Does Mental Illness Make You Hard on Yourself?

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

It’s not unusual for people with mental illness to beat themselves up. Get concrete tips for dealing with negative thoughts and feelings about yourself.

Does Mental Illness Make You Hard on Yourself?

Living with mental illness can be challenging enough without your own negative thoughts and feelings about yourself further beating you down. You don’t have to believe what your illness tries to tell you.

Mental Illness and Negative Thinking

Everyone has automatic negative thoughts, thinking errors that influence our emotions and actions. In people with mental illness, these thoughts are more pronounced and persistent.

Some thinking errors that might be damaging your self-esteem include:

  • Labeling—using harsh, negative labels to describe yourself
  • Emotional reasoning—letting your emotions take the lead, shaping your thoughts and actions
  • Discounting the positive—zeroing in on negative beliefs about yourself and dismissing anything positive as a fluke

Breaking Free from Negative Thoughts About Yourself

Thinking about yourself more realistically is a gradual process that takes practice and patience. These steps can help:

  • Awareness—rather than letting your negative self-talk run rampant, start catching the things you say about yourself
  • Question—Ask, “Is this really true?” Look for evidence that it is a lie told by mental illness.
  • Intentional focus—To shape your thoughts, choose what you pay attention to, returning your concentration to the moment or a positive aspect of yourself instead of negative thoughts and emotions.

You don’t have to believe everything you think, especially when it comes to all the negative thoughts mental illness tells you about yourself.

Related Articles Dealing with Negative Thoughts, Self-Esteem

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: When you’re down on yourself, what helps you pull out of it? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.


The Challenges of Working and Having Bipolar Disorder

On the HealthyPlace Facebook Live this Thursday:  Sheila loves where she works. “My co-workers are amazing and really caring people,” she says. On the other hand, Sheila notes that “being bipolar means that people are always thinking that you’re dangerous in some way and you think they’re out to get you. And there’s also the paranoia that you’re going to get fired because you have a mental illness.”

Come join us, Thursday, July 30 at 3p ET / 4p CT. Therapist, Amy Quinn, will be there too. She specializes in treating adults with bipolar disorder. Ms. Quinn will be providing some concrete suggestions for dealing with the challenges that people with bipolar disorder face on the job. As always, our guests take your personal questions and comments.


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. A Wake-Up Call About My Schizoaffective Suicidal Thoughts
  2. Stop Anxiously Ruminating and Rehashing: Finish Every Day
  3. Am I Depressed or Just Sad?

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


Mental Health Quote

"Dont limit your challenge. Challenge your limits."

Read more mental health quotes.


That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook or stumbleupon) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week, follow HealthyPlace on Twitter or become a fan of HealthyPlace on Facebook. Also, check out HealthyPlace on Instagram and YouTube.

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2020, July 28). Does Mental Illness Make You Hard on Yourself?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 18 from

Last Updated: August 31, 2020

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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