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We are a REMS-certified treatment center for Spravato® for treatment-resistant depression, and Suicidal Ideation with Depression. Neurostar TMS center for Depression and OCD. 

60 Negative Thoughts Examples Associated with Depression

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60 Negative Thoughts Examples Associated with Depression

Explore 60 common negative thoughts linked to depression and discover coping strategies for mental well-being.

A man showing deep sadness as one of negative thoughts examples

Negative thoughts are like unwanted visitors. They come without invitation, stay too long, and often create chaos before leaving.

These thoughts can be particularly persistent and damaging when they’re associated with depression. They can distort your perception of reality, making everything seem worse than it is.

In this article, we will talk about 60 negative thoughts examples often associated with depression. We want to help you identify these thoughts in your mind or in the minds of people you care about.

In this article, we will talk about ways to deal with negative thoughts. We will learn how to change them into positive affirmations to take control of our thoughts. 

Whether you are dealing with depression, know someone who is, or just want to understand more about it, this article is for you.


Negative Thoughts and Depression

Negative thoughts and depression are often linked. To understand their relationship, we must first know what each term means on its own.


What Are Negative Thoughts?

Negative thoughts, as the name suggests, are pessimistic or unfavorable thoughts. They can be about ourselves, others, or the world around us.

These thoughts often focus on our flaws, mistakes, or shortcomings. They can make us feel inadequate, unloved, or hopeless.

Negative thoughts can harm our mental health if they persist. They may come and go, but if they stay and affect us constantly, the harm can be significant.


The Link Between Negative Thoughts and Depression

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities, and a decreased ability to function in daily life.

One of the key symptoms of depression is negative thinking. People with depression often have a negative view of themselves, the world, and the future.

Negative thoughts can make depression worse by causing sadness and hopelessness. They can also make it difficult for people to get better. It’s important to understand this connection to treat depression effectively.


Types of Negative Thoughts in Depression

Negative thoughts in depression often fall into certain categories. These categories, known as cognitive distortions, are irrational or exaggerated thought patterns that can fuel depressive symptoms.

Here are some common types of negative thoughts seen in depression:


All-or-Nothing Thinking

All-or-nothing thinking, also known as black-and-white thinking, involves viewing things in extreme terms.

For example, if you make a small mistake, you might think, “I’m a total failure.” There’s no middle ground.



Overgeneralization is when you take one event or piece of evidence and generalize it to an entire area of your life.

For instance, if a friend cancels plans, you might think, “Everyone always lets me down.”



Catastrophizing involves expecting the worst possible outcome in every situation.

For example, if you’re facing a minor health issue, you might think, “This is the beginning of a serious illness.”



Personalization is when you blame yourself for events that are not entirely within your control.

For instance, if a group project at work doesn’t go well, you might think, “It’s all my fault.”


Mind Reading and Fortune Telling

Mind reading involves assuming you know what others are thinking, usually about you. Fortune telling is predicting negative outcomes for the future.

For instance, you might think, ‘The sun didn’t shine today, so everything is going to be gloomy and awful.’


Emotional Reasoning

Emotional reasoning is when you treat your emotions as facts.

For instance, if you feel lonely, you might think, “No one cares about me.”


Labeling and Mislabeling

Labeling involves attaching a negative label to yourself or others based on a single event. Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is emotionally loaded.

For example, if you make a mistake, you might think, “I’m a loser.”


Discounting the Positive

Discounting the positive involves ignoring or invalidating positive experiences, achievements, or qualities.

For instance, if you receive a compliment, you might think, “They’re just saying that to be nice.”


60+ Examples of Negative Thoughts in Depression

Negative thoughts can take many forms and can be related to various aspects of life. Here are over 60 negative thoughts examples that are often associated with depression:


Negative Thoughts Examples Related to Self-Image

  • “I’m a failure.”
  • “I’m not good enough.”
  • “I’m worthless.”
  • “I’m unlovable.”
  • “I’m a burden to others.”
  • “I’m stupid.”
  • “I’m ugly.”
  • “I’m weak.”
  • “I’m a disappointment.”
  • “I’m a loser.”
  • “I’m not as good as other people.”
  • “I’m a waste of space.”
  • “I’m always in the way.”
  • “I’m always messing things up.”
  • “I’m not capable of achieving my goals.”
  • “I’m not strong enough to handle this.”
  • “I’m always going to feel this way.”
  • “I’m not worth anyone’s time or effort.”
  • “I’m not interesting.”
  • “I’m not deserving of happiness.”

Negative Thoughts Examples Related to Others and Relationships

  • “No one cares about me.”
  • “Everyone would be better off without me.”
  • “People only spend time with me out of pity.”
  • “I always ruin relationships.”
  • “No one understands me.”
  • “I’m always going to be alone.”
  • “People are only nice to me because they feel sorry for me.”
  • “I’m not lovable.”
  • “I’m always going to be rejected.”
  • “I’m not important to anyone.”
  • “I’m always the last choice.”
  • “No one really likes me.”
  • “I’m not worth anyone’s love or affection.”
  • “I’m always going to be abandoned.”
  • “I’m not interesting enough to hold anyone’s attention.”
  • “I’m not worth fighting for.”
  • “I’m always going to be betrayed.”
  • “I’m not someone people can rely on.”
  • “I’m not someone people want to be around.”
  • “I’m not someone who can make others happy.”

Negative Thoughts Examples Related to the World and the Future

  • “Things are never going to get better.”
  • “The world is a cruel place.”
  • “I’m always going to be unhappy.”
  • “There’s no point in trying.”
  • “Life is meaningless.”
  • “I’m never going to achieve my dreams.”
  • “I’m always going to be stuck in this situation.”
  • “There’s no hope for me.”
  • “I’m never going to find happiness.”
  • “I’m always going to be a failure.”
  • “There’s nothing good in my future.”
  • “I’m never going to be able to change.”
  • “I’m always going to be in pain.”
  • “I’m never going to be successful.”
  • “I’m always going to be struggling.”
  • “There’s no point in living.”
  • “I’m never going to be satisfied.”
  • “I’m always going to be lost.”
  • “I’m never going to be free from this.”
  • “I’m always going to be trapped in this cycle.”

How to Change Negative Thoughts to Positive?

Changing negative thoughts to positive ones is a process. It’s not something that happens overnight. But with practice and patience, it’s possible to shift your mindset.

First, notice your negative thoughts. This involves paying attention to your thought patterns and recognizing when you’re thinking negatively.

Next, you need to challenge these negative thoughts. Ask yourself if they’re really true. Often, you’ll find that they’re not.

It’s also helpful to look for evidence that contradicts your negative thoughts. This can help you see that they’re not as accurate as you might think.

Finally, try to replace your negative thoughts with more positive ones. This can help you start to change your mindset and improve your mood.


Identifying and Challenging Negative Thoughts

Identifying negative thoughts is the first step towards changing them. This involves paying close attention to your thoughts and noticing when they’re negative.

Once you’ve identified a negative thought, challenge it. Ask yourself if it’s really true. Often, you’ll find that it’s not.

Ask yourself if there’s another way to see the situation. This can help you view things from a different perspective.

Remember, just because you think something doesn’t mean it’s true. Thoughts are not facts.

With practice, you can get better at identifying and challenging your negative thoughts.


Cognitive Restructuring and Reframing

Cognitive restructuring is a technique used in cognitive behavioral therapy. It involves changing negative thought patterns.

The first step is to identify the negative thought. Then, you challenge it and look for evidence that contradicts it.

Next, you reframe the thought in a more positive way. This involves looking at the situation from a different perspective.

For example, instead of thinking “I’m a failure,” you might think “I didn’t succeed this time, but I can learn from this and try again.”

Reframing your thoughts can help you see things in a more positive light.


Mindfulness and Positive Affirmations

Mindfulness means focusing on now without judging. It can help you become more aware of your thoughts.

When you notice a negative thought, simply observe it.Don’t judge or reject it. Just let it be.

Then, gently bring your attention back to the present moment. This can help you break the cycle of negative thinking.

Positive affirmations can also be helpful. These are positive statements that you repeat to yourself.

For example, you might say “I am capable” or “I am worthy of love and happiness.” Repeating these affirmations can help you start to believe them.


When to Seek Professional Help 

While self-help strategies can be effective, sometimes professional help is needed. This is especially true if your negative thoughts are causing significant distress or interfering with your daily life.

Therapy can be a powerful tool for managing negative thoughts. It can provide you with the skills and strategies you need to challenge and change these thoughts.

In addition to therapy, medication may be an option. Some people find that medication, in combination with therapy, can be helpful.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of a strong support system. Having supportive people around can make a big impact on your life.


The Role of Therapy in Managing Negative Thoughts

Therapy can be incredibly helpful in managing negative thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapy, in particular, is often used for this purpose.

In cognitive behavioral therapy, you’ll learn how to identify, challenge, and change your negative thoughts. You’ll also learn strategies for managing your mood.

Therapy can provide you with the tools you need to combat negative thinking. It can also help you understand why you have these thoughts in the first place.

Remember, it’s okay to seek help. You don’t have to manage your negative thoughts on your own.



Need Help?

If you’re struggling with negative thoughts and depression, consider reaching out to our team at Zoelife Psychiatric Services. Our experienced providers are here to help you navigate through these challenges and work towards a healthier mindset. Visit our website or call us today to schedule an appointment.




Overcoming negative thoughts isn’t easy. It takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work. But remember, it’s a journey, not a destination.

Every step you take towards positive thinking is a victory. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small it may seem.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Changing thought patterns takes time. Be patient with yourself.

Finally, hold on to hope. With persistence and the right strategies, you can overcome negative thoughts and move towards a more positive mindset.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with a qualified healthcare professional if seeking treatment for a medical or psychiatric condition.