Look around. The world is full of negative messaging. Adding our own voices to the mix—telling ourselves we don’t measure up, for example, or that we’re incapable of measuring up—can make us feel helpless, even hopeless.
Self-defeating self-talk only sets us up for a no-win situation.
“Self-criticism is a tendency to set unrealistically high self-standards and to adopt a punitive, derogatory stance toward the self once these are not met,” says psychologist and researcher Golan Shahar, author of the book Erosion: The Psychopathology of Self-Criticism. “What is interesting…is that once self-criticism has developed, it spreads around like an infectious virus.”
And there’s no immunization shot for that one.
However, once we start to track where these thoughts are coming from—likely from shame, which provides lots of nourishment for our inner bully—it’s easier to shift perspective, to reprogram thoughts that make room for compassion.
Which, of course, then leads to greater self-esteem and confidence.
Because no one answers a question like, “So what do you do to stay healthy?” with, “Oh, I underestimate my self-worth and talk trash about myself.”
Motivational author Louise Hay once threw out this challenge: “You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
Columnist Melody Moezzi, a trained lawyer, realized a breakthrough when she issued herself a challenge of her own—to take on her internal critic and arbiter as if she were in a courtroom: “I finally understood the threat of negative thinking and self-talk in a language that made sense to me, and for once, I felt confident in my ability to destroy said threat.” Read more >>
While bipolar disorder can be confusing and frustrating, learning about this condition can help a person manage better through education and healthy living.
By Karl Shallowhorn
I have been living with bipolar disorder for a long time—a very long time. So long, in fact, that when I first became ill, the term “bipolar disorder” was just coming into fashion. It was still mostly being called manic depression or manic-depressive illness.
It was 1981, way before the World Wide Web was invented (which was in 1990). Information about mental health, of any kind, was relegated to libraries and medical publications such as the American Journal of Psychiatry or through the American Psychological Association. There were also advocacy organizations, such as Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, but even these organizations were not as visible then as they are today. Read more >>
It can be difficult to know how to help a friend who’s either newly diagnosed with bipolar or currently in a mood episode; here are some ideas:
1. Offer support, not advice. Many times people just want to talk about their problems without having someone else try and solve them or offer advice. If you sense this is the case, just listen, without judgment. Simply offer encouragement. Let your friend know you are there to help, while being specific in your offer. For example, make a specific date to get together and follow up on that arrangement. Read more >>
July 4, 2019 • Volume 12, Issue 27Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines Silencing The Self-Defeating Inner Critic You can do nine things right and one thing wrong, and what you’re left with at the end of the day is a bunch of negative self-talk about that one wrong thing. All the right...
Your inner critic––the voice that constantly whispers negativity––does not have permanent residence inside your mind. It’s time to kick it out! Our Inner Critic drives self-criticism, which drives critical behavior. To take on your Inner Critic, you need to recognize that it is a behavior of self and a reflection of negative thinking––not a reaction...
Are you trying to make the decision to disclose? First assess—and address—your own opinion about bipolar disorder. Your feelings about bipolar affect how and when you tell a potential partner. Note from the Author: This blog is about sharing a bipolar diagnosis with a new love. Although I talk about my experiences telling people about...
If people can’t love and accept you for who you are–bipolar disorder diagnosis and all–then they are not the kind of people you need in your life. When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder my family was at a loss of what to do. No one in our immediate family has lived with any mental...