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Self-image and reality disparity


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Hi, I'm new. I'm 22 years old and dealt with severe depression from age 11 till about 19. I still deal with anxiety and I tend to resort to depression or anger when faced with life challenges. I am also diagnosed ADHD. I'm really trying hard to be an independent and confident individual but I have so much self doubt and I think way too much. In the past I only thought negative thoughts, but I now do have positive thoughts, but they don't out weigh the negative. I think I emotionally hurt people and I think I over step social boundaries with people. I need help truly believing my positive thoughts and dismissing the negative. My positive opinions of my self are only ever temporary and I act and behave more based on my negative thoughts. Am I doing this right?

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Hello, Masker, welcome :)

It's good that you've been able to have positive thoughts, too! :) And it seems that your therapy for the depression was sucessful, at least to some extent, which is undoubtly positive, too.

How do you deal with you anxiety now? Have you some support, do you see, at least sometimes, a professional?

I think I emotionally hurt people and I think I over step social boundaries with people.

Would you decribe more the ways you do this? What makes you think that you hurt them? Maybe you really do and so you need to learn and practice some new social skills, but maybe these are only some of your "too negative prejudices" - I cannot know from what you wrote.

I need help truly believing my positive thoughts and dismissing the negative.

Well, I wouldn't see it just so "black-and-white"... Of course, it's important to get rid of the kind of negative thoughts which tell you nonsense and inhibit your "normal life", cause anxieties and kill your self-esteem. But... for instance; in case if you really hurt people and over-step boundaries, calling this just "a negative thought" and dismissing it would cause more problems - more hurting and then your feelings of guilt and inadequacy. So... what to do? I have to say that now, only a cliche occurs to me: Knowing yourself is the most important. Knowing who and how your really are and finding the best way to be "your true you" without "unnecessary hurting"... BTW, in this context, you might to read this blog:

I'm looking forward to your next posts!

Take care!

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I was not on any medication or attending any counseling sessions when I felt I was no longer depressed. All I remember is my dad telling me something one day about how he sees miserable people everyday and how its a choice to be miserable. I'd say I got over my depression by focusing on the positives and not taking all the negatives and putting them all together. I may have several things go wrong in my day, but I look at them as individual circumstances and not a whole day of bad luck.

Dealing with anxiety: I run. I avoid. I ignore. There are some times when I either watch TV, edit my photography, doodle, plan in my agenda, or go do something outside. Those are things I do to deal with my anxiety or depression. I specifically don't drink alcohol when I am feeling anxious or depressed.

Over stepping my boundaries: I feel I may behave as if I'm a closer friend with someone than what they consider us to be. I'm very friendly and determine fairly quickly if I like someone as a person. I think I don't always pick up on people's social cues. I'm a very blunt person who says how I feel because I hope for others to speak up to. I'm not good at adding up certain behaviors to get one idea, I do better when someone verbally communicates with me.

Hurting people: My logic and emotions are in two different places. I logically know I can't feel mad towards someone, but then I realize I'm treating them as if I am. I often will be carrying on a social interaction impulsively and this is where my emotions dictate. And then I stop to think about it and realize that is not how I want to treat that person. I have a hard time letting go of resentment. I have a friend I love dearly, but he has hurt me in the past and I feel I always have this resentment card in my back pocket to hold against him. I also know I feel this way about other people. I know with my female friends I don't know how to tell white lies or be easy about the truth with them. I know a lot of female friends don't share information with me probably because of my strong opinions or something. I also impulsively say stuff to people I don't really mean, but its in the heat of the moment. Writing this out, I guess this goes back to practicing thinking before speaking, which is difficult with my brain chemistry.

Dismissing negative thoughts: Yes I did mean irrational thoughts that inhibit me, not those things that are self evaluation. I pride myself in that I'm always analyzing my behavior and I try to alter things that are bad. But I also over analyze. I need a formula to follow so I can work through how valid my thoughts are.

In general: I do have these opinions of myself, and I believe they are based off of at least one circumstance that gave me that initial idea. I don't think my ideas of myself are completely made up. But I also realize that when asked to provide an example I don't always have one.

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