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Always dredging up the bad


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I read a response in a post from someone else about always dredging up the bad experiences...and it kind of made me stop.

I guess I already knew I was doing this but I guess I wasn't as conscious of it as I perhaps could have been.

Basically I could sum it up as reliving painful experiences over and over in my head, not letting myself forget these experiences. I don't do the same with positive experiences, if they happen, they don't really last and are forgotten.

Why would I do this? When I think about it logically, it doesn't make any sense other than it could be a negative strategy used to keep myself unhappy?

Any ideas on why someone might do this? Any ideas on strategies for unhinging this thought process?

I'm thinking I'll try to make a list of good things and keep it on hand to remind myself. Maybe that will be helpful?

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You mean, maybe it is some evolutionary adaptation to help us learn from pain so we can avoid it in the future?

It's possible, however, the fact that you continue to feel imaginary pain over and over...when real pain seems to be few and far between (ie, not something you actually encounter all that much)...it kind of seems counterproductive, no?

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I think it's a dysfunctional human tendency that can keep us stuck in the past. In the same respect, you are certainly not alone in this! You might try challenging those thoughts when they come up. It can be a short leap at times from acknowledging your experiences/feelings to bathing in your own pain. Balance is the key word. Past experiences don't dictate future outcomes unless you make the assumption that they will. My former therapist would often tell me it's what I was giving power to. I try now to give power to the positive. Not always easy! That doesn't mean you deny your feelings or pain, but it does mean you don't allow past pain to deny you from living for today. Take care, Nessie.

Edited by IrmaJean
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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest ASchwartz

Hi Nessie,

You are not alone with this. It seems easier for many of us to remember the bad things that happen than the good things. It certainly is a way to feel depressed. That is where Cognitive Behavior Therapy comes in. It is used to learn how to replace these dysfunctional and unrealistic thoughts with those that here more helpful and based in reality.


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  • 3 weeks later...

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