When we struggle in life we tend to focus on the magnitude of the negative rather than the possibilities of the positive. When we feel confused, we think about how confused we are; when we feel hopeless, we think about how hopeless we are, but when we’re joyful do we ever pay attention to that feeling? Do we ever think about how wonderful it feels to be happy instead of the looming idea that we’re going to feel bad again? When we feel bad, do we ever tell ourselves we’re going to feel happy again?
Don’t double standard yourself. A positive feeling is simple: the opposite of a negative feeling. I don’t practice “pushing” negative thoughts from my mind, I let them come and I feel them and I acknowledge them and then I think the opposite. For example, if I wake up thinking today is going to be horrible and the usual list of why streams behind my eyes, I don’t analyze it or try to disprove it because, hey, all those horrible things could happen. Instead, I think the opposite: today is going to be good. I list the reasons why. Once again, I don’t try to approve of it or disapprove of it, I just let it be. The point isn’t to make yourself think positive–you don’t make yourself feel negative on purpose, do you? The point is to make those positive thoughts as free flowing as the negative ones seem to be. As much as people hate to hear it, negative thinking is indeed a habit. We’re not breaking the habit (have you ever been around people who are constantly happy? There’s something wrong with them man, straight up), we’re giving it a friend.
There is a huge difference between negative thinking and depression, I certainly understand this. However, hearing a positive thought once in a while from yourself at the same magnitude as you hear negative thoughts from yourself may very well help improve depression. Thoughts influence neurotransmitters, neurotransmitters influence thoughts; it’s all one big cycle that you can manipulate for yourself if you so choose.
I think the biggest mistake people make is trying to get themselves to stop thinking. It’s a quick fix, for sure. In that case, pop a couple Haloperidol and you’ll stop thinking real quick. But thinking got you in this mess, thinking can get you out of it. Quick fixes don’t exist; they’re a myth, a legend, a wish. We as a country adore individualism and we advocate hard work to obtain what you want in life (regardless of obvious sociological issues with this creed) and yet we’re told a little pill could fix our worries without any work. I’m disgruntled by the fact that so many people are placed on anti-depressants, and that so many get it from their General Practitioner, and even more so that therapy is not partnered with their medication. Perhaps if they went into talk therapy they’d see they don’t need the medication at all (a valid reason for pharmaceutical companies to never, ever, ever promote such a thing). Millions of Americans alone are on antidepressants. What are the chances all those people are actually depressed to the point of needing drastic medication treatment? If I’m wrong, and every one of those people are clinically depressed then hell, why is depression still considered a disorder? They might as well consider it “normal”. The same could go for ADHD and even Anxiety.
I’m ultimately disgusted in every way possibly by the lack of therapy for those with psychotic disorders. Perhaps some of them do need medication to stay in our reality but that doesn’t mean they’re not frustrated and unhappy with the fact that they just got labeled with a “disorder”, with it’s stereotypes, and with its “lifetime prevalence” percentage. They could use some positivity in their lives. If they’re depressed, it’s probably not a part of their other illness but it probably is a product of it. It can’t always be solved by medications for the first illness. Yes, I believe comorbid diagnosis exists; however. that does not mean we pile medications onto the person for five different disorders. The definition of comorbitiy states each diagnosis must be independent of each other, but let’s be honest here people–how much of that is true? Just another medication scam, in my opinion.
Not to mention it’s all subjective: comorbitity to one psychiatrist may be different to another. There criteria of course, but maybe their client didn’t specify things correctly. Maybe the psychiatrist didn’t understand them correctly. So what’s the point of diagnosis if the diagnosis itself is subjective?
*Takes a deep breath* The system is torn. It’s battered, beaten, misused, abused, hopeless, whatever word you want to use for it. But that doesn’t mean the clients in the system have to suffer. Doctors are wonderful people. Most of their hearts are in the right place, but a lot of them are sheep. You don’t have to be a sheep. There are ways you can help yourself and one way of doing that is changing how you think about yourself and how you think about others. Write a positive thought down each day in a journal or a blog. It doesn’t even have to be about you, it could be about anything! Have goals for yourself. Give yourself a reason to wake up in the morning. Give yourself a reason to get a good sleep the next night. Give yourself a reason to take care of your health. And most importantly, your disorder is not a disorder, it’s a part of you and that’s a fact. Embrace the parts of it you can, improve the parts of it you can’t, but most of all don’t ever fight it. Leave that kind of internal warfare to politics.