I'm sure you've heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine. I think that's because it stops negative thoughts dead in their tracks. It's like pushing the reset button. So with that in mind, let me just start by saying you are not a nuisance!
So stop saying that because it's starting to get annoying...
Seriously though, depression is like a habit, or more accurately, a skill; much like playing an instrument. The more you do it the better you get. You seem to have the basics down pretty well: Always focus on the negative, and then explore every possible consequence thereof.
The problem is that if you keep practicing all day every day, you're going to end up being a virtuoso, a depressing a thought in itself.
Having just had a refresher course of my own not too long ago, I can share with you some of the things I learned. The two main ingredients of depression are sadness
. It's pretty hard to avoid sadness. Let's face it, 'stuff' happens. Powerlessness on the other hand, is something only children are supposed to feel, right? And their way of dealing with it... is to cry. Now if you were still a child you could cry all the time, but as an adult, you know that's not an option. Your brain cells however, don't recognize the concept of adulthood. All they know is they're sad, so while you're busy going about your daily business, or trying to anyway... they're doing this...
We are all
constantly being bombarded with bad news. It's like being in a rainstorm. If you don't have some sort of a coping mechanism, an 'umbrella' so to speak, you're going to get soaked. One of the things I
do is to run everything through a filter that looks for any possible way to extract some humour. It lessens the initial shock and makes bad news easier to digest. What you're
doing however, is exactly the opposite. You're looking
for bad things and then amplifying
them. The result is much like what happens when you put a microphone too close to a speaker. You get feedback that sustains itself. I'm guessing you picked that habit up from somewhere, so to tell you to just quit doing it would be a bit like asking an alcoholic who lives in a pub where they give out free booze to just quit drinking.
What makes mental wounds so hard to deal with is the fact that you can't put your mind in a cast. It's not like a sprained ankle where you can take the weight off it until it gets better. On top of that, nobody sees your injury, so they give you funny looks and make comments that make it even worse. That said, it is
possible to break the cycle.
The first thing you need to do is to identify the things that are contributing to the problem, and then do your best to quarantine them. Getting rid of the things that trigger negative thoughts isn't always possible, but the more you can do that, the quicker you can recover.
The next step is to break the habit of negative thinking. Try to get into the habit of taking a step back and asking yourself: 'What am I thinking? Why am I thinking this? Will dwelling on it solve the problem, or will it make it worse?'
If there are issues that are constantly coming up, try to separate them into categories:things impossible to ever control
---> ignore themthings you will eventually control
---> it'll sort itself out, so don't worry about itthings you do control now
---> you can make changes if you wantthings you could eventually control
(with time, practice, education, etc.) ---> try to chart a course to get there
Then, switch your thoughts to something positive. For instance, ask yourself what would make you happy, be fun to do, and could earn you a living at the same time. Those are the things you can slowly work towards. Imagine your future as a painting. Quit stressing out that it's not done and start drawing
! Don't let what might
happen tomorrow ruin today, especially when it might not happen at all! Happiness is not some far away place. It's how you feel when you are free to
choose your thoughts.
Finally, there are always going to be things that are beyond your control. How you choose to make sense of it all is up to you, but one thing is for sure: hope is essential. You can't live without it.