Don’t Act on Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts are a normal part of depression- this means that you’ll have them no matter what you really think about a situation. I know I used to!

 I was a negative @$#%.

You can fill that in with any word you like.

Nothing was ever good enough.

When I lived in Japan for three years- I complained for three years- I just can’t believe that people put up with me! It was awful- and now I feel I wasted so much time there with my anger and irritation.

In hindsight,  most of this was due to untreated bipolar disorder. I still have some of the thoughts now- I still want to kick things and yell at people – but I just don’t do it. It’s a struggle- especially with email as it’s so easy to complain on email.

But I don’t do it! I truly try to step back and think before I do something stupid.
 The thoughts are still there- my brain still races all night when I feel someone has done me wrong- or when I feel I’ve been treated unfairly- but it’s often just bipolar talking. I can listen, but I don’t have to act on the thoughts. This saves relationships and saves me a lot of stress.


5 comments to Don’t Act on Negative Thoughts

  • Stepping back and thinking before doing something is the best advice ever. I can’t tell you how many silly situations I saved myself from getting involved with due to stepping back and thinking.

  • Susan in AK

    Hi Julie,
    I had to bite my tongue – hard – at work this week. I really, really wanted to spout off and tell everyone how unfair I thought something was, but somehow I held myself back. After several days of living with this irritation and anger, I talked about it calmly with a friend last night, got her support, and then woke up this morning feeling like I really can let it all go. I’m so much happier right now!

    Of all things bipolar, the irritation has been the worst for me to deal with. I was always the “nice” girl, but I’m not sure that that label applies to me any more. I’m still nice, but I’ve also been quite unpleasant and it’s caused me some problems. Guess I’ll just keep working at it and try to remember that it feels so much better if I just let things go sometimes. It’s hard to pick your battles, isn’t it?


  • Melissa

    Hey Julie!
    I just learned what dysphoric mania truly feels like. At first I thought I had cycled into a depression but it happened so quickly and I was still feeling pushed that when I spoke with my therapist the next day we decided it was dysphoric mania. I was fooled by the negativity and had to start redefining what I called depression and mania. An interesting experience to say the least and definitely one where I had to watch what I said. I was so negative that I was ready to roll over and do absolutely nothing but stay home because that is what I thought everyone wanted me to do. Thank goodness I came to my senses.

    – Melissa –

  • Violeta Rotonda

    Hi Julie,
    I love your books and your website, but I have never blogged or replied to bloggers.
    I am in the same situation all of you have described. I had been doing fine for a year, but everything changed 3 weeks ago. I don’t think I can stop this episode. My psychologist doesn’t understand what a bipolar episode is or feels like.Her advice is mostly useless. My psychiatrist upped my dose of wellbutrin.
    I’m on my own, and sometimes I feel alone. I’m trying to have things under control. but I feel very angry and irritated. I feel I’m going to explode.
    my work environment is toxic, and I also have to help my daughter, who is also bipolar.
    Truly I get angry easily now. Can’t stand any contradictions or confrontations.

    Please somebody reply to this. Thanks

  • monte morris

    My girlfriend of three an a half months;has out of controll bipolar one.She is seeing a therapist;she recentley requested that i leave her alone,an said that she wants to be indipendant. But she is not on medication.Is this possible without the help of medications? She was acting out perty bad the last time i saw her/shoved me an yelling at me.We are all in this boat together/SALUTIONS!

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