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depressed because I'm lying to myself


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Old 28th November 2017, 9:28 PM   #1
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depressed because I'm lying to myself

Just got home from therapy. The therapist said that I am in part causing my own depression because I'm lying to myself.

As a child my parents, especially my mother, told me I wasn't good enough. I still play that "head tape" over & over. . . I can always berate myself for the smallest fault or mistake.

According to my therapist, part of the reason I am so depressed is that I lie to myself. I am constantly telling myself I'm not good enough when the reality is I'm a good person who is accomplished & respected but I just keep trying to convince myself I'm worthless & my brain is having trouble processing the lie with the evidence to the contrary.

What does LS think about her theory?
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Old 28th November 2017, 9:36 PM   #2
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I think it's probably a cyclical thought pattern. Your depression makes you think you're not good enough, and your thoughts that you're not good enough cause depression.

The tricky part is, which came first, the chicken or the egg?
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Old 28th November 2017, 9:41 PM   #3
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You left out a good missing link here, what is it that youre feeling this way "not good enough" can you elaborate on that a bit more?

You say youre accomplished & respected its obvious you are seeking something else. Every therapist have different ways of approaching stuff, can't really comment on that..

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Old 29th November 2017, 3:51 AM   #4
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Just got home from therapy. The therapist said that I am in part causing my own depression because I'm lying to myself.

As a child my parents, especially my mother, told me I wasn't good enough. I still play that "head tape" over & over. . . I can always berate myself for the smallest fault or mistake.

According to my therapist, part of the reason I am so depressed is that I lie to myself. I am constantly telling myself I'm not good enough when the reality is I'm a good person who is accomplished & respected but I just keep trying to convince myself I'm worthless & my brain is having trouble processing the lie with the evidence to the contrary.

What does LS think about her theory?
It's an interesting theory and happens quite a lot with people (including myself) who have had depression. I see it as more of a negative self-narrative than lying to oneself, because it is very difficult to view ourselves objectively without some kind of external reference, and thus it's incredibly difficult to determine if what you're telling yourself is a "lie" or the "truth". So we use another reference, which is often imagining what the people closest to us would think.

The bit in bold is probably the bit you should work on. It may help to use said evidence to build an alternative narrative which is more convincing (more evidence for the positive than for the negative - the evidence also stops you from thinking you're delusional!). The hard part is identifying when these negative self-beliefs kick in.
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Old 29th November 2017, 4:08 AM   #5
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Nothing's wrong with you man. Personally I much better than who I used to be I could go back but why the promise is ahead before your very eyes, if you really want to be better you'll do what ever possible. Thoughts are just randomly happening we can't control it but we can choose to take control of our lives.
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Old 29th November 2017, 6:02 AM   #6
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I've always been a believer in the Dunning-Kruger theory - only people who are crappy at something will believe from the very start that they are amazing at it, because they don't have the self-awareness to understand what it is that they don't know.

I'm very much like you in feeling like I'm not good enough for this or that. What I've found helps is to actually accept that feeling and to view it as part of my drive to improve myself, but to not dwell on it or feel negatively because of it. Basically, allow yourself to feel it - but make it a positive thing instead. "Yes, I could do with some improvement just like everyone else, and improve I shall. Nobody is perfect."
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Old 29th November 2017, 7:51 AM   #7
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I wouldn't use the term lying per se.
But there is evidence that our inner monologue or self talks shapes our perception of ourselves. This has nothing to do with if your actually a good person or not (there are murders that think they good people because they are better than pedos for ex). Morality and "goodness" is subjective.

You have internalized that talk from the environment that was pretty negative. It doesn't matter if that talk is true in itself, but rather if it is now true to you. This is called the illusionary truth effect. Repeating something often enough will make it truth for you. The good thing is all you have to do is change that monologue to more positive self perception.

From my interactions with you on this forum, you seem like a wonderful woman to me and always trying to help people (and me lol). But you have to learn to see that for yourself.

wish you well.
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Old 29th November 2017, 8:48 AM   #8
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What does LS think about her theory?
Sounds plausible to me. My mother was similar, but I more or less rejected her advice and later her as a person altogether. So I externalized, giving the world the middle finger and did my own thing. When my mom yelled at me that I didn't listen it became the greatest compliment.

But in your case I can see how the futile effort of turning a lie into the truth can be depressing. You can't succeed at that, it's an endless struggle.
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Old 29th November 2017, 8:58 AM   #9
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I had a similar conversation with a therapist years ago. What I have to practice, constantly, is to ask myself: "What evidence do I have that I am a failure? What evidence do I have that I am succeeding (not a failure)?"

Often, the evidence for "failure" is how I feel - and not supported by other measures such as how much friends and colleague appreciate me.
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Old 29th November 2017, 9:02 AM   #10
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I had a similar conversation with a therapist years ago. What I have to practice, constantly, is to ask myself: "What evidence do I have that I am a failure? What evidence do I have that I am succeeding (not a failure)?"

Often, the evidence for "failure" is how I feel - and not supported by other measures such as how much friends and colleague appreciate me.
Exactly . . . but I don't always believe the evidence. I really want to get past this. It's a grey cloud hanging over my life.
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Old 29th November 2017, 9:07 AM   #11
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Exactly . . . but I don't always believe the evidence. I really want to get past this. It's a grey cloud hanging over my life.
It gets easier with practice. And it feels good to start seeing all the evidence, not just the evidence that supports a distorted, negative, view of ourselves.

But it is a practice, one that I have remind myself to do. It involves taking the time to feel good when something good happens. Recently, for me, it was being named in the acknowledgement of a respected researcher. When I feel myself getting hard on myself, I remind myself of that and allow myself to feel good.
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Old 29th November 2017, 1:19 PM   #12
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Yes, self talk can be destructive or building up! You need to verbally correct yourself when negativity starts and do something that you love that will build your self esteem and reach out to new goals, do silly things without worrying about outcome like a one time painting class that is just for fun or knitting or sewing, writing poetry, reading to learn. The more you build yourself up thru words and deeds the quieter the neg. voices will become. Get involved in groups around you that support you too. Community groups or churches near you have lots of interest groups, many of which are free or near free. Distance yourself from those who cont. to bring you down. You are a treasure, you are valuable and your past is over! Don't let it cont. to hurt you, drop it in the deepest sea every day if you have to! Write out "Today, I start over!" Fresh starts are great! =)
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Old 29th November 2017, 2:12 PM   #13
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Exactly . . . but I don't always believe the evidence. I really want to get past this. It's a grey cloud hanging over my life.


You don't believe the evidence because those people made you feel that way. If these people feel that way, if multiple people feel that way, then they GOTTA be right, right? What is it that I'm not seeing that they are?


Nah. Honestly what kind of person makes it a point to make someone feel bad about themselves? What do they value from that? Is that what makes them feel like they belong or are special in some sort of way? The way I see it if these people were happy or good people themselves, they wouldn't have gone out of their way or tried so hard to put you down or make you feel bad. Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. If you want to help someone, you don't do it by making them feel like they're not worth it, you *respectfully* point out what the problem is and what can be done to make it better. Basically, you teach the person rather than berate the person. Personally I never understood people who berate others, that is, unless I just really didn't like that person and they deserved it I guess, but even if they do deserve it, the mature and respectful thing to do is to just be nice and respectful. Anyone who isn't nice or respectful probably very deep down is an angry and miserable person. I've been pretty angry and miserable before, but that never incited me to make others feel bad about themselves, again, unless they for some reason deserved it.


Sorry...long rant. But, I know how you feel. Don't let anyone bring you down. You're better than that and way better than they'll ever be.
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Old 29th November 2017, 4:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by d0nnivain View Post
Just got home from therapy. The therapist said that I am in part causing my own depression because I'm lying to myself.

As a child my parents, especially my mother, told me I wasn't good enough. I still play that "head tape" over & over. . . I can always berate myself for the smallest fault or mistake.

According to my therapist, part of the reason I am so depressed is that I lie to myself. I am constantly telling myself I'm not good enough when the reality is I'm a good person who is accomplished & respected but I just keep trying to convince myself I'm worthless & my brain is having trouble processing the lie with the evidence to the contrary.

What does LS think about her theory?
Well, of course you are lying to yourself, that's obvious. But can't she go deeper with you?

I just can't help wondering in what context your mom would tell you that.

I know its been said a million times but it is so true, what others don't give you, give yourself.

Remember lies keep us stuck, truth sets us free.

The truth about you is how you define yourself, not someone else.

Did you get any results from the gene testing?
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Old 29th November 2017, 8:29 PM   #15
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@d0nnivain ~ I agree with your therapist, it's like your mother planted a bad seed in your head and it's now a part of you. Some people simply accept it, make peace with it and move on but if it's still bothering you after so many years then I think you have to go backwards in order to move forward. There's this knot you have to go back to untie, some things you have to go back to unlearn and plant a more positive seed in it's place. It sounds like mental gymnastics, but I think books like The Mind-Made Prison or Healing You Inner Child may help you.

I was once in a group listening to peoples problems and it seems a lot of them have issues that stem from their parents, they all blamed their parents for why they felt inadequate, a failure despite achieving so much in the lives etc. One point I found interesting was how their mothers probably grew up with similar mothers, so any parenting skills they learnt was from their parents. I remember thinking how adults are so clueless, as parents they were probably just winging it so really can't blame them for not all turning out to be A* parents. After that I stopped blaming my parents so much and it really helped when I spoke to my parents about how what they said and did affected me, it was good to get that off my chest. Maybe you can try having a conversation with your mother about that?
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