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Negative self talk

Hi all,

I am really having trouble combatting my self talk. I am seeing a psychologist who has helped me successfully address quite a few other issues. However, my negative self talk seems to be very difficult to change.

 

I have depression and anxiety. My anxiety has become much milder over the past few months but the depression is as strong as ever. My core issue is my self esteem: I am worthless, I feel like I am not wanted at all, never taken seriously, not contributing anything to society. Apparently one of the key things is to change my self talk.

 

I have tried strategies from my psychologist as well as some on this site, but I just seem to be overwhelmed by feelings of worthlessness, repeating insults at myself etc.  I can't seem to stop this. I was wondering if anyone had advice on how I may be able to overcome this; any advice would be much appreciated.

 

-alien4

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Re: Negative self talk

Hey @alien4, welcome to RO Smiley Happy

 

Negative self talk can be really tough to deal with. It seems like you have a lot of self-awareness into your thought patterns though and have managed to make some great improvements in your life. Can I ask if your psychologist aware of the difficulty you're having addressing these thoughts? It sounds like they've been really helpful with your other issues so they may be able to help with this one. However sometimes one person doesn't hold all the answers and if you're not finding that your current psychologist is helping it's totally okay to find someone else.

 

If you haven't seen it already, there's a fact sheet here which has some strategies for challenging negative self-talk. You might also want to pop over to the  Turning Negatives Into Positives thread which is great for reframing unhelpful thoughts. Personally I like the Three positives of today thread too. Do any of those seem like they might be useful for you?

 

Take care,

Loki Smiley Happy

______________________________________________________
No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish
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Re: Negative self talk

Hey @alien4

 

It sounds like you've been trying really hard to address your issues with your psychologist, it is admirable that you have stuck with it and found a way to overcome many of them. That sounds like a pretty good example of you being the opposite of worthless. 

 

I have had some experience with negative thoughts myself, in fact for a part of my life they were the only thoughts I had. Changing that narrative inside my head was the toughest thing i have ever done, it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed.

 

I absolutely admire anyone who is willing to challenge their negative thoughts. To share a bit of my experience, one of the things that really helped me was giving myself examples that i wasn't worthless or whatever the negative self talk of the day was... whenever i could i would set myself a goal to challenge my comfort zone, and I would reward myself when i managed to push myself with positive self talk, "I am capable", "i didn't know I could do that", "I am good at helping others". To begin this was literally just opening the door and leaving the house at least once a day, Eventually i made it around the corner from my house where i started volunteering at an aged care place, and i just kept going from there.

 

Positive self talk really does work, but it is different for everyone, and it will be individual to you how you go about changing your thoughts. Keep talking to your psychologist, read as much as you can, surround yourself with positive people and keep pushing yourself. I believe you can do it. Smiley Happy

If you banish the dragons, you banish the heroes
- Andrew Solomon
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Re: Negative self talk

Thank you @lokifish and @RecoveryandHope, it is nice to have someone to help Smiley Happy.

 

I did have a look at the fact sheet, however I feel that I might not be able to use those particular strategies (I am stilll convinced that the negativity is true after). I had a look at those threads as well, the "turning negatives into positives" thread was good.

 

I think that it is a really good idea to try and implement the positive self talk after an achievement, pushing oneself out of their comfort zone etc. I have told a couple of my close friends how I feel about myself, all of them said "that isn't true". A good start I guess?

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Re: Negative self talk

That's a great start. I think sometimes your friends can be better at knowing the positives about you especially when your depressed. How did you feel about their response? What was it about the turning positives into negatives thread that you found helpful?
If you banish the dragons, you banish the heroes
- Andrew Solomon
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Re: Negative self talk

I still couldn't really bring myself to fully believe it, but I guess because they have said those things I now consider it a faint possibility that I have worth.

 

I found the negative into positives thread helpful in that I could see there is a good side to a lot of the things that happen.

 

 

I also often feel like I am wasting my friends' time, even though they insist I am not I can't shake that feeling

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Re: Negative self talk

Hey @alien4, it's great to see you are already getting some positives out of the other threads, and especially talking to your friends.

 

I know it might seem like you are wasting your friends time at first, but you just need to realise that they genuinely care for you, that's why they are sticking around and supporting you.

 

Are you close with family as well? Have you been able to speak to them about it all?

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Re: Negative self talk

I often feel like my family don't take me or the illnesses seriously. They know I have it but don't really understand. The other day I was told I "have to smile every so often" but I smile when I feel happy or amused, I don't want to be fake.

 

My brother is constantly making jokes at my expense. It's slowly wearing away at me, I'm sick of the things like "Hey alien4, you're shit" then "just kidding". For no reason other than his own amusement.  I know I'm shit you don't have to keep telling me ;_;

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Re: Negative self talk

Wow, @alien4, that is seriously tough. I am so sorry you are not getting a lot of understanding and compassion from your family. It must be very hard for you and I commend your strength, which you clearly have, for coping as long as you have.

 

Well done for working with a psychologist to address some of the issues you've been facing – and hooray your hard work has been successful! That is so awesome. Smiley Happy I hope you have these accomplishments recorded somewhere so you can go back and read what you have achived.

 

I'm glad to hear you got something out of the Negatives to Positives thread. It's nice to change our thinking when it gets a bit circular and focusing on one small thing at a time is a great way to start practising. You might also be interested in RO's article on low self-esteem. Take a look and let us know what you think.

 

One of the other cool ways you can practise changing your thinking is to work out what your strengths are. I'd love to learn more about you too so is there something you do in your spare time? Or something excellent that you do every day? You seem very eloquent, self-aware, and have a proactive approach to improving your health. What do you think – what are your strengths?

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Re: Negative self talk

Hey @alien4
I think that's a good attitude to have, smile for yourself, not for others. I guess people, especially family will be worried that you aren't happy enough for them in that case I think it can be good to have an honest convo with your parents about yourself and that sometimes you just don't want to smile and it's not the end of the world Smiley Happy
Brothers and well all siblings can be such pains.. have you ever had a serious chat with your brother about what your going through? Do you think he might be willing to cut you some slack with the jokes if he understood?
If you banish the dragons, you banish the heroes
- Andrew Solomon