When you feel depressed you might be self critical and ‘label’ yourself as useless, stupid or a failure. More severely depressed people tend to view themselves as totally worthless, unlovable or bad. You may frequently focus on past mistakes which seem to confirm your negative view of yourself.
However when you are depressed, thoughts become fused with reality and accepted as facts. As a consequence, you develop a pattern of thinking which is like holding a prejudice against yourself. You are then more likely to avoid challenges or situations in which you believe others will put you down.
You will learn in this book to notice when you are thinking about yourself in this prejudiced way by prefacing it “I had a thought that I was a failure” thus underlining that it’s just your thought or a mental event. When self-criticism is strong then you would learn to develop a compassionate mind.