I’m sorry if this is a stupid question, but it’s gotten pretty bad… whenever I have a moment to think— usually when I’m laying down for bed— my mind defaults to thinking up every single reason I’m a terrible awful failure who doesn’t deserve to exist, and it ends up causing a sort of feedback loop that magnifies those feelings a hundredfold. Do you know anyone who does something similar or might have some advice for breaking the cycle? TIA.
realsocialskils answered:
This isn’t a stupid question. It’s a hard situation to be in, and you’re definitely not the only one.
For me, it helps to have some TV episodes of a show I’ve seen before and like playing in the background when I’m going to sleep. That way, I don’t have totally blank space available to be filled with that kind of thinking.
I also have friends who can help me remember that I don’t actually suck when I’m feeling that way. And at this point, I’ve had that conversation with them enough times that sometimes I can think through what they’d say when I’m in that state of mind.
Some people like things like Calming Manatee, or other cute animal with a positive message sites. That doesn’t work for me, but it does work for a number of people I know.
There are probably better things to do that I don’t know about. Do any of y’all have suggestions?

occasionalfunction said:

It helps to come up with set responses to those thoughts that directly contradict them.

for examples:

“I am a terrible person.” > “I am a good person.”

“I’m a failure.” > “There are plenty of things that I am good at, even if I’m not good at these ones.” or “I’m alive and putting forth my best effort, so I am successful.”

“I don’t deserve to exist.” > “I deserve to be here just as much as everyone else, and nobody, even me, can decide otherwise.”

When those thoughts come up, say the responses. Say them even if you don’t believe them. Don’t let negative thoughts go unanswered, because then they hang around and multiply. Tell yourself the opposite and contradict them, because it breaks the stream of negativity.

realsocialskills said:

Has this worked for any of y’all?

proudheron said:

it definitely doesn’t work for me - it always makes things worse. aside: i’m super-cynical about using positive self-talk to get out of crisis, cause every therapist loves suggesting it (and gets pissed when i say it doesn’t work for me) but i don’t know anyone who it does work for ..

aside over: distractions do work for me! listening to tv like realsocialskills mentioned above, getting my partner to tell me a story, or intense deliberate daydreaming.