to God, everything changed.  A powerful Bible verse I read says: Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

When I fix my thoughts as it says in that verse, those hurting, painful thoughts that cause me much grief evaporate in moments.  My life is centered upon Jesus, I still have to deal with those downer thoughts.  The difference is that now the duration is mere moments - joy and peace return.  Someone once wrote, ‘Practice Hope, as hopefulness becomes a habit, you can achieve a permanently joyful spirit.  

 

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Wow, your situation sounds very similar to the same kinds of things I do - all the negative thoughts, the dwelling, difficulty sleeping because of them... I honestly never considered that there were others living their lives this way. I can certainly empathize with your feelings, and I have no idea how to change seats on this roller coaster, I've been trying for years. Good luck to you...

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I have exactly the same thoughts. If there's a girl I like, I imagine her cheating on me. If there's a friend I'm talking to, I imagine us arguing. My therapist says it's to do with insecurity as a result of abuse, basically I imagine that I'm disliked and unworthy of other's love and attention. We haven't really gotten round to dealing with it yet but it's something I really want to address soon!

Are you speaking to a therapist about this? If not, I'm not going to lie to you man, it's embarrassing but it's gotta be done. Yoga, etc is unlikely to help (although it's always great to stay fit and relaxed) and the forums are great for sharing experiences but won't offer you as much as a professional will.

I'd love to hear more from you as I never spoke to anyone with this same issue before. Hit me up!

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