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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: How do I listen to me and convince myself I'm ok?

 rina - Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:40 pm

I am a student but have had to defer my studies this year because I was feeling very depressed. I did have some support from mental health services, but found them unhelpful. I now feel that I am a bad person because it felt as though they were not taking me seriously! Sometimes I feel really desperate and feel like I should punish myself, all because I think the people I have seen about my depression don't care! I don't know how to forget about those who were unhelpful and concentrate on good things about myself.

I have thought of ways to challenge negative thoughts I have about myself, such as saying to my critical self, “you’re in the back seat! Preferably with a dog guard between us, strapped into a baby seat were you are unable to cause any harm!”
“I’m in the driving seat, not you! I am in charge of our life! I'm driving this person to success and happiness! Not hopelessness and self destruction!” “You do realize if you do want to kill me you will kill yourself as well, not just me.”

Suicidal thoughts, feelings of being unreal etc are really horrible. My positive side is saying to the part of me in pain “why stand for all of this from Miss self critical?” “Leave her?” You won’t stay in an abusive relationship, or you would move heaven and earth to get a friend out of an abusive relationship.” “Thinking and convincing yourself to agree with negative thoughts is abusing you.” “Why do you allow it to carry on?” “Walk away” Basically love yourself and don’t take any crap from Miss self critical!”

Whenever my self critical part of me says that I am a bad person, the more positive side says “I am unhelpful thinking that I am bad.” Replacing bad, with unhelpful person takes the intense feeling of self loathing away. All is not lost if one is unhelpful, you can still be a good person but unhelpful at the same time. Thinking I am a bad person prevents me from having fun because I feel guilty if I do, because I think I don't deserve it!

Another tactic I use is whenever my self critical side say's “I’m bad, stupid, what's the point etc!” My positive voice replies "Am I bovered!" Every time my self critical side puts me down I jump in interrupting it by saying "Am I bovered though?" "I aint bovered". So many interruptions make my negative side give up! (Just picturing Katherine Tate dressed as a school girl saying “Am I bovered?” to everyone makes me laugh!) because it knows the positive me is not listening and will walk away completely ignoring the negative side of me, until I say or think something more positive and sensible! Getting no attention is not much fun! Ignoring unhelpful behavior or thoughts soon takes away their power of being so distressing. They no longer seem the most important thing, so they do not intrude so strongly!

One of my favorite coping strategies is called spongebob! In the one of the episodes spongebob is haunted by a ghost. At first he is terrified! But as days go into weeks, weeks into months etc he gets bored! He is used to all the ghosts haunting! Because the ghost is having no affect on spongebob, he gets bored and stops. Same as ignoring unhelpful behavior I suppose. But its fun thinking of this episode coz spongebob rules! If I ignore the self critical part of me, it has kind of lost its effect! I like pretending the positive part of me is spongebob and Miss self critical is the ghost! Spongebob says to Miss self critical “don’t give up your day job” Because her attempts to distress me are not working! So I try to convince myself!

I try to convince myself to forget about unsuccessful help I have received! I try and tell myself it doesn't matter if a few people can't really help me. They have forgotten about me and don't give a seconds thought towards me, so why am I wasting my time worrying about whether they like or dislike me. Or if they are cross with me! I wish I could stop wanting and caring whether or not I am in someone's good books! It really is unimportant! If they are impatient with me it's their fault not mine!

How do you put all this into practice? Do I still deserve to be here? I just feel because of unhelpful experiences I should no longer be here! I just want to be able to get through all my studies! How do I forget mental health teams and like myself again?

All this is all right, but if I had a life I wouldn’t think so much. Being full filled in life gets you away from thinking! I feel so happy when I’m with my friends. It is so hard to cope at university when feeling low if you are alone. If the only good thing in one’s life is a degree it’s pants! I need to make more friends when I go back. Have a social life etc, otherwise what is the point! Especially if my marks aren’t great! That makes me feel crap altogether. But if one has loads of friends and fun times, achieving high marks is less important because you have got other good things going on!

I had a chance to be with someone, but he has found someone else. I’m really pleased that the person he is now with is happy, but I am gutted I didn’t want to be with him when I had the opportunity! He is the only man I’ve met who makes me laugh, and loves me for just being me. I probably won’t be alone forever but it feels like it!

By the way should of said this first I am 25, female, have been diagnosed with depression and am taking 50mg of velafaxine.

So sorry this message is long!!
 Dr. K. Eisele - Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:17 am

User avatar Rina:

You do have a lot of coping techniques, which is good. You sound like a very adaptive person, one who can "roll" with the punches. So, if this is the case, what's up? Why are still so depressed?

Changing the way you think will lead to changing who you are, eventually. How long this takes depends on how hard you work at it. Even then, it is not predictable.

I'm having a difficult time understanding your idea that you are bad because others didn't help you.

You need to see a psychiatrist, and, the sooner the better. If you think about harming yourself in any way, including thoughts of suicide, then you must get yourself to safety immediately. Call 911 the next time it happens.

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