Depression can have a profound effect on how we think. It is easy to spot the difference in thinking between someone who is depressed and someone who is not. This is good news, since we can modify the problem thinking and reduce emotional disturbance significantly.
Here are 5 thinking patterns observed in someone who is depressed.
1) "I am no good" - A sense of worthlessness. The person constantly doubts his/her abilities and considers oneself not good enough to do anything.
2) "The world is unfair" - This is a common thinking pattern observed. Someone who is depressed views the world as an unfair place and considers himself/herself to be a victim of circumstances, events, other people's behaviors, etc.
3) Helplessness and Hopelessness - People suffering from Depression tell themselves constantly that they are unable to help themselves. They may also think there's no help around. They may lose all hope and think that there is only suffering and pain in the future.
4) "I will fail again. This misfortune will happen again" - There is a sense of absolute certainty in the mind of someone who is depressed, that bad things will happen again. Even if there may be an evidence that misfortunes may not repeat, the person ignores it and continues thinking that he/she will fail again.
5) Ignoring the positive - Only the negative aspects of a situation is considered when depression is severe. The person ignores the positive side of things.
These are 5 commonly observed thinking patterns in a person who is depressed. These thinking patterns are closely related to core beliefs the person has. Core beliefs determine whether a person will feel depressed or not after a particular event happens. Thus, it is easy to understand that the core beliefs of a person with depression will be different from those of a person who is not depressed.
The key to manage these 5 thought patterns lies in identifying irrational core beliefs and replacing them with rational alternatives. This is the work done in Psychotherapy.
Tips on how to handle these thought patterns -
1) Do not try to correct these thoughts immediately
2) Acknowledge that you may have one or more of these thought patterns in depression
3) Avoid responding to these thoughts. If you notice that you have a thought "I will fail again", do not stop your efforts just because of this thought.
4) Try to identify the Irrational Beliefs at the root of depression and these thoughts.
5) Create alternative rational beliefs and practice them daily, so they become second nature.
I hope this article was useful for you. With consistent efforts and daily practice, thought patterns and core beliefs can be modified, which eventually leads to a much less disturbed state of mind.