Antidepressant Skills

Realistic Thinking

Each of us has our own way of thinking about situations, and how we think has a big effect on how we feel.  Depressed teens often think about situations and about themselves in a way that is negatively distorted.  This kind of thinking exaggerates how bad a situation is and ignores positive events. 

In this section you will learn to:

  • Spot depressive thoughts that lead to depressed mood
  • Challenge these depressive thoughts
  • Come up with realistic thoughts

Depressive thinking is unrealistic and unfair. If you can think more realistically, your emotions will become less negative. Your plan is to replace depressive thinking with realistic thinking.

Depressive thinking is:
  • Unrealistic negative thougths about your situation
  • Unfair negative thougths about yourself
  • Unrealistic negative thoughts about your future
Realistic thinking is:
  • accurate about your situation, seeing things clearly as they are
  • fair about yourself, looking in a balanced way at the positive and negatives in your life
  • accurate about your future, not exaggerating bad outcomes

Sometimes we can be really hard on ourselves. Listen to the story about The Perfect Girl and learn to spot and challenge depressive thoughts.