how your mind works during depression

Posted , 6 users are following.

Does anyone have problems with knowing if what you are thinking is the truth or whether your depression is making you feel it. I sometimes have problems with what I think, and then they explain what they meant I have taken completely wrong. I can't trust what I think, it's so hard to live like that. Is this normal?

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23 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi shar I know what you mean I think the same but it's the way you think it's the depression it's the throughts in your mind I have had a good few days and today I have been feeling very low xx
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  • Posted

    Yes... I think everyone does it, with or without depression, when their emotional problems cause them to interpret things from a different angle.

    Are you familiar with Shakespeare's "Othello"? He just couldn't see the reality that his wife was innocent, because his view was so clouded by jealousy. It's a human problem, that's what makes Shakespeare so great.

    I compare it to wearing a pair of glasses that distort your view. When you take them off, you can see reality. That's why talking to other people, like friends or, especially, a good therapist and/or in a well-run group, can help. Other people can mirror reality back to you..

    It seems good to me that you're noticing it. Then you can check with check with someone else who loves/cares for you and will tell you the truth.

    Lee

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    • Posted

      Well put Lee!

      I talked about socks in the dryer spinning round.. sometimes when I'm listening to someone somehow there is a trigger and a sock will come forward and blot out what is being said .. its almost as if i'm desperate to find an answer or compare something that has just been said, so I then don't listen or only partially listen to the rest of the conversation as I'm mentally working on the new shiny. Also, what I remember is part reality and part what I was discussing in my mind so I sometimes wonder if what I think happened / said was actually said - or did I think It was said?

      In Tribal times, maybe the use of this behaivour was - "hey remember when we attacked the mammoth last time? we threw rocks at it.. what about using spears this time?"..

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  • Posted

    check out CBT online -- there is a list of 10+ common "thinking inaccuracies" everyone does, but people with depression think like this a lot more. It help help to see your thoughts written down as well, then you can sort of catch them and evaluate them better
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  • Posted

    A good therapist + group + the right meds is a good combination. But it takes time... no overnight miracles.
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  • Posted

    Another thought.

    I am told in a friendly way by one of my co-workers not to scenarioise so much. Someone makes a comment and I come with 4 different solutions when all the guy is doing is making a comment.

    Perhaps when you get something "completely wrong" you are going into scenario mind as they speak and so end up skewing the words instead of taking them at face value?

    One fix that's been suggested is to imagine a helicopter view. rather than being in the centre of the situation, so descirbe it ok she just said "everybody's hair is so blonde these days" instead of why is everyone blonde? are they saying they saying I'm blonde? do they mean that I'm stupid? etc etc.

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    • Posted

      Why not try just sitting and listening, and not commenting until you feel you have something really worth saying? People know who you are even when you're not constantly coming up with ideas. They realize that you're smart and have lots of ideas. They'll be more interested in what you have to say if you speak less and listen more.
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    • Posted

      Lee, please keep in mind you are talking to people with extremely self-esteem. If you had said this to me, I would have been devastated, even though you are just trying to help.
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    • Posted

      Howdy Lee

      I'm still trying to work out the 'pattern' for why I do this - which is why this forum is so helpful!

      The prob with sitting and listening, is all these revolving thoughts (socks in the dryer) - and self conversation goes on anyway. Its like having the car engine on all the time. I'm typing away here and still find I'm going over something the my assistant said this morning. Obsessive = yes smile

      There *IS* a use for this type of behaivour. When I was in I.T. support, the ability to quickly look at an issue and come up with 4 scenarios to test based on the person using the computer, the computer and the problem.

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  • Posted

    Definitly! This is a problem I have often battled with. It is sometimes very difficult to distenquish 'true' feelings vs depression ones. Often you cannot tell until you go into a period of remission and you look back and kind of go 'oh yeah, it wasn't what I thought it was'.

    Its very helpful to be mindful of negative assumtions of situations. You know the kind of thing such as 'oh he/she blanked me obviously they have a problem' or the very common 'whats the point its always goes wrong anyway'.  

    It is very hard but I find it helps to sit back and look at the facts and force yourself to consider them logically. For example fmaking sure to acknowledge that the person who appeared to blank you maybe just didn't see you or was in a hurry. We have all done it, been in a rush, in our own worlds and not really taking notice of those around you and end up missing people right in front of you.

    But yeah figuring out the difference can be difficult.

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    • Posted

      Whatever you, me or anyone else do some people will like it and others will not. Thinking about it like that you also realise some pwople will and others will not like what you do, whatever it is! So point being just do what makes you happy becuase you cant keep everyone happy anyway.

      Another point I find that helps is that most people are way to wrapped up in their own lives (or themselves) to care about what you, me or anyone else is acually doing anyway. Other people not caring has its problems but this is at least a positive of them not caring. 

      Easier said than done but I found reminding myself of these two points eventually helped me move on from what other people may (or may not!) be thinking. And to be honest no one really knows what others think, we are not mind readers and we're really just guessing what they think based on our own feelings at the time anyway.

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    • Posted

      Tony / Shar

      Agree with the above.

      The big thing for me is I remember for ages (months) what someone has said, however what I have to keep doing is remembering that their comment was on the fly, and they probably forgot about it 5 mins after they said it.

      If I did something that made them comment I remember it always, and react to them next time. They pickup this from me, then i see it as a reaction to last time so remember it next time etc etc.. Then I can't talk to them, avoid them and again they see this and wonder why - think I';m strange etc..

      Tony's right - if I break the cycle straight up and somehow forget the first stuffup, then I can usually gfet along better with the person after.

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    • Posted

      Add to that. For some reason, the reaction of others is VERY important to me.

      Someone pausing before they say - "Hi" back to me can even make a negative hit. They could be pausing cause they can't remember my name, or I'm too intense (from the importance) or I make them awkward (cause I'm too intense).

      Anyway, I realise I've got to chill out a bit more. This will also help me to get other's real meaning, rather than interpreting it thru previous history, which, going back to shars original comment, may account for some issues.

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    • Posted

      All that worrying and trying figure out what other people are thinking must be exhausting. It requires a lot of mental energy to try an see yourself through someone eleses eyes. Its hard to stop but just remind yourself at the end of the day your only guessing. And since its only an assumed guess why not assume a positive? Its a good idea but I found in pratice this can be very difficult in a depressive state of mind. Instead I found its much easier just to accecpt the true and simple fact that I, you or anyone just Don't Know. Once you get used (or trained yourself?) to this way thinking life becomes a little bit easier. 
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    • Posted

      On the contrary, brains who are used to hearing criticism are very adept at replaying that to us over and over and over... It is actually MUCH more work to learn the new ways. If it wasn't, people on here would not be depressed :P
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    • Posted

      Some of this is based on past experience, which is how humans learn, and we have a good reason to be nervous sometimes. However we need to try to also remember positive outcomes smile
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    • Posted

      Hi Froggy, you may be like me with some Social Phobia. I have GAD as well (general anxiety disorder) and PTSD. I get like this. I have been working on it for years and I am starting to get to the point where I can choose to let it go or not care, or if I think it is important person or issue, to talk to the person and see how they feel (rather than jumping to conclusions). But I konw how you feel and having people just say to "get over it" etc is pretty much useless as well as hurtful. In the distant past, rejection meant death (alone in the jungle etc). So give yourself some credit, like the guy in that Wanted movie, you are actually doing your best to stay alive smile
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    • Posted

      :P

      yep. But my previous Job (I.T. support) used this figuring people very well.

      .. Also drink 3l Coke a day so one cough strips wallpaper :P

      I'm also a pattern person and a designer. The Patterning helps me to combine issues into one smiple fix instead of stuffing around or Hey, its the printer not the workstations.

      I remember a lot in video - did a VAK test last week for a course and got 11,4,4 Visual is very dominating Audio and Kinetic (touch) is almost nothing.

      Assuming positive is very true though. I think thats what shar and I need to do - have some attitude of "y'know what I don't care what they think" and somehow have a reset button on every conversation.

      I don't care if they are going to walk away because of my actions. (thats shars fear) Mine is that I have to protect myself at work from my assistant who is 3 levels lower than me, but makes all these unprofessional and bullying comments. Someone more confident to me and shar would have said "stuff you! You react to me that way again and i'll breach you." but I spend a lot of time diarising, preparing and the lady has forgotten her comments the next day.

      VERY frustrating cause any small comments I do make and she reacts like I'm abusing her.

      This world is very antagonistic these days...

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    • Posted

      yep! and like shar said, its a cycle as the misunderstanding is remembered by us, then we act differently around that person who now sees strange behaivour and reacts different themselves. which makes us more uncomfortable and we think they are reacting to what we've said last time, so we get worse, so they get more confused. etc etc.

      I was terrible at parties. My brother was very embarrassing as he has a loud voice and used to say the first thing that occured to him which made me cringe badly. I still feel that way 30 years on - It's all his fault smile

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    • Posted

      Re; How humans learn . Part of my patern making - started when I was thinking about Terry Pratchett's disease.

      I thought of the scenario where you walk from the kerb and get a car horn, so you jump back with this adrenaline / sick feeling in the stomach.

      Next time you are at a kerb you get the sick feeling and remember that "aah yes I'll look for cars this time"

      Tribal times this would be survival eg "OK I WONT stab the Sabre tooth tiger this time, cause it will turn and attack me again"

      These days, there is less survival ie more Safety regulations not allowing you to learn no to jump out of a tree.

      So where does the non-used survival instinct go?? Internally I suppose where it festers like me and shar. and others so there is more depression.

      I get the sick feeling when I'm going to talk to the assistant about a subject that has caused an issue, so it solidifies the feelings, so I feel worse next time etc etc.

      So instead of it teaching me something positive not to cross the road, it keeps me introverted into watching for behaivour and anticipating stuff that may never happen. No wonder I'm on edge .. The Ven Fax did remove this sick feeling that , however I feel it also removed my ability to live, descisions were less value, and I felt as if food was not tasty just - something to eat.

      Going back to I.T. support, I'm trying to find common patterns here in the forum so I can make some sense and then maybe it can be addressed.

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    • Posted

      Like I said, I found it 'easier' to accept that I don't know what people are thinking instead of trying to force myself assume a more positive assumtion. I never said anything was 'easy', If only it was.

      I also said putting yourself in someones elses mind takes a lit of energy because it does. Running negative scenarioes through your mind is also very tiring. Again, I never said changing thought patterns was easy. That said, in life nothing worth having comes easily. The negative thought patterns are learnt behavour stemming from many many different causes. Part of CBT can be about unlearning bad habbits such reliving bad memories or visualising difficult situations (real or imagined) through your mind and replacing them with a better way of thinking. The first thing is recognising the thought patterns and understand whats occuring. Once the behaviour is recognised you can then work on methods to combat them. This would be a very individual approach but one method is learning to turn your attention away from them. How easy or hard it is depends on many factors. However in my opinion it is worth the effort.

      To say it is MUCH more work to learn new ways is just not true. This is a very individual thing and yes some people will find it very hard however others will find the approach works very well for them. We are all not the same so please try not to put people off trying to help themselves with a particular method with a blanket statement that. It maybe harder for some but for others will work well. And the fact is unless we try something will not know. 

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