I get so frustrated when I try to explain that I struggle with unpleasant and intrusive thoughts and people imply that I should be able to just switch them off or not think a certain way. For example, I had an online friend tell me yesterday that I shouldn’t compare myself to other people and I’ve had multiple people tell me that I shouldn’t let Valentine;s Day get to me. If I could change my way of thinking, I’d have done so long ago. It isn’t as if I CHOOSE to think a certain way, it just happens as my thoughts are powerful, constant and very intrusive. I don’t choose to compare myself to others and I honestly try very hard not to, but my feelings of envy and inferiority are far too powerful, especially at a time in my life when I’ve never felt so marginalized by society and totally unable to fit in anywhere.
Such assumptions that I can just change my way of thinking are quite insulting, just as telling me “don’t be depressed” or “don’t be anxious” would be if I were to open up to someone about my depression or anxiety. I know myself and if I haven’t figured out how to change my way of thinking after all this time and all the treatment I’ve received in the past, I don’t think anyone else has the right to imply that I can without knowing me in depth.
Much of the stigma towards mental illness is the whole “it’s all in your head” thing and the toxic positive thinking bullshit, as it assumes that people can just change their negative thinking. It is why I have no faith in modern psychology.