Writing Away Depression's Thinking
When I am depressed my skewed outlook shadows any good thing I might have. It makes me 100% responsible for legitimate set backs. It’s as if everything wrong in the world was somehow my doing…as if I were responsible for keeping the world spinning on its axis.
You may be doing very well and be accomplished, but if you have depression, chances are your negative thoughts are never more than a heart beat away, always ready to pounce. These hurtful thoughts about ourselves, our world and our future color everything and not in a way we’d like. For me, it’s always a conscious effort to halt the runaway thinking.
I’ll be the first to admit that when I feel lousy, the last thing I feel like doing is writing or what I would call it if I felt awful — some stupid exercise. But the truth is that writing works wonders. Writing allows me to stand up to toxic thoughts. It allows me to get the thoughts out of my head and into a form that is easier to reign in if necessary. It seems to make big thoughts look awfully small on paper.
Here are some tips:
- What are your “Nevers”?… You’re never going to get better, you’re never going to find a partner or a job.
- What are your “Shoulds”? ….I should have said this or that or I should have listened to my friend.
- About what are you thinking black/white or all/nothing? I’m either a champion or I am a real loser.
- Whose mind are you reading? They think this or they think that. She didn’t return my call because she doesn’t want to go with me! She doesn’t want to even be friends with me!
- Which planet are you responsible for keeping in orbit? It’s my fault that _____ or if I wouldn’t have done XYZ, then it wouldn’t have turned out as it did.
- What are you ashamed of today? This is a huge one for me! I’m ashamed because I have depression, I’m not a good employee or I’m not parent of the month!
- Where did you misplace your rose colored glasses? We see everything bigger than it really is. It’s all blown way out of proportion! I called in sick today. They are going to think I’m faking it. They are going to find out I’m not that good after all. They are going to fire me!!
Hull, L. (2010). Writing Away Depression's Thinking. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 4, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/laughter/2010/07/writing-away-depressions-thinking/