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Help with the cycle of negative thoughts

Thank you in advance to anyone who's taken the time to read this. Dealing with bullying, sexual assault and verbal abuse from my past has left me constantly analysing how people perceive me/ will treat me, most of it being negative. I guess it's a way for me to cope and attempt to control each outcome. I've tried replacing the thoughts with what I know is true, but I always end up back in the cycle of shaming and even punishing myself for the way I think people see me and how the toxic people in my life would treat me. Is there anything I can read or a website I can go to that helps with this? To be quite honest, I feel like I'm going crazy or becoming paranoid.

Re: Help with the cycle of negative thoughts

Hey @KiKi_19. Things seem really tough for you atm Smiley Sad It sounds like you have been making a pretty good effort to challenge these negative thoughts which is really cool. I saw on another forum that you've been seeing a counsellor to help you with this, how has that been going for you?

Re: Help with the cycle of negative thoughts

Hi @May_ 


Yes I was seeing a counselor, but it got to a point where I wasn't feeling comfortable anymore. When I told them about the assault, I felt like it wasn't taken seriously. So I haven't gone to a session since late last year. At this point I don't think I'm ready to find a new counselor. 

Re: Help with the cycle of negative thoughts

@KiKi_19 that must have been so difficult for you to finally reach out and have someone not take it seriously enough. Unfortunately counsellors are just humans and sometimes make mistakes. I'm so sorry they didn't take it seriously. Have you found any of the things they suggested with reframing the negative thoughts helpful?


1800 RESPECT is a counselling support service that specialise in sexual assault and family violence. Do you think contacting them at some point would be helpful for you?

Re: Help with the cycle of negative thoughts



Thank you for understanding. Yes, sometimes I'm able to replace my negative thoughts with more positive ones. But at this point I've been overwhelmed with so many thoughts that I can't get a handle on them.


I think I might have made some initial contact with someone from 1800 RESPECT (via email) but I honestly can't remember what happened... It might have been when my study was full-on and I couldn't keep track of my schedule.


I do want to find help, as I feel the issues I mentioned from my past still have a hold on me.

Re: Help with the cycle of negative thoughts

@KiKi_19 it sounds like you are really overwhelmed at the moment and it's great that you are able to recognise that you do need to get help from someone now. There are so many options when looking for professional help - what do you think might be some options that would work for you?

Re: Help with the cycle of negative thoughts

Sorry I edited to add your tag @May_


Financially and mental health-wise, I know that emailing and online messaging are the best options for me right now. I can't really afford the long trip to face-to-face counseling. So I think to start with I want to try and get in contact with 1800 RESPECT and possibly speak to a counselor online.


I know I can't ask for direct help or solely rely on RO for help, but are there any strategies for tackling thoughts that I could try in the short-term?


Re: Help with the cycle of negative thoughts

Hey @KiKi_19, thanks for sharing your story and experience with us. @May_ has given you some great support and I'm really glad to hear that you want to try and get in contact with 1800RESPECT. Please let us know how that goes.


It sounds like you have had a lot of not so great things happen to you and I think it's great that you have been able to identify and reflect on how these experience have impacted your thought processes, it's really quite amazing.


There are a few different strategies for tackling thoughts and different people on here might have different recommendations so my advice is to try them all and figure out what works for you. Sometimes when we are overwhelmed and thoughts are racing it can help to try and quiet down the mind, I find listening to a specific kind of music or meditating helps me. There are a few really good meditation apps that you can access any time. Like everything meditating is a long term thing and you have to do it for a while to really get the benefits.


You mentioned that you've tried replacing your negative thoughts with what you know is true - how have you done this? Do you write it down or say it in your head? 

Re: Help with the cycle of negative thoughts

Thanks @Stealth_ninja


I agree with you on the music idea. It's been an important part of my life in the past and I hope to try and get back into playing and listening to it someday.


I've used an app called Calm before, which helped me to sleep better and I'm sure I could try it out during the day as well.


Sometimes I'd write down the negative thoughts and then write down a thought that disputes the negative, or something that looks at it in a slightly better light.


I appreciate your support and I'll continue trying to find what works for me. 



Re: Help with the cycle of negative thoughts

@KiKi_19 do you play instruments? Smiley Happy

Let us know if you give Calm another go. I think there are a lot of apps that people find helpful like Smiling Minds and Headspace (not related to headspace in Australia). Have you heard of those ones?

Writing the thoughts down can be a good way to do it particularly if you are a visual person or someone who likes to write/record things. How have you found doing that?