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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hello, I have a couple of problems that I wish you can help

Resolved Question:

I have a couple of problems that I wish you can help me with, I will mention one here and the rest in other questions:

I am a negative thinker, I always have a huge set of negative thoughts in my mind, such as: I am not adequate, I can't study hard to the level of my colleagues, I failed in my study previously and I will continue failing, my relationship with my family will not get better, I will still lazy for the rest of my life. These negative thoughts affected my life hugely. I tried Behavioral Cognitive Therapy exercises before by myself and they greatly and positively affected my mood and my thinking. I studied psychiatry and I am definitely not depressed.. After I read many articles about how to overcome those negative thoughts I felt the power of my mind.. I felt happy... But these were short acting happiness and great mood.. after a while I go back to the old habit..

I would greatly appreciate your help in this matter by any sort. Any techniques or exercises or advice you recommend?

Many thanks
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

You mentioned that you have always had these thoughts. Can you tell me a bit more about your childhood? Did you have supportive parents? Were there any issues like the loss of a parent, abuse or bullying? Any sibling issues?

Thank you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Good day Kate and thanks for your comment. I am very sorry for the delay I was away in a trip.
May family is quiet big (10 members) My parents are in their 50s and 60s. My parents also raised some of my uncles. So I lived in a very busy home. I am the 6th between my siblings.
All my older siblings are married now so I am the oldest in the home now. We live in one house and my relationship with my family isn't bad in general but very superficial perhaps because I don't talk much. Therefore my childhood was a bit stressed since my parents were too busy rising a big family in addition to their jobs. At school I wasn't the smart guy. I was average with very little number of friends. It's really difficult for me to make friends, which is s big matter from my childhood till now. I was very shy and silent that's why some of the students were making fun of me sometimes. So I hated the school. I remember my primary school teacher who said describing me "He is very quiet, the table may talk more than him".

I hope this helps..

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

It sounds like you were not able to get the attention you needed as a child to feel that you mattered. Although your parents may have not mean to, they did ignore you, which in some ways can be considered neglect, at least emotionally. And if you naturally had a quiet personality, then you would have had no reinforcement to draw you out or help you gain self esteem.

While you have done some things that are very helpful, and smart, to address your issue, the basic problem needs addressed. Most men get their sense of self from their relationship with their fathers. Since you did not have the opportunity to do so with a father who was so busy, you never got the connection you needed. So you now have to fulfill that need on your own.

When reading your posts, there were several comments you made about yourself that put you down or made you seem less than others. This is the type of thinking that will bring you down. You mentioned trying to change this, which is a good way to address it. But just changing your thinking is not going to make you feel better permanently. You have to follow it up with believing that you are a good person with many good traits. For example, begin your day with affirming that you are smart, capable, and a good person. Then take those thoughts and act them out. If you have to, pretend all day that you are this person. As you do this, over time you will see that you begin to believe it. And you will find that you are that person. It was just your beliefs that held you back from seeing it.

Here are some links to help you:

I hope that helps you. Let me know if you have more questions.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Kate,
I will read the articles.
I have further question that is really really important to me: If I always think positively and apply a positive scenarios in my life, wouldn't that be a dangerous thing in situation like my study and career? Lets give you an example; My best friend X is Pessimistic person, he always puts the worst scenario and then work on it, I always reassure him to be optimistic and to look for the positive side, HOWEVER he is smart and his pessimistic thinking always result in excellent outcome; for example if he is to study for the final he puts (or seem to put) the worst scenario that even though there is one month left to the exam he thinks like this: the time is really limited and I have to work really hard to finalize every thing early otherwise I (him) will be running behind and I will get bad result, etc.. (even though he is an A+ student and he never EVER had bad results). so he puts himself in a stressed position and works on the worst scenario and I feel pity toward him but he manage his study plan with fear and negative thoughts regarding the outcome, and after the exam is done...... taraa A+!!
On the other hand, Me, although I have a lot of negative thinkings occupying my head. In the situation above I always put the BEST scenario, that for example since I have one month left to the final exam I have plenty of time that I can finalize things easily and fully, I reassure myself that it's doable to get A+ and not to stress myself, I really think positively about the outcome.. not just that, I actually reassure my friends who seem to be depressed (yet A students) to take it easy and to think positively etc.. BUT this never worked!! EVER!! ALL the optimistic scenarios I put FAIL.. and after the exam, welcome the D!!

I'm confused, I applied the positive thinking techniques before and it works perfectly. But in studying thinking positively never worked for me! As I mentioned, I tell my pessimistic friend to be positive and finally he gets the pride and I don't..!!

Your help with this regard is greatly appreciated Kate,

Thanks a lot,
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.
It sounds like your friend is using his negative thinking to his advantage, like a tool. He waits to study in order to put himself under pressure, then he studies a lot, putting himself under more pressure by using negative thinking (I'll never pass) and he passes anyway, exceeding his expectations. Positive thinking, in some situations like studying, does not gain the same results. It doesn't motivate like a negative thought would. But in other scenarios, negative thinking can be bad. So it depends very much on how you use negative thinking as a tool and not necessary as part of your personality.

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Please let me address the other matters I have which is actually my personality, I am a medical student and I have studied psychiatry. I strongly believe that I have Cluster C "anxious" personality disorder, more specifically avoidant personality dosorder, and some characteristics of dependent and OCD.. associated with social phobia..
I am really struggling with this matter, as you mentioned it most likely is due to the lack of attention in my childhood, plus the bullying at school. Even though my older brother is very much the opposite (hypomanic, Bipolar).
I do need help in this huge matter, it really affects my daily life and consume much of my power. Because it is the main problem that caused all the negative thoughts I talked about. And I really feel helpless toward it. I may get engaged in 1 or 2 years and I don't want to build a marriage on my current personality, I don't believe a shy man who can't take responsibility for himself and is internally stressed and dependent and avoidant can stand the responsibilities and the decision making that need to be fulfilled in marriage..

I am really sorry for bothering you with so many questions... but your answers were and will be really helpful.

Best regards,
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I would like to help you further with your questions but I do need reimbursed for my work. If you would like to work together, that is fine, I am more than happy to help. But you may need to contact the moderators so they can explain how to reimburse for answers.