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Sometimes I don't know whether I can cope..

(6 Posts)
Wayforward Thu 25-Sep-08 09:51:13

Hi to all MNers who read this, I would really like your advice on how to be a more positive person.

A bit of background here: when I was a teenager both my parents were mentally ill, both were suicidal, my mother had a mental breakdown and left home and my father was severly depressed. I kind of helped them both as best I could and thought I had got out of it unscathed, but now I am not so sure.

I was depressed myself for a time, and had various amounts of therapy and seemed to get by okay.

Then I became a mum and had a bit of time to think about things and realised a few things about myself - I don't experience happiness very well, sounds a bit weird, but I don't feel happiness and joy in a truly profound way.

I can feel angry and sadness very well indeed but if something happens that should make me happy I feel good for about a second and then I wonder when it is going to all go wrong. I guess in other words I am quite pessimistic.

I would love to change this, I would love to see the happy, fun, good points in everything. My dh is optimistic and I feel I am dragging him down.

So any advice here? I guess I am just feeling quite down today, struggling to cope with work and motherhood etc.

Anything would be welcome...

BlessThisMess Thu 25-Sep-08 11:08:08

Hi Wayforward

It sounds like you've done really well considering your past. I share your feelings to some extent, so have looked into this subject myself though not really done much about it.

There are 'happiness' courses and books around the place. The best known one is Robert Holden, He's done books and courses. I'd love to go on one of his 8-week courses but they're quite expensive. is a blog by a woman who spent a year test-driving all the theories and tips on happiness. Full of fascinating stuff, but I find it too hard to actually get myself going to put some of these things into practice and stick to them.

There's also another website here which I've never seen before but looks interesting.

And at the moment I have this book out of the library but haven't started reading it yet.

Hope some of that helps! Maybe we should encourage each other to stick at it!

Wayforward Thu 25-Sep-08 12:01:49

Hi BTM, Thanks for that, it looks like I have some reading to do...

I really know that I want to be a happier person, that I want to be a bit of an optimist but my thought patterns are quite destructive, maybe some of what you have sent me might help.

I am quite happy to encourage you too - I think help from other people is an important factor - even from people we have never met before!

Starshiptrooper Thu 25-Sep-08 16:48:47

Hi - I don't know an awful lot about it but have you ever had CBT to try to counteract the negative thoughts you have when good things happen? If things in your childhood were not exactly predictable, then it's no wonder you've developed defense mechanisms which probably helped you cope with a level of uncertainty at the time? Also it sounds as if you took on responsibility at a young age, so maybe you didn't get to be as frivolous and joyful as other young people are? Recognising it is probably the first step and a very good sign that you'll be able to do something about it. I've been offered anti-depressants this week so I'm not really in a position to advise! I'm going to look at the stuff on the previous post too. Good luck.

Wayforward Fri 26-Sep-08 10:05:11

Hi Starshiptrooper, thanks for your input - sorry to be a dummy, but what is CBT? Is it Cognitive Brain Therapy?

I did do something like that a few months ago, but I got frustrated because it cost so much and then the woman spent two out of the three times I went telling me how to relax. And she talked so slowly! I kept looking at the time and thinking - right when are we going to go through the rest of the issues I have?

Would like to do something like that again though, is there anyway to get it cheaper?

Starshiptrooper Sat 27-Sep-08 10:53:34

Sorry I should have said - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. As far as I understand it, it's working on changing the way you think and the unwanted negative thoughts that pop into your head automatically. My mum did it and she thought it was great, and I've read that it can really work if you're willing to work at it. I don't know about getting it cheaper - you could try asking your doctor about it?

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