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A depressed person may be experiencing a barrage of negative thoughts about themselves and their life. It may seem as if these thoughts are completely out of control and cannot be solved. The more intense these thoughts are, the more depressed and hopeless the person may feel.

The negative thoughts often become very believable and a depressed person will believe all these negative thoughts are true.

For example, a depressed person may think they are useless or unattractive or unloved. They believe these thoughts are true reflections of who they are, they can feel very confused when it is suggested these thoughts are not true.


Stress is described as “a feeling that is created when we react to particular events. It is the body’s way of rising to a challenge and preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, strength, stamina, and heightened alertness” Teens Health, 2010.

Stress happens when we feel we can’t cope with pressure. A persistent negative response to challenges will eventually have a negative effect on your health and happiness. Experts say people who tend to perceive things negatively need to understand themselves and their reactions to stress-provoking situations better. Then they can learn to manage stress more successfully.

Common symptoms of stress include:

  • Blood pressure rises
  • Breathing becomes more rapid
  • Digestive system slows down
  • Heart rate (pulse) rises
  • Immune system goes down
  • Muscles become tense
  • Difficulty sleeping (heightened state of alertness)

When we are trying to manage stress, it is important to learn that what matters more than the event itself is usually our thoughts about the event. How you see that stressful event will be the largest single factor that impacts your physical and mental health.


Crucial experiences that help us form our beliefs about ourselves often (although not always) occur early in life. What you saw, heard and experienced in childhood—in your family, in the wider community and at school—influence the way you see yourself.

Low self-esteem can result from various factors, including:

  • Systematic punishment, neglect or abuse
  • Failing to meet parental standards
  • Failing to meet peer group or work standards
  • A failed relationship
  • Being on the receiving end of other people’s stress or distress
  • Belonging to a family or social group that other people are prejudiced toward
  • An absence of praise, warmth, affection or interest
  • Being the odd one out at home, school or work

Sometimes, negative beliefs are caused by experiences later in life, such as workplace bullying or intimidation, abusive relationships, persistent stress or hardship and traumatic events.

It is difficult to overcome this state of mind and sometimes you don’t even want to. You even ask yourself why should you, this is your negative thinking pattern. It is important to keep in mind that you are not a failure to yourself or others. Keep in mind, at some point in life, most people experience mild or major stress or depression. 

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