By Nancy Virden (c) 2020
Depression is negative. Period. When depressed, our minds filter truth about ourselves and the world, positive reinforcements, successes, and potential through a negative lens. Self-loathing may be both a result of and fuel for depressive thoughts.
All I do is hurt people and make mistakes; I’m stupid, clueless. There is something wrong with me; guess I am a loser. I am unlovable; everyone will be better off if I am gone. Ugly! Idiot! Clumsy! Trouble-maker! That’s me; my life is worthless.
Loathing is a strong term and appropriate for this self-debasing kind of thinking. We are averse to positive feedback yet ready to latch on to any sign as proof that our point of view is correct. Compliments upset us (because they cannot be true), we believe no one actually cares (because we are not good enough), and each of our mistakes blares out the message – I can’t get anything right!
That is not to say that everyone who struggles with depression experiences self-loathing, and certainly not to an equal extent. However, it is common and goes hand-in-hand with a sense of worthlessness. We may become so engrossed by our perceived failures, that we see no one else.
There is another point of view
One meme reads, “If a friend speaks to you the way you speak to yourself, how long will you keep that friend?” I will add this question. If a friend talks about himself using words you say to yourself, how long before you try to change his mind?
God wants to change our minds. Negative self-talk is gut-wrenching. We do not deserve that verbal abuse. No one does. God has a higher opinion of his creations.
Genesis 1:27 tells us our worth. “So God created human beings in his own image.” This is why we are greater than the animals, and why we think on a more complex level. We are not equal to God though. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine” (Isaiah 55:8).
God is greater then we are! Why do we want to assume he made a mistake in our case? James 3:9-11 (NIV) reads, “…we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness… this should not be.”
Self-loathing has no rightful place in a human heart. One reason is that self-loathing is laser-beam focus on one individual. It destroys all the beauty we could be seeing around us. Another reason is that negative self-talk is a one-sided argument. It blocks out the truth of what God and others see in us.
By taking God’s point of view to heart, we can stop calling ourselves bad names. Instead, we can know God doesn’t make mistakes; God loves me; I am merely a human with strengths and weaknesses like everyone else. I am valuable.
Today’s Helpful Word
Philippians 4:8 NIV
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!