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I need to change my way of thinking
19 Replies
kvc33 - July 20

Please help me with this guys. I think so negatively all the time. It's automatic. I try to force positive thoughts but the negative ones win overall. I am having a test on my neurotransmitters so that I can find out exactly what is going on with me mentally. I suspect that I have very low levels of dopamine, serotonin, etc. I just don't feel loved and I constantly feel lonely. This has been going on since I was a child. I am baffled as to why people don't respond to me the way I would like. I do my best to be friendly, caring and upbeat with people but I also let them know honestly how I am doing. To me that is the best way because I don't want overwhelm them with negative but I also want to be genuine. Perhaps I should just fake happiness, I don't know. I am always the one to pick up the phone and make an effort with the people in my life but I feel like I only have a couple of true friends, and seeing them is always problematic. I feel like there is some secret to getting people to connect with me and I just don't get it. Perhaps I always come across as needy, I don't know. Every day I feel like isolation is literally sucking the life out of me. I feel like my survival is in other people's hands and I hate feeling that way. I want to get well and I don't think I can encourage my body to heal if I'm always hurting emotionally. I don't want to give away my power but it feels like if I don't get the love and support I need, I'll never get better. I can't change other people so how do I get well if no one will stand beside me? I do have an amazing caregiver cat and an awesome bf. You would think that would be enough but it isn't.


lucky13 - July 20

I would suggest seeing a councilor and go over your meds with your Dr (you Dr needs to know how you feel as well). A councilor can help you bring your life into focus, and learn to be more positive. I have had General Anxiety for so many years, even as a kid I would worry about bad stuff happening, so I had to teach myself how to put that behind me, a lot of times it means I fake my happiness. I smile all the time and when my co-workers or friends ask how I am, I act like everything is fine. I don't want to be a complainer so I hide most my pain, fear and sadness away and focus on the postive things in my life. The fact I am still able to work, go to school, that I have 4 healthy kids and a husband who loves me. If I focused on the negitive it would be hard to get through each day.
I am by no means suggesting you fake being happy or hide your feelings, that's just how I cope, counciling wuold help you find a better way to cope.
Are you taking antidepressant for your FMS? It seems like an antidepressant may help with the negative feelings.
Good luck and hang in there, and remind yourself everyday why you are lucky.

OH and BTW, I have no friends, I don't have time for them, I go to work, come home take care of my kids, put them to bed, do my homework, do housework and collapse in the bed myself.


January - July 20

Hi kvc. I don't know your family situation. Are you an only child??? I think most people depend mainly on their families for attention, love and support. If you don't have a family close by, or if it's a toxic one, you can feel pretty alone, and most people can't understand that loneliness! I'm glad you have your bf - sounds like a great person from your posts. But I understand the isolation too. Hopefully you have a few good friends also.

Having fibromyalgia (and some its perks like food allergies) makes it hard to go out and do things where you meet new people and make friends. It's hard to make plans, hard to go out for lunch with a group, hard to keep up with people who don't get exhausted… etc. You have to get creative.

Many people are uncomfortable and ignorant about illness. When they just disappear, it's really disappointing and hurtful, but it's their problem, not yours. I've learned that the friends who stayed around are the ones I can count on. A lot of them have experienced some type of illness or tragedy, so they understand how it feels. Can you find a fibro support group or something similar where you live? Sometimes the hospitals have them. (This online site is a nice community too, and people here "get it!")

What kind of test are you getting on your neurotransmitters? I know you are going through withdrawal from something, so don't know if that set you off. As a veteran user of antidepressants, I felt all they did was numb me and give me bad side effects. I know they work for some people, but bad for ME. The drugs did NOT fix anything, and they completely de-motivated me. But I felt GREAT when I first started… Eventually they stopped working (this phenomenon is well known in psych. circles, but they don't tell you); I never felt well again - until I decided to quit, and withdrawal took a couple years.

Counseling is good, as Lucky said, but you have to find a person who is able to do talk therapy. Since drugs are so prevalent now, many counselors just sit there and let you rant. They don't work to change your thinking any more. Those people are a waste of time and money. Ask around and request a few interviews to find a good counselor that you feel a bond with - and if they aren't helping you within a couple months, find someone else. A good counselor will ask a lot of questions, challenge you on your thinking, and point out patterns they observe; they should be able to get you to some valid feelings and insights within a couple sessions. The ones who just sit there and listen will NEVER help you change. The good ones might make you angry or upset with questions, but they will also support you in working through your feelings. If you want to get better it involves hanging in there, looking at painful things and making hard changes.

Like you, I say how I feel, but try to keep a lid on it. Learn to be careful, and decide whom to trust. There are people who have not yet had any adversity, and they take things the wrong way. For example, if I'm having a bad day and rant about it, some people will assume I'm having a horrible life. (Not true!) Some people are not able to speak about anything deeper than the weather. They misunderstand. That's THEIR problem. Don't let them upset you, just move on. There are some very kind, good people out there, you have to find them.

I grew up in a negative house, so it seemed normal. It's hard to change the patterns you grow up with! What changed my thinking the most was a minister who introduced me to books by Ernest Holmes, Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson etc. This minister changed my life by telling me to "just drop it" when I got into my negative thinking. "But, but, but" I said. "Just DROP IT," he said over and over, til I heard him. I took a week, read my books, and tried to pay attention to everything that was going through my head - everytime I got on an internal rant, I stopped it - and even if I had to recite a prayer or song lyrics for a while, I learned to distract myself, to STOP IT. After about three days, I saw a huge difference in my mood! It was work, but it worked! I also found that B vitamins helped. Now that I'm gluten free the depression is gone. Gluten was my main problem. I think you are gluten free, but you might still be getting it somewhere - like in meds or in sauces or packaged food…?

I took classes for years, and that helps - you can train your mind. However, in those circles, along with some really wonderful folks, I met some so-called "positive thinkers" without an ounce of empathy. They don't want to hear anything they label "negative," because it interferes with their own selfish goals. You won't get any understanding or comfort from those people, just judgment. So don't take it personally and move on. You have to learn to judge character.

There ARE people out there who have experienced a lot and are genuine. They will appreciate your authenticity. But everything about a person leaks out, I think - so if you are really sad and angry, you are not going to be able to hide it. It would be good to work those things through with a COMPETENT counselor or perhaps in a good therapy group where you can get feedback from other people about how you come across. Work through the issues and then let them go. For your own sake. Wishing you all the best.

AGH! Sorry this is soooo long!


kvc33 - July 20

I too notice that people depend on family a lot for love and social life and therein lies my problem. I have little family and what I do have is difficult. I hope to see a counselor in the future but right now I'm too sick. I have been in the past and it wasn't helpful. I've had the 'just listen' kind and they are useless. The last one I saw, every time I said I wanted to work on an issue that came up always said, "Just be aware of it." It drove me nuts and I quit going after three sessions. I'm reading the book "You Can Heal Your Life." Maybe if I read it again and again it will help but I really believe that my brain needs help. I will hopefully be taking amino acids and such once I get my test results. It is a urine test for neurotransmitters and a saliva test for adrenal function.


Pikespeak - July 20

Hi kvc! Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum addresses adrenal stress in his book, FROM FATIGUED TO FANTASTIC. I also found another, ADRENAL FATIGUE at the library. I am following that regimen now and feel better, probably because of the D-Ribose, vitamins, adrenal stress supplement, etc. It cost me about $100 to gather most of the supplements, but I believe it will make a difference!

As for the negative thinking--I found some great information in a little book called, THINK SLIM-BE SLIM: A 21-Day Plan for Mental Dieting...
Great info. on self-hypnosis!

P.S. I know seem to always be recommending a book--it's my nature, as I was a teacher and librarian!


kvc33 - July 21

Hi Pikespeak, I am working on my adrenals as I believe that I suffer from severe adrenal exhaustion. I take sea salt and medicinal licorice every day. I am trying to add adrenal gland extract but am having difficulty with allergic reactions. I have a list of things to take for the adrenals, unfortunately most of them are problematic for me but I will keep trying! I think it's great that you were a librarian. Have you ever read the book called Dewey, about the cat who lived in a library? It's awesome. Thanks for being my on-line friends, guys. I love you!


junerd - July 21

Hi kvc, Your post hit a chord with me because I spent hours with my middle aged daughter today trying to give her support regarding the same feelings you have described. She says she has covered her feeling since she was very young and she is now at the point that she does not want to socialize at all. She says she knows it is unreasonable but she feels invisible and mostly invalidated. She has a number of health problems and I feel some of her medication is bringing up these negative thoughts. I guess I want you to know you are not alone and also any advice you can give me from your point of view. She is the baby of our family and very much loved by her siblings, but she just doesn't believe it.




kvc33 - July 21

I have observed that when people are not happy in their present life, the pain of the past comes up also. Some say that they used energy to repress the past and were able to do so as long as life was going okay in the present but when it turned bad they could no longer push down their feelings about their childhood. I do believe that brain chemistry plays a big role in our perception of life and ourselves. If your daughter is just revealing to you now how she felt as a child then let her do so and encourage her to get it all out. It may help her to move forward. Love means different things to different people. There is a book about 'Love Languages' and how people differ in how they experience being loved. For some people spending time together is the most important thing and that makes them feel loved. Other people feel really loved when they are given a gift. Others like to be encouraged and so on. I think your daughter needs to discover for her self what makes her feel loved and what doesn't. Then she needs to ask for what she wants. What makes her feel validated for instance? What makes her feel invalidated? Why doesn't she believe that her sisters love her? She needs to ask herself lots of questions and be specific about her needs. When you talked with her did she feel loved then? Why or why not? Of course she must learn to love herself because if she doesn't she won't ever feel loved by others.


junerd - July 21

Hi Kvc, Your post reinforced my interpretation of what is going on in her mind. You have the solution to your problems on the mental level, however; emotions get in the way. She will start talk therapy the first of September. Until then I will try to be her crutch without disabling her. For your emotional situation right now try to remember it is a passing part of life. At 74 I have finally learned that I am the only person that can dictate my happiness and I love myself just the way I am. We jump from one little pool of pure happiness to another and at times there is quite a distance in between. During the dry times I settle for contentment and satisfaction with my life, warts and all.


Pikespeak - July 21

Hi Junard! I'm 57 and I can relate to your daughter's angst. It makes any mother want to "fix" things...Sometimes you have to sit back and let your daughter experience whatever comes along...tough to do!

I have been there for my kids too--one is a risk-taker and will always land on her feet. The other is the needy one (with FMS) who is always having a crisis. Because of my FMS, I had to pull back from helping her to work on my own issues.

I don't always want to socialize with others. I don't think it's a negative--it's actually empowering me to do what I want, when I want! Call me selfish...but I'm loving it!

I also have siblings that are distant (ages 54, 60, 65). I was the 3rd born, which is the worst possible position. My sister wanted me to go to a family reunion so they would have a 4th player for Bridge! No thanks! I never really felt that love and caring from them. I have learned that I shouldn't have expectations that they will change as adults. I choose to surround myself with others who accept me as I am.


kvc33 - July 23

I am finding that trying to think more positively just makes it worse and increases my stress! Perhaps I should just give it up. I have never been this physically and mentally ill at the same time.


January - July 23

There is a new field in psychology called "happiness psychology." I've listened to interviews with some of these researchers, and they say everyone is born with a "set point" for happiness. You can see this in babies - some are smilers, some are cranky. They say your happiness is 50% genetic (and unchangeable) and 50% what you do (changeable).

I've struggled with sadness most of my life; I've worked hard to overcome things and learn coping mechanisms. I find there are people who are just normally "happy" people and they simply CANNOT understand what a serious depression is. We all experience ups and downs, but those people with a higher happiness set point (and better coping mechanisms and better support systems, etc.) bounce back more easily. It is not in their experience to be in a big blue funk for a whole year. Sort of like I have never walked on the moon, and can imagine it, but have no idea of all the details of the real experience.

I really like Elaine Aron's research on the Highly Sensitive Person. (You can google her.) I think a lot of people who are "depressed" are just highly sensitive - and it IS depressing when you are different (in a way that has many positives to it - like increased creativity, empathy, depth and kindness) but most others can't relate to you, at least not on the deep levels you need.


kvc33 - July 23

Good point, January. I am extremely sensitive and the happy people I know are not. My Mom says I was a happy baby but I started having allergies at a young age which tells me that my health was not good early on. I almost died of bronchitis at the age of 5. I think I just need to accept myself the way I am right now, I am going through this drug withdrawal and that is probably all I can handle right now. I will try to think more positively about just one area of my life and see how that goes.


January - July 24

Hi kvc - I kept thinking of you this afternoon - I wish you would stop calling yourself "mentally ill." I really hate that label. My guess is that some idiot put it on you, and it stuck in your head. How about "going through some challenges right now" or how about "recovering from a bad drug reaction."

From what you post on here, you seem to be articulate and intelligent. You take time to care about other people. You express yourself well. Believe me, that's not "mentally ill." Maybe you're depressed, sad and irritable - that's not mentally ill. Those are normal feelings, especially after what you've been through. It seems to me you are still healing from a toxic drug reaction. Also sounds like you've had lots of frustration getting decent therapy and medical help, along with some other huge consequences in your life. Who wouldn't be upset?

If you don't feel like "thinking positive" yet, let yourself be, and love yourself where you are. I can tell from your posts that you ARE trying to heal - but get frustrated. It takes time for your body to detox and heal. Please believe that it will get better. Meanwhile, I think you offer good advice, and you're able to do that because you've been through so much. (Have you noticed that's a positive thing that came out of all this negative stuff?)

I also get it that you need people in your life. It's easy for people to say they don't need friends - but they go home to their family every day. If you have no family, or a toxic family, that takes a huge support system away from you. And it's hard to go out and make new friends when you feel crummy. It WILL get better. Hugs to you, hang in there and do what makes YOU feel good.


kvc33 - July 24

I say that I am mentally ill because I now have Depersonalization Disorder which is a mental illness (it's in the code book). No one put that label on me, it just appropriately describes the way I feel now. I'm not uncomfortable with the label, I have a friend who has schizophrenia, which I consider to be more of a mental illness than what I have but I honestly think that the term is okay. My mother doesn't like it though! I had to think long and hard about it when I first started going through the drug withdrawal that caused it and if I hadn't read the book that helped me cope with it I would have had to go to the 'mental hospital'. I realized that I have always had Depersonalization Disorder in a mild form, the drug just made it a lot worse. I thought that what I had experienced as a child was just anxiety mixed with depression and low self esteem but I now realize that I had CFS and Depersonalization Disorder even then. Hopefully in time it will go away but the book I read said that sometimes it never does and it can be triggered by simple marijuana use. I smoked pot a couple of times as a teenager and it brought on such a bad panic attack one time that I never did it again. It wasn't responsible for the DD though. Perhaps you are right January but it's kind of like someone with fibromyalgia saying, "There's nothing physically wrong with me I just have lots of pain and weird symptoms." Maybe that's the better way to look at it since we don't know what causes this and it may be different things for different people. Thanks for thinking of me and I apologize if I've said anything that offends anyone as that is not my intent.


January - July 24

Hi kvc - It's too late to write much - I wish you would read Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Peter Breggin. I'm not being dismissive of your pain, physical or psychological. You seem like a really caring person and I wish you the best.


kvc33 - July 29

The drug withdrawal is not getting any better. I've never been so confused. I feel completely different from everyone else. I don't want to live and they do. Even people who are struggling with physical and mental health issues have all kinds of interests and seem to see value in life but I don't. I just find it very painful. I can't remember who I am and when I do have memories they are negative and I don't want to associate myself with them. As I said, this is kind of a blog for me because it's so hard to remember anything. My memory is terrible. My test kit has arrived but I can't do it for about ten days as it has to be done at a certain time of the month. Our friend and helper just up and quit yesterday and gave no reason. He has helped with gardening and jobs around my bf's place. He has a low IQ and mental illness and had to be taught every little thing. My bf has been extremely patient and good to him for the last couple of years and this is the thanks we get. I feel abandoned and that is something I don't need right now. My chiropractor and friend abandoned his patients last December and I was shocked by that as well. I'll never understand people or what motivates them. They can't seem to commit to anything.



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