How Can I Think Positive Again?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. Hello before i start this question i do not have a problem with alcohol. I have contacted you before and your feed back was very helpfull as you know i have been suffering from depression for two years but two weeks ago i went for a walk and i had a really long hard think and a thought came in my head which i thought i would never think and that thought was why should i feel down and depressed as i have felt like this for to long i decided i would try to think positive as life is to short to feel unhappy so i tried to blank the negative thoughts out of my head and for the rest of that week i feelt something i have not felt in a long time and that was happy and positive and my head felt so clear but as anyone knows who suffers or sufferd from depression it is easyer said than done to think like this that is why this thought was so powerfull and eye opening i dont know were it came from. But the problem is a friend of mine asked me if i would like to go for a drink i dont drink much alcohol as it makes me feel more depressed but because i was in such a good mood and my head felt clear i decided that i would but after drinking so much alcohol i can feel the depression and the negative thoughts creeping back in my head. I am now worried i can not find it in my self to think positive and try to overcome the depression like i did before. Could it be the alcohol has messed with the chemicals in my brain and it is making me feel like this and do you think i could find the positive thinking again thank you?

A. Alcohol is a depressant and a mood altering drug. That might explain why you are vacillating between moods after you drink. It is not enough to wish away your desire to drink or to simply “think positive thoughts” to ward off your depression. It’s not clear from your letter how much you are drinking or if you are having trouble stopping. If you do have a problem with alcohol then it would be helpful for you is to consider AA meetings as well as talk therapy. You should not be trying to battle alcohol addiction and depression alone, especially when there is so much help available. If you can stop on your own, you should. If you cannot, try AA and consider seeing a therapist. I wish that “thinking positively” would cure your depression. I have never known it to do so. Yes, one can ruminate over problems and produce anxiety and depression but it is very difficult to simply stop ruminating without help from a good therapist. Can you get help? Can you afford it? Do you have insurance? If so, then please do so. It will be so much easier for you. I’m glad my advice helped before and I hope you will take it this time. If you can possibly get counseling, please do so. It can change your life dramatically and give you the happiness that you deserve.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Oct 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). How Can I Think Positive Again?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/10/20/how-can-i-think-positive-again/