Jump to content

Realistic or Debbie Downer?


JessiesMom

Recommended Posts

As I expect many of you are, I have been struggling with increased feeling of depression and anxiety in these times. Part of what keeps me going is being intentional about maintaining a hopeful attitude about how bad this thing is or could be. What I am finding is that, when I talk about the positive things I have read or heard that are, quite frankly, keeping me sane - people invariably respond with negations and worst case scenerios. To make matters worse, they then frame my views as "you are just in denial" or "we need to accept the reality" - which, of course, only feeds into my own self doubt, pushing me further toward the abyss.

I think that, for some people, facing the worst case scenerio helps them to cope with what they have to cope with. However, for me this kind of thinking is toxic. Does anyone else have this problem and, if so, have you found any way to tell the people close to you this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi. I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this. You aren't alone, though.

For me it's my mother. She always seems to point out the worst possible outcome, consciously or not. It's so difficult to try and stay positive with all of the negativity. I don't need that in my life. I think nobody does.

Anyways, I'm unsure of the personalities of the people close to you, but it could help to be honest about how it makes you feel. Not the most creative idea, I know, but sometimes I believe they just need to directly hear it. I'm not saying that it will necessarily be easy, but sometimes what needs to be done is difficult.

I hope this helps a little.

I wish you peace and happiness. :icon12:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no way to really know for sure who is being 'realistic' and who is being a "Debbie Downer" because there are too many unknowns at this point. I don't know how bad the virus really is. People act like it's the plague, but statistics seem to show that most people, (even older people), are not likely to die from it, (percentage wise). Most people seem to recover. (Disclaimer: I'm not saying that you shouldn't be careful and follow health guidelines and directives, nor am I saying that people don't die.) But the fear, panic buying, and the economic consequences are a total disaster, imo. I am definitely not positive about that aspect of it. These are frightful times and there are many unknowns.

The only upside to this situation is that people might learn to be less selfish and more caring toward one another. That might be one 'upside' to the whole thing. Maybe people will change their habits, be less wasteful, spend more time with families, and less time doing unimportant things. There may be less pollution with everything shutting down. Maybe in some strange way, this situation is the only thing that will save humanity in the long run. Humans need a big kick in the pants before they destroy the planet. Maybe this situation is a big wake up call.

Edited by BlueStarr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always found you to be a very realistic person, JessiesMom.  What is happening to you happens to me too.  I think you have good insight into why people are drawn to worse case scenarios.   Sometimes it's very hard to be the only person with hope in a group with when everyone else is bonding over despair. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today I was thinking about your question from the point of view of philosophy.

Many philosophers believe that hope is a moral virtue between the extremes of presumption and despair. 

Presumption is called a vice because it assumes [wrongly] that everything is going to be alright and that morally inspired practical action is not necessary.  This can lead to disastrous results according to these philosophers. 

On the other side is despair, which is considered a vice which "assumes" there is no hope and therefore also leads to a lack of good and reasonable action.

Hope is considered the virtue between these two extremes.  It does not sink into despair but at the same time does not paralyze the will by presumption for practical and helpful action.

Hope is considered a virtue [a reasonable and helpful moral habit] because it requires some moral effort to keep oneself from sinking either into presumption or despair. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I feel the same way. I’m sorry it’s been hard for you recently, I know it has for me too. It feels like a nightmare sometimes. Before this all got as bad as it is right now, I remember I was trying not to freak out about it. Everyone at work was talking about stocking up on emergency supplies, buying masks, sanitizer, etc. I said,

”I don’t think that’s necessary, you know? It’s not like this is the end of the world.” (This was before Italy was hit so hard and the U.S had so many cases.) I was trying to stay positive because I’d already freaked out about it enough in my head... and if there’s one thing I’ve learned through all my OCD counseling... panic is a useless emotion. 

I remember one of my friends said “well don’t come crying to me when you have no food and water.” It was such a nasty thing to say. I always thought times like this should bring out the best of the human spirit, these are the times when we uplift each other (from a distance, lol) and extend help to whoever needs it. I was shocked at his negativity, but realized this is what made him feel better. If feeling prepared calmed him, then I just thought... so be it. My response was, 

“well, my house is on a well. don’t think I’ll be needing the water!” 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Me too, @JessiesMom. Sending you understanding and compassion. 

If they can "yeah, but..." all the hopeful things you've read or heard, then I think you can also "yeah, but..." their catastrophic thinking. 

When it becomes a tiresome game then I know it's time to enforce a boundary: "I get that you need to verbalize your concerns about what's to come and I have reached my limit for listening to them."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

You need to take on peoples opinions and dissect it and try to make sense of things. I dont say that you should accept what they say but think about what you can learn from what people say to you as advice. You should never accept things as they are. Think about what is giving you anxiety  and depression, and think about ways how you can deal with the situations because they will only change of you take steps to make them change. All the advice in the world cannot change a thing but it starts and ends with you. The doctor can give you medication for these issues also. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...